Chicago Steak Company Steak Gift Clubs Review

Chicago Steak Company Steak Gift Clubs

The Five Star Reserve – USDA Prime Gift Plans from Chicago Steak Company are an excellent way to show someone just how important they are to you. Chicago Steak Company’s 6 month or 12 month plans deliver the finest USDA Prime meats in the most popular cuts right to your gift recipient’s door each month without any hassle.

Since 1865, Chicago has been at the heart of high-quality American meats, and Chicago Steak Company carries on the tradition to this day. They raise, trim, and age their own steaks using centuries-old techniques and vacuum seal each one to lock in all of the delicious flavors and freshness a true steak lover desires. Chicago Steak Company provides hand-cut, Mid-West raised, USDA Prime beef, which means you’re getting the best meats you can buy.

Chicago Steak Company Steak Gift Clubs

Did you know that USDA Prime steaks represent only about 2% of all American beef? That means that only a small amount of beef is good enough to be classified as USDA Prime and carry the distinct flavor, marbling, and texture of these ultimate cuts. Not to mention that Chicago Steak Company ages their meat to make it even more tender and packed with flavor. Oh yeah, baby. Are you drooling yet?

Chicago Steak Company Steak Gift Clubs

The USDA Prime Gift Plan starts you off with the crown jewels of steak, USDA Prime Filet Mignon. It delivers four 6 ounce Filet Mignons along with a 5 ounce shaker of Steak Seasoning, and a black apron crowning the recipient “The Grillmaster”. Each filet is vacuum sealed to keep them fresh and juicy until it’s time for a meaty adventure. If that’s not the ultimate steak experience, we’re not sure what is.

Chicago Steak Company Steak Gift Clubs

With a little sprinkle of steak seasoning, a couple tablespoons of butter and olive oil, and a cast iron skillet, you can cook these beauties up in just a short amount time. But don’t forget to let them rest for a few minutes before serving for a juicy mouthful of flavor. It’s doesn’t take much to bring out the natural flavors of these tender USDA Prime steaks.

So the next time you want to spoil someone with a truly flavorful experience, head over to Chicago Steak Company and give the gift of USDA Prime steaks delivered every month.

Chicago Steak Company Steak Gift Clubs

Bacon and The Rare Beer of the Month Club

The Rare Beer Club - beermonthclub.com

Bacon and Beer of the Month Club

Intuitively, some things just go together. You don’t have to think much about whether or not you should have a Chicago Dog or three at a Cubs game, or whether or not an expertly crafted, hand-rolled cigar should be fired up when you’ve got a nice piece of salmon on the smoker and Slow Hand playing in the background.

Bacon and beer is another one of those things that just seems to be a natural fit, and not just because they’re my two of my favorite things to consume. Quite a few others feel the same way. In fact the Beer and Bacon Classic is a festival held in 8 different cities around the country that pairs creative bacon inspired creations from local chefs like bacon brownies, sushi-wrapped bacon, spice-jerked bacon, of course several different chocolate coated bacon confections, and much more, with fine local craft brews. I’m trying to imagine just how my Saturday afternoon gets any better than that.

So you already know how to get hooked up with some fine swine, Bacon Freak’s Bacon of The Month Club has got you covered there with 1 or 2 packages delivered right to your door for 3, 6, or 12 months. But who’s going to deliver rare, limited-production craft artisanal beers, often created exclusively for you? The Rare Beer Club®, that’s who baby. That’s who.

We’ve been sending our members the world’s best beers like Jolly Pumpkin’s Biere de Goord, an oak-aged spiced saison and Elevation Brewing Company’s Prostator, an 8.5% Bamberg-style smoked dopplebock since 1994. We work with the world’s hottest craft breweries like Cigar City, Lost Abbey, De Molen, Rodenbach, Mikkeller, Fantôme, Anchorage Brewing, Valiant Brewing and The Bruery to bring you their latest creations, often months before they’re available only in local markets.

Our Personalized Shipment Program™ ensures that as a personal member of The Rare Beer Club® you’ll receive only the beers you want to get. You’re in complete control of what you receive every month and can rest easy knowing you’ll never get a beer you didn’t want to get. No other beer club offers that kind of flexibility.

I’ve been running this company for over 20 years now and am still as passionate about beer as they day we started. Give us a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Prost!
Kris Calef

About Kris Calef – Kris Calef founded MonthlyClubs.com® and The Microbrewed beer of the Month Club™ in 1994 on the same core principles that drive the business today: quality, variety, value and outstanding customer service. He also owns and leads the product selection process for The Rare Beer Club®.

