I hear it all the time – wine is the drink for the ‘classy drunk.’ But just because you’re classy, it doesn’t mean you’re flush with cash. While I won’t begrudge you your $2 bottle of wine, I do want to arm you with money-saving tips that will also expand your palate – before you grow tired of that same bottle of cheap wine. Let’s learn how to have your wine and drink it too.
Have Your Wine And Drink It Too: Flash Sale Sites:
I’ve seen wine sales on many a flash sale site, including Beyond The Rack and Rue La La, but it’s not consistent and sometimes the prices are the same as what you see in the store. There are two wine-specific sale sites I can recommend, though, that often have high quality wines at affordable prices:
In Vino – This is an invitation-only sale site and when you refer friends who purchase wine from the site, you’ll get a $20 credit.
Lot 18 - This is an invitation-only sale site and new users get a $25 credit when they sign up (see? I just gave you free wine). Again, you’ll get credits for each person who signs up and makes a purchase, too. Save ‘em up and you’ll have free wine in no time!
Have Your Wine And Drink It Too: Retails/Distributors:
Beverages & More – This chain often has sales, but their big one is the Five Cent Wine Sale. During this sale, if you buy a bottle of wine at full price, you’ll get a second bottle of the same type for a nickel!
If you don’t feel knowledgeable about varietals, I suggest going to the website prior to visiting the store and looking at wines in your price range (for instance, under $10) using one of their search filters – then sort by critic’s rating. I usually print this list off and circle the wines I want to find in the store – highly rated wines that are the cheapest on the list. Or you can even place your order online and pick it up at your local store so that you don’t have to search out the wines by yourself.
To take advantage of this sale, you’ll need to sign up for their free ClubBev card, which also gives you 5% discount coupon every time you reach $250 in purchases.
Winetasting.com – I love this website for their mixed case deals. They tend to happen around the new year and you can get a lot of awesome wines for an average of $5-8 a bottle if you keep your eyes peeled. There is also a section on the website for “mystery collections” that have cosmetically imperfect bottles that are discounted by up to 30%.
Naked Wines – This is my absolute favorite place to buy wine. I discovered them through good ol’ Groupon (keep your eye out!) and fell in love immediately. My husband and I liked every single wine we tasted in the starter case we received.
Naked Wines is a hub for small winemakers who for one reason or another can’t effectively market their wines. Naked Wines has a core of ‘angels’ who commit to spending at least $40 a month on wine, which then helps them invest in these winemakers and assist them with distribution and sales. The benefit of this business model is that you – the consumer – can purchase some really unique and QUALITY wines at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay since less is spent on promotion and labeling. Their wines are $9 and up regularly.
But wait – if you sign up to be an angel with Naked Wines, you can buy any of their wines – which are already offered at a reasonable price – at a 40% discount AND have the opportunity to buy a premium bottle of wine for $1 each month. Oh and shipping is free on orders over $100. If you can beat that deal anywhere, let me know.
And because I like you, I’m even going to give you a $100 voucher toward your first case of wine with Naked Wines. This means you can get twelve bottles of wine for as little as $60 out of pocket. You’re welcome!
I can’t leave out boxed wines. Big box retailers have some quality wines that they are able to offer at a great price because the packaging for a box of wine is cheaper and holds more volume than a bottle. I can see you looking at me with disbelief as you think back to that box of ‘Blush’ wine your parents kept in the ice box. Let me assure you, there are some very good boxed wines out there that are worlds above the likes of wine coolers. Try Black Box Wines or Target’s Wine Cube, each of which gets you the equivalent of four bottles of wine for less than $20
. Always check the coupons to see what’s out there:
Lastly, if you’re lucky enough to live in a state where you can buy booze in the grocery store, look for discounts for stocking up. Safeway and Fresh & Easy both offer a 10% discount when you buy six bottles or more.
Have Your Wine And Drink It Too: Wine Clubs:
Belonging to a wine club is like subscribing to receive wine shipments periodically. Becoming a wine club member can also give you certain benefits – discounts on cases of wine, invitations to member-only events, and free wine tastings at the winery. I’ve been a member of quite a few wine clubs, but I like to fly solo now for the variety and in order to take advantage of any sale I see. Wine clubs might be perfect for you if you like a particular wine maker, though, or you are looking to learn more about different varietals.
If you don’t have a favorite winery but still want the club experience, check out the Virgin Wine Club.
Have Your Wine And Drink It Too: At The Winery:
If you’re visiting a winery, always ask if there are discounts available if you buy a case. And, if you’re lucky enough to be heading to wine country in California, check your wallet for a Visa Signature card. There is a large list of wineries that will provide free tastings to Signature cardholders. Some even provide discounts on any merchandise you buy.Where do you find the best wine deals?
Crystal T. (who pities the fool!) is a compulsive do-gooder who loves to share shortcuts and savings tips with anyone who will listen. She writes at Ewokmama.com and dallies with other online projects when she feels like it.