Amazon is to start selling wine in the US, in the latest extension of its e-tail empire.

The world’s largest retailer has initiated a search for a senior wine buyer, who it says will be responsible for “the acquisition of a massive new product selection”, according to the Financial Times. The wine sales will extend a rapidly growing, non-perishable groceries business launched by Amazon in 2006.

However, the online wine market is fraught with regulatory complexities and many businesses have found it a tough nut to crack.

Amazon invested US$30 million (£15.2 million) in 1999 in a 45 per cent share of start-up, which expired the following year., now the largest US online wine seller, sells food gift baskets on Amazon.