Fresh Off the Truck: 2020 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Thursday, May 26, 2022

I still think it's harder to find a good $20 bottle of Pinot Noir than a satisfying $12 full-bodied Cabernet (Columbia Crest H3) or Monastrell (Juan Gil).

At around $20 I tend to see Meiomi and similar wines in the domestic Pinot Noir category, and a lot of those are a bit over the top for what some might consider varietally correct.

So I was interested in trying a wine that's gotten some attention recently that's less than $20. Let's get right into it...

2020 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.8% Alcohol

30% opaque with a ruby/magenta hue. It appears light-bodied but like any good California Pinot Noir, it delivers satisfying aromas and flavor.

On the nose, I get fresh ripening fruit, strawberries, and a hint of white pepper.

On entry, it lands with satisfying weight. Low acidity with just a hint of fine silky tannins on the backend. This is a very drinkable wine, devoid of off-notes with broad appeal. Impressive at this price point.

89/100 WWP: Very Good

So here's an interesting puzzler on how to buy this wine...

Wine Access has it for $18. You could buy 7 bottles to get to $126 for free shipping, and that would trigger the $100 Amex Offer. You could also buy $100 eGCs to avoid overshoot. Or if it's your first order you could to $150 for $50 back on your first $150 order through referral.

Wine.com has it for $18.99 in Massachusetts. If you have Stewardship you could get 3 bottles of it for $56.97 and get $20 off $50 with code JOURNEY50 (HT Diego Santos on Wine Berserkers). That seems like a pretty great way to try just a few bottles, or mix it in with some other wines you like to get to $50.

Bottom Line

It's still surprisingly hard to find a solid bottle of Pinot Noir for $20, but this one delivers for less than $20 before discounts. Give it a whirl and see whether this might make it into your rotation?

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[Targeted Amex Offer] $60 back on $200 at First Bottle

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

There's a new Amex Offer for $60 back on $200 from First Bottle.
Expires 7/5/2022.


First Bottle doesn't have an affiliate program, so they don't participate in shopping portals.
Free shipping on 6+ bottles.


See also:

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Targeted Citi/AA Simply Miles Wine.com Offers: 30+% Off

Monday, May 9, 2022

Tim at Frequent Miler spotted a couple of new stackable Wine.com offers...

There seem to be at least a couple versions of these offers swirling around, from two separate but semi-related entities.

Citi Offers

I see one of these offers on each of my Citi cards:
  • $30 back on $100+
  • $10 back on $100+
The ones that have the better $30 offer seem to be cards that I didn't use the prior offer on. On cards I did use the prior offer, I was only targeted for $10 off $100.

Citi's IT is notoriously flaky. Although they recently expanded their Offers program to include all (most?) Citi cards I've had difficulty bringing them up on desktop. The Citi mobile app seems to be a more reliable way to activate these offers.

Gift card purchases have triggered the $30 back in the past.

When multiple cards are targeted each seems to be able to take advantage of the offer, which is superior to how Amex mostly limits us to one offer per SSN now.

This offer expires 6/30/2022.

AA Simply Miles

While not nearly as lucrative as a prior iteration of this offer in conjunction with a 5x multiplier, there are at least two active offers on stackable Mastercard-linked AA Simply Miles.
  • 1,400 miles for $100+
  • 450 miles for $100+
These should stack with the Citi Offers, and thankfully many of the cards Citi issues are Mastercards - which is the only card type that AA Simply Miles currently supports.

Tips

I have never found a shopping portal that pays out on the purchase of Wine.com gift cards. Portals do pay out when paying with gift cards, but never when buying them. It doesn't mean it's not worth trying, but I've given up.

That said, card linked offers do seem to reliably pay out on the purchase of gift cards. This is true of Amex Offers and the more recently introduced Citi Offers.

Bottom Line

Solid deals. Stack 'em up, buy some gift cards to avoid overshoot, shop through a portal, take a referral, sign up for Stewardship, and pick wines that aren't too price-inflated and this should result in some tremendous savings.

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[Targeted Amex Offer] $30 off $100 at Last Bottle

There's a new Amex Offer for $30 off $100 from wine retailer Last Bottle. 
Expires 7/5/2022.

New customers can get $10 off $30 through referral.

As far as I know, Last Bottle doesn't have an affiliate program so they don't participate in shopping portals. So I think the best you can do is load the offer, take a referral, and wait for an appealing offer to present itself. The hurdle is usually low for free shipping.

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