It's back! $30 off $100 at Wine.com with code AMEXDEAL16

Monday, March 7, 2016

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One of the best recurring deals in wine is back. Now through 7/7/2016 you can get $30 off $100 at Wine.com with code AMEXDEAL16.

Step 1: Go through a portal (optional)

Start your shopping by checking http://www.cashbackmonitor.com/Cashback-Store/Wine.com to get some extra cashback on your purchase. You can get around 5% off your order as cashback through a portal this way.

Step 2: Select your wines

The idea is to hit $100 without too much overshoot. For example, add 2 bottles of the 2013 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Antonio Galloni rated 95 points at $29.99. I've had the wine. It's pretty good. Then 2 bottles of 2013 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir Wine Spectator rated 92 points at $22.99. Your total would then come to $105.96 thus qualifying for $30 off.  Inventory varies by state. Ping me if you'd like some help finding good deals in your state.

Step 3: Sign up for a Stewardship free trial

Stewardship is Wine.com's equivalent to Amazon Prime. You get free shipping for a year, but you can also get a free trial for a month. If you've ordered from Wine.com in the past, try signing up with a new email address to get a new free trial.

Step 4: Place your order

The deal can be used once per email address. This might also be a good opportunity to use up any Wine.com gift cards you may have purchased at a discount in the past. Or, if you have a Chase Ink credit card you could earn 5x Ultimate Rewards by buying Wine.com gift cards from PayPal Digital Gifts.

Step 5: Cancel Stewardship

To make sure you're not billed for a year of Stewardship, cancel your trial after placing your order.

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Just When I Was About to Write Off Affordable Bordeaux

Sunday, March 6, 2016

If there's one category that's consistently failed to provide a good match for my taste in wine at affordable price points it's been Bordeaux.

Sure there have been a few bottles I've enjoyed here and there. But on average the wines I've tried rated 90+ by Spectator costing $30 or less have been bitter, savegely tannic disappointments that have clogged up the works of my wine stash.

2005 was the first vintage of the century I've been aware of in my time as a wine enthusiast. Now with 10 years of age, these wines have done little to endear themselves to me. Maybe in another decade their fruit will finally mercifully come forward, but my experience has been sufficiently negative as to make it unlikely I'll buy many more.

With 2009 and 2010 garnering praise on par with 2005 I started to grow weary of the hype. I bought a few well regarded wines with the hopes that Spectator's "round and friendly" descriptors of the 2009s from St Emilion might make these wines more relatable to my new world-leaning palate. To be honest I didn't have high hopes given that Bordeaux are often described with delicious sounding adjectives ("powerful!", "rich!", "mocha") that end up tasting stern and rough with drying tannins.

So it was with muted expectation that I opened a bottle of 2009 Chateau Pipeau last night. Here's how Wine Spectator's James Molesworth described it:

This rich red is nicely coated with espresso and dark fig over a core of plum and blackberry fruit. Stays velvety through the toasty but well-integrated finish. Best from 2013 through 2023. 91 points.

A rich red, coated with espresso? Sign me up!

I took a sniff and a sip just to make sure it wasn't corked before serving it to our guests and I was blown away.

This wine is something special.

My notes...

2009 Chateau Pipeau
13.5% Alcohol
11,665 Cases Produced
$30 Release Price

Nearly opaque visually, this wine opens with dark chocolate, bold fruit, and vanilla tinged oak influence. Ample mouthfeel and presence, more substantial than its 13.5% alcohol would otherwise indicate. Yet still elegant. Nice tannic grip, but luscious and invites another sip. Impressive.

93/100 WWP: Oustanding

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