WTSO.com $10 off $100 eGiftCard

Thursday, November 25, 2021

WTSO.com is offering $10 off a $100 eGiftCard with code GIVETHANKS

If you're new to WTSO I'd recommend buying the gift card from a different email address than the account you intend to use long term. Because when you go to use the gift card you can get $30 off your first $100 order through referral.

It looks like this might be even more generous than intended at the moment so it may make sense to get some orders in soon:


Rakuten 12x on Wine.com: How to Stack It

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! Wherever this message finds you I wish for you good health, good cheer, and and some nice bottles of wine.

Wine.com 12x on Rakuten

The Rakuten shopping portal has bumped wine.com to 12x back today. I like Rakuten as a shopping portal because they reliably pay out, they're quick to credit when a purchase doesn't track, and you can elect to earn rewards as Membership Rewards, which can be worth more than 1 cent a piece.

The payout varies by day, and may go up or down this weekend, but I'd say 12x is pretty good (check rate history here).

AA Simply Miles

Link your Mastercard through Simply Miles to earn some AA miles while shopping online. Current offer is 450 miles for $50+ spend but it bounces around.

Citi Offers

Check your Citi credit cards for $30 back on $100 as described in this post. Buy $100 gift cards (the codes arrive a few minutes later) to lock in the savings and avoid overshoot.

Promo Codes

Check this thread on Wine Berserkers for the lastest wine.com promo codes, like PPST921 for $20 off $50.

None of this works very well if you have to pay for shipping. Get StewardShip so you can pay a flat price for a year of shipping while stacking promo codes.

What to Buy

Wine.com prices vary by state and the assortment can be wildly different depending on which warehouse they fulfill your orders from.

The challenges sometimes can be finding combinations that add up to enough to trigger the promo code without overshoot. For example a lot of great wines are $49.99 and don't trigger a $20 back on $50 offer.

Affiliate links below (don't use these links if you're going through a shopping portal):
Bottom Line

Wine.com gets dunked on for a lot of reasons. Mundane selection. High prices. Bad fulfillment.

But my experience lately, shipping mostly to Massachusetts but also Florida, has been good. Wines have been arriving the next day even when ordering after noon.

If you have the patience for stacking these discounts and they stock wines you're interested in, it's hard to imagine finding better pricing - especially without having to leave the house.


WTSO Referrals and Restock Notifications

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

I haven't written much about WTSO here because their deals come and go so quickly. By the time I'd write up a blog post they'd be on to the next offer by the time you'd read it.

Further compounding the difficulty in recommending a bottle is that by the time I taste a wine they're offering it would be long gone, never to return.

I got an email today and noticed two things:
  1. They notified me that a wine I had before is available for reorder (and it's not the wine currently offered on their main landing page)
  2. They've got a referral program

A wine I enjoyed that they restocked is the Villa dè Moreschi Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2018. I've got a soft spot in my heart for Valpolicella and the Ripasso makes this one drink like a poor man's Amarone. I thought it was an outstanding wine in a tall bottle with an attractive label. A "super useful" wine at a great price. Highly recommended.

I don't see this wine for sale elsewhere on WTSO so it's kind of cool they're offering it as a restock. And I think you can get it too, even if you haven't ordered it previously, by clicking through the link above.


The referral offers says:

"If you love wine as much as I do, sign up for WTSO and get access to their limited-time deals that are up to 70% off other retailers. Here's $30 off your first purchase of $100 or more. Cheers to that!"
I did some testing, and when you have $100 in your cart you should see a little check-box appear beneath the Promo Code field. It appears you really do need to hit $100 in a single order to get $30 off $100.

Here's my referral code if you're new to WTSO:

You get $30 credit for referring so if you've got friends or family you'd like to refer, go for it!

Putting It Together
  1. Open a new WTSO account through referral
  2. If desired, click the link for a restock wine a friend has recommended
  3. Get $30 off $100+ by checking the box to use the referral credit
Bottom Line

I like these additions from WTSO. Looks like they're branching out with more than one offer at a time and a more fully functioning online store.


