How would you like to go a luxury wine vacation all the while knowing that you’re enjoying Napa luxury because you helped to feed some hungry kids in Lesotho, Africa? That, my friends, is the beauty of the charity event called A Menu For Hope.
This is the fourth year of A Menu For Hope, the grassroots charity event for wine and food bloggers that started in response to the horrible Tsunamis of 2004. Last year’s event raised more than $60,000 for the UN’s World Food Programme, which set the stage for this year’s remarkable event. Because of our success last year, the World Food Programme essentially told us to figure out what we wanted, and they’d make it happen.
Our dear leader, Pim, sat down with them and arranged the perfect donation scheme. 100% of the donations go directly to the people in need. We get to choose exactly where every cent goes, and we get to talk to the people it goes to. In fact, Pim has already been in contact with some of the families that will get our aid money. She sent them some disposable cameras and asked them to take pictures of their lives. The results are quite extraordinary, both for their immediacy, but also some of the images are quite beautiful in their own right.
So we’re feeding some very needy farmers in Lesotho. And how are we doing it? By holding a big-ass charity raffle, with prizes donated from bloggers all around the world.
Here at Vinography, we’re hosting all the prizes donated by wine bloggers, plus some very special prizes donated by folks who look kindly on this effort. Before I tell you about the prizes on offer, however, you should know that winning a prize is as easy as making a $10 donation to our cause. Every ten bucks you donate gets you another “ticket” for the raffle. You designate which prize you want your “ticket” to go for, and then a computer program gives you that many chances to win. Donate $5000 and you’ve got 500 changes to win one, or many prizes.
Specific instructions for entering the raffle can be found at the bottom of this post. But let’s get on with the prizes shall we? If you don’t see something below that you think is worth ten bucks, then you’re probably beyond hope.
Your own, Private, LIVE Episode of Wine Library TV
Gary Vaynerchuk is the enfant terrible of the wine world, without apologies. If you haven’t heard of Gary and his insanely popular Wine Library TV video blog, you probably haven’t been paying close enough attention. The guy seems to be everywhere. And now he can be somewhere with you. Instead of watching Gary do his thing in your web browser, you can have him in your dining room. Gary will conduct a private episode of Wine Library TV in your home anywhere in the continental United States for up to eight people. Gary will bring along $500 worth of wine and will hang out and drink with you for the night. This prize must be redeemed between March 2008 and December 2008. Value: Priceless. Prize code: WB01. Courtesy of Wine Library TV.
Dinner in New York with Eric Asimov of the New York Times
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times, a position he assumed in June 2004 after having covered wine with The Times’ tasting panel and in his “Tastings” column for the Dining section. He’s one of America’s most visible wine writers, and a darn nice guy to boot. So nice, in fact, that he’s willing to have dinner with someone for charity. For this prize, he’ll buy dinner for one lucky wine lover somewhere on the island of Manhattan that has a great wine list. You choose the date, he chooses the restaurant, and you can talk about whatever you want, even if it isn’t wine. Value: Priceless. Prize code: WB02. Courtesy of The Pour.
A Wine Vacation at Meadowood Resort in the Napa Valley
Experience true Napa luxury. This prize includes a two night stay (Sunday to Thurs only) at the Meadowood Resort in St. Helena in the Napa Valley; dinner for two at the Michelin Two-Star Meadowood Restaurant; and a private Cabernet tasting in the Napa Valley with Gilles de Chambure, the wine educator at Meadowood. Located in a beautiful, two hundred-fifty acre valley, Meadowood features championship croquet lawns, seven tennis courts, a nine-hole walking golf course, hiking trails, swimming, a full-service health spa, eighty-five guest rooms, suites and cottages and wine country cuisine. Valued at over $3500. Prize code: WB03. Courtesy of Meadowood Resort.
A Case of Top Rated Wine
Doug Wilder is the California wine buyer and resident wine critic at Vinfolio, a full service wine retailer in San Francisco. This prize will include 12 bottles from his list of top 25 wines of 2007, including wines from producers such as Diamond Terrace, Donum, Koehler, Dierberg, and Owen Roe. This is a truly superstar lineup of wines, many of which are very difficult to purchase without mailing list membership. This wine can be shipped to any legal destination in the USA. Valued at over $500. Prize code: WB04. More details at Vinfolio.
