Exclusive Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir Offer

Monday, October 22, 2018

The good folks at Sojourn Cellars have put together an exclusive offer for Wellesley Wine Press readers as follows...

3-Pack for $99

  • 1 bottle of each of the following:
  • 2016 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Sojourn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • $20 Flat Shipping

6-Pack for $199 w/Free Shipping

  • 2 bottles of each of the following:
  • 2016 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Sojourn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Sojourn Riddle Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Free Shipping


I've been blogging about wine here at the Wellesley Wine Press for a decade. In that time I haven't found a more reliably outstanding producer than Sojourn.

I'm particularly pleased with the wines they've chosen for this offer because they represent both their appelation wines that I consider a great value at retail prices of $39-$42. And also one of their single vineyard wines, from Riddle Vineyard, that's a personal favorite at a retail price of $59.

The retail price of the wines in the 3-pack is $140 so at $99 this I think this is a great offer. Especially at ~$33/bottle as part of the 6-pack with free shipping.


Style-wise the Sonoma Coast bottling tends towards more perfumed and nuanced notes than the brawnier Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Both are tremendous vintage after vintage. I had the 2016 Russian River Valley recently (as part of my regular order with them). It was Outstanding. Totally on point.

I'm particularly excited about the inclusion of the Riddle Vineyard Pinot Noir in this offer. I've loved this bottling in past vintages and the 2016 I had recently was Outstanding verging on Classic. It represents what Sojourn does so well. Classic California Pinot Noir aromas of fresh cut strawberries and briar patch leap from the glass. Amazing depth of flavor but purity of fruit that's hard to find. Laser-beam focus. This is a bottle I'll share with a friend and say "This is exactly what I'm looking for, not just in California Pinot Noir but in wine in general."

If you're interested in checking out what their all about the 3-pack is a good low-risk entry point. But for the Sojourn faithful the 6-pack (with free shipping) is the way to go. And [until they run out] you can order multiple packs.

Bottom Line

I'm thrilled to share this offer with you and I'll be ordering at least two 6-packs myself. Head over to their site if you'd like to learn more and place an order:


$50 off $200 from Wine.com with code SEPT50

Thursday, September 20, 2018

$50 off $200 with code SEPT50. Expires 10/1/2018.

This can be stacked with a $10 off $50 Amex Offer that's going on at the moment, or used with gift cards purchased from previous promotions. Log into your Amex account to see if your cards have been targeted. You need to activate the Amex Offer before using it, and keep in mind that Amex Offers are limited to a single use per SSN.

Wine.com coupon codes tend to be single-use per account.

If you don't want to dork around with shopping portals, you could do me a favor and start your shopping through my affiate link:

Thank You


Fine print: *Order must be placed by 10/1/2018. The $50 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $200 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.


Amex Offer: $50 off $150 from WineAccess.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Amex is back with another offer from WineAccess.com:

$50 off $150, expires 1/1/2019

The deal is both better and worse than it was last time. Let me explain...

$50 off $150 is 33% off, whereas last time they ran it, it was $60 off $200 for 30% off. But Amex changed how Offers worked recently.

Whereas before you could add the offer to each Amex card, you can only add the offer to one card per social security number now.

That limits the useful scale of the deal, though between you and your spouse you can still get some leverage out of the deal.

Revisit my previous post on the deal for tips on how to maximize it.

The key is catching wines you like when they offer them. Their model is such that they have some wines on an ongoing basis, and others as limited time offers.

I've been very pleased with their short-time offers, espeically the 2014 Black Kite Gap's Crown Pinot Noir.


One Vineyard, Two Classic California Pinot Noirs

Monday, September 3, 2018

One of the most interesting parts of wine discovery is connecting the dots. Once you find something you like you can follow the producer, follow winemakers, explore the grape variety, or explore a region.

The two wines below come from a common vineyard: Gap's Crown in Sonoma.