Wine Access 20% Off Black Friday: What To Buy

Monday, November 22, 2021

Wine Access is offering 20% off select wines as part of a Black Friday sale. I was notified of early access to the sale via email, though I'm not sure which accounts are targeted. That said, the sale should be in effect for all later this week.

This is a great opportunity to stack with the recently released $30 off $100 (x3) Amex Offer if you were targeted:

"Shop Our Black Friday Sale With Early Access NOW! Save 20% On All In-Stock Wines. Excludes Limited Time Offers. Other Exclusions Apply. Shipping included on $120 or any 6 bottles."

Unfortunately, the 20% off doesn't stack with other promos you may have previously activated. Say for example you have a $50 off $150 promo code -and- 20% activated in your account: They'll apply whichever offer results in a higher discount but not both.
Still - either way - this can be a good option when combined with the Amex Offer.

Tip: Lock in the Amex Offers savings while avoiding overshoot by buying a gift card. eGCs arrive instantly and trigger the offer.

I had a look through the assortment of qualifying wines. Here are some recommendations priced low to high:

All prices before discounts, affiliate links below...

Reliable Favorites

NDA Wines
Bottom Line

A good opportunity to restock after Thanksgiving in preparation for the holidays.


So How Was that $1,000 Bottle of Wine?

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The occassion finally arose to enjoy that bottle of '97 Harlan I mentioned a while back.

I'm pleased to report the wine was in good shape. More than anything I'd have been disappointed if we suspected cork taint, the cork dissolved as we were opening it, or it just plain wasn't showing well.

It was showing very well and it was a great experience tasting an aged benchmark Napa Cab like Harlan.

How Do You Go About Enjoying an Expensive Bottle Like This?

I thought about this a bit. I didn't want to just knock it back in some plastic cups outdoors, but at the same time I didn't want to make such a big deal out of it that it dominated the evening.

We enjoyed it with dear friends we haven't gathered with indoors with since the pandemic began. They're wine enthusiasts as well so we were all interested in experiencing how the wine showed relative to other bottles we've enjoyed.

1997 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet
14.5% Alcohol

100% opaque and clinging to the glass, this bottle showed very well 24 years post-vintage with lively aromas and flavors, supporting structure, and a luscious finish.

Aromas of ripe blackberries backed by subtle supporting oak influence. Hits the palate with a satisfying mid-weight presence and finishes with fine silty tannins.

It's a near flawless wine that's aged brilliantly into a well-balanced textbook Napa Cab.

97/100 WWP: Classic

Wine Advocate (RP): 100
Wine Spectator (JL): 97

Reading the tasting notes from the pros at the time of release (on KL Wines) it seems that it has mellowed nicely with time. Parker notes how it is "enormously-endowed, profoundly rich" and Tanzer cited "distinctly port-like notes."

I wouldn't describe it along those lines at all at this point in time. Although it was formidable visually it presented itself as a medium-full bodied wine with appealing aromatics, good mouthfeel, and a finish that indicates it's still got a ways to go. It was a delight to drink.
How Do The Wine Access NDA Wines Compare to Harlan?

A lot of these Wine Access NDA Napa Cabs make big claims about being associated with producers or vineyards like Harlan. Like this one.

The '97 Harlan drank more elegantly, less brawny than the Wine Access Yesterday Cab - which I consider among the better offerings among Wine Access NDA wines.

I cracked a bottle of 2018 Radio Silence tonight to compare and...no doubt the Harlan is superior. Which isn't surprising given that Harlan has 2nd labels they'd surely route to before dishing things off to an NDA wine.

But if I squint enough and look for it I can see Radio Silence being part of the same family. And more ready to go on release for sure.

If You Paid $1,000 For It, Would You Have Enjoyed It More? Less?

I'd say it was nice that we got it "for free" with credit card rewards. It wasn't really free since we passed on selecting on an assortment of wines totaling $600 for this one bottle worth $1,000.

But it was nice that there wasn't this pressure to "find $1,000 worth of enjoyment out of the bottle" and instead just enjoy the experience for what it was.

Would You Rather Have Ten $100 Bottles or One $1,000 Bottle?

