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Wine Bloggers Get Charitable

Ok all you wine bloggers out there, listen up. Later this week, the 5th Annual Menu For Hope campaign will be announced.

This annual charity raffle, coordinated by top food and wine bloggers around the world raised $91,188.00 last year to feed school children in Lesotho in a truly awesome display of reader generosity and blogger power.

This year's campaign will go from December 15th to December 25th.

For those who are unfamiliar with the event, you should check out the main event posting from last year, as well as my wine specific event page.

Here's how it works:

1. Bloggers (as well as other interested parties) from around the world create prizes.

2. Those prizes are described in a post on your site, and listed in aggregate on Vinography (and other sites) with a link to your page. These prizes can be stuff you make, stuff you buy, services, anything that you think someone might really want.

3. The public buy virtual raffle tickets for $10 apiece that they can "spend" on specific prizes. The more tickets they buy for a prize, the more likely they are to win.

4. In the end, we have a big drawing, someone wins your prize, and then you send it to them (at your expense), and rural, farming community kids in Lesotho get nutritious school lunches.

Why would you do this? Because it's a great way to help folks who really need it while at the same time generating a boatload of traffic to your blog. And who doesn't want both of those things around the holidays?

I need you to come up with prizes. Good ones. Things that people really, really want. Which is to say, probably not a copy of your favorite wine book or a corkscrew (unless it's a super swanky one). And not a bottle of wine, either, unless you're a winery or a retailer and you can legally ship it to whomever wins. The more personal and special the prize, the better, however. And, of course, the more valuable the prize, the better.

If you don't have anything personally that you think you can offer, maybe you know someone famous or connected who does, and you can bask in the glory of offering their product, service, or company for an evening.

So think about what you might have to offer, and if you need to, bounce ideas off me. And if you're not into providing a prize, I hope you'll consider buying raffle tickets for one.

Stay tuned for the official announcement of the event later this week with more details.

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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.