Gap's Crownn Vineyard
East of Rohnert Park between Santa Rosa and Petaluma
Map from everyvine.com
You'll find grapes from Gap's Crown in bottlings from top Pinot Noir producers like Kosta Browne, Gary Farrell, MacPhail and others.

I recently enjoyed these bottlings from Black Kite and Sojourn tremendously but didn't realize until a few days later they were from the same vineyard.

2014 Black Kite Gap's Crown Pinot Noir
14.6% alcohol
292 Cases produced

Black Kite's "Kite's Rest" bottling is sourced from grapes from their estate vineyards in the Anderson Valley. It's been reliably outstanding and is the Black Kite wine I have the most experience with. The Gap's Crown bottling is similar stylistically, which is to say full of goregous cola notes and a pure brambly expression of California Pinot Noir. Not an off note in the bottle. Absolutely delicious.

95/100 WWP: Classic

2016 Sojourn Gap's Crown Pinot Noir
14.6% alcohol
1,350 Cases produced

In my 10 years writing about wine here at the Wellesley Wine Press, Sojourn Pinots have been the most reliably oustanding wines I've found. This Gap's Crown bottling is aligned with their luscious house style, with laser-beam focus on the palate. Light in color and body relative to its tremendous depth of flavor. What California Pinot Noir can be when at its best.

95/100 WWP: Classic

I bought the Black Kite from WineAccess as a one-time offer they ran. You can find their wines around at retail in most states, but if you want to try something specific it would be best to order direct.

I bought the Sojourn off their mailing list. It's one of the few I'm happy to order from again and again. Reasonable prices. Free shipping on 6+ bottles. 10% 12+ bottles.

California Pinot Noir continues to be my go-to category. It's delicious on its own, I love the flavor profile, and it pairs with just about anything.

Definitely check out more from Black Kite and Sojourn. And definitely Pinot Noir from Gap's Crown if you get a chance.


$50 off $200 at Wine.com with code HAPPYHOUR

Friday, July 27, 2018

If you took advantage of the recent [but now expired] Wine.com $10 off $50 promo, you may have stockpiled Wine .com gift cards and/or statement credits waiting for a good coupon code to come along.

A good one popped up today in the form of $50 off $200 with HAPPYHOUR

25% off (plus the 20% savings with the AmEx offer) is pretty good. We've seen promo codes as high as 30% (for example JULYNEW30) but those tend to be for new customers only, so they don't work well when you want to use the code with an existing StewardShip account.

Portal payouts seem relatively strong at the moment with eBates at 9.5% cashback.

Not up for fiddling with portals? I'm a Wine .com affiliate if you'd be up for using my link to start your savings adventure by clicking on the image below:


Fine print:

*One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 7/29/2019. The $50 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $200 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.


Breaking: Duckhorn Acquires Kosta Browne

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Just got this from Duckhorn's PR firm. Thoughts to follow...

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. – July 17, 2018 – Duckhorn Wine Company, which includes Duckhorn Vineyards, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, Decoy, Canvasback and Calera, announced today that it will acquire iconic California Pinot Noir winery Kosta Browne. Founded in 1997, Kosta Browne is recognized as one of the wine industry’s great success stories, making some of the New World’s most sought-after Pinot Noirs. The Kosta Browne sale will include the company, the winery, all assets and inventory, as well as 170 acres of vineyards through ownership or long-term leases that include Cerise Vineyard in the Anderson Valley, and prized sections of Keefer Ranch Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and Gap’s Crown Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The Kosta Browne team will remain with the winery, including CEO Scott Becker and acclaimed winemaker Nico Cueva. 

“This is a huge win for both Duckhorn Wine Company and Kosta Browne,” said Alex Ryan, president and CEO of Duckhorn Wine Company. “Fine wine lovers have an insatiable demand for luxury Pinot Noir, and Kosta Browne’s wines are among America’s most coveted.”

