Menu For Hope VI: Win Some Wine (and Other Great Stuff)

How would you like to spend a week in Tuscany at a private villa, drinking aged Brunello di Montalcino, all the while knowing that you’re enjoying the experience because you helped poor farmers in Africa? That, my friends, is the beauty of the charity event called A Menu For Hope.

This is the sixth 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 up a special arrangement so that 100% of the proceeds went to the people we were trying to help.

This year we’re doing the same thing. Helping the same people, the same way. By holding a big-ass charity raffle, with things to win donated from bloggers all around the world.

Here at Vinography, we’re hosting all the items donated by wine bloggers, plus some very special things donated by folks who look kindly on this effort. Before I tell you about all the items 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 item you want to bid on, and then a computer program gives you that many chances to win in a random drawing. Donate $5000 and you’ve got 500 chances 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 items you can bid on, shall we? If you don’t see something below that you think is worth ten bucks, then you’re probably beyond hope yourself. Pay special attention to the bid item codes. You’ll need them when you donate.


WB01_lg.jpgWB01 Dinner with NY Times Wine Critic Eric Asimov
Have dinner with the NY Times Wine critic at a restaurant of his choice in Manhattan. You can talk about wine, the Times, or you can just enjoy Eric’s company. Eric will choose a mid-range restaurant with a great wine list. Value: Priceless. Courtesy of: The Pour. Bid on this item with code: WB01.

WB01_lg.jpgWB02 The Brunello Experience: A Week’s Stay at Il Palazzone in Montalcino Tuscany
A Brunello experience. This raffle bid item includes a seven night stay (subject to scheduling) at the Il Palazzone winery, minutes away from Montalcino in the heart of Tuscany. The villa, a renovated farmhouse, sleeps four and has a beautiful pool, outstanding views and more peace and privacy than most people know what to do with. On your arrival at the house there will be a welcome meal and a selection of our wines awaiting you. During your stay, enjoy a private tour and tasting at this boutique winery that produces less than 1.000 cases of Brunello a year. Depending on when you choose to schedule your visit you may also take part in vineyard and winery activities. Airfare and ground transportation to Montalcino not included. More details at: Il Palazzone. Bid on this item with code: WB02.

WB01_lg.jpgWB03 Sustainable Napa from Clif Family Winery & Holme Grown Wine Tours (incl 6 bottles)
Tour through the Napa Valley with Holme Grown Wine Tours, a luxury wine tour company focused on environmentally sustainable practices. Holme Grown will pick up you and five friends anywhere in the Bay Area in one of their bio-diesel run vehicles. You’ll head to the Napa Valley and visit several wineries that have a strong and meaningful focus on sustainability. One of these stops will be the Clif Family Farm where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and wine tasting in “the ruins”. You’ll leave the Farm with 6 bottles of Clif Family Wines including the 2008 Rte. Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, 2006 Gary’s Improv Syrah and 2006 kit’s killer cab Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll also be treated to 2 Clif Family Winery Patagonia Fleece Vests and 4 packs of our new Gary & Kit’s Gourmet Mountain Mix (made specifically to pair with each of our wines!). Courtesy of: Clif Family Winery. Bid on this item with code: WB03.

WB01_lg.jpgWB04 2 Nights and Wine Tasting in Santa Barbara Wine Country (incl 6 bottles)
Come experience serenity in wine country! The Koehler Estate Vineyard House is 4,000 square feet of rustic elegance sitting on 1/3 acre, encompassed by stunning panoramic vineyard views. High-speed wireless Internet, HDTV, Viking appliances, and beautiful original artwork, make this a hidden gem in Santa Barbara County Wine Country. With four bedrooms and three bathrooms, you will have plenty of space to relax and enjoy the Santa Ynez Valley. The Koehler Vineyard House is minutes away from top-notch dining, shopping, and wine tasting- only an arm’s reach from the Koehler Tasting Room, and is also the perfect place to take time away from your busy world. (2 nights lodging – up to 6 guests). Private wine tasting with winemaker, Olivier Rousset, and 6 bottles of award winning, Koehler Estate wines included. Courtesy of: Keohler Estate. Bid on this item with code: WB04.

