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Menu For Hope III Update: New Prizes and Information

OK Folks. First the good news: halfway through our campaign to raise money for the UN World Food Programme, we've already exceeded last years number. Now the even better news: there are a bunch of new prizes that have been added. And finally the best news: there are a lot of prizes that don't have ANY bids on them, and there's not a loser in the bunch. What does that mean? It means that for ten bucks you could be walking away with $300 worth of wine, wine related merchandise, travel, services or more. And for twenty you could have twice that.

Here's the rundown of new prizes and the prizes that amazingly are waiting to be snapped up by some enterprising soul who wants to say, buy 10 tickets for a paltry $100 and let them all ride on a single horse.


How'd you like to drink a wine named River of Skulls? Sounds fun to me! The Folks at Twisted Oak have donated a duble magnum of the stuff along with a teeny 375ml bottle of Pig Stai Pour't. Both very rare wines. Check it out. Prize: WB27

How does 8 bottles of award winning wine sound to you? The folks at Cima Collina have donated two bottles each of several of their top wines. You might want these. Prize: WB25

Are you anywhere near southern France? Will you be in the next year? Looking for an excuse to go? You now have the chance to work in the vineyards for a day and come home to a fabulous home cooked meal and six bottles of wine from the vineyard you spent the day in, courtesy of La Gramiere winery. Go have some fun. Prize: WB26

Big California wine fan? Then you must have heard of the Hyde vineyard, one of the most famous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in America. Thanks to Tyler of Vines and Wines (and also assistant winemaker at HdV) you can now spend a few hours tromping around the vineyard, taste recent releases, and go home with some very nice bottles of wine from the same vineyard. Who wouldn't love this? Prize: WB30

More wine! How about a case of Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese from some of the few folks in California who actually know how to make the stuff well? The Inertia Beverage group, aka the REThink Wine Blog, is donating a case of wine from Luna Vineyards for you to drink in the New Year. Think you might spend $10 on that? Prize: WB29

Not sure what kind of wine you want? Well, here's a way of making the choice a little less painless -- the WineQ wine clubs. Three one-year memberships are being given away by the kind folks behind this new wine club concept. These memberships don't get you free wine, but they do get you free shipping on any wine purchase for an entire year. That's pretty good, especially if you live in New York!. Give it a try. Prize WB28


In case you haven't figured it out yet, this is the equation: you donate a mere $10 to charity, you can win something you would ordinarily pay $500 bucks for. Some people have realized already that paying $30 for three chances to win, say, $300 worth of good wine is not a bad deal. Especially when no one else has bid for that prize! Here are a list of prizes that have incredibly great odds at the moment with no or very few bids. Show them some love and get yourself some good $#$% for practically nothing, plus good karma!

WB07 - A 30 minute health consultation about how Red Wine might factor into your health plan from Dr. Enoch Choi, the only wine blogger I know of with a medical degree. No copay required!

WB09 - Dallas/Fort Worth Texas residents can get free wine and a good looking guy to pour it for them at their own private dinner party courtesy of The Italian Wine Guy. The wine is worth at least $200. Read more.

WB10 - If you like Cabernet or Bordeaux, or know someone who does, you might like a free membership to the newly launched Bon Vivant Wine Guide, a $89 value. Read more.

WB12 - How about a signed copy of one of the better food and wine pairing books out there. Amazon can't beat ten bucks, and they don't offer signed versions, either. Check it out.

WB13 - Uh, hello folks? A bottle of 99 Heitz Martha's Vineyard Cab? Repeat after me: c-u-l-t c-a-b-e-r-n-e-t. And a nice book. And another Cabernet that will be very interesting to try. Worth at least $210. Get on it!

WB14 - The Bible for Wine Geeks. Need I say more? If you're reading this blog you should have a copy of The Oxford Companion to Wine in your bookshelf. The shipping alone for this heavy tome would be worth bidding on, but you can get the book too!! Start reading.

WB15 - If you're in Washington state, or planning to go in the next year, you might want to go check out their wine country. Did you know that a Washington wine was in the Wine Spectator top 10 this year? Pretty awesome stuff. Here's your chance to get the inside scoop on the region from a local: a free custom wine tasting trip itinerary. Why plan, when you can have someone else do it for you?

WB16 - The Oxford Companion to wine AND The World Atlas of Wine. If it ain't in one of these books, it probably doesn't matter in the world of wine. These two are the ones you want. And like WB14 above, the shipping alone would cost you $40. So ten bucks is a steal. Keep reading.

WB17 - Sooo.... why wouldn't you want a gift basket with two bottles of wine, vouchers for a free wine tasting in the Hamptons and a summer concert while you're there? If you live in New York and you haven't bid on this, you're insane. If you live in South Dakota you might have an excuse, but the wine alone would be worth your ten dollars. Go for it.

WB21 - And while you're in Long Island, you'd be hard pressed to experience it better than through a guided tour from its resident wine blogging expert, Lenn. I know several folks who have gotten his tour and they can vouch for it. The guy knows everyone there, and will show you a heck of a good time. Why not?

WB02 - Last but not least, there's little 'ol me. I think my ego will survive if no one bids on my prize, but it would be pretty silly for anyone in the Bay Area to skip the opportunity to get a bunch of wine from my cellar, chosen specifically to match what you're serving at a dinner party for free. Of course my services as a sommelier might not be as exciting to you, I can understand. So tell you what. If you just want the wine, that's OK too. I'll deliver anywhere in the Bay Area. Tell me what you're cooking and I'll bring some good stuff.


Don't forget folks, that there's a whole other universe of prizes out there that you might love. In particular I'd like to offer up a couple of suggestions that you wine lovers might enjoy:

UW48 - Make your own custom personal batch of spirits at Hangar One. I'm totally bidding on this one myself. The chance to work with the mad scientists/artisan distillers at Hangar One for a day to make your own flavor of vodka from anything you want! I might go for cardamom. Read more.

UW39 -- A chocolate orange cocktail extravaganza kit. Free booze and recipes to make it taste better. Gotta love it. Read more.

AP33 - Live in Australia? How about a $100 voucher for the Prince Wine Store in Melbourne? Read more.

AP12 - How about a bottle of handmade cherry vodka? Read more.

EU01, 02, 03, 05, 05 - Headed to Paris? Live there already? How about a free guided wine tasting from French sommelier Olivier Magny?. Read more.

AP37 -- The Wine Atlas of Australia by famed wine critic James Halliday. Good reading!

But before you do, make sure to check out all the prizes, not just the ones I've specifically called out above. The most popular prizes only have ten to twenty tickets purchased for them which means a $30 to $60 donation on your part could give you a 30% chance of winning! And keep in mind that this all (every single cent) goes to charity.

The campaign ends on December 22nd. So don't waste time. Here's how to win:

1. Go to the donation page.

2. Make a donation. Each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code -for example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for WB01 and 3 for WB02.

3. If your company matches your charity donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we can claim the corporate match.

4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone. We swear.

5. Check back on Chez Pim on January 15 when we announce the result of the raffle.

Thank you for your support.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.