Private Wine and Cheese Tasting
Enjoy a private wine & cheese pairing class for up to 6 people conducted and hosted by Peter Granoff, Master Sommelier and partner in Napa’s new Oxbow Wine Merchant & Wine Bar, and Oxbow Cheese Merchant, both in the soon to be opening Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa. Pairing wine successfully with fine artisan cheeses is trickier than most imagine. This event promises to be both illuminating and a lot of fun! Schedule to be determined, but not before February 5th, 2008. Valued at $200. Prize code: WB05. Courtesy of the Oxbow Wine Merchant.
They call Alfonso Cevola the Italian Wine Guy for a reason. While not blogging he is the Italian wine buyer for one of America’s largest wine distributors. Alfonso has chosen 6 hard-to-find Italian wines valued at over $295. They include producers like Gravner, Principiano, Tenute le Querce and more. This wine can be shipped to any legal destination in the USA. Valued at $295. Prize code: WB06. More details at On The Wine Trail in Italy.
P.S. I Love You – A Case of Petite Sirah
Jo Diaz has a thing for Petite Sirah. And so do her clients, a society of winemakers and winegrowers known as P.S. I Love You. Jo and her clients are donating a case of California Petite Sirahs for your enjoyment. Producers include Twisted Oak, Concannon, EOS, Pedroncelli, and more. This wine can be shipped to any legal destination in the USA. Valued at over $250. Prize code: WB07. More details at Juicy Tales.
Six Pack of Quixote Wine
One half case (6 bottles) of 2004 Quixote Petite Sirah from the Stags’ Leap Ranch organic vineyard and Quixote Winery. From Quixote’s website, the 2004 Petite Sirah is a “rich, ripe wine with a texture as voluptuous as it is viscous. It is dense purple in color, offering complex spice and dark fruit aromatics. It is well-layered with intense blackberry and dark fruit characteristics that linger on the finish.” As Alder can testify, these are unique, and very tasty wines. This wine can be shipped to any legal destination in the USA. Value: $210. Prize code: WB08. More details at Simply Recipes.
Make Custom Wine at Sonoma Grapemasters
Make a case of your very own premium Sonoma County wine, from harvest to bottle, at Sonoma Grapemasters, one of Sonoma’s top custom crush facilities. Harvest grapes from one of Sonoma’s top vineyards and then work the crush (bring some friends if you want) to produce a case of your own premium wine. Custom wine of this sort usually requires an investment of several thousand dollars and purchase of a full barrel’s worth of wine (25 cases). You get all the fun and none of the obligation. This prize will need to be redeemed in person during the 2008 harvest. A $500 value. Prize code: WB09. Courtesy of Sonoma Grapemasters.
Mixed Case of Owl Ridge and Willowbrook Wines
This prize includes a case of wines made by John Tracy, proprietor of Willowbrook Cellars and Owl Ridge Winery. Owl Ridge and Willowbrook both produce premium, single-vineyard wines from Sonoma County appellations. This wine can be shipped to any legal destination in the USA. Valued at more than $220. Prize code: WB10. Courtesy of Owl Ridge Wines.
Private Wine Education in the Midwest
Bill Wilson, the host and producer of the Wine for Newbies Podcast will be your personal wine instructor for an afternoon or evening during the weekend. You and up to twenty of your closest friends can have Bill come to your home or business within two hours’ drive from South Bend, Indiana (this includes Chicago!). Bill will bring representative examples of the “big six” wines (and maybe a surprise or two). You supply the place and the glassware. This is a perfect item for wine lovers who would like to get their friends more involved with wine. Valued at $275. Prize code: WB11. More details at Wine for Newbies.
Drink Some of Washington States Best
Maggie Dutton, proprietress of the Wine Offensive blog, spends a lot of time drinking. But despite what you might think from the name of her blog, she’s got nothing against liquors of other persuasions. With that in mind, she’s put together a sampler of some of the best booze that the Northwest has to offer, and will be shipping it to you. Maggie will also include detailed tasting notes for each of the bottles and recipes from her repertoire (pilfered from some of the Northwest’s best chefs and their line cooks) for what to eat with each. This prize can be shipped anywhere in the USA. Valued at $135+. Prize code: WB12. See The Wine Offensive for complete details.
