What Exactly Is A "Case" Of Wine?

For many of us, purchasing a glass or bottle of wine is a short-term decision. We ask the waiter for a glass of white to pair with our meal; we grab a bottle of red on our way to a dinner party; we buy champagne and plastic flutes for a big celebration at the house.

Ordering a case of wine, on the other hand, is quite the commitment. You aren’t just buying a glass or bottle for the evening; you’re likely pre-determining your wine consumption for the next month. It can be a big decision -- especially if you’re going into it blind.

To make curating and ordering your next case of wine, a source of joy, rather than worry, this Wine Insiders guide will give you all the information, tips, and tricks you need to craft and purchase an affordable case of delicious, diverse wines.

How Many Bottles Are In A Case of Wine?

In the United States, there are typically 12 bottles of wine in a case.

To break this down further, your average case will have 12 bottles of wine with 750 ml of vino in each, translating to roughly nine liters of wine in total.

Like many rules in the wine industry, however, there are plenty of caveats that can slightly or significantly alter the volume of wine in your case.

For example, highly expensive varietals and blends produced by celebrated winemakers often come in cases of six bottles -- an attempt to make it easier for more people to afford them comfortably.

Similarly, supersized bottles of wine such as a magnum (2x a standard bottle), double magnum (4x a standard bottle), jeroboam (6x a standard bottle), etc., come in minimized cases that will pack as little as two to three bottles.

Wine Insiders Tip: If you’re looking to sample new wines or cater for a smaller event, our 6-Bottle Wine Sets can be the perfect, compact alternative to a larger case of wine.

How Much Is A Case of Wine?

The price of a case of wine can vary dramatically depending on the bottles you select, the vineyard that produces them, and the retailer from which you purchase.

On average, a 12-bottle case of high-quality wine will run you anywhere from $150-300 -- though you’re actually saving more money than you realize.

When most wine producers pack a standard case of wine, they apply a “volume discount” that rewards you for purchasing their bottles in bulk. Wine retailers often use this discount to inspire you to buy more wine than you typically would, but it works in your favor as well:

By buying wine as part of a case, you’re typically saving 10-20% per individual bottle. Those savings can really add up, especially if you’re buying higher-quality bottles than you’d normally purchase.

For example, let’s say you’re buying a $200 case of wine. That may sound like a lot, but here’s the catch: you’re getting $20-25 bottles for around $15 each. This means you can try a selection of usually expensive bottles without the guilt of feeling you’ve exceeded your budget.

Wine Insiders Tip: When purchasing a case of wine, look for or create a selection that combines a mix of different varietals and blends. This way, you’ll have a case that can pair with a wide variety of meals and suits any occasion.

How To Buy Wine By The Case

When you buy wine by the case, there are generally two styles of purchases:

You can curate a 12-bottle selection of your choice or opt for a pre-selected case sold by a wine retailer.

Let’s explore both options so you can find which works best for you:

Custom Case

The perfect custom case can be the holy grail of any wine collector. Expertly combining the collector’s taste, expertise, and experience, the ultimate custom case can represent the crown jewel of your cellar.

Or, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. In fact, customizing your 12-bottle case can be the perfect opportunity to take risks, expand your palette, and sample wines that intrigue you.

Whether you opt for a selection of old favorites or exciting discoveries, there’s no “right way” to build your case.

With that being said, one way to ensure you get the most out of your case, especially if it’s your first, is to choose a wide-ranging selection that includes red, white, and sparkling wines.

This method virtually guarantees you’ll enjoy a good portion of your selection, even if you get a few bottles from out of your comfort zone.

Pre-Selected Case

One of the joys of buying a pre-selected case is choosing a “theme” for the wines you purchase.

Whether you’re looking to rediscover Old World, Italian wines, or introduce yourself to the exciting growing regions of Australia or New Zealand, pre-selected cases put your trust in the expert’s hands as you explore a carefully chosen selection.

This option takes away much of the “stress” of customizing a case and is an especially desirable option if you’re new to buying wine in bulk. Regardless of what option you choose, you can have faith in wine producers and sommeliers' tastes and opinions.

At Wine Insiders, we also recommend taking some time to find the wines and growing regions you already enjoy while also making a list of new varietals and blends you’d still like to try. This method gives you the option of choosing bottles you know you’ll love or pushing your boundaries to try something new.

Wine Insiders: Discover Your New Favorites

Now that you know the basics of buying a wine case, it’s time to find the case that best suits your budget, style, and flavor preferences.

Here at Wine Insiders, we devote ourselves to crafting a broad and diverse mix of 12-bottle wine cases to make it easier than ever to enjoy delicious wines from around the globe.

Whether you’re a wine newbie looking to sample the classics or a vino aficionado searching for a specialized collection of Old World reds, we have dozens of gift sets lovingly curated to complement any meal or occasion.

Here are some of our favorite cases:

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