Ritz Rosé Champagne: $39.95/btl w/Free Shipping on 6

Monday, September 21, 2020

Years ago, we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix while visiting family for the holidays. Rates were surprisingly affordable, and thanks to the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa, Club Lounge was included in our stay.

One of the lounge attendants tipped me off that, on request, they had a better Champagne available: A cuvee made just for Ritz hotels. I think they sold it for like $22/glass at the bar downstairs so I enjoyed it quite a bit. Especially for "free."

Fast forward to today when an offer came through for a Ritz Champagne, and a rosé no less.


I'm uncertain whether this is the same Champagne they serve at Ritz hotels worldwide. But I do see the Ritz Paris offering this in the gift shop for 62 euros a bottle.

That stay at the Ritz in Phoenix was a great memory. I think I'll tell myself that "due to Covid" (as they say), there is a glut of Ritz Champagne available at deep discount and now is the time to buy. Ha!

Get $10 off your first order with First Bottle with this referral link:

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$30 off $100 at Wine Access [Working for Existing Accounts]

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Unlike Wine.com, Wine Access doesn't "do" promo codes. Instead they rely on entry links to associate discounts with accounts.

A good one for $30 off $100 surfaced recently:

https://wineaccess.com/enjoy30

When I visit the site through this link it says "Enjoy $30 Off Your First Purchase of $100" which would seem to imply that it's intended for new users. Or, it could mean it's a "come back" offer to encourage existing users to place a $100+ order. It's working for existing accounts so let's assume it's the latter...

New Customers

If you're spinning up a new Wine Access account you'd be better off using a referral code [percentage wise] for $50 off your first $150 order. 

You could also shop through a portal as a new customer, the one and only time that portal payouts work with Wine Access (existing customers are excluded).

Here's my referral link if you're new to Wine Access:


Existing Customers

A nice thing about this "enjoy30" link is that it stacks with referral credits. If you don't have any referral credits, consider referring a spouse.

Another nice thing about this offer is how their standard offer of free shipping on $120+ applies to the pre-discounted total. So for example a $110 order after $30 discount will ship free:
What to Buy?

Everyone should consider this still-active Amex Offer.

This is well-timed for discounts on the wines I mentioned yesterday in this post.

I keep meaning to write about the $37/btl "Yesterday" Napa Cab they hyped as an "NDA"/mystery wine to compare with $500/btl wines. It really is an increidble wine. I really wish I'd bought more. I cracked a 2nd bottle of it last night and it reminded me of Phelps Insignia (though I think the indicators associate it more with Harlan lineage).

A couple still-available wines along these "mystery" lines:

HT: BrianM on Milenomics Slack and Dan Hammer on Wine Berserkers
Evidently this is being sent out as a postcard via USPS.

Read more...

Deal: Elk Cove Goodrich Vineyard Pinot Noir for $35 (before discounts)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

I know a lot of readers have been interested in Wine Access deals, but due to their relatively limited assortment are also looking for specific recommendations. The 2017 Elk Cove Goodrich Pinot Noir for $35 before discounts is a great one:

2017 Elk Cove Vineyards Goodrich Pinot Noir

Their single vineyard Pinot Noirs retail for around $60, and their Willamette Valley bottling retails for $32. So this is like getting a single vineyard wine for the price of an appellation wine...but then you can stack the discounts mentioned below to take the price down even further.

I was poking around and they've got some other great wines right now:

How to Maximize It

If you're an existing WineAccess customer, see if you're taregeted for $50 off $200:

https://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2020/08/targeted-50-off-200-at-wine-access.html

If you've got a new email address to use with WineAccess, use a referral for $50 off $150:

http://share.wineaccess.com/v/robert_48

Through the end of September 2020, check to see if you've got an Amex Offer:

https://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2020/04/ymmv-wine-access-amex-offers.html

Read more...

$10 Off $50 at Wine.com Amex Offer: How to Maximize It

Friday, September 4, 2020

Amex is back with yet another iteration of what's got to be the most reliably recurring lucrative online wine deal out there:

$10 off $50+ through 1/31/2021

Update 9/8/2020: There is also a $30 off $100 variant of this offer available, and both offers can be had with one SSN. The targeting doesn't seem very broad for this offer as of yet.

How to Maximize It

  1. Add the offer to your Amex card(s)
    (one per SSN, plus non-Amex Amex cards like Wells Fargo Propel World)
  2. Buy $50 gift cards and send them to your self
  3. Buy StewardShip (yes, it can be a good deal)
  4. Load those cards to your Wine.com account at check-out
    2 per session, clear cookies/go incognition when you get throttled
  5. Shop through a portal (check rates here)
  6. Use a promo code for up to 40% off (here's a list of probably still active codes)
    If the portal denies your claim because of use of a promo codes found on another site, ask them nicely for "a one-time exception."
What to Buy

Read more...

Rakuten 10x Back at Wine.com: Wines I'm Consistently Buying

Monday, August 24, 2020

Shopping portal Rakuten is offering 10x back at Wine.com today. You can see this is a good rate that heightens every month or two through Cashback Monitor's handy tracking feature.

Some other portals to consider for Wine.com (that aren't tracked by CashbackMonitor) are RetailMeNot and FreeShipping.com/ShopSmarter. RetailMeNot doesn't consistently offer cashback for Wine.com however. And FreeShipping.com/ShopSmarter require a subscription of around $10/month in order to get 10% cashback at all the retailers they work with.