Ten $100 bottles, no doubt. The cost per ounce on a $1,000 bottle of wine is just indefensible. This became strikingly evident since there was quite a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle and I'm thinking, "That's $75 worth of wine down there." It's pretty ridiculous.

We followed up the bottle of Harlan with a $60 bottle of Quilceda Creek CVR (a $60 wine). You know what? That was pretty great too.

Does This Experience Make You More or Less Likely to Splurge on High End Bottles?

I still can't justify spending much more than $100/btl on wine. Maybe like $150 for a special occasion wine or a birthyear wine.

Like art or collectibles, you pay a lot more to be in that top 10% and it's almost impossible to consider the splurge a value play.

Can This Deal Be Replicated?

Not fully, because two things changed.

First, the welcome bonus on the credit card isn't as high as it was when I signed up (was 75,000 is now 50,000). And the per-point value for wines in "The Vault" are no longer any better than other wines (was 1 cpp is now 0.6 cpp).

Bottom Line

This was a fun opportunity to experience a high end bottle of wine with friends. It was a finishing touch on a great day with a good round of golf in the afternoon, conversation around a fire on a crisp autumn evening, and an amazing dinner.

I'd love it if I could sign up for more credit cards that kick off $1,000 bottles of wine, but alas opportunities like this don't come around very often.

As a guy who hasn't invested a lot of effort into aging wines, it gives me a datapoint for what Napa Cab can become. It makes me think I should lay a few more good bottles down like Ridge Monte Bello and the strong-showing Wine Access Yesterday NDA wines as well. But I don't think I'll be joining the Harlan mailing list any time soon.


Mark it Up to Mark it Down: Wine.com StewardShip for $49/yr + $50 off $200 w/SHIPCHEER

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Wine.com has increased the price of StewardShip from $49/yr to $59/yr.

But with promo code SHIPCHEER they're bumping the price back down to $49 plus $50 off $200 worth of wine.

StewardShip is Wine.com's version of Amazon Prime. It provides free shipping of one or more bottles to multiple addresses for a year for a flat rate. Perhaps most importantly it allows you to stack a promo code on orders without having to pay for shipping which makes for some very low fully loaded pricing.

If you're already a StewardShip member it seems that SHIPCHEER works for $50 off $200 as well, without having to re-up for Steward Ship.

Offer expires 11/23/2021


Bitmo: $20 in Perk Points for buying a $100 Total Wine eGiftCard

This one is a bit complicated, but we've probably been through worse for a 20% wine discount.

Through discount app Bitmo get $20 back in points for buying a $100 Total Wine eGC.
  1. Sign up for Bitmo on your phone and opt into BitmoPerks (here's a referral if you're new to Bitmo)
  2. Once signed up, look for a Total Wine promo banner touting $20 back on $100
  3. If you see that, search for "Total Wine" then tap on the promotion
  4. You should see that you'll be credit with 20,000 "Perk Points" which can be used towards future eGC purchases for other merchants
  5. Perk Points are worth roughly $0.001 each
  6. The Total wine eGC can only be used in-store, not online
I'm no expert on Bitmo, and GCs can be a pain to use. But if you're a regular Total Wine shopper and get the hang of Bitmo it's a pretty solid discount.


Stack AA Simply Miles w/Wine.com Purchases

Friday, November 19, 2021

Here's a new-to-me way to earn airline miles for Wine.com (and other retailer) purchases: AA Simply Miles.

Quick Overview
  • This is a credit card-linked program
  • Offers need to be activated prior to use
  • Currently only Mastercard credit cards are supported (no Visa, no Amex, no Discover)
  • This is separate to AA's shopping portal
  • You should be able to use Wine.com promo codes in conjunction with AA Simply Miles
  • You should be able to stack these offers on top of whatever shopping portal might have the best rate for Wine.com at the moment
  • You should also be able to stack this with the $30 back on $100+ Citi offer
Merchant offers vary over time, and you may/may not be targeted. The current offer is 450 AA miles for a purchase of $50+.

I haven't tried purchasing Wine.com gift cards to trigger the offer, but I suspect they'd work.


In practice, I'd probably buy a $100 Wine.com gift card linked to the Citi Offer for $30 back on $100 plus 450 AA miles. Most Citi cards are Mastercards so it's a fortunate fit.