WB01_lg.jpgWB05 Two Magnums of Wine from Soter Vineyards (incl 2 bottles)
Enjoy two magnums of wine courtesy of winemaking legend Tony Soter. After founding and spending more than two decades at Etude winery in Carneros helping to put Carneros Pinot Noir on the map, Tony moved to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to found his own winery. This raffle bid item includes a magnum of Soter Vineyards Brut Rosé and a magnum of his Mineral Springs Pinot Noir. A $250 value. Courtesy of: Soter Vineyards. Bid on this item with code: WB05.

WB01_lg.jpgWB06 The Old School Wine Collection (incl. 6 bottles)
This raffle bid item includes six bottles in impeccable condition from an anonymous wine collector: Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Beaulieu No. 1 Reserve Maestro Collection 2006 ($65), Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Gravelly Meadow 2006 ($175), Pahlmeyer Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2007 ($70), Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Leonardini Vineyard 1999 ($85), Ferrari-Carano Trésor Sonoma County 1999 ($55), Grgich Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Yountville Selection 2005 ($135). More details at: Hedonia. Bid on this item with code: WB06.

WB01_lg.jpgWB07 The New Guard Wine Collection (incl. 6 bottles)
This raffle bid item includes six bottles in impeccable condition from an anonymous wine collector: Red Car Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2007 ($45), Eric Kent Syrah Dry Creek Valley 2007 ($30), MacPhail Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Ferrington Vineyard 2007 ($60), Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003 ($160), Erna Schein Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Herrick-Moulds 2006 ($65), Adobe Road Cabernet Franc Knights Valley Bavarian Lion Vineyard 2006 ($38). More details at: Hedonia. Bid on this item with code: WB07.

WB01_lg.jpgWB08 Wine Book Bonanza
There’s only one thing better than drinking wine, and that’s drinking wine with a nice wine book on your lap. Here’s your chance to add to your library and maybe learn a thing or two in the process. Courtesy of University of California Press, pick any 5 wine books from their current list of titles. Value: approx $150. UC Press Wine Books – Courtesy of: University of California Press. Bid on this item with code: WB08.

WB01_lg.jpgWB09 Magnum + Case of Verge Syrah, and a Tour of Bradford Mountain (incl. 13 bottles)
Join VERGE Winemaker Mike Brunson for a private tour of Bradford Mountain and the Grist Vineyard where you will see firsthand what it means to farm on the edge of the wild. This is your chance to hang with one of the county’s most unassuming winemakers and taste some unbelievably good Syrahs. At just over 1200 feet elevation, Bradford Mountain is on the far western edge of Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County and has some of the most amazing views of wine country. VERGE Wine Cellars produces small lots of block specific Syrah and these organically grown vineyards are perfect examples of what we call Fringe Vineyards. Mike Brunson has over 15 years winemaking and vineyard experience and will describe the ins and outs of organic viticulture, mountain farming, and Syrah winemaking. After the hike, you’ll enjoy a low key tasting of Syrahs from Bradford Mountain as well as a choice selection of other Syrahs from the Rhone Valley and Australia. As a parting gift, you will also receive one magnum of our inaugural vintage as well as a case of our 2007 VERGE Syrah. Retail value: $580. Courtesy of: VERGE wine. Bid on this item with code: WB09.

WB01_lg.jpgWB10 Wine Bottle Hurricane Lanterns from Savoring Thyme Gifts
These exquisite Wine Bottle Hurricane Lanterns bring warmth, elegance, and ambiance to any space. They are a great gift for the wine enthusiast, add the perfect touch to your next wine party, and lend a soft glow to any staircase or patio. They look fabulous poolside! The winner will receive our “Centerpiece Trio” consisting of one large (5-liter), one medium (3-liter), and one small (1.5-liter) hurricane lantern. Value: $150. Courtesy of: Bid on this item with code: WB10.