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club Review

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club Review

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed beer of the month club

The interest in microbrewed beers is rapidly rising not only in the US, but around the world. With the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club, you don’t need a microbrewery near you to enjoy these artisanal brews. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your couch as they are delivered right to your door. It’s the ideal way for any fan of quality beers to be able to sample a wide selection of microbrews from across the US and around the world. Genius!

The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club from Monthlyclubs.com is the ideal gift for any beer fan who will appreciate the opportunity to sample a wide variety of beers from different breweries. For over 20 years, their panel of brewmasters and beer judges have been selecting hand-crafted microbrews from over 1,000 US and International breweries. Nice work if you can get it! I received the following beers in my shipment:

-Four 12 oz. organic pilsners from Butte Creek Brewing
-Four 12 oz. organic porters from Butte Creek Brewing
-Four 12 oz. Dirty Blonde Pale Ales from Adirondack Pub & Brewery
-Four 12 oz. Beaver Tail Brown Ales from Adirondack Pub & Brewery

I also received a helpful, cleverly-named newsletter (Malt of the Earth) detailing tasting notes, beer specifications, brewery profiles, suggested food pairings, and more. I appreciated that 6 of the beers I received were organic. I was also thrilled that 6 out of the 12 beers I received are beers that I gravitate towards: medium to dark beers like brown ales, stouts and porters. I’m not usually a pale ale drinker and was going to save these for company. Then we had an unusual hot spell and I found myself craving a lighter ale that hit the spot perfectly on an unexpectedly hot day.

The organic porter from Butte Creek was by far my favorite. It was everything a great porter should be: creamy and smooth with a hint of bitterness to balance out the richness of flavor. I detected some heady caramel and coffee tones. Yum! My next favorite was the Butte Creek pilsner. This deep golden pilsner reminded me of some of the brews I sampled while traveling in the Czech Republic.

The tasting guide that I received had extensive information on all the beers including IBUs, alcohol content, serving temperature suggestions, and which types of hops and malts were used. It even included suggestions for foods to pair it with. Most impressive! After reading it, I found that my beer vocabulary had improved, something that will come in handy the next time you find yourself debating the merits and weaknesses of a beer with a microbrew-loving friend.
The many choices available for this beer club ensures you can find one that is suitable to your own particular preferences. Options include:

The U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club
-The U.S. and International Variety Beer Club
-The International Beer Club
-The Rare Beer Club

The Rare Beer Club sends 750 mL bottles of microbrewed beer and is available in 2 bottle, 4 bottle and 6 bottle options. Any one of these selections is sure to delight the microbrew fan on your shopping list.

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed beer of the month club

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed beer of the month club

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed beer of the month club

Monthly Clubs Microbrewed beer of the month club

Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club Review

Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club Review

Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club Review

A “turophile” is a connoisseur of cheese. Something we “turophiles” often struggle with is knowing which new cheeses to try. When you’re at the specialty market or the fromagerie, surveying all the different cheeses, it can be a little overwhelming. It’s hard to know what to try, and it’s even harder to know how to serve a new cheese or what to pair it with. The Cheese of the Month Club from Monthlyclubs.com makes it easy for cheese lovers to try new cheeses and re-discover old favorites. Most importantly, this club provides extensive information so you know what to serve and drink with every cheese that they send.

A copy of “In Pursuit of Cheese” was included with my shipment. This is an invaluable source of information on the history of the cheeses, where they are from, and most importantly, suggestions on how to eat them and what other foods and drinks to pair them with. My monthly selection of cheeses included Sage Derby, Bourdin Chevre and Double Gloucester. Two of the cheeses were wrapped in paper, so I knew that they had been cut from a large wheel. This is always a good indicator of the quality of the cheese.

Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club Review
I was most excited to try the Sage Derby. I’ve seen sage derby in cheese shops but have been slightly intimated by its green, marbled hue. This unusual cheese gets its color from actual sage leaves that are blended into the curd during the production process. The guide recommended that I pair it with a chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc, and I was happy to oblige. The dry wine that I selected perfectly complimented the creamy, robust flavor of the cheese served on water crackers. This cheese has a similar flavor to a sharp cheddar with subtle herbal sage notes. It was different, and delicious!

Next up was the Double Gloucester. Double Gloucester gets its name because it uses cream from the night’s milking and the following day’s milk. Its production dates back to the 8th century! This was my favorite cheese of the bunch. Creamy, nutty and buttery in flavor, the texture was similar to cheddar—firm but still somewhat flaky. The leaflet suggested pairing it with either dry or sweet wine or an English pub ale, further reflecting the versatility of this cheese. I served it with the sage derby and the chenin blanc. Because it melts so well, I used it the next day in an omelet.

