Maximizing the $60 back on $200 at Wine Access AmEx Offer

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

[Click to enlarge] $60 back on $200 at, expires 6/25/2018
There is an AmEx Offer available now for $60 back on $200 at

I had a look at their assortment and their prices and I think there's some value to be had here if you're up for getting the specific high quality wines they offer at deep discount.

Here's how I'd maximize it...

1. Load the AmEx Offer to your card(s) online

I saw this offer on all but one of my AmEx cards, so it seems widely available. If you have multiple AmEx cards you can load and use the offer for each card. To load the offer to each AmEx card associated with one AmEx login I'd recommend using AmEx's old interface and opening multiple browser tabs, one with each card's offers showing. Then click through each tab and apply the offer to each card.

2. [Optional] Go through a Shopping Portal

First, I'd go through a shopping portal. To find the best cashback rates use Cashback Monitor.

Top Cashback is a reliable portal and they're currently offering 10% cashback at Wine Access. If you're not registered with Top Cashback yet here's my refer-a-friend link.

BeFrugal has 13% cashback. Here's my refer-a-friend link for BeFrugal.

It could be a bit tricky stacking a shopping portal with the next step, since it's a referral link in itself, but I'd say it's worth at try.

3. Use a refer-a-friend link for $50 off $150

Wine Access has a referral program where you get $50 off your first order of $150 or more. Here's my referral link:

4. Spend at least $200 to trigger the AmEx Offer and Free Shipping

The way AmEx Offers work you charge the required amount ($200 in this case) and if the offer has successfully been linked to your account prior to purchase you should receive an email from AmEx right away saying you triggered the offer. The $60 back is processed a few days later as a statement credit.

The first thing I ask myself when I see an offer like this is: "Do I want these wines? Are they any good?"

Looking at their assortment I'd say they've got a very keen eye for good producers. Take for example the Chateauneuf-du-Pape they've chosen: Le Vieux Donjon.

Fantastic producer. Last year when we were visiting the area and only had time to visit a couple wineries this was our first stop.
The next question I ask is whether their retail pricing before discounts is fair. They're asking $57 for a bottle of Donjon.
For this I use to search for the same bottle across other retailers in the country. Looks like their pricing is pretty good. Other retailers are asking more.

So our goal would be to land as close to $250 so that after the $50 refer-a-friend discount we should land at $200 and trigger the AmEx Offer.

Adding it up

If we were able to land exactly at $250 and "everything worked" we'd have:

$250 worth of wine
-$50 refer-a-friend discount
-$60 AmEx Offer
-$20 back from Top Cashback (10% of $200 since the $50 refer-a-friend discount reduces the order amount)

Total: $120

$120 for $250 worth of wine is a 52% discount. Pretty good if you like the wines they're offering.

Repeating the deal?

If you've got the offer on multiple AmEx cards you might be able to replicate the deal. Success would hinge on whether you can repeatedly use the refer-a-friend $50 off $200. This would be challenging because that deal is supposed to only apply for new customers. We'll see how that goes.

You might consider referring your spouse and/or others close to you to take advantage of the deal.

Bottom line

Hopefully I shared some useful tricks in this post.

I'd love it if you used my refer-a-friend link for the deal:

This is a pretty solid opportunity if you're up for buying what they're offering. Some of their domestic Pinot Noirs look appealing to me and their overall assortment looks focused and high quality.

If you're looking for a broader assortment this offer is ongoing.

If you're new to the credit card game here's a post to get you started: Pros And Cons: Ranking The Top Flexible Points Programs In 2018

Question of the Day: Have you done business with Wine Access? Any angles I missed? Any recommendations from their assortment?


$10 off $50: Maximizing the 2018 AmEx Offer

Friday, February 2, 2018 is back with another AmEx Offer for $10 off $50:

I haven't personally tinkered with this one yet (other than to load it to all my AmEx cards) but it looks the same as the offer they ran in late 2017.

I hope it is exactly the same because as you'll recall from the last time the offer was posted you can stack coupon codes with a shopping portal and free shipping through their StewardShip program.

Here's a great coupon code to get started: $20 off $100+ with code WINE20 (likely limited to once use per account). And since you'll want to only pay for StewardShip it's likely a single use per person. Thanks Phil!
Compare shopping portals here:

Obscure shopping portal Lemoney (not listed on Cashback Monitor) is currently offering 10% cashback on up to one $170 transaction at They tend to offer the highest cashback rates through their "Turbo Cashback" model.

Here's a refer-a-friend link for Lemoney if you're not signed up with them already. In my experience they take a while to pay, but they do eventually pay out.

Not sure which wines to get? Here's a list of 10 reliably outstanding wines they have in most states.

Discover any other angles? Share the love in the comments.


Did this Boston company finally figure out how to run a good wine club?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Upper Glass works with local sommeliers to carefully select
compelling wines, delivered to your doorstop each month
In my experience, some of the best wine recommendations I've received have come from independent local restaurants with a focus on discovery.