Kosta Browne was founded by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne, with Chris Costello joining the partnership in 2001. In the years since, Kosta Browne has created a globally renowned portfolio of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with a groundbreaking direct-to-consumer program. In addition to 170 acres of premium estate vineyards, Kosta Browne has established partnerships with many of California’s most legendary growers from Anderson Valley to the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. In 2012, Kosta Browne built a state-of-the-art custom winemaking facility in Sebastopol, California. This summer, they will unveil The Gallery, a hospitality space overlooking the winery where Kosta Browne will provide a rich and immersive tasting experience for its members. 

“As a lover of good wines and good investments, I have particularly enjoyed working with Scott Becker, our dynamic CEO, and his talented team on the relentless pursuit of quality at Kosta Browne,” said John Childs, chairman of J.W. Childs Associates, which currently owns Kosta Browne. “Every action, whether the purchase of Cerise or our proprietary bottling line, was taken to advance the quality of Kosta Browne wines. We have made great strides and are pleased that Duckhorn will continue this journey, as their reputation for excellence suggests. Kosta Browne will be right at home among Duckhorn’s stable of benchmark American wines.”

Kosta Browne has earned a place on Wine Spectator’s annual list of the world’s “Top 100 Wines” seven times since 2005, including “Wine of the Year” in 2011. The 2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Three Palms Merlot was named Wine Spectator’s 2017 “Wine of the Year,” so with this acquisition Duckhorn Wine Company will become the only American wine company in this century with two “Wine of the Year” winners in its portfolio. 

“What Michael, Dan and Chris created at Kosta Browne is nothing short of remarkable,” added Ryan. “It has been exciting to see the founders rewarded for their years of hard work and tireless pursuit of excellence. Their vision and values will inspire everything we do.” 

The purchase of Kosta Browne will not include CIRQ, which was founded, and continues to be owned, by Michael Browne. The sale is expected to close next month. 

About Duckhorn Wine Company
Duckhorn Wine Company has helped set the standard for American fine wine for four decades. Founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn with the launch of Duckhorn Vineyards in 1976, the Duckhorn portfolio has evolved to include Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Decoy, Canvasback and Calera, each with its own dedicated winemaker. With 700 acres of acclaimed estate vineyards, along with grapes from the finest growers, each winery has its own focused winegrowing program from which to make its wines. Duckhorn Wine Company wines are available throughout the United States, on five continents, and in over 50 countries. For more information, visit Duckhorn.com. 

About Kosta Browne
Located in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, Kosta Browne is a trusted authority on California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They produce appellation and single-vineyard wines from the most coveted cool-climate vineyards across the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley, Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. A commitment to quality, stewardship of the land, and customer relationships have made Kosta Browne an industry-leading producer of inspiring wines that transcend their origins and represent California on a global stage. For more information, visit KostaBrowne.com.


On Hazy, Juicy New England IPAs

Monday, July 16, 2018

Tree House Julius IPA
I've written before about beer's inherent summer advantage. Summer is indeed upon us and in an effort to stay current in beverage trends I've been exploring New England IPAs.

They're hazy visually, they're juicy on the nose and on the palate, have shades of a tropical smoothie, and are high in alcohol. They sell for $5 a can in 4-pack 16 ounce cans if you can get a hold of them.

Purists hate them and consumers can't get enough of them. Parallels with high alcohol fruit bomb wines are abundant: Both are absolutely delicious.

See: 10 Reasons Why Brewers and Drinkers Hate on Hazy IPA

I went to an end of season little league gathering and was fortunate to have a friend bring some cans of the legendary Heady Topper from Vermont along with some cans of Trillium.

Trillium Scaled Up Double IPA
My goodness, was that can of Trillium eye-opening and delicious.

There's something about experiencing something for the first time that can never be replicated. The setting. The can from a brewery so raw the label is a sticker on a generic can. The flavor profile perfectly fit the occasion. Amazing and outstanding.

We headed over to Trillium's facility in Canton the first chance we got. It's a great scene, full of energy and lively but not so crowded and inconvenient as to leave us empty handed.