I like Rakuten because you can elect to have earnings converted into Amex Membership Rewards which can be worth more than 1 cent per point towards travel.

If you don't have a Rakuten account yet, here is a referral link. $25 for me, $10 for you after spending $25+:


Promo Codes

Here's a list of promo codes for August 2020 with up to 40% off.

Keep in mind that Wine.com promo codes are single-use (per Wine.com account) so the optimal play is subscribing for StewardShip then breaking up your orders into smaller chunks to maximize the promo codes with the deepest discounts first.

What I've Been Buying

These are Wine.com affiliate links


One of the most common recommendations people are looking for is a good $10 Cab. This sells for $12.99 in MA at the moment so towards that goal I can't think of a better play.


Total Wine has it for $12.97 in MA and Wine.com is at $15.99. With discounts Wine.com is cheaper, though I usually prefer finding wines that Wine.com sells for closer to the best available price. Still, this Prosecco is great in an Aperol Spritz and we tend to go through a bunch of it and it's nice to have it delivered to the house without additional cost.


This has been an amazingly reliably outstanding California Pinot Noir. Just so vibrant, pure, and powerful while still showing elegant restraint. At $34.99 from Wine.com it's a fair price and not widely traded at local retailers. After discounts this is a great value.


For some reason, I find myself cracking a Honig Cab regularly for Friday night pizza night. It delivers on what I'm looking for in a Napa Cab every. Single. Time. I don't see other retailers undercutting the $43.99 price this goes for in MA so it's well suited to purchase from Wine.com.


They used to sell this for like $33 at Total Wine. But recently they've increased the price there to over $50. Wine.com has it for $49.99 so after discounts the pricing is very attractive. It's been spectacular every time I've tried it, often veering into "Classic" territory (95+ points) for me. More here in this post.

Read more...

[Targeted] $50 off $200 at Wine Access

Thursday, August 13, 2020


I got a postcard in the mail today from Wine Access offering $50 off $200 on existing accounts, to celebrate the redesign of their website.

They actually did revamp their site. They're finding their way between being a flash deal site, a generalist online retailer, and a purveyor of allocated wines and as they do so they're going through some transitions.

Along the way, search and naviagation has indeed improved.
When I enter their site through the /newsite link I see a banner for $50 off $200. And when I proceed to place an order of $200+ I see $50 off:
But when I compare notes with a non-targeted account, I do not see $50 off $200. So it feels to me like this is a targeted offer.

How to Play It

The utility I see in this is where you have an existing account with referral credits and you want to reduce the price of the wines you're buying.

If you're not an existing customer you'd be better off shopping through a portal, going through a referral link (for $50 off $150), and stacking it with an Amex Offer.

Bottom Line

I consider Wine Access the second best ongoing online wine deal right now, narrowly behind wine.com with all their promo codes and angles.

But don't forget to consider great winery-deals like this one. And this one.

Read more...

OFFER: Vaughn Duffy Pinot Noir Reload

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

If you went in on this Vaughn Duffy 6-Pack offer back in April you know how good these wines are. And you might also be ready for a reload. I know I am, so I reached out to Matt Duffy to see if he could run the offer again. Thankfully he obliged.

If you didn't go in on the offer last time around, here's another chance. Same amazing wines. Same great pricing.

$199 Vaughn Duffy Pinot Noir 6-Pack
  • 2015 Stori Vineyard
  • 2016 Suacci Vineyard
  • 2017 Suacci Vineyard
  • 2017 Russian River Valley
  • 2018 Russian River Valley
  • 2017 Fay’s Reserve
It's a pretty great deal because their appellation Pinots go for $40/btl and their single vineyard Pinots go for $55-$58/btl. So it's $300+ worth of wine for $199.

$25 for Ground shipping, $15 to West Coast.

They can hold the wines until cooler weather in the fall. Or you can elect to ship now and take on the summer heat risk, they'll ship in foam shippers with ice packs. They ship on Mondays with UPS Ground.
  
To Order

To order email Matt  directly with shipping address and he will follow up: matt@vaughnduffywines.com

Learn more about their wines on their website. And check out my visit and tasting report from 2012.

Read more...

Wine Access Improves Industry-Best Referral Program

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Wine Access already had the best refer-a-friend program in online wine, but they've lowered the purchase requirement for the friend being referred from $150 to $100.


Through August 31, 2020 the friend being referred gets $30 off $100. The person doing the referring gets a $50 credit.

Previously, the deal was $50 off $150 for the friend being referred. While $30 off $100 is a lower percentage discount this does lower the bar for a qualifying referral.

Wine Access is a bit unique in their participation in shopping portals (in a bad way) in that only new customers qualify for portal cashback. It can be a bit tricky to stack a referral with shopping through a portal, though it may be possible. Check best rates here:


That said, the real juice comes when stacking this with Amex Offers that are good through 9/30/2020 for one of:
  • $100 off $250
  • $50 off $150
  • $50 off $250

Along with this, they've revamped their website for easier navigation. I tend to find the most compelling deals in their Limited Time Offers, but there are good deals to be had elsewhere on their site. Here are a few deals to consdier:
To sum it up:
  • Use a referral for $30 of $100
  • Try shopping through a portal
  • Stack it with an Amex Offer
  • Do some referrals of your own
If you're looking to spin up a new Wine Access account, thanks in advance for using my referral:

Read more...

