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.

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$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:

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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

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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.

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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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