We bought some cans, had a taste from beers they were pouring on tap, got a bite from a food truck and were on our way.
Trillium's Brewery in Canton, MA
Trillium's beers are, for my taste, absolutely terrific. They seem to gain favor with Boston-area enthusiasts who are fed up with the hassle associated with procuring Tree House from their facility an hour away in the center of Massachusetts.

I haven't made it out there yet but my father-in-law was kind enough to pick some up for me on his way home to Connecticut a few weeks back. This gave me a chance to try Tree House's signature American IPA: Julius.

What strikes me most about Tree House Julius is how utterly devoid of harshness it is. Any of the rough edges one might associate with beer have been sandblasted off. What's left is a beverage that's mouth-filling, satisfying and thick.

The opacity is evident - almost like an orange juice with calcium added.
Tree House Julius IPA
As I was thinking about whether this trend is the wave of the future -or- the next ZIMA I couldn't help but think about how 95% of the beer on retailer shelves are not this.

Until I went over to a nearby grocery store and found this Samuel Adams New England IPA. Hazy & Juicy! In a 16 ounce can!

I couldn't help but think about the guys over at Sam Adams having a meeting. Shaking their heads in dismay at what these upstart brewers were doing in their back yard. And saying "We can do this. Easy."

The packaging and product are strikingly similar to Tree House Julius.
Sam Adams New England IPA: Hazy & Juicy
I had a taste of these two beers side by side and they're about what you'd expect from looking at them. You can tell from the pictures how much denser and opaque the Julius is than the Sam Adams. That conveys to the nose and mouthfeel.

Ironically, if Sam Adams is known for "rounding the edges off" in their stylistic interpretations, I found Julius to be a "rounder" beer. The Sam tastes more like a regular beer. The Julius is a thing unto itself.

Sam's New England IPA is a good proxy for the style. A viable window into what New England Hazy IPA is about and a heck of a lot cheaper and more widely available. At $8.99 for a 4-pack this is a terrific slightly more upscale beer to have in your cooler for a summer party than Sam Summer Ale, a personal favorite.

You know, beers are a funny thing. Unlike wine where the final product is mostly driven by terroir and the winemaker's hand, beer is driven by regional stylistic brewer preferences.

But that doesn't make these beers any less interesting to me.

It's fascinating how beverage preferences change over time. And if you're up for trying new things I'd encourage you to seek out some juicy, hazy New England IPAs.

Check 'em out:

Trillium Brewing Company
110 Shawmut Road, Canton MA 02021

Tree House Brewing Company
129 Sturbridge Road, Charlton, MA

Sam Adams
30 Germania St, Boston, MA 02130


Smith & Wollensky: Superb Steaks in Wellesley

Monday, June 18, 2018

Smith & Wollensky Wellesley [click images to enlarge]
Upscale American Steakhouse Smith & Wollensky opened their first suburban location recently. Located in Wellesley, MA it took over the space formerly occupied by Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger.

Hot Take: Smith & Wollensky comes to Wellesley

Main Dining Room
The Smith & Wollensky brand competes with the likes of The Capital Grille, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, and Del Frisco's - all of which are well represented in the Boston area. When I first heard that a restaurant of this caliber was coming to Wellesley I was skeptical on a number of levels.

First, because it's further outside of Boston than any of the locations of these other restaurants. People in the Boston area tend to forget that any suburb further outside of Boston than theirs exists - especially when selecting a special occasion restaurant.

Second, because the location in Wellesley isn't on a major route. The Capital Grille's suburban locations in Chestnut Hill and Burlington are on major roads, as is the Ruth's Chris restaurant in Waltham. Blue Ginger was unique enough and belonged to a celebrity chef so people would go out of their way to get there. Will the same be true for Smith & Wollensky in Wellesley?

Finally, there's not a large expense account crowd right around Wellesley like there is in downtown Boston or even along Route 128. To succeed they'll need to appeal to residents from Wellesley and surrounding communities who want a high end steakhouse experience and aren't interested in driving into Boston.