WB01_lg.jpgWB11 Two Nights + Dinner +Tour in Tuscany at Il Borgo at Castello Banfi
Two nights’ luxury accommodation in a double room at Castello Banfi Il Borgo in Montalcino, Tuscany — Named one of the hottest new hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler (May 2008) and “the ultimate Tuscan fantasy” by Travel + Leisure magazine (June 2009), Castello Banfi Il Borgo is an unforgettable destination, offering world-class service and hospitality in a spectacular setting amid the vineyards of Tuscany. This auction lot also includes a private guided tour of the Castello Banfi vineyards, winery and glass museum, and dinner with wine at La Taverna, Castello Banfi’s award-winning restaurant. Airfare and ground transportation to and from Montalcino not included. Dates subject to availability. Visit must take place before November 10, 2011. More details at: Castello Banfi. Bid on this item with code: WB11.

WB01_lg.jpgWB12 Cape Ardor Collectors Executive Wine Gift Set (incl. 3 bottles)
For the executive or avid wine collector, this elegant set features three (3) wines from our Limited / Reserve award-winning wine portfolio. To complement this trio we have selected some great wine accessories from CorkPops that provide a fun, functional and attractive addition to any wine connoisseur’s cellar. Three bottles of our Limited or Reserve Wines from Cape Ardor’s portfolio, Legacy Gas Bottle Opener CorkPops™ , Bottle Aerator, Pourer & Drip Stop by VinOAir™ , Comprehensive Tasting Notes, Authentic South African recipes paired to your wine, all packaged in a handsome gift box. See: Courtesy of: Cape Ardor. Bid on this item with code: WB12.

WB01_lg.jpgWB13 Banned in ‘Bama Wine Gift Box (incl. 8 bottles)
In its infinite wisdom, the state of Alabama has declared our label obscene, and so our wines may not be sold there. Their loss can be your gain. This selection includes our small production, hard to find lots–most reserved for our wine club–and we can ship them to nearly every state in the nation. Included are some of our most indecently delicious wines; enjoy them in the privacy of your home and with other consenting wine lovers. We’ll ship you–in a plain brown package–one bottle of each of the following: 2007 Petit Verdot Ciel du Cheval; 2007 Grenache Ciel du Cheval; 2007 Counoise; 2007 Malbec; 2007 Roussanne Ciel du Cheval; 2006 Syrah Les Vignes en Face; 2006 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley; and 2006 Pinot Noir Reserve. Find out for yourself why Andrew Rich Wines was named one of Wine &Spirits’ top 100 wineries of 2009. (Must be 21 or older). Courtesy of: Andrew Rich Wines. Bid on this item with code: WB13.

WB01_lg.jpgWB14 A Case of Your Own Custom Blended Wine
This raffle bid item is a thrilling gift for wine lovers. The winner will receive a Fusebox wine blending kit. With this kit they will be able to create one case of their own ultra-premium quality Napa wine and learn why blending is considered the highest art form in winemaking. Designed for up to four people, the Fusebox is an at-home wine blending experience that is rewarding and fun for both longtime aficionados to budding connoisseurs. With it, they will create multiple interpretations of high end Napa wines by using the blending components included in Fusebox. Once they find their own ultimate personal blend they will design a personalized label with our easy-to-use online label designer. Crushpad will then professionally bottle and label one case of their wine and ship it directly to their door. Courtesy of: Crushpad. Bid on this item with code: WB14.

WB01_lg.jpgWB15 Stolzle Decanter and Four Wine Glasses
This raffle bid item includes a decanter and four glass set from Stölzle. The 27 oz decanter features a “punt” style bottom. The four all-purpose wine glasses have 17 oz. bowls. Retail value: $125. Stölzle glassware and crystal combines strength and style. Read the donor’s evaluation of these high-quality stems here. More details at: Winesooth. Bid on this item with code: WB15.