Last but not least was the Bourdin Chevre. I consider goat cheese to be a staple in the kitchen and I cook with it often. I immediately knew that extremely versatile goat cheese would be perfect in one of my favorite recipes: chicken with goat cheese sauce. For those who are new to goat cheeses, the leaflet had some great suggestions on how to eat this simple, unadorned goat cheese. It is described as “a perfect base on which to add your own touch of flavors. Garnish it with fresh herbs or spices: crushed black peppercorns, lemon zest, or rosemary and thyme.” It also suggests pairing it with figs, dates, honey and jam. Yummy! This suggestion reminded me it had been awhile since I had made bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, and after my cheese sauce, I had enough goat cheese left to make this appetizer.

Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club Review

The Cheese of the Month Club from Monthlyclubs.com is the ideal gift for any who appreciates fine cheeses and gourmet foods.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Rib of the Month Club

Rib of the Month Club

Are you on a search for the perfect gift for your father, father-in-law or husband for Father’s day? Do you want to give that special man a present that shows him just how he means to you, something unique that he will know you put a lot of time and effort into finding for him?

The Rib of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com is the perfect gift for any man who loves grilling, as with this subscription he will receive a monthly deliver of high-quality ribs and a delicious rub or barbecue sauce to go along with it! Let your man go gourmet and have a good old time at the grill. He will be left feeling truly special indeed! There’s no better gift for the grill master or fan of fine foods.

So show the special man in your life how great he really is. He is going to know how much you care for him when you give him a gift this tasty! Ribs aren’t just for summer; with this club, you can enjoy them any time of year. There’s no need to go out for barbecue anymore; enjoy gourmet bbq in the comfort of your home. Everything is included to grill up the perfect meal. Shipping is included, so kick back and enjoy the convenience of future deliveries.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Trail Mix of the Month Club

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When it comes to a great gift for this next gift giving season such as Christmas or a birthday, most are about something a person wants, or a something a person can enjoy once only. However all that will change with a Trail Mix of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com. It happens to be a gift that is not only convenient, especially for those that are busy and are always on the go, or just a little adventurous.

This is not only a healthy gift, but one that keeps on going. Trail mix is something that is healthy for you, but also satisfies the craving to eat, while giving you a burst of energy as well. This subscription includes trail mix of different varieties allowing your friend or loved one an enjoyable treat that they can take on the go. It comes in re-sealable plastic bags so they can snack a little at a time or share along with you as you hike a trail together.

Getting a great gift from someone doesn’t mean that you are nuts, but it does mean that it comes packed with healthy nuts, as well as dried fruit, granola, oats, fiber and wholesome goodness.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Popcorn of the Month Club

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A gift subscription to the Popcorn of the Month Club would be a perfect, unique gift for anyone of any age. Popcorn is great for anyone. It can be salty, sweet, caramel coated, buttery, or plain; there’s different types of popcorns to match any type of popcorn enthusiast. It’s definitely a fun, unique gift that can be given on Father’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, birthdays, or any day!

So what can your friend, relative, coworker or acquaintance do with a gift subscription to the Popcorn of the Month club? They can sneak a bag of popcorn into the movies, or enhance an at-home movie watching experience with their family or friends. They can take a bag with them anywhere they want to go to have a snack for all occasions.

Anyone would appreciate a Popcorn of the Month club subscription. Even a person who has everything will appreciate receiving a subscription as a gift. You can purchase a 3 month subscription for Popcorn of the Month Club subscription for $35.95 for one flavor, or 2 flavors for $45.95, and gift it to a friend of your choosing.

Go Nuts for the Pistachio of the Month Club

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It’s hard to always find the right gift for every person on your gift list, especially when you are searching for special presents that each person on the list will love. The Pistachio of the Month Club is the ultimate, most delicious gift that you could give to any nut lover! The present is tasty and unique, and it will have the special person on your gift list bragging you up as someone who shops for truly great gifts.

Give this amazing subscription for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, a birthday gift, or anything in-between. For the health-conscious friend or family member, send them the gift of health with a Pistachio of the Month Club.

The receiver will get one or two bags of gourmet pistachios, from smoky to spicy, every month, and they will be on a beautiful culinary journey. This snack is not only unique and tasty, but it is also healthy and convenient, and anyone who receives it is going to love it and love you for giving it to them!

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Jerky of the Month Club

BF Jerky Bundle 3

Sometimes stopping to get a healthy snack is harder than it looks. In a world where we are surrounded by fast food and unhealthy snacks staring you in the face at the checkout line, you might just grab whatever happens to be closest. Unless you happen to buy a lot of healthy snacks and have them in hand with you wherever you go, you might end up falling for those temptations.

With the Jerky of the Month Club offered through www.Gourmetfoodclubs.com, you can get that healthy snack mailed right to your door. These bags come in two ounce sizes making them the perfect snack for those that are on the go. And they make a great gift for that special someone as well. Jerky is always a great treat, but finding it in the store in a flavor you might like at a price that is good may not always be so easy.

There are several types of jerky in the jerky of the month club and they include beef, pork, salmon and bacon with different flavors as well. Pepper, BBQ, and Teriyaki are the most common. And you can choose which level you want so you can enjoy them for an entire year, six months or just three months if you prefer. The jerky is made from quality meat using a time-honored process. It’s the perfect gift for the health-conscious hiker, biker, camper or traveler.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Olive of the Month Club

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Do you have a love of olives, or know someone who does? Joining the Olive of the Month club allows you to partake in interesting samples of a variety of olives! With a three month membership, they will ship a box containing one or two 5 ounce jars of olives. The olives you will receive come in different flavors and types; green, black, brined and more every month at your doorstep. It’s a convenient gift that keeps on giving the gourmet goodies.

The Olive of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com encourages their members to step out of their comfort zone, try new things and let the world know just what they thought of it! The olives are not only perfect for snacking, but for giving as a gift to the gourmet olive fan. They can be a party gift, or something for that special someone who particularly loves olives. No matter what the decision is, joining can broaden your culinary horizons. For a chef, foodie, or anyone who appreciates good food, it’s the perfect gift.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Ham of the Month Club

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Sweet and smoky hams aren’t just for winter holidays like Christmas–this delicious meat is ideal for any occasion or a special family meal. The rich, satisfying flavor of pork pairs well with an assortment of other foods. How can Dad resist noshing on a slice or a chunk of this popular, cured meat? Whether it’s Father’s Day or Easter, a Ham of the Month Club membership from Gourmetfoodclubs.com will be a gift that dads will appreciate all year long!

Having these specialty meats delivered right to the door saves time and what a convenience for the man who likes pork. There’s no need to visit the local butcher, making this gift super convenient for the busy family. Ham selections in this particular club include classic style, traditional smoked and spiced. This is a 3-month membership that includes 2 packages of tasty ham–that’s the perfect dish for a hearty, country morning meal or a gourmet dinner. Don’t guess which gift the men in your life will love. Give him what he really wants–his own Ham of the Month Club membership. These hams are great on the barbecue, so it’s ideal for the grill master or BBQ fanatic.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Sausage of the Month Club

sausage

If you are wondering about the best gift to give your father, brother, husband or friend, but have no idea what to give them, consider purchasing the Sausage of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs. With this subscription the special person you have chosen to gift it to will receive two pounds of sausage every month, and they will never grow bored or tired of the delicious selections of sausage.

If you want to give a gift that will be truly appreciated, there is no better way to a man’s heart than through his stomach! The sausage subscription is truly the best gift that you could give to any special man in your life for their birthday, anniversary, Father’s Say, Christmas, Valentine’s Day… any time that a gift is needed to be given, this is the perfect one to go with! You are sure to be thanked over and over again when you give this gift.

For the person who appreciates gourmet sausage or a hearty breakfast, they will devour this gift. It’s also appropriate for a grill master or fan of BBQ.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Tea of the Month Club

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Sometimes a gift means giving someone something special that they enjoy. This is a gift that can be given for any holiday such as Christmas, Mother’s Day and even Valentine’s Day. Women around the world enjoy a cup of tea and if there is a special lady in your life that you want to give something special to, than we have the perfect gift for you: the Tea of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs.

The Tea of the Month Club is a special way to give someone different flavors of tea, especially when you are not sure which kind they like. You can choose to give them one to two different flavors a month of loose leaf teas so they can enjoy a variety whenever they choose. With this gift subscription they get a different flavor or assortment each month and you can attach a gift note to go with it. You can even have it gift-wrapped. Varieties of teas include herbal teas, rooibos teas, black, green or white teas.

Surprise a tea lover with this special, unique gift.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Bacon of the Month Club

gfc bacon

Do you know a bacon lover? If your dad or husband or boyfriend or any other guy (or girl) is a huge fan of this delicious treat, then the Bacon of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs  is the perfect gift for them! Give them this subscription for Father’s day or for Christmas, a birthday gift or whatever other occasion comes up, and you are sure to be thanked, time and time again!