August 2020 Wine.com Promo Codes (and they now have a referral program)

Sunday, August 2, 2020

40% Off:
$20 off $50 with 20JB (source)
$20 off $50 with 07NCS20 (source)

33% Off:
$50 off $150 with P50CIQ (saw it on an AdSense ad)
$50 off $150 with YT50 (source)

30% Off:
$30 off $100 with ZU30 (source)

25% Off:
$25 off $100 with NBCSPORTS (source)

$50 off $200 with HELLOAGAIN50 (source)
$50 off $200 with GET50  (source)

20% Off:
$20 off $100 with FORYOU20 (HT @Garth on Milenomics Slack)
$30 off $150 with BDAY (source)

15%:
$30 off $200 with GET30 (source)

And, it looks like Wine.com started (or restarted?) a referral program. It's not nearly as lucrative as WineAccess (which is a $50 credit for each referral) but it's essentially $30 off $100 for both the person being referred as well as the person doing the referring.
https://refer.wine.com/Robert247
It's not the greatest deal in the world since they often have promo codes that are greater than 30% (as seen above). I could see it as a way of defraying some of the cost of StewardShip on a new account you might spin up, in case you're interested in using coupon codes multiple times and/or have a lot of Amex Offers to use.

See: Is Wine.com StewardShip Worth It?

I found the link for referring down towards the bottom of the page if you'd like to do your own referring. Thanks in advance if you use mine:

https://refer.wine.com/Robert247

Read more...

July 2020: A Few Wine.com Promo Codes Remain (and alternate sources for online wine deals)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A bunch of Wine.com codes stopped working at the end of Q2. A couple new ones have appeared. Here's what I see working as of now:

$20 off $50 with PS20 (source)

$50 off $150

The latest iteration of the Wine.com Amex Offer also expired at the end of June so it might be worth checking out some other offers while Wine.com is in a lull:
  • Wine Access has a variety of Amex Offers that run through 9/30/2020. New accounts can stack portal cashback with a referral and the Amex Offer. Consider referring a spouse or friend if you haven't already - their referral program is quite generous. They've had some great wines this year.
  • Benchmark Wine Group has an Amex Offer that runs through 8/22/2020. They specialize in high end back vintages purchased from collectors cellars. If you've got a sharp eye you might be able to find some bargains.
  • First Bottle Wines has an Amex Offer that runs through 8/23/2020. They had a great deal on the 2018 Lapierre Morgon. Join their mailing list to keep up with the best deals in their assortment.
Finally, don't forget Last Bottle Wines. I was driving home from vacation yesterday and practically had to pull over the car to order this one. Some deals come and go too quickly to post here, so follow me on Twitter for deals like this:
 

Read more...

Podcast: Everything I've Learned About Wine in 40 Minutes

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Direct Link to podcast.

I've been blogging about wine here at The Wellesley Wine Press since 2008. In that time, I've taken Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses, visited fascinating wine regions, joined forces with local wine enthusiasts on case club deals, and even had a TV crew in our kitchen to discuss wine shipping laws.

One thing I've always gravitated towards is the deal aspect of wine.

It's fascinating to me how the wine supply chain works, and how we can best navigate it as consumers. That's why so many of my posts have been about deals.

An interest that's been building in my mind since 2012 is the pursuit of points & miles to enable travel that would otherwise be difficult to justify with cash. In 2018 I partnered with an existing blog I'd long admired called Milenomics. In 2019 we started a podcast that helps people earn miles without actually flying, and redeem them effectively for exactly the trips they want to take.

We occasionally take diversions from points & miles into deals, and this is where the wine angle comes in. We discuss some foundational issues in wine enjoyment, wine travel, and the current state of wine deals.

I'd love it if you headed over for a listen. If you're interested in travel, poke around and see if adding points & miles to your endeavors could be a good fit:

Direct Link to podcast.

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$50 off $150 at Wine.com with PW50FB

Saturday, June 27, 2020

$50 off $150 at Wine.com with PW50FB (source)

Expiration date uncertain.

I've added it to this list of currently active Wine.com codes.

Quick mention: I recently had some trouble with Wine.com orders tracking through shopping portals. I filed a claim on one with Rakuten and heard back as follows...

When we looked into this order, we found that the order was not attributed to the Rakuten link. However, as a courtesy we have updated your account with Cash Back for this order.

There are many ways this can happen. Here are a few examples:

  • If you used a coupon or promo code that is not found on Rakuten but found on another site, that site will be credited for that order.
  • If you visit any other site during your shopping trip (especially other sites that offer rewards, coupons, or discounts), that site will be credited for that order.
  • If you have a toolbar, plug-in, add-on, etc. installed on your browser (especially for other sites that offer rewards, coupons, or discounts), that site will be credited for that order.
Find more information about exclusions and limitations at www.rakuten.com/help/exclusions.htm

Feel free to reach out to me if you still have any questions. Thank you.


It's boilerplate language, but the part about using "a coupon or promo code from another site" is a bit troubling, because these high value codes are hardly ever on shopping portal sites.