Personally, I'm looking forward to a high quality restaurant where I can grab a bite to eat and a glass of wine at the bar after Back to School night and similar situations. But will they be good enough to make it the place I want to go for special occasions?

History: Where did Smith & Wollensky come from?

The first Smith & Wollensky opened in New York City in 1977 by Alan Stillman, the man behind the TGI Friday's chain. Stillman wanted to create a uniquely American establishment like the restaurants he enjoyed while visiting France.

The steakhouse concept appealed to him but unlike similar restaurants at the time, the Smith & Wollensky wine list was heavily California-driven as opposed to wines from France and Italy.

The names Smith and Wollensky were randomly chosen from a phone book late one night. The first page turned to: Smith! The next: Wollensky! The New York restaurant has been at Third Avenue and 49th Street since.

They aim to be "A Steakhouse to End All Arguments" and they do rather well on the marketing front. For example, each year Smith & Wollensky New York hosts Warren Buffett and 7 guests who've bid multi-millions of dollars for the privilege of having lunch with Buffett.

New York was the only Smith & Wollensky location until 1997 when they began to expand to other locations. Today there are seven locations in the US and London.

Wellesley Location

Bar Area at Smith & Wollensky Wellesley
I was curious whether the suburban Wellesley location might offer some slightly more casual take on the flagship concept. Although they do have a "Wollensky's Grill" adjacent to some locations, the Wellesley location is a proper Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse.

That said, they're open for lunch and dinner. And they offer a bar menu as well.

If you look at the architecture of American restaurants currently, the percentage of space dedicated to "bar" dining has dramatically increased. It's no longer just a place where you have a drink while you're waiting to be seated. It is often the place you prefer to enjoy your meal, and the Wellesley location reflects this trend. 

They clearly put a lot of thought and expense into remodeling the space. If you're familiar with the former Blue Ginger the general layout will be familiar to you. But the overall feel is heightened. More polished, but very comfortable.
Chef's Counter
In addition to the expanded bar area, a chef's counter provides a view into the open kitchen. I rather like this particular space because you're not encumbering a bartender with serving food while preparing drinks and you're in an area with good kinetic energy and lively conversation with staff and guests.

While enjoying lunch at the chef's counter we heard a story that speaks to why the space works well to connect guests with the kitchen. Shortly after Anthony's Bourdain's tragic passing, a couple dining at the counter bought a round of drinks for the entire kitchen staff after their shift as both a tribute to Bourdain and to show their appreciation for the hard work that goes on in kitchens like this.

The Food: Superb Steaks

Dry-Aged USDA Prime Bone-In New York Cut
When we visited for lunch we met with Corporate Executive Chef Matt King who suggested their dry-aged steaks as a signature item, so I went with a 21 Ounce Dry-Aged USDA Prime Bone-In New York Cut Steak.

He explained what makes them special: USDA Prime beef sourced sustainably from the 70,000 acre Double R Ranch in Washington is dry-aged in-house at 36F and 60-65% humidity for about 4 weeks.

The preparation is simple and the results are spectacular. 9-10 minutes in a 1200F broiler, turned once. A little salt and pepper. The dry-aging adds a "toasted popcorn" flavor to an amazingly pure unadulterated carnivorous experience. Utterly delicious.

They offer some sauces even though the steak doesn't need it. Their Béarnaise sauce is on point if you're into that sort of thing. It goes incredibly well with their Signature Filet Mignon.

8 Ounce Signature Filet Mignon
Steak prices, a la carte, range from $39 to $67. Things top out at $148 for the Snake River Farms Swinging Tomahawk Ribeye for Two. Something to aspire to for a special occasion.

So the steaks are classic, but what about the rest of the menu?