Mark Marino California Wine Tour
Mark Marino is a Napa native and has recently logged his 50th consecutive year drinking wine, and well over 1000 wine tours completed for clients. Mark will take you on an 8 hour wine tour in a Lincoln town car of Napa and Sonoma Counties. This tour can start anywhere between San Francisco and Healdsburg along the 101 corridor. You can range as as far West as Guerneville in the Russian River Valley or as far East as Napa and end in any of those places also. The tour will to take place Monday through Friday. Must be redeemed by the end of March 2008. Does not include tasting fees or lunch. Valued at over $600. Prize code: WB13. More details at Winery_Times
Cima Collina Precious Pinot
Three bottles of rare, estate Pinot Noir from Cima Collina. This prize will come in a 3-bottle wood box gift pack with our special labels made from real silver and palladium. Prize includes the cost of shipping. This small, rare bottling of Pinot Noir is from our estate vineyard 700 feet above sea level and 14 miles from the ocean in lower Carmel Valley. This is a dark crimson Pinot Noir with blueberry, sassafras, smoky flavors and aromas. It was aged 11 months in French oak, 40% new, and is unfined and unfiltered, and 169 cases of this wine was bottled, and only 300 of these 3-bottle wood box gift packs are available. This wine can be shipped to the following states only: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Hampshire, Washington DC. Valued at $200. Prize code: WB14. More details at Cima Collina.
Labor of Love In The South of France
Planning a trip to southern France? Why not spend a day learning what it’s really like to own a vineyard or work in a winery! Depending on the time of year you visit, we could be pruning, plowing, picking grapes, bottling, making wine or even selling it. Our vineyards, located at the foot of the medieval village of Castillon du Gard in the southern Rhône valley, are the prefect place to enjoy a day of (very rewarding) manual labor. To celebrate you accomplishments we will prepare a gourmet dinner for you and your fellow workers at our house! Value: Priceless. Prize code: WB15. More details at La Gramiere.
12 Bottle San Francisco East Bay Wine Sampler
A case of wine from the various wineries in the East Bay of San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area is now home to more than a dozen different wineries, most of which are across the bay in Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda. Tim Patterson will put together a mixed case of wines from these producers for your enjoyment. These wines can be shipped to any legal destination in the US. Valued at over $250. Prize code: WB16. More details at Blind Muscat’s Cellarbook.
3 Bottles of Brand New Roussanne
Three bottles of Roussanne from the first vintage of Tim Elliot‘s new wine label (yet to be named). After being the first wine podcaster and a wine blogger for several years. Tim has decided to try his hand at winemaking, and will be bottling a Roussanne in 2008 at Crushpad in San Francisco. This wine is from the acclaimed Westerley Vineyard in the Santa Ynez AVA, and is being made by Tim and several other participants in what he’s calling and “open source wine project.” He’ll send you three of the first bottles off the production line. It doesn’t get any more small production than this. Valued at $60. Prize code: WB17. More details at Winecast.
Private Wine Blending Session
Learn how to blend wine at an intimate wine blending event for eight people at Crushpad, San Francisco’s luxury custom winery. You’ll have the help of one of Crushpad’s resident winemakers and you’ll go home with t-shirts and a wine blending kit of your own so you can try your skills at making a few bottles of wine for yourself or for friends. Value: $500. Prize code: WB18. Courtesy of Crushpad.
Long Island Cabernet Franc Three-Pack
Lenn Thompson on Long Island Wine: “A lot of people think that Long Island is all about Merlot, but those in the know realize that some of Long Island’s best, most-interesting wines are made with Cabernet Franc. This lot is a simple one. It includes three bottles of Long Island Cabernet Franc, including at least one bottle of my own bottling (only six cases made!).” Approximate value: $70. Prize code: WB19. More details at Lenndevours.
A Romantic Getaway for Long Island Wine Lovers
Long Island’s North Fork is one of the most beautiful, bucolic places in New York — a perfect spot for a romantic getaway — especially for wine lovers. This package includes a bottle of sparkling wine to toast the person you love, a night at one of the North Forks most beautiful bed and breakfasts — including a gourmet breakfast — and a van wine tour for two with one of Long Island’s most knowledgeable tour guides. Includes: one (1) night at Harvest Inn B&B, including gourmet breakfast the next morning; tour for two (2) with Vintage Tours, which includes a 5-hour tour of at least three wineries and a gourmet picnic lunch; one (1) bottle of Wolffer Estate 2003 Cuvee Sparkling Wine. Total approximate value: $425. Prize code: WB20. More details at Lenndevours.