All this said, more recent orders have been tracking for me so hopefully there was just a period of time where orders weren't tracking automatically.

Read more...

$20 off $50 at Wine.com with code PS20 [Expires 6/25?]

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Another terrific Wine.com code:

$20 off $50 with code PS20 (source)

I've added it to this list of currently active Wine.com codes.

It's worth mentioning that if it's hot you can elect to ship at a future date. And if you're on vacation and have StewardShip you can perhaps ship to where you're traveling to.

Read more...

[MA Only] Second Chance at 90 Point Napa Zinfandel for $14/btl

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Direct Link

Retailer: Bin Ends Wine
Wine: 2016 Buehler Napa Zinfandel
Rating: 90 points Wine Spectator
Cost: $84/6 bottles ($14/btl)
Shipping: Free local pick-up in Briantree or Needham, or $28 for 6 bottles

A couple weeks ago Blanchards offered this wine for the same price. That offer sold out quickly, so here's a second chance.

Read more...

WWP Exclusive: Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir Offer

Monday, June 15, 2020

Wohler Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Direct Link to Offer

With Covid-19 disrupting the on-premises/off-premises balance in wine distribution, there have been a lot of compelling winery direct deals.

I reached out, and Sojourn Cellars has put together a terrific offer. I know their wines have been popular with readers in the past, so especially if you're running low on their outstanding California Pinot Noir this is a great time to restock.

Option 1: Wellesley Wine Premium 6 Pack 2020
Your offer contains 2 each of the following premium wines:
  • 2018 Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir, rated 95 points
  • 2017 Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, rated 94 points
  • 2017 Walala Vineyard Pinot Noir, rated 93 points
Price includes over $100 in savings plus shipping included.
Price:  $299.00
Limit: 4

Option 2: Wellesley Wine Press Pinot 6-Pack 2020
Your offer contains 2 each of the following wines:

  • 2018 Wohler Vineyard Pinot Noir, rated 93 points
  • 2017 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, rated 93 points
  • 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, rated 92 points
Price includes over $100 in savings plus shipping included.
Price:  $199.00
Limit: 4


Commentary

As much as I've enjoyed their Gap's Crown Pinot Noir, I'm drawn to the value in Option 2. I'm a sucker for reliably outstanding Pinot Noir for around $33/btl fully loaded.

I've adored their Wohler Vineyard Pinot Noir every time I've tried it, and the Russian River Valley is the epitome of what an appellation California Pinot Noir bottling should be. 

Direct Link to Offer 

Ping me on Twitter @RobertDwyer or drop me an email wellesleywinepress@gmail.com if there's anything I can help with.

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DEAL: 2016 Black Kite Pinot Noir

Sunday, June 14, 2020


Wine Access has a limited time offer on the 2016 Black Kite Kite's Rest Pinot Noir for $40/btl with free shipping on $120+ orders.

This wine has been a reliably outstanding benchmark California Pinot Noir for me, so it's great to see it on offer from Wine Access.

The offer stacks well with a currently active Amex Offer that comes in a variety of denominations depending on what you're targeted for:
  • $100 off $250
  • $50 off $150
  • $50 off $250
You can spend your way to the Amex Offer threshold in one or more transactions. The current iteration expires 9/30/2020.

If you're a new Wine Access customer you can get $50 off $150 with a referral link. Thanks in advance if you use mine:

http://share.wineaccess.com/v/robert_48

Read more...

A Roundup of Currently Active Wine.com Promo Codes [June 2020]

Friday, June 12, 2020

I thought it would be useful to compile a list of codes that are still working as of today - June 12th, 2020. There are a few new ones here (in bold below) including a rare 40% off code.

$20 off $50

$50 off $150
  • PW50FB (source)
  • CN50
  • FBSPIR50 (source, helpful roundup)
  • FBPRO50 
  • FBR50
  • CIQ50
$100 off $300
Expiration date is unclear, but I'd say there's a good chance these expire 6/30/2020.

Some of these were supposed to expire a while ago but are still working.

The reason it's helpful to have multiple codes is that wine.com limits their use to once per account.

You can create multiple accounts, but you'd have to subscribe to StewardShip on each new account. This seems kind of crazy but with discounts like these it could make sense - especially if you also have access to a lot of discounted wine.com gift cards. And you're looking to build up your cellar.

In my opinion, this combination of discounted gift cards, shopping through a portal, and using promo codes to buy high quality wines at non-inflated prices with flat-rate shipping is the best ongoing deal in online wine.

One thing I wanted to mention: I've seen inconsistent portal tracking for wine.com lately. Even the normally reliably Rakuten hasn't tracked, and even after submitting a claim the cashback wasn't quickly rewarded. I mention this because you'll want to watch your portal cashback carefully and follow-up if it doesn't post. I was half-concerned that wine.com was excluding portal cashback if you use a promo code or a gift card, but it's more likely there's been a glitch in tracking the past couple weeks. We'll keep an eye on it.

Related Reading

Read more...

Rakuten 10x at Wine.com [6/9/2020]

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

https://www.rakuten.com/r/ROBERT67875?eeid=28187
Shopping portal Rakuten is offering 10x back at Wine.com, today only - 6/6/2020.