See: Wellesley Lunch & Dinner Menu

We enjoyed the Angry Shrimp and Tuna Poke for starters.
Angry Shrimp [Amuse Bouche portion]
Tuna Poke
We kept thinking about what would be some good lighter options, rather than steakhouse staples like mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

For sides we tried the Zucchini Agrodolce and Broccolini, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Pecorino. Smoky notes in the zucchini were appreciated and the broccoli was nicely seasoned.

Steakhouse salads could be a good play for a lighter lunch. The Roasted Beet Salad with red and yellow beets, aged goat cheese, arugula, truffle honey, toasted pistachios, and  mustard chive vinaigrette topped with Pan Seared Tuna was very good, though pricey for a salad at $29.

The "Bar Bites" menu presents some more affordable options and could be in play for kids as well (they don't have a dedicated kids menu.)  The bar menu is available at lunch and dinner while sitting in the bar or restaurant.

See: Bar Bites & Liquid Assets Menu

Sliders for between $16-$21, Wollensky's Butcher Burger for $17, Steak Tips for $24, or Steak Frites for $34 are more affordable options that hopefully make Smith & Wollensky Wellesley a restaurant to visit more regularly than just special occasions.

The Wine: California driven but more Old World in Wellesley

Wine Manager Christian Gianaris

When Smith & Wollensky was founded in the 70's it was an edgy idea to serve California wines at a high end restaurant. Domestic wines were just establishing their credibility in the US market, and nicer restaurants gave consumers what they wanted: Wines from France and Italy.

How things have changed.

Wine Director Christian Giannaris was previously at Smith & Wollensky's Atlantic Wharf location where he said 90% of the wine sold was from California.

I'd say this is typical for a high end US steakhouse, but in the short time the Wellesley location has been open they've seen strong demand for old world wines - like Bordeaux and even Grand Cru White Burgundy.

Wines by the Glass range from $13-$22.

See: Wines By the Glass List

Additionally there's a higher end list of wines available by the glass, poured with a Coravin. It's been amazing seeing how the Coravin has expanded the quality of wines restaurants are able to pour by the glass.

And because the menu is digital for these selections it enables the restaurant to react more quickly to consumer feedback.

I tried a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir I wasn't particularly impressed with. I shared this feedback with Christian and it has since been replaced on the list with a Goldeneye, a well-known California Pinot Noir.

Sorry Oregon, but it's great to see how a restaurant like this has local autonomy in crafting the wine list and is able to change things quickly based on customer feedback.

Wines are stored at their optimal serving temperatures from one of nine Sub-Zero units throughout the restaurant. It's nice to see this attention to serving temperature because it so meaningfully alters how wine is appreciated.

Nine Sub-Zero units keep wines at optimal service temperatures
Christian suggests plans are in the works to continue the wine dinner tradition Blue Ginger established in the community. Stay tuned for more on that.

Gigantic Desserts

Gigantic Chocolate Cake

We enjoyed a taste of the Carrot Cake and the aptly-named Gigantic Chocolate Cake. All desserts are made in-house and served with house-made whipped cream.

Bottom Line

Smith & Wollensky Wellesley is a well-executed and welcome addition to the community.

When we visited we saw a lot of families out celebrating graduations and such. I can see a lot of situations where you want to go somewhere special but you don't necessarily want to head into the city. This location works well for that.

What will really be key, for us anyway, is seeing how well the restaurants works for that "let's grab a bite at the bar" situation. That was our primary use model with Blue Ginger and I think it can continue at Smith & Wollensky.

Check 'em out:
Smith & Wollensky Wellesley
583 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482

Further Reading

Reviews of:
Disclosure: We were the hosted by the restaurant for this review


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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

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

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 WineSearcher.com 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 Wine.com 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 Wine.com AmEx Offer

Friday, February 2, 2018

Wine.com 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: https://www.cashbackmonitor.com/cashback-store/wine.com/

Obscure shopping portal Lemoney (not listed on Cashback Monitor) is currently offering 10% cashback on up to one $170 transaction at Wine.com. 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.



  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP