Category Archives: Gift Ideas

Easy Prep for the Holidays

As it sinks in that Thanksgiving is over and you have approximately four weeks (28 days) left until Christmas, you may start to wonder how you will get it all done. No panic necessary! Wine.com is here to help you every step of the way – or of the day, actually. Every weekday, stay tuned to our blog, facebook page and twitter feed to find out helpful holiday tips, great gift ideas, crazy discount deals and more. Our goal is to take the stress away and make your holidays go by with festive ease.

Whether you are plnd_stwship_boxlanning a big bash or something more small and relaxing, we have the wine – and entertaining tips – to go with them. Some pre-holiday tips to get you started:

1. First tip – for those of you who hate shipping fees or minimum purchase amounts required for free shipping, I have one word for you – Steward-Ship. This is your answer to the holidays and beyond. For just $49, you will receive free standard shipping on all your purchases, to any address, for the entire holiday season… and 11 months after that. This is a yearlong membership to free standard shipping. And when you talk about bottles of wine and wine-based gifts, you’re talking heavy. This is the best deal in the wine business right now.

2. Second tip – with that free shipping, find yourself a go-to gift and stock up on a few of them. This way you’ll have a great gift to give to your accountant, your kid’s 3rd grade teacher, your mail carrier or that friend who gives you an unexpected gift and you feel obligated to return the gesture… you get the idea. Check out our gifts under $40. There is a wide selection and they are perfect for all the acquaintances on your holiday list – or the unexpected ones that pop up. From the Tour de France to the Eco Wine Trio to the Organic Food & Wine gift set, you’ve got a gift for everyone on your list. So stock a few in your basement and you’ll feel

3. Final tip – take advantage of our Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals and stock up on all our gifts while we’ve got plenty of stock. Today is a great deal of 25% off some of our popular holiday gifts. Don’t forget, you can shop now and ship later, so you’ll have your holiday shopping done, but the items won’t get to the recipient until you want them to!

So get started! Sign up for Steward-Ship, stock up on some great gifts, use our amazing deals for Friday & Monday, and you’ll feel like you’re halfway there. Starting Monday, we’ll have tips of the day, deals of the day and more, so stay-tuned and happy Black Friday!

Golfers and Wine

golf flag

Last week at an event, we poured wines to fit the theme, “Golfers and Wine.” Who knew so many wines would have a golfing hand (or club?) behind them! I have yet to see another sport with so many members in the winemaking field. The styles of wine from these swinging guys (though gals are getting into the fray as well!) range the gamut, with some sparkling, some white, some red.

Here are the wines we poured at the event and the stories behind them.

greg norman

Golfer & Wine: Greg Norman Sparkling Brut – Dry and crisp, with citrus and stone fruits. Because it’s a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, you get that bright citrus mixed with a richer, almost nutty character. Great value for the bubbles.

About: Greg Norman, aka “The Shark,” began drinking wine on the tour, soaking up the wines from Europe and California as he played and tasted his way around the world. In the 1990’s, Greg paired up with Beringer Blass Estates to create Greg Norman Estates in Australia. More recently, Norman put his name on Greg Norman California Wine Estates, producing a range of wines from the entire state. Though he does not  make the wine or own the vineyards, he approves the decisions and the wines reflect his style – approachable, easy-to-drink but with lots of character.

Golfer & Wine: Arnold Palmer Santa Barbara Chardonnay – Ripe stone fruits and juicy citrus backed by a good acidic backbone. A touch of oak and a creamy texture round out the wine making it refreshing and delicious.

About: Before Tiger there was Arnold. This guy has won 92 national and international golf championships! Not too shabby. A savvy businessman and wine lover, Palmer partnered with Luna Vineyards, a well-known winery in California, to create his line of wines. Established in 2003, Palmer just released the 2005 vintage of his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Santa Barbara Chardonnay. Both are typical of their region and quite good.

luke donald

Golfer & Wine: Luke Donald Claret – Ripe black fruits dominate this blend with a spicy and smooth texture. Soft tannins, big fruit.

About: A native of England, Luke Donald has been on the tour since 2001. He got into the wine business more recently, partnering with the Terlato Wine Group (he’s good friends with Bill Terlato) and releasing his first vintage in spring of 2008. His Claret, or Bordeaux Blend, is a classic Napa Valley blend. Big fruit, smooth tannins, long finish. Earlier this year he released his first white, a Burgundian-style Chardonnay from Carneros.

 

Golfer & Wine: Nick Faldo Shiraz- Spicy pepper and sweet plums mix to create a well-balanced red. More spicy than sweet, this Shiraz shows the typical style of Coonawarra reds.

About: Like Donald, Faldo is of English origin, but chose Australia as his country of choice to produce wine – the Coonawarra region to be exact. Longer in the game (both golf and wine) than Donald as well, Nick’s first vintage was 2000. His wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon, come from the Terra Rossa (red earth) soils of Coonawarra, giving the wines lots of backbone and a touch of eucalyptus and spice.

Golfer & Wine: Ernie Els Engelbrecht-Els Red Blendripe black fruits, spice and smoke marry well in this blend, with a solid tannin backbone and els a lingering finish. Will get better over time, but delicious now, too.

About: South African golf legend, Ernie Els, partnered up with old friend and wine veteran, Jean Englebrecht, for his wine venture in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. They launched their first wine in 1999 and opened a winery in the region 5 years later. The brand creates a range of wines, from the affordable Guardian Peak to the collectible flagship wine, Ernie Els. The Englebrecht-Els blend is distinctively South African, a blend that marries Els’ love of Bordeaux Blends with Engelbrecht’s passion for Shriaz.

Not only the boys are making wine. Annika Sorenstam recently partnered with Wente Vineyards and launched a $60 Syrah under her name. We’ll keep you posted on more golfers that turn to producing wine, as well as other sports that have players in the wine game. What other sports have you seen in the wine field?

Gift Tips for Wedding Season

It’s wedding season. We’re travelling coast-to-coast, from destination wedding to hometown celebration, watching friends and family tie the knot. Sometimes we have more invitations that we can get to, but wedding season does mean one thing – gifts for the couple. If you’re like me, you’ve already been to a few weddings this year, but have not yet gotten the gift. This always puts me in a pickle because when I check the registry, it seems completely picked over and I can’t imagine my friends REALLY want yet another set of crystal glassware. I mean, it’s crystal. When do we ever drink out of crystal?

I wanted to share a few ideas for you, wedding friends, that are sure to make any wine-loving couple happy.

Two words – WINE CLUB. Such an easy, perfect gift. You can do anything from three months to a year, with an entry-level club or a high-end club. The gift that keeps giving… and while you can have too much glassware, you can never have enough wine to drink out of them! We’ve also got a great list of wedding gift ideas from our wine and gift selection.

Wine Registry – encourage friends to join our community & create a registry wine list with all the wines they love! Again, you don’t have to worry about someone else buying that same wine, as you can never have enough of your favorite! To join our community, just go to www.wine.com/v6/community, create a profile page and then create a list. You can add any wine you want to that list and share the link with your friends.

And… we’ve just launched our wedding services, which include free wine consultation for your wedding wines – just e-mail weddings@wine.com with your theme, budget and state and any other pertinent information – we’ll get back to you with some answers!