This stacks nicely with the current Amex Offer and these ~33% off codes:
  • $50 off $150 with CN50
  • $100 off $300 with 2MKBMRT
  • $100 off $300 with 4MAAFTC
A check of the best rate history for wine .com on Cashback Monitor shows periodic spikes, usually associated with Rakuten:
https://www.cashbackmonitor.com/cashback-store/wine.com/best-rate-history/

I like Rakuten when their rates are competitive because you can elect to receive Amex Membership Rewards rather than cashback. Since Membership Rewards can be worth more than a penny a piece when redeemed towards travel it's a nice rebate on wine purchases.

If you're new to Rakuten you can get $10 on your first purchase with a referral.  Here's my link, thanks in advance if you use it:

https://www.rakuten.com/r/ROBERT67875?eeid=28187

Read more...

Amex Offer: $50 off $250 at Benchmark Wine Group

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Amex has a offer for $50 off $250+ at Benchmark Wine Group:

Direct Link

Key Terms
  • Link offer to card before buying
  • $250 can be across one or more transactions
  • Get a $50 statement credit
  • Expires 8/22/2020
Benchmark is a Napa based retailer that specializes in selling fine wines purchased from private collections. That being the case you'll see a somewhat random assortment of high end wines, with often as little as one bottle of each available.

So it's kind of like going to an estate sale online. You never know what you're going to find but if you've got an eye for value and know your stuff you can find some good deals.

Some of the wines are very expensive, but not all of them. They're running a bin sale at the moment with wines as low as $15/btl.

Maximizing the Offer

They don't participate in shopping portals. They do sell gift cards, so if you want to lock in the 20% and/or avoid overshoot that might work.

Shipping is complimentary on $250 orders, which pairs nicely with this offer.

Beyond that I don't see any angles (no promo codes, no refer-a-friend program for example). So it's a 20% off with free shipping kind of play.

What to Buy?

For me, this is an opportunity to buy wines from harder to find small California producers. If you shop at places like Wine.com, Total Wine, and Costco (like most of America does) the value can be good but the assortment gets tiring.

An offer like this provides an opportunity to buy just a bottle or two from boutique producers with mailing lists that are supposedy hard to penetrate and/or charge a lot for shipping. Also producers you recall fondly but haven't enjoyed in a while.

Rhys single vineyard Pinot Noirs for $55/btl before discounts for example.

See: Kosta Browne, Sea Smoke...Is Rhys Vineyards the Next Cult California Pinot Noir?

Dehlinger Pinots in the $50s.

See: 7 Reliably Outstanding Fruit-Forward California Pinot Noir Producers

Sea Smoke Southing for $79/btl before discounts.

See: 2009 Wine of the Year: The 2004 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir

If you're just getting into wine, it could also be a way to try aged wine with good provenance before going too hog wild exploring the world of age-worthy wines.

I think there's some value to be had here. Good luck rifling around their site.

Read more...

$50 off $150 at Wine.com with CN50

Here's another 33% off Wine.com code:

$50 off $150 with CN50

Expires 6/30/2020

Wine.com codes are single use per account. Here are a couple other still-active codes:
  • 4MAAFTC for $100 off $300
  • 2MKBMRT for $100 off $300
The lower $150 denomination with CN50 is a bit easier to work with. All pair nicely with ongoing Amex Offers and StewardShip:
HT to @FindAWayTravel on Twitter:

Read more...

OFFER: AldenAlli Pinot Noir for $33.33/btl by the case [compare at $56/btl]

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I'm surprised we haven't seen more deals for high end "restaurant only" wines lately.

AldenAlli (Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne fame and Emeril Lagasse, with Shane Finley as winemaker) is one that's been striking while the iron is hot. But this is one where you'd only know about the deal if you're on the mailing list.

I am on the mailing list, and I think if you sign up for their list you'll be able to partake on this offer as well.

The Deal

Step 1: Join their mailing list 
Step 2: Wait to be presented with an offer to purchase
Step 3: Mix and Match 12 bottles of their Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir for $33.33/btl by the case, including shipping

Analysis

Compared to $56/btl, $33.33 fully loaded is pretty terrific. And the wine does drink like $50+/btl.

They had a variant of this offer (with some single vineyard Pinots and other varieties thrown in) a few weeks ago and I've been cranking through their wines. I think they're absolutely outstanding. If you're a fan of Kosta Browne and other luscious California Pinot Noirs (like I am) you'll love these wines for a fraction of the price with this deal.

Further Reading: Visiting Kosta Browne at The Barlow

Read more...

DEAL: 90 Point Napa Zinfandel for $14/btl [Sold Out]


Retailer: Blanchards
Wine: 2016 Buehler Napa Zinfandel
Rating: 90 points Wine Spectator
Cost: $168/case ($14/btl)
Shipping: Free local pick-up -or- $22.16/case

Thoughts

$14/btl for a legit, juicy, 90 point Napa red. And particularly well-timed for grilling season. Buehler Vineyards is one of the wineries that got me into wine, and it's great to see them still chugging along, staying true to their core values.

Read more...

Amex Offer: $50 off $250 at First Bottle Wines

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

There's a new Amex Offer for $50 off $250 at First Bottle Wines:

Direct Link

Key Terms:
  • Link offer to card before buying
  • Spend $250 in one or more transactions
  • Get a $50 statement credit
  • Expires 8/23/2020
About First Bottle

You may be familiar with thier sister site Last Bottle that's strictly a flash sale site. First Bottle is run by the same people, but they stock a broader assortment of wines. Fewer closeouts, some limited time offers, and free shipping on 6+.

How to Maximize

They don't participate in shopping portals and they don't sell gift cards. So the play here is completely different than with say Wine.com.

If you're not familiar with Amex Offers, you link the offer to the Amex card you want to use. Then, a couple days after the transaction posts, you get a statement credit from Amex.

This one is broadly available on Amex cards because it's listen on Amex Connect. This means you should be able to add it to any Amex card - even those issued by other banks like the Wells Fargo Propel World card.

Amex Offers are limited to once per SSN, but authorized users can use them as well.

It's nice that you can get to $250 over multiple orders rather than requiring a single transaction. I can see myself placing a couple orders to get to the $250 threshold.

I'd have a look around their site and if I didn't see anything that jumps out at me (like Kosta Browne Russian River Valley Pinot Noir for $99.95), I'd hop on their mailing list and sit back and wait for a appealing offer. For example, this Cru Beaujolais I wrote about a couple weeks ago.

They do have a refer-a-friend program. It's $10 off for the person getting referred and $30 credit for the person doing the referring. Here's my referral link. If you're new to First Bottle thanks in advance for using it:


Bottom Line

This is a really nice deal from a great retailer. Along with Wine.com and Wine Access it's good to see another useful Amex Offer for wine.

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[NH Only] Alto Moncayo for $19.95/btl

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The New Hampshire state liquor store has Alto Moncayo for $19.95/btl.

This is an amazingly low price for a wine that's been rated 100 points by Robert Parker in the past, and normally sells for around $40/btl.

See: Amazing Deal Alert: Parker Goes 100 Points on Alto Moncayo (and it's still available at retail)

There are 3 levels of Alto Moncayo:
  • Alto Moncayo Veraton (release price around $32)
  • Alto Moncayo (release price around $45, the bottle we're talking about here)
  • Alto Moncayo Aquilon (release price around $120)
So this deal is pricing Alto Moncayo proper lower than Alto Moncayo Veraton.
You can check NH store inventory online, but if you're picky about vintage you might want to call the store and ask. 

I haven't followed Spanish red vintage quality but for me this wine is quite consistent. And consistently BIG with alcohol levels regularly reaching up to 16%. Along with Clio and Juan Gil - Alto Moncayo is a modern Spanish red I always have on hand.

HT to my good friend @swaindack.

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DEAL: 2018 Lapierre Morgon Cru Beaujolais with Free Shipping [Sold Out]

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Here's a great deal on a benchmark Cru Beaujolais: 2018 Lapierre Morgon for $29.95/btl with free shipping on 6+.

It's not terribly difficult to sleuth out reliably outstanding Beauolais producers. But is is non-trivial to find their wines regularly and widely available.

By that I mean: Try finding them at your local grocery store or on wine.com. The best examples from the category rarely if ever show up through common channels. So this is an exception.

You may be familiar with First Bottle's sister site Last Bottle. Lately, I've been seeing flash deals from First Bottle that rival Last Bottle. The difference is that First Bottle focuses more on first run offerings from recognizable producers. Last Bottle's wheelhouse is lesser-known California that overachiever relative to price.

Use this referral link for $10 off your first order:

https://firstbottlewines.com/invite/400f75114721a8594929.html

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DEAL: Another $100 off $300 at Wine.com Promo Code

Friday, May 15, 2020

The hits just keep coming with wine.com. Here's another 33% off:

$100 off $300 with code: 2MKBMRT Expires 6/30/2020

HT to @TheRetailTrader and Joe Winograd on WineBerserkers.

It's to the point where one might consider establishing multiple wine.com accounts, each with StewardShip. That's something worth discussing in a future post.

See: Is Wine.com StewardShip Worth It?

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DEAL: $100 off $300 at Wine.com with promo code 4MAAFTC

Here's another terrific Wine.com promo code:

$100 off $300 with 4MAAFTC

Stack this with a couple of Amex Offers going around:
  • $30 off $100
  • $10 off $50

What to buy?

I went with a mix of these wines (affiliate links, thanks in advance if you use them):
Expiration date uncertain. Thank to @TheRetailTrader for the heads up, via cjsadler on WineBerserkers.

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Fresh Off the Truck Review: 2016 Foxen Block 32 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir

Friday, May 1, 2020

Retailer: Wine Access
Wine: 2016 Foxen Block 43 Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir (affiliate link)
Price: $65
Alcohol: 14.0%

Foxen is a stop that Jack and Miles make in Sideways where they help themselves to full pours when the server turns their back (reference). It's been long time since that movie put California Pinot Noir (especially Pinot Noirs from Southern Califonia) rightfully on the map but I still enjoy the movie every time I see it.

Foxen is a winery where I think you really need to step up from the appellation bottlings and get into single vineyard offerings to see what they're all about.

And if the adage of "the more desciptors on the label, the more expensive wine" holds true - this one is/should be...pricey.

But at the end of the day, for me, the wine is really (really) good. I say that because for me it was, at first, a hedonsitic full-throlled California Pinot Noir. But upon closer inspection, more earthy undertones reveal themselves.