Energetic hipster sommeliers try all kinds of stuff so they can present funky off the beaten trail lower production wines from lesser known regions that run circles around higher production commodity wines.

As long-time readers know, I'm no stranger to Total Wine, Costco and Wine .com. But there comes a point when you're tired of the usual suspects and you want to explore. And you want to do so without making mistakes.

If you're not making it out to local restaurants as much as you'd like and you're thirsty for evolving new wine selections from respected local sommeliers, Boston-based Upper Glass might be just the model you're looking for.

How it works

The best way to get a feel for Upper Glass, to give them a try, is with their Monthly Curated Selections. For $80 (with free shipping in the Boston area within route 495) they'll deliver an assortment of four wines to you each month.

If your preference is reds only, they've got an option for that.

If you want to explore specific varietals like Pinot Noir or Cabernet, or "holiday wines" or "sparklers" they offer one-time four bottle collections you can order.

More on how it works from their site
Four wines, nicely packed with useful
interesting information about each is included

My experience

They reached out and asked if it would be okay to send me a complimentary shipment. A nicely packaged box with four wines with information about each was included. The shipment I got happened to be targeted for Thanksgiving.

The wines were selected by Jen Fields, the Wine Director at Chef Michael Scelfo's Harvard Square restaurants Alden & Harlow and Waypoint. She was previously General Manager at Toro (one of Chef Ken Oringer's many restaurants that I adore).

Alden & Harlow and Toro were a couple of my favorite meals in the past couple years so it felt like this offer, and the entire Upper Glass wine discovery model is eerily targeted at me.

Bench Pinot Noir

Silky smooth and gorgeously free of off notes. A hard thing to accomplish with such flavor intensity and low alcohol. Outstanding and impressive in the ~$20 price point.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

Elio Perrone Bigaro

A sweet sparkling rosé from Piedmont, Italy. 5% alcohol. Creamy sweetness kept in check by some amount of acidity. A great wine to enjoy with dessert, especially but not exclusively for guests who don't typically like wine. Absolutely delicious.

92/100 WWP: Outstanding

Clos de l'Elu Indigene

A French (Loire) red blend of 50% Gamay, 30% Grolleau, 20% Cab Franc. Drinks like a cru Beaujolais with more stuffing. Anchored by unmistakable Gamay notes with stuffing provided by the other grapes which have shades of Rhone influence. Fantastic.

91/100 WWP: Outstanding

Mica Vinho Verde

Starbright with racy acidity. Strong linear presence with satisfying weight. I get a hint of a soapy aftertaste on the finish that diminishes what is an otherwise outstanding wine.

88/100: Very good

Bottom line

I think Upper Glass is on to something terrific here.

The key is going to be whether they can stay true to their model and avoid the temptation to push out wines that are driven by forces other than the carefully selected options from local sommeliers.

I think Wine Folly does a good job describing why so many wine clubs are so very bad.

Definitely check them out if you're in the Boston area. I hope they expand to other areas and/or open up more shipping options. I think a lot of people would really go for this.

I realize this is cutting it close to Christmas so I wanted to get this out now on the off chance you might be able to take advantage of a couple deals they're running.

15% off gift cards with code CHRISTMASCARD
15% off a 3 Month Subscription with code 15OFF3 with the first shipment arriving before New Years.

These codes are good through Dec 25, 2017 and could make for a great last minute gift, even for...yourself!

My thanks to Upper Glass for the sample shipment. I wish them well. Really like the model here.


[MA Only] Quick deal: 2012 Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir for $33/btl

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bin Ends Wine is offering the 2012 Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch at 3 bottles for $99 (link).

As a comparison point, Total Wine sells this bottling for $44.99 when purchasing 6 or more mixed bottles.

I've had various vintages of this wine before and I'm a fan. It's big and bold, weighing in at 15.5% alcohol. It's a little back-vintage at this point but I bet it's not over the hill yet.

If you're unfamiliar with the Cherry Pie lineup it's strikingly similar to Belle Glos/Meiomi:

Winemaker: Jason Woodbridge of Hundred Acre
Top end bottling: Single vineyard Cherry Pie (the wine being offered, street price around $50)
Entry level: Cherry Tart Pinot Noir ($15-$20)

Winemaker: Joe Wagner of Caymus
Top end bottling: Single vineyard Belle Glos (around $50)
Entry level: Meiomi ($15-$20)

Worth a try if you like a big bold California Pinot Noir. I know I do.

I'll update this post when I hear it's sold out.

Update: Wine is not sold out as of yet, but I picked this up yesterday and popped it just now. They gave me the '13 (offer was for the '12) but I'm not complaining. The wine is exactly what I'd hope for. Full throttle flavor yet light in color as CA Pinot should be. Ample acidity and surprising tannic grip. Just the slightest bit of heat as you'd expect from something that's 15.5% abv. I can see my way to 92+ points on this.

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