Monday, December 5, 2011

Wine Country Gift Basket Review

I recently had the opportunity to review a gift basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets I received the Bon Appetit with Chardonnay gift basket and was thoroughly impressed.
My basket!

I was shocked when I received looked EXACTLY like the picture...when does that ever happen?

The basket was FULL of goodies. It contained:

Cliffside Chardonnay (750ml)

California Pantry Rosemary & Olive Oil Baked Herb Crackers (4.5oz)

Cheese Spread - Sonoma Jacks "Garlic & Herb" in Round Box (3.5oz)

Marich Chocolate Peanut Butter Maltballs (1.5oz)

Monica's White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies (3oz)

Napa Valley Honey Mustard Pretzel Nuggets (3oz)

Nonnis Panetini (2oz)

Rovelli Crema alla Nocciola Pralines (2 pc) (.85oz)

Truffettes de France French Truffles (3pc)

Cafe Louvre Belgian Waffles (.7oz)

J&M Bleu Cheese Straws (2.5oz)

Wine Stopper

I really did not want to open the basket it looked so pretty, but I just HAD to try everything! ; )  I honestly tasted/tried EVERYTHING, even if it was something I wouldn't normally detailed honest opinions are below. 

Before we get too detailed, here is my overall opinion of this basket and company. I LOVE them, and will definitely order again.  They have a huge selection to choose from and my entire experience with this company was positive and very personal (when do you get that kind of service now?).  Shipping was quick, basket was not damaged in shipping, and comes via UPS.  The only thing I recommend, make sure someone is home when you send it.  Since my basket contained wine, someone over 21 has to sign for it.  Well, my husband and I both work, so I had to switch the address which cost me $4.00.  Not a big deal to me, but if you are sending it as a gift to someone, you'd hate for them to have to pay to be able to receive it. 

Display of the product was great, and everything was sealed and tasted great (see detail for my opinion on taste).  The basket also exceeded my expectations and will be reused throughout the year.  I was concerned that the basket would be cheap and flimsy, but it wasn't.

So, on to the details:

Cliffside Chardonnay (750ml) - Just a little background on me, I am NOT a wine drinker by any means, but I am trying.  I really want to get into wine for the social aspect and the formality of it.  So I'm slowly introducing myself to wines, which is why I was so excited to try this Chardonnay.  I did enjoy it, but it is a wine I only had a partial glass, but could totally drink this during a social setting.  My father in law enjoyed this with me and he was very impressed with the wine

California Pantry Rosemary & Olive Oil Baked Herb Crackers (4.5oz) - These were very good.  They do have a strong herb taste, but are great paired with the wine.  There is a cheese spread that would be good w/these or with the Oven Baked Italian Toast.

Cheese Spread - Sonoma Jacks "Garlic & Herb" in Round Box (3.5oz) - Ya'll want honestly right?  This was the one product that I was scared of.  I am very basic when it comes to cheese, Kraft American singles, and Kraft shredded cheese and that is about it.  But I made myself try this for the sake of the review...and it really wasn't bad.  I did have to smell it before trying and it reminded me of that cheese in a spray can...but the taste was much better.  I actually had  two helpings of this.  It is a very mild cheese and I think more people will like it than not like it.  I ate it with the Oven Baked Italian Toast.

Marich Chocolate Peanut Butter Maltballs (1.5oz) - My favorite of the whole basket.  I LOVE peanut butter, specially when mixed with chocolate.  I had to hold myself to just eat one, but believe me, I will be going back to eat the rest of the box soon!

Monica's White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies (3oz) - These were very good as well.  I was shocked when I opened  the box and the cookies were little (Think Famous Amos Choc. Chip Cookies).  I'm not sure why I was expecting larger cookies but I was.  No matter what size they were, they were very very good.  They are sweet, without being too sweet and would be a great pairing with the wine as well.  Best news about them being smaller than I thought....means there were a lot more in the box for me to eat! ; )

Napa Valley Honey Mustard Pretzel Nuggets (3oz) - These were "okay" to me.  They weren't bad, but not my favorite either.  My initial thought with these was that I needed a beer, not wine.  They also made me think of a sports bar (maybe that's where the beer came from...I don't know).  I would eat these, but only after everything else.  I was shocked when I opened the big box, to pull out a little bag.  Nothing against the company, since everything nowadays is packed this way, it just shocked me.  This was the only product that was packaged this way though.  (This was the first thing I tried).

Nonnis Panetini (2oz) - This is the Oven Baked Italian Toast I mentioned earlier....these were very very good.  Probably my favorite non-sweet item in the basket.  These are perfect for entertaining as well.  Great w/a spread or topping, and just as great by themselves.  Even though they were in a box and shipped, they tasted fresh.

Rovelli Crema alla Nocciola Pralines (2 pc) (.85oz) - I wish there were more than two, but then again, if I want to maintain my figure, I'm glad there were only two!  Milk chocolate, hazelnut cream...oh soo yummy!

Truffettes de France French Truffles (3pc) - I did not think I would like these - they looked more like a dark chocolate which I do not like....but I was wrong, these were great also.  There are only 3 pieces, but they are so sweet, you only need one at a time.

Cafe Louvre Belgian Waffles (.7oz) - I think I got to try a crumb....Owen saw this, and it looked like the cookies he likes to eat, so he stole it and ate it.  My crumb was excellant  and Owen told me his piece was wonderful and asked for another : )

J&M Bleu Cheese Straws (2.5oz) - Owen and I both tried these.  O didn't really like them, but I was impressed that he tried, and well he didn't "hate" them either since he didn't spit it out.  I was not a big fan...but then again I do not like Bleu Cheese.  They looked good and I think somone who likes Bleu Cheese would enjoy these.

Wine Stopper - I LOVE this....soo soo soo cute.  I may have to start drinking wine on a regular basis just so I can use this stopper. 

I highly recommend this company and their products. Their link is above, and on the top right of my blog for a quick link up.  Just a side note - the wine is limited to which states it can be shipped to, so please check before falling in love with a basket.  (Just an FYI - they are one of very few companies that ship wine to Virginia).  This would a great gift to ship to out of town family or friends, or even ship it to the host of your holiday gathering.  They have lots of items in all price points! 

My one suggestion to the company - how about a "make your own" gift basket?  I know you would need to limit selections due to the baskets and making sure you can display and ship correctly, but you could have catagories based on product size.  I know when I was browsing your site, I would see items from one basket that I really liked, but was scared of the rest of the basket contents.

Happy Shopping!


LOVE MELISSA:) said...

WOW! This looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks for posting!

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