Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Holidays are a great time, not just because often people are more cheerful, but also because we get and receive presents! From this year, here are some things that have made me happy and that I can suggest with the knowledge that the recipient of one of these gifts will be overjoyed.

Mionetto Prosecco

This has been my year for Prosecco (and I'm not alone). One brand you can't go wrong with is Mionetto Prosecco. Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. One thing I really appreciate is that quality extends across all their price points - these are great QPR! Add in that they have an organic Prosecco (hooray!) and I'm one happy sipper.

World Vision Prosperity Cinnamon

What's a better gift than helping someone in need? Donate to World Vision, they'll help someone in need, and you'll receive a gift to commemorate your action. You could help out a family and receive Prosperity Cinnamon: Each beautifully-carved cinnamon bark box contains 3 oz. of cinnamon and bears a common Asian character for prosperity. Vietnam's renowned sweet cinnamon is a renewable resource collected from the Cassia tree, sold to benefit generations of hard-working families. Not interested in cinnamon? Plenty of other options to choose from.

The Joseph Carr Winery in California works with small growers, coopers, and winemakers making tasty wines from across California, including Napa Valley, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties and the Central Coast. Josh Cellars is Joseph Carr’s ‘Vin de Garage’ project, named in honor of his father. Josh Cellars doesn't just honor Carr's father, but actively supports our heroes through organizations like Operation Homefront and the Gary Sinise Foundation - drink wine and help others, a great combination!

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014

"The Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship was founded in 2009 to provide well established “citizen bloggers” with a stipend so they can attend the wine bloggers conference, further their knowledge, their network, the wine blogging community and the wine industry as a whole." I was a recipient of a Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship in 2013 and it was an amazing experience! I met so many people I'd only read before, was inspired to continue the blog, and traveled to a far off wine destination I didn't know existed and probably wouldn't have visited otherwise. That's where you come in - DONATE to the fund and send a blogger to the Conference. Even if we don't end up being chosen, from my experience last year I know it's an amazing opportunity, but it only happens from generous donors. Donate what you can - in previous years Tom Wark (Fermentation) and Amy Gross (VineSleuth) each matched donations, which was a huge boon. Every little bit helps.

Lodi Native Project

One of the coolest wine experiences of the year was tasting 6 Zinfandels from the The Lodi Native Project. This is a collaborative vision, with 6 winegrowers from the Lodi Wine Mokelumne River sub-AVA. The spotlight is on the region’s heritage plantings – minimalist winemaking, native yeasts, and no new oak. The initial focus has been on Zinfandel, though discussions are underway on other possibilities. Buying this 6 pack of wine will make any Old Vine Zin lover swoon and everybody else gain an appreciation for these wines.

Underground Cellar is a wine club, but not a wine club. Join for free, no monthly dues, yup, not a wine club. Underground Cellar offers limited-time deals on wines in an unusual way: pay one price, get wines of varying values. A twist is that every bottle of wine you order is eligible for a free random upgrade to a higher quality bottle of wine. If you're an active member and get lots of friends to join Underground Cellar, you have a better chance of getting an upgraded bottle of wine in your shipment.

2014 Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide

Need even more ideas? Check out the 2014 Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide!

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