WB01_lg.jpgWB16 Happy Canyon Wine “Horizontal” (incl. 14 bottles)
This raffle bid item includes a horizontal of wines from the California’s Central Coast, and in particular, the vineyards found in Happy Canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley. The final list of 14 different wines includes: 2008 Morgan Clenenden Cold Heaven Vogelzang Viognier ($28), 2006 Andrew Murray Syrah McGinley Vineyard ($32), 2005 Star Lane Vineyards “Astral” Reserve Cabernet ($75), 2006 Fiddlehead Cellars Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc ($28). In total a $584 value. More details on all the wines at: Winesooth. Bid on this item with code: WB16.

WB01_lg.jpgWB17 Wine Jewelry, Wine Book gift package from WinewomenPSP
Have fun, get gorgeous and get smart with this package from Southern California’s WinewomenPSP and Libertine fine jewelry salon. Package includes a one-year membership to the Palm Springs-area social, charitable and educational wine appreciation group with member discounts on events, goods and services around the southland and online. Plus, you’ll shine in WinewomenPSP’s original wine bottle necklace that glimmers with genuine Swarovski® crystals hand-set in sterling silver. Get the look every time you wear this mega-watt Libertine® custom design that evokes all your favorites – red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. Pour some vino and curl up with your signed copy of Resveratrol by Matilde Parente, MD. This 2009 release from the Woodland Publishing health booklet series gives readers the no-nonsense lowdown on health claims surrounding wine and offers a range of sensible choices whether or not you choose to imbibe. We say salute! Retail value: $250. More details at: WinewomenPSP. Bid on this item with code: WB17.

WB01_lg.jpgWB18 The Twisted Six Pack (incl. 6 bottles)
This raffle bid item includes a six pack of our signature blend, The Spaniard. Three bottles each of the 2006 and 2007 vintage will be shipped to any state we can legally ship wine, along with a genuine Original Recipe Rubber Chicken. Bottles and chicken will be signed, in any manner requested, by winery owner El Jefe (Jeff Stai) and winemaker Fermento the Magnificent (Scott Klann). Retail value $350. Courtesy of: El Bloggo Torcido. Bid on this item with code: WB18.

WB01_lg.jpgWB19 The Twisted Tour and Pick Any Bottle (incl. 1 bottle)
This raffle bid item includes a tour and tasting of Twisted Oak Winery in Calaveras County, California for six people, conducted personally by winery owner El Jefe (Jeff Stai) and winemaker Fermento the Magnificent (Scott Klann). The tour will include a selection of light snacks, barrel tasting in our wine cave, and your choice of any bottle of wine from our library of past vintages. Retail Value $300. Transportation to/from winery not included. Courtesy of: El Bloggo Torcido. Bid on this item with code: WB19.

WB01_lg.jpgWB20 Vinography as Your Sommelier for the Night (incl. 4 bottles)
Get Vinography founder Alder Yarrow as your personal sommelier for the evening, along with 4 bottles of wine from his personal cellar. Throw a dinner party for up to six people and Alder will attend as your private sommelier. Given your choice of food and preferences, he will select up to 4 bottles of wine from his personal cellar to pair with your meal. He’ll be happy to share stories about the wine and provide any instruction, light banter, or comic relief needed. Or he’ll simply pour the wine and stay out of your way. Courtesy of: Vinography. Bid on this item with code: WB20.

WB01_lg.jpgWB21 Brazilian Cachaças Tasting Set (incl. 5 bottles)
This raffle bid item includes set of Brazilian Cachaças (a very special liquor distilled from Brazilian sugar cane) and includes 5 copies of this excellent and authentic Brazilian product, coming from very traditional parts of Brazil in the production of this drink – 2 quality white (called here – pinga), 2 quality yellow (called here – cachaça) and 1 liqueur of cachaça. The kit will be sent to the buyer, with all expenses paid, along with a tasting guide, denominations of cachaça, references, recipes to harmonize with the drink etc. More details at: Manjar Beatriz Gastronomia. Bid on this item with code: WB21.