Could this be the perfect representation of a full-bodied domestic Pinot Noir combined with Burgundian underpinnings? It just might be. I really like this wine and will buy more.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

With the deals you can stack with Wine Access and Amex Offers at the moment you can really knock the price down. More on how to do that in the following post.

See: Maximizing the Wine Access Amex Offer(s)

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DEAL: $50 off $200 at Wine.com with HELLOAPRIL

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Another good coupon code from Wine.com: $50 off $200 with code HELLOAPRIL
Expires 5/3/2020

This is an offer intended for accounts that have stopped placing orders but should be good on any account. Likely single use as most Wine.com codes are.

See also:

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DEAL: 2013 Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir for $25/btl w/Free Shipping [Sold Out]

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Retailer: Last Bottle
Wine: 2013 Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Rating: 93 WWP, 90.3 CellarTracker, 88 points Wine Spectator
Cost: $25/btl ($34 release price)
Shipping: Free on 4+ bottles

Referral Link ($10 off your first order)

As soon as I saw this wine, I wondered whether it was the same vintage I enjoyed at Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Aviara Residence Club back in 2016. Sure enough, it was.

I remember that wine fondly for two reasons:
  1. It was absolutely tremendous, and that meal was one of my favorites ever
  2. The waiter accidentally spilled a juicy plate of steak on my lap
As a make-good on the accident, they gave us a second unopened bottle of the wine to enjoy back at the room.

Sometimes when a bit of a back vintage is offered up on a flash deal site, I'm skeptical. But this Failla is a quality wine and I bet it's singing right now. I'm looking very forward to trying it.

Like Last Bottle says: Jump on this one quickly. I'll update this post when it sells out.

Follow me on Twitter @RobertDwyer for faster breaking deals.

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Tree House Brewing Company On The Fly Contactless Delivery

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Tree House Brewing Company in Charlton, MA is the darling of the Massachusetts beer scene.

They've got:
They're known for the hazy, juicy New England IPAs.

It's rare, if unheard of, to see their beers anywhere else besides directly at the brewery.

A long-standing ritual for Massachusetts beer enthusiasts is to make the pilgrimage to Carlton in hopes that lines aren't too long and today's assortment is strong.

But with Covid-19 things have changed. Instead of checking their website and hoping for the best on arrival, you can place an order online with a credit card and perform a contactless pick-up later in the day.

How it Works
  1. Log on to https://www.treehouseonthefly.com at 9:30a sharp (they sell out quickly, especially on weekends)
  2. Place your order
  3. Pick up you order in Charlton, MA later that day
My Experience
I logged in last Saturday at 9:40a and...they were sold out.

This week I was more on top of it. I logged in at 9:32a and was able to place an order for a mixed-case that included some of their signature IPAs as well as a few cans of their lesser-known beers like a German-style Munich Dunkel, and a Hefeweizen.

Pick-up was easy. In an out in 20 minutes with their well-run, well-documented contactless delivery protocol. It was like picking up our kids in elementary school car line but I left with a case of interesting beers to enjoy.

Everything Tree House does seem to be done well.
Bottom Line

Ironically, this may be one of the better times to acquire beer from Tree House. If you'd like to place an order, log on at 9:30a sharp on a day you're able to travel to Charlton, MA and place your order:

https://www.treehouseonthefly.com/

If you're in the market for non-acoholic merchandise like hats, glassware, or coffee - check out their online store.

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[MA Only Deal] 94 Point Cru Beaujolais for $18/btl

It's not often I can review a flash sale that's still available, but a recent deal from Blanchards with a unique twist provided such an opportunity.

This past week they offered a couple wines as part of a mixed 6-pack. But then they had more inventory of one of the wines than the other and offered a second wave of the offer.

I had a chance to try the 2018 Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Cote du Py and...in my estimation it is outstanding. An absolutley spot on example Cru Beaujolais. Gamay is such a unique grape. Elegantly fruity on the nose. Woodsy on the palate. Food friendly and low alcohol (this one is 13%) but full of flavor.

Absolutely one to check out if you like the category, or if you're looking to explore. 91/100 points on this one for me.

Retailer: Blanchards
Wine: 2018 Burgaud Cote du Py (Cru Beaujolais)
Rating: 94 points Wine Advocate
Cost: $108 for 6 bottles ($18/btl, compare at $26.99 retail)
Shipping: ~$26 for 6 bottles, free in-store pickup

Offer Description Link
Direct Link to Purchase

As of this writing, they have 5 6-packs available.

Follow me on Twitter @RobertDwyer for faster moving deals

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Is Wine.com StewardShip Worth It?

Wine.com's StewardShip offers unlimited shipping to the continental US for one year for $49.95.

If you're just going to place an order or two, it's not worth it.

But if you:
  • Have patience for stacking portal cashback with promo codes along with "free" shipping 
  • Like the convenience of being able to order just a bottle or two at a time
  • Might be interested in sending wine as a gift
  • Would like to send wine to yourself while on vacation
...then StewardShip might be for you.

Why StewardShip?

Wine.com charges $13.65 to ship a single bottle of wine in Massachusetts.
They charge $37.30 for a 12 bottle case.

Wine.com wants $49/yr for StewardsShip.