The reason I'd go for gift cards rather than a head-on purchase is to avoid overshoot and assemble a pool of discounted currency to use towards future orders.

Then you could use one of the many $20 off $50 or $50 off $200 promo codes that have been popping up lately, gradually eradicating your discounted gift card purchases along with whatever shopping portal might have the highest rate at the time.

Rakuten is offering $40 back on your first $40 purchase if you're new with them through referral, and you can elect to take those rewards at Amex Membership Rewards.

Bottom Line

AA Simply Miles is a nice little way to earn airline miles on top of shopping portals and promo codes.

Yes, Wine.com's prices can be a little inflated. But when you find a bottle that's priced at or near the best street price it can be some of the best pricing imaginable.


[Targeted] Citi Offer: $30 back on $100 at Wine.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Here's a new one...

Check your Citi credit cards for $30 back on a $100+ purchase at Wine.com.

Citi Offers Q&A

Q: Which Citi products are eligible to receive these offers?
A: They are found on Citi credit cards.

Q: Where do I find these offers?
A: The best way I've found is on the Citi Mobile app. Log in then at the bottom of the app tap "Services "then "Products & Offers". If the app is behaving (it doesn't always behave) you should see "Merchant Offers" beneath Explore Products.

Tap "See All" then "Shopping" to see which offers you're targeted for:

Citi's IT is notoriously janky. They should be discoverable when you log in to citi.com on desktop Rewards & Offers -> Offers for You. But for me that route always says "Error: We are having trouble loading your offers. Please try again later."

Q: Do I have to activate each offer prior to making a purchase?
A: Yes. For each offer you have to tap it and "Add Offer" prior to making a purchase.

Q: Do I need to wait some time after activating the offer before making a purchase?
A: Good question, since when you accept a credit card retention offer you have to wait a business day for the offer to attach. In my experience with these offers though you should be able to make a purchase straight away after activating the offer. I don't think it would work to activate the offer after making the purchase, but you never know with Citi - it could work.

Q: How long does it take the credit to post?
A: In my experience 4-7 days. You should see a line item statement credit saying "Merchant Offers Credit NY" of -$30 after spending $100 for this offer. The timing of the statement credits is not related to statement close in my experience.

Q: Which cards are targeted?
A: I can't discern a pattern. I've seen this particular offer on Citi DoubleCash, Citi Dividend, and Citi Prestige cards. Some credit cards I have aren't targeted with any offers at all. Others are targeted for some offers, but not this Wine.com offer.

Q: Can I use the offer more than once?
A: You can use this offer once per targeted Citi credit card.

Q: Do Wine.com gift card purchases trigger the offer?
A: Yes. Gift card purchases are not mentioned as an exclusion and I can confirm they trigger the offer.

Q: Why buy gift cards?
A: To avoid overshoot and lock in the savings for future purchases.

Q: Do Wine.com gift card purchases track through shopping portals?
A: In my experience, no. I've never found a shopping portal that tracks Wine.com GC purchases.

Q: Is there anything else I can stack with this offer?
A: Yes, wine.come promo codes, Steward Ship, and AA Simply Miles (more on that in a separate post to come).

Q: Where can I find the latest/greatest Wine.com promo codes?
A: This thread on Wine Berserkers.

Q: Are there any other good Citi offers to look for?
A: $100 back on $60 at AT&T Wireless is great. 1.5% at giftcards.com can also be useful.

Bottom Line

Citi sure doesn't make it easy to find these offers but it's nice to have another option for Wine.com discounts in addition to the revolving Amex Offers they've run for years now.


Targeted Amex Offer: $30 back on $100 at Wine Access

Friday, November 12, 2021

Check your Amex Offers for a new one from Wine Access:
  • $30 back on $100+
  • Can be used 3 times
  • Expires 3/31/2022
I can confirm that eGiftCard purchases trigger the offer. I like that approach because I can lock in the value of the Amex Offer towards future purchases without "overshoot" on individual orders. It's a little tricky, but multiple gift cards can be applied to a single order.

