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15 December, 2016

Food and Wine Lover Christmas Gift Ideas

Posted in : Champagne / Champenoise Style, Red Wine, Sparkling Wine, White Wine on by : The Gourmez

Hello, dear readers! I don’t always do a Christmas gift ideas post for food and wine lovers, but sometimes, I find myself with a wealth of information…and deals!…to share with you. This is one of those moments, and I hope this list will help you cross a name or two off your list.

Wine Clubs

The gifts that keep on giving all year! I have two wine clubs in mind this year, and of course, these are pricier gift options, but wine lovers will LOVE them. The first one is near and dear to me as I’m now involved with the Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund (WBCSF)!

wine bloggers conference scholarship fund

By “now involved,” I mean the lovely Thea Dwelle, scholarship chair and blogger at Luscious Lushes, conscripted me onto the committee. But there are worse ways to be forced into duty!

Wine Bloggers Scholarship Gift Idea

Me peeking over the heads of Thea and fellow blogger James Melendez .

Nevertheless, I am happy to help! I’ve been a regular WBC attendee for three years now (read my write-ups here), and it’s a fantastic conference for wine bloggers, largely for the value and the opportunity to network with others who commit themselves to bringing you, the public, our thoughts on individual wines, wineries, or the industry in general — whether you want them or not!

So what’s the club? 50% of the proceeds go to funding scholarships to the WBC for citizen bloggers who want to attend but do not have the means to do so. The WBCSF Wine Club is run by the World’s Best Wine Club, and 3 bottles of highly rated boutique wines will be shipped four times a year to members for $99 per shipment + S&H. That’s 12 bottles a year for just under $400, half of which goes directly to the scholarship fund. Just select the Gift Subscription box when placing an order here.

The second wine club I’m suggesting is the International Wine of the Month Club, which is not WBC-related, but Kristina Manning, their director of customer relations, is a regular WBC attendee and was my roomie this last year.

International Wine of the Month Club

I am strictly forbidden from posting the photo we took together, so you’ll just have to take my word on our connection. 😉 The International Wine of the Month Club has been family-owned and going strong since 1994, and they offer four different club options, from $36/month + S&H to $73/month + S&H. The newest one is the Bold Reds Wine Club, which offers “only robust, red wines with deep color and rich, complex flavor profiles. The Bold Reds Wine Club delivers medium- to full-bodied wines with deep fruit flavors, pronounced ripe tannins, superb structure, and well-integrated oak tones from barrel aging.”

Bold Reds christmas gift idea wine club

Photo from International Wine of the Month Club

The International Wine of the Month Club is also offering discount codes for purchases made in December! Click here to learn how to save from $5 to $25 on gifting one of their subscriptions.

Picking a wine club is difficult! If either of the two I mentioned don’t seem quite right, but the gift idea does, you may benefit from digging into the extensive research done to select the best wine clubs over at Reviews.Com. Bonus: One of their top picks is Uncorked Ventures, which I featured last fall on the blog after meeting founder Mark Aselstine and enjoying some truly amazing wines he selected.

RawSpiceBar Gift Boxes

Don’t drink wine? I’m not leaving you out in the dark with this post! RawSpiceBar, which I reviewed last year and will be reviewing again early next year, is also offering great deals for the holidays.

rawspicebar raw spice bar

This is a much more affordable option for those of you more strapped on finances, especially because RawSpiceBar has just expanded to include individual spice blend packets for order from their website. But the original, $8 monthly subscription is a great idea for the chefs in your life who love to experiment. Each month, they will get three different spice blends with a regional theme that are sourced directly from the producers. The blends are freshly toasted, ground, and packaged, ensuring great flavor. December’s theme? Iceland!

RawSpiceBar gift box spices

One of my Ethiopian options from last fall.

The gift boxes also include recipes from talented, and well-known, chefs and can be customized for any diet. And if you buy a year’s subscription at a time, it’ll only be $7 per shipment. AND if you use code FLAVOR6, you’ll get $5 off a six- or twelve-month order. Hard to beat those prices for fresh spices! The longer spices sit in your pantry, the more likely they are to lose flavor over time, and RawSpiceBar is an excellent answer to that problem.

Wente Winemakers Studio Sparkling Wine Pairing Course

Wente Winemakers Studio

Winemakers Studio

Yes, we’re back to wine! You may have read my recent post on the Livermore Valley Wine Country — the Wente founding family and their Winemakers Studio were special highlights of that experience. If you haven’t, go read it now! I’ll wait….done? Great! In addition to all the fun and informative classes already offered at the Winemakers Studio, Wente has added “Tiny Bubbles!” a course that goes over sparkling wine pairings for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. If you’re planning a trip to northern California or already live in the area, a visit to the studio would make for a great break from all the holiday crowds.

Wente tiny bubbles course

Picture of TIny Bubbles! courtesy of Wente Vineyards

The Tiny Bubbles course is not listed on their website, so call 925-456-2395 to set up a reservation for you and your loved ones. Mention VIPVISIT and you’ll get 10% off the $60 experience! And experiences, in this day and age, often make the best gifts of all. For the rest of the courses offered at the Wente Winemaking Studios, click here.

Whatever you choose to bring a smile to your friends’ and families’ faces this holiday season, I hope they love it and you have a wonderful time together. I’ll be enjoying mine in Puerto Vallarta, and you can bet I’ll have plenty to share with you all about that on our return!

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