Many of our local shops and restaurants (take-out for the most part) have some form of a rewards card set up. Those rewards very often follow the formula of buy X numbers of an item, and then get one of those items for free. For instance at Chopt when we buy 9 salads we get the 10th free (if it’s under $10), and at Luke’s Lobster when we buy 10 lobster rolls we get one free. But there is one reward card, the one we have stamped more than all of the others, that has always left us stymied when it came time to cash in: the Zola Wine & Kitchen buy 7 bottles of wine, get 15% off your next bottle card.
Now don’t get us wrong, we don’t expect Zola to give us a free bottle of wine after we buy a certain number from them; hell, it’s great that they give us a discount at all (we were going to buy more wine anyway). But we usually buy wines from Zola that cost about $15 a bottle (often Calheiros Cruz from Portugual’s Douro region), so if we used our fully stamped card to discount our next purchase of the same, we’re knocking just $2 or so off the purchase. Again that’s $2 more than we saved on the previous 7 bottles, but it also barely covers the cost of a bottle of Strawberry Hill.
No, we wanted our 15% discount to come closer to the actual purchase price of our usual bottle of wine. Now we know what you’re thinking “just buy a $100 bottle of wine” and of course you’d be correct. But we also know our limits when it comes to wine appreciation, and it’s about the $20 limit. While we can arguable tell the difference between a bottle of MD 20/20 and a bottle of Brunello, we probably can’t tell the difference between a decent $20 Cabernet Sauvignon and a more refined $300 bottle. Our point being we didn’t want to spend $100 on a bottle of wine just to save $15. If the more expensive bottle didn’t wow us, it wouldn’t be worth it.
Our solution was suggested by the sales clerk at Zola who knew that we were fans of champagne & sparkling wines as well. “What about a champagne magnum?” he suggested. What about a magnum indeed. 1.5 liters of sparking French bliss, the magnum covers the simple solution (“just buy a $100 bottle of wine”) and passes the “worth it” test. At $105 a bottle we saved $15.75 using the Zola reward card, plus we get a giant bottle of champagne. We bring these big boys to parties, drink them with neighbors for impromptu Friday night pizza & Kinect dance offs, or just use them to toast to our good fortunes (and sometimes to drown in our sorrows).
Sherlock Holmes was known to be fond of 7%, but we prefer our 15% solution.