Wine.com also:
  • Participates in shopping portals (check rates here)
  • Regularly runs promo codes for 20-33% off (here's a 33% off code, for example)
  • Has Amex Offers for 20-30% off (how to maximize these offers)
  • Has a pretty good assortment of wines
  • Ships relatively quickly
Of these, the most important characteristic of StewardShip is the ability to stack a promo code with free shipping. A lot of their promotions are a discount OR free shipping. With StewardShip you can use a promo code and your shipping is included with your StewardShip subscription.

Bottom Line

If you're just going to order from Wine.com once or twice a year, StewardShip isn't worth it.

But if you're willing to put in the time and effort to stack StewardShip with portal cashback, promo codes, and maybe Amex Offers as well - then StewardShip enables wine.com to become one of the best recurring online wine deals.

Affiliate link, thanks in advance if you use it

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OFFER: Cobb Wines Tasting 4-Pack

Cobb Wines is a sought after producer of terroir driven California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Winemaker Ross Cobb has an impressive track record, having worked with Williams Selyem, Flowers and Hirsch. He's also the winemaker for Primus frontman Les Claypool's wine, Claypool Cellars.

I saw a nice offer for a 4-pack with free shipping along with a virtual tasting opportunity so I wanted to pass it along here.

Cobb Wines Tasting 4-Pack (1 bottle of each)
  • 2017 Doc's Ranch: JoAnn's Block Chardonnay
  • 2017 Emmaline Ann Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 2017 Coastlands Vineyard Old Firs Block Pinot Noir
  • 2015 Rice-Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir
$199 per 4-Pack with Free Ground Shipping Included (originally priced at $300)

To Order

Virtual Tasting

Cobb is hosting a couple of online virtual tastings where you can sample wines from this offer, or from your cell while he's broadcasting live from Coastlands Vineyard.

Friday, May 8 at 5 PM Pacific
Click to register for May 8

Saturday, May 16 at 5 PM Pacific
Click to register for May 16

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[Sold Out] 95 Point Cru Beaujolais for $24.95/btl w/free shipping

Friday, April 24, 2020

Cru Beaujolais can be a tricky category to explore. Large retailers like Costco, Total Wine, and grocery stores hardly stock any Beaujolais. And what they do stock is either lower end Beaujolais-Villages or Beaujolais-Nouveau. For example, Wine.com has only a single Beaujolais in stock for delivery to Massachusetts, and it is a Beaujolais-Villages.

That's a shame because Cru Beaujolais can be a tremendous value. The hard part is finding retailers that deal in the category. So offer was one I especially wanted to mention.

Retailer: First Bottle
Wine: Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Cuvee Tardive 2018
Rating: 95 points Vinous, 95 points Wine Advocate
Cost: $29.95/btl, $24.95/btl for 6+ bottles
Shipping: Free on 6 bottles


Refereral Link for $10 off your first order

I've been seeing a lot of deals lately. Some of the more time sensitive ones I've only been posting on Twitter. Follow me @RobertDwyer

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OFFER: 6 Vaughn Duffy Pinot Noirs for $199

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I've been seeing a resurgence in wine deals lately, and wanted to pass along this one in particular.

I say that because it's been a while since I've tasted Vaughn Duffy's Pinot Noirs, and the last time I did they were absolutely outstanding.

Those wines I tasted back 2012 were so aromatic and lively. Almost electric, if that's a term that can be applied to wine. The 2010s were some of Vaughn Duffy's very early vintages (Matt has assisted other winemakers for years). Now that they've got even more experience under their belt I'm looking forward to checking in.

Since their tasting room has been closed due to shelter in place guidelines, they're rolling out an offer to help replenish our wine racks.

$199 Vaughn Duffy Pinot Noir 6-Pack
  • 2015 Stori Vineyard
  • 2016 Suacci Vineyard
  • 2017 Suacci Vineyard
  • 2017 Russian River Valley
  • 2018 Russian River Valley
  • 2017 Fay’s Reserve
It's a pretty great deal because their appellation Pinots go for $40/btl and their single vineyard Pinots go for $55-$58/btl. So it's $300+ worth of wine for $199.

To Order


Then message them on Facebook or drop Matt an email at: matt@vaughnduffywines.com
They had 14 6-packs available when they announced the offer yesterday, so I'd recommend ordering soon if you're interested.

I'll look forward to comparing notes with you on these wines as I taste through them.

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Fresh off the truck review: 2015 Gaja Sito Moresco

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Gaja is an Italian producer best known for their Barbaresco. Their single vineyard wines go for $590/btl and their appellation wines go for $250/btl.

Their wines deftly strike a balance between new world sensibilities while remaining true to their Italian roots.

Their Sito Moresco Langhe red wine is a combination of Nebbiolo grapes from Barbaresco and Barolo. It's crafted to be more enjoyable in its youth as opposed to proper Barbaresco and Barolo that are more age-worthy on average.

Affiliate link, thanks in advance if you use it

2015 Gaja Sito Moresco
14% Alcohol

Gorgeous medium-bodied wine, ruby red in color. Deep, rich, inviting fruit with brambly/dusty/thorny underpinnings. Silken mouthfeel with enough grip to be taken seriously, but each taste invites another sip.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

I bought this as part of this $50 off $150 Wine.com deal.

Further Reading: My Most Exciting Wine of 2010: The 2005 Cigliuti Serraboella Barbaresco

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