Casemates, Original Wine.Woot Founders Create a New Community Model For Direct Online Wine Sales

In 2006 Matt Rutledge, the founder of Woot! and partners launched Wine.Woot, a unique community model of online wine sales. The wine, came directly from the producers and were shipped directly to consumers, eliminating the need for a middleman. A community grew organically from of this consumer base and the site became a place to share knowledge, educate newcomers, arrange to trade bottles and just enjoy each other’s online company.

When Woot! was purchased by Amazon, they also purchased the very successful wine subsidiary. Now that Amazon has acquired Whole Foods, they no longer have need for a separate online wine department and will be shuttering that part of the business as of December 31, 2017. Luckily, Rutledge and Mediocre Laboratories are stepping in to reboot this community-based, direct retail wine model under the name Casemates and is raising funds through Kickstarter to get it going.

We pioneered the winery-direct retail model for wine fans to buy online, from winemakers, with no middlemen. We created this method – we’re not even a store, the wine you’re buying is sold by the producing winery. So no one’s better positioned than we are to step in and rescue it from extinction like John Hammond with the velociraptors. We’re calling this new iteration Casemates. On Casemates, you’ll find fresh wine deals three times a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), and we’ll be building tools to let you share by-the-case orders with other users near you for better deals than ever. Split an order with friends you never knew you had — and share the savings you get from shipping a whole case.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.