WB01_lg.jpgWB22 Dinner with Randall Grahm, a Special Bottle of Wine, and His Latest Book
Randall Grahm is one of the most influential figures in the American wine industry. Founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, Grahm pioneered many things that are commonplace today in winemaking and wine marketing. Still at the helm of Bonny Doon, Grahm has completely changed his approach to winemaking in the last few years, going from high production to low production and embracing Biodynamic winemaking to the fullest. Join him for dinner at his Cellar Door cafe. He’ll pull a special bottle out of the cellar, and bring a long a copy of his latest book, Been Doon So Long, which he’ll gladly sign. Value: priceless. Courtesy of: Bonny Doon Vineyard. Bid on this item with code: WB22.

WB01_lg.jpgWB23 VIP Wine Country Tour with VIP Hostess Alana Gentry aka Girl with a Glass
As Alana Gentry’s guest you’ll be treated like an insider and enjoy VIP Experiences on a wine country tour. Lifestyle Blogger and author of Alana’s Insider Picks & Tips, Get the In Scoop & Save $700 (Vol. 1 Sonoma/Napa), she’ll introduce you to her favorite places in either Kenwood, Healdsburg or Napa. You’ll stay one night at an award-winning B&B and Alana and her driver will personally pick you up in an open air Landrover or Luxury SUV. You’ll visit her favorite wineries and wine shops for private tours, wine making education, barrel tastings, gourmet wine and food experiences and lunch. You’ll get a Girl with a Glass Etched Bottle of wine and a free copy of her book too! Lodging for 2 people, but you can bring 4 people on the tour. Value: $1500 Courtesy of: Bid on this item with code: WB23.

WB01_lg.jpgWB24 Cashmere and Cabernet From Wine Valet
Our signature item from our store Wine Valet at Two Rodeo Drive is Cashmere & Cabernet – a 2 ply 52″ x 74″ cashmere travel throw from Denis Colomb (who makes all the blankets for Hermes and has exhibited in the Palais Royal for his rugs and artistry) plus a $100 gift certificate to add a Cabernet of your choice from our store. And if that’s not enough to excite you, you can also have our signature necklace in either sterling silver or 10K gold (dipped) with a red garnet grape. Total retail value $884. Courtesy of Julie Brosterman of Women & Wine and Wine Valet at Two Rodeo Drive. Bid on this item with code: WB24.

WB01_lg.jpgWB25 Magnum of Torbreck Wine, plus Private Tour of Winery
Treat yourself or someone you love to some of the finest Shiraz produced in Australia. This magnum of Torbreck’s The Factor Shiraz comes in a fancy wooden case, where you could easily let the bottle rest for the next 20 years as this wine will age nicely over time. Rated 94 points by Stephen Tanzers IWC, this wine is consistently one of the highest rated wines in Australia. And if you happen to be the winner of this bottle, you are also welcome to a private tour of the Torbreck winery the next time you find yourself in the Barossa (sorry, no plane fares included). Courtesy of Torbreck. Retail Value: $225. Bid on this item with code: WB25.

WB01_lg.jpgWB26 A Wine Vacation at Meadowood Resort in the Napa Valley
Experience true Napa luxury. This prize includes a one night stay (Sunday to Thurs only) at the Meadowood Resort in St. Helena in the Napa Valley; breakfast for two at the The Grill restaurant on the premises; and two 60-minute spa treatments. 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 $1120. Courtesy of Meadowood Resort. Bid on this item with code: WB26.

And last but not least, you might consider some wine related prizes that are listed elsewhere in the Menu for Hope universe, like the wine tasting in Rome for 8 of your friends, or this wine gift basket. If you live in Australia, you can also win a case of wine from each of several wineries — see the Asia Pacific roundup for more details.


Here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose a bid item or bid items of your choice from above, or from our Menu for Hope main bid item list that will be posted on Chez Pim shortly. Make note of the bid item code.

2. Go to the donation site at Firstgiving and make a donation.

3. Please specify which bid item you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per bid item, and please use the bid item code.

Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a bid item of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02 – 2xEU01, 3xEU02.

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

5. Please make sure not to check the box to hide your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone. If you do check this box to hide your e-mail address there is a good chance we will not be able to contact you in the event that you win.

Help us spread the word.

Check back on Chez Pim on Monday, January 18 for the results of the raffle.

Thanks for your participation, and good luck in the raffle!