Wine Access has been continually revamping their site this year. It looks like the checkout now selects the most lucrative promo attached to an account depending on the value in your cart which is a nice improvement.

What to Buy

A couple of wines I've written about are available (affiliate links below):
I'll refer back to this post as I try more recent offers from Wine Access.

HT: Garth on Milenomics Slack


Fresh off the Truck: Albert Bichot Morey-Saint-Denis Les Sorbets Premier Cru

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

That "premium cabin" red Burgundy I wrote about last week arrived and I cracked open a bottle. Let's get right into it...

2014 Albert Bichot Morey-Saint-Denis Les Sorbets Premier Cru
13% Alcohol
Release Price: $90
Purchased Price: $54.95

At about 30% opaque this wine does what Pinot Noir can do so well: It delivers a compelling experience full of depth and flavor without being overly full bodied.

Leaps from the glass immediately upon opening with a perfect combination of ripe fruit and florals with supporting earthy notes.

Mouthfeel is elegant yet satisfying with silty tannic grip. Refreshing and luscious.

94/100 WWP: Outstanding

They say "if you think you found a good cheap Burgundy" you've actually only found a "cheap Burgundy." This is by no means cheap at $54.95 but it is on the affordable side of quality red Burgundy.

This would be a terrific wine to pour for Thanksgiving and in general a great one to take a chance on if you -like me- generally prefer bolder California Pinot Noirs but are interested in exploring OG Pinot Noir.

Deals to Stack

Get $10 off your first order from First Bottle through referral.

Mix and match 6 bottles for free shipping -or- $10 flat ground.

They included a promo code for 10% off a future order in the delivery. It's unclear whether that could be used on a first order w/referral code. Probably?


Retail Deal on Burgundy Frequently Poured in International Premium Cabins

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

First Bottle is offering Albert Bichot Morey-Saint-Denis Les Sorbets Premier Cru 2014 for $54.95/btl. Compared to a retail price of $90/btl this could be a deal work considering.

Get $10 off your first order through referral

Free shipping on any 6 bottles -or- flat rate ground for $10.


I'm not much of Burgundy expert. In fact, I cracked a bottle open last night and swore off the category once again. Too often I pay too much for a bottle that's just not aligned with what I'm looking for. So many have such a dour personality I suspect that they suffer from TCA taint.

But I thought I recognized this label and thanks to the magic of Google Photos I found it was poured, much to my delight, on JAL in First Class.

I enjoyed a few glasses of this over more expensive options because, like Wine Enthusiast describes it in their 93 point review, it is "rich, ripe and fruity."

Wine in motion due to turbulence

This kind of reminds me of the Ritz-Carlton Champagne deal. It's nice to relive a fond travel memory through a bottle of wine especially while international travel is still challenging.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, I don't see an Amex Offer to stack on top of this at the moment. Frequent Miler tracks current and expired Amex Offers and it looks like Last Bottle has run two offers this year and the last one expired 9/30/2021.

I'll probably go for two or three bottles of this one because I do like to have good Burgundy on hand and it's hard to find at this price point.

By the way, thanks to those who reached out to see if I was well since I hadn't posted in a while. Truth is I wasn't buying much wine over the summer and many of the wines I was drinking while depleting my stash were rather boring and purchased some time ago.

Another interest that's had my attention from a content creation perspective is points & miles. Over on Milenomics we've got a podcast and thriving Slack community that's been very rewarding for me and other members. Here's a recent podcast episode if you're interested in checking it out:


Deal: 15% Off + 20% Off Vaughn Duffy

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Sonoma producer Vaughn Duffy is offering 15% off through November 14th, 2021 plus an additional 20% off for wine club members including newcomers.

Their appelation Pinot Noirs sell for around $40 so we're looking at:
  • $40 x 15% off = $34/btl
  • $34 x 20% off = $27.20/btl
Shipping varies on distance but at around $3/btl by the case that's $30/btl for some absolutely outstanding Pinot Noir.

I like the way they've structured this deal. Their wines go quickly around here so I can justify joining their wine club for the stackable discount here.

They do produce others varietals and this sale provides a nice way to experiment with those. Read on for more on why Vaughn Duffy is a favorite:



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