Epic Vineyard Photography From Michael Regnier
A gorgeous vineyard photograph from award winning photographer Michael Regnier. Take your pick of any of the more than 50 images that have been featured every week on Vinography for the past year. You’ll receive a signed 24 by 30 inch print on fine art paper, ready for framing. Valued at more than $399. Prize code: WB21. Courtesy of Vinography.
A Fine Art Print from Tom Hubbard
An original fine art photograph (shown at right) from artist Tom Hubbard. This fine artwork can be shipped anywhere in the world. Valued at approximately $435. Prize code: WB22. Courtesy of the VSur Wine Blog.
Sommelier Services For The Evening in Philadelphia, NY or DC
David McDuff is the author and editor of McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail. In addition to blogging, he conducts private tastings, teaches wine classes and works as a sales associate at one of the Philadelphia area’s finest independent wine shops. This prize includes private sommelier services for a party of up to six. David will bring an eclectic array of small farm wines – some from his own cellar – matched to the menu or theme which he’ll help you create for your event. He will pour for you and discuss the selected wines throughout the course of the evening. David is willing to do this anywhere in the greater Philadelphia area and is open to travel, if expenses are covered, throughout the DC to NYC corridor. The event can be held in your home or in a restaurant (if you’re willing to pick up the bill for his dinner and any corkage fees). Valued at over $500. Prize code: WB23. More details at McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail.
We all receive offers for free magazine subscriptions in the mail on a regular basis. But you can be sure that this is one of the few times you’ll ever see a subscription to The World of Fine Wine offered to you for only ten bucks. This UK based magazine holds the distinction of being the most expensive wine magazine on the planet. It is also regarded as one of the very best, especially among wine collectors and serious connoissuers for its design and intelligence. If you’re not already shelling out $170 for your quarterly subscription, then perhaps you want to get in on the screaming deal offered here as part of this prize. In addition to this glossy mag, you’ll also receive a year’s subscription to a humbler but no less erudite publication known as The Fine Wine Review, produced by Claude Kolm. The Fine Wine Review covers mostly French, German, Austrian, and Italian wines in varying depth, with a particular emphasis on Burgundy. The two subscriptions together represent a $224 value. Prize code: WB24. Courtesy of Claude Kolm of the Fine Wine Review and the editorial team at The World of Fine Wine.
This prize includes 6 wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains, a region known for producing world-class Chardonnays, Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Pinot Noirs, and home to some of the oldest wineries in California.The wine can be shipped to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin. A $160 value. Prize code: WB25. Courtesy of Purple Liquid.
Twisted Vertical Case of *%#&@! and %@#$!
An instant Twisted Vertical Party! One case with two bottles each of the 2004, 2005, and 2006 %@#$!
White Rhone-style blend; and two bottles each of the 2003, 2004, and 2005 *%#&@! Red Rhone-style blend. These wines are made in Calaveras County, California by Twisted Oak Winery. The %@#$! White is a Rhone-style blend of Marsanne and Roussanne, while the *%#&@! Red is a Rhone-style blend of Mourvedre, Syrah, and Grenache. As an added bonus, we’ll throw in a Rubber Chicken! This wine can be shipped to any legal destination in the USA. Valued at more than $300. Prize Code: WB26. More details at Twisted Oak winery.
Mixed Half Case of Austrian Wines from Winemonger
Winemonger is an importer and retailer of Austrian wines and owners Emily Weissman & Stephan Schindler have picked out 6 bottles of their current favorites- three of which (the first 3 described here) have not even been released yet. First up are two white wines from 2006, the “vintage of the century”: Donabaum Spitzer Point Gruner Veltliner Smaragd and Hogl Bruck Riesling Smaragd. Next is the Moric Neckenmarkter Blaufrankisch 2005 (to quote Alder: “Tasting the wines of MORIC are a revelation of the best kind.”). The elegant Wenzel Kleiner Wald Pinot Noir 2004, the Possnitzberg Sauvignon Blanc 2005 from star Styrian producer Erwin Sabathi, and a 2005 Muscat-Ottonel Eiswein from Hans Tschida. Valued at over $200. Prize Code: WB27. Courtesy of Winemonger.
* * *
Not enough prizes for you? Check out the prizes from food bloggers around the world..
HOW TO ENTER:
If you’re interested in buying into the raffle, here’s what you need to do:
1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at http://www.chezpim.com/blogs/2007/12/menu-for-hope-4.html
2. Go to the donation site at http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope4 and make a donation.
3. Please specify which prize you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code. Example:
Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02. Example:
4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
5. Please check the box to allow us to see y