The special person who receives this gift will get two packages of delicious, gourmet bacon once a month in a variety of flavors. The bacon you will receive is dry-cured in a traditional method which means it will not shrink and shrivel like grocery store bacon. What better treat than that–a gourmet gift that keeps on giving. Shipping is included in the price so you only have to order one time, and the bacon deliveries just keep on coming. It’s so convenient for both the gift giver and the recipient.

So, if someone you know and love is a fan of bacon, what’s stopping you from giving them the gift of a lifetime? That special person is going to be ecstatic when they receive their first package of gourmet bacon. And if you’re really special to them, maybe they’ll even share a piece with you.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Hot Sauce of the Month Club

Hot Sauce Bottles
Men love to turn up the heat and add spice to just about everything they eat. The problem with Hot Sauce however is that there are so many varieties and flavors on the market, it makes it tough to decide which one is the absolute best. GourmetFoodClubs.com has solved this problem with their invention of the Hot Sauce of the Month Club!

The Hot Sauce of the Month Club is ideal for any man who would like to sample the widest varieties of hot sauces on the market without having to decide on one particular brand or flavor. GourmetFoodClubs.com has taken the guesswork out of choosing the very best hot sauces the market has to offer. Selected specifically by their panel of “hot heads,” subscribers can elect to have 1 or 2 full-size bottles of the very best (and hottest) hot sauces delivered directly to their door each month at an extremely reasonable price.

Whether it’s Father’s Day, Christmas or a birthday, enrolling a friend or loved one in the Hot Sauce of the Month Club is the ideal way to give a fellow “hot head” a gift that keeps on giving year round. Add a little bit of spice to your life and go to www.GourmetFoodClubs.com now to enroll.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Chardonnay of the Month Club

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Sometimes finding the perfect gift can be hard, especially when you’re shopping for that person in your life who seems to have everything! My mother-in-law is that person, but one thing she loves is wine. Last Mother’s Day, my husband and I got her a membership to the Chardonnay of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com. She really loved it. All the wines she’s gotten so far have been fantastic, and being from Santa Barbara, she knows good wine! It also doesn’t hurt that once a month she’s reminded what an awesome daughter-in-law she has!

This would make a great present for anyone who loves wine, or wants to learn more about wine. Chardonnay is very drinkable and versatile, so you don’t have to be an experienced wine drinker to appreciate it. A friend of mine got this from her fiancee for Valentine’s Day, and she’s like a kid on Christmas morning when her monthly delivery arrives! This would also be a fun gift for a 21st birthday, a wedding, or even for new parents! It has become my go-to gift, and everybody loves it. You’ll receive California wines from the Santa Barbara and Paso Robles regions which are renowned for their Chardonnay.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Pancake of the Month Club

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When my husband and I got married a few years ago, one of our very favorite gifts we received was a membership to the Pancakes of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com. Ever since, it’s been my go-to gift for every new married couple, and everyone always loves it.

People get so many presents when they get married, that sometimes they blur together. But when one of those presents keeps coming months after the wedding, it’s extra special! The pancakes are absolutely delicious, and it’s so much fun to see what new flavors we get every month. This would be a great gift for a lot of people. It would make an awesome housewarming gift, or even an unexpected idea for a kid who loves pancakes and loves to help in the kitchen!

Everyone I’ve dealt with at this company has been super helpful and friendly. You really can’t go wrong with this as a gift, or even just to buy for yourself if you love pancakes! And really, who doesn’t love pancakes?

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com Salsa of the Month Club

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Do the men in your life enjoy snacking? Of course they do, every guy does, especially during those sporting events and family gatherings. The next time there is a special event for any of the men in your life such as Father’s Day, Christmas, or a birthday you can treat them with a gift unlike anything else on the market. This would be the Salsa of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com, and it’s a subscription that keeps on giving.

Dads will love the Salsa of the Month Club for the gourmet blend of salsas they will get each month. With some great heat comes great salsa and the varieties that these come in do not disappoint. Select one or two jars at a time and know that the price includes shipping so there are no hidden fees or extras when you make your selection. Make that taco night special knowing you have a little extra kick to add to the flavor. Stop running to the store and have it delivered right to your door instead. For nachos, burritos, fajitas, 7-layer dip, and tostadas, the possibilities are endless with this fun gift.

About Gourmetfoodclubs.com’s Spice of the Month Club

GFC Spice Clubs 114Many people say they want to eat healthier, but without a concrete plan as to how, it’s way too easy to get stuck in the same old rut of what you’re used to. One of the best ways to try new dishes is to experiment with new foods and flavors. How better than to help someone bust out of their routine and try exciting fresh foods than to surprise them with the gift of a subscription to the Gourmet Food Club’s Spice of the Month Club. Men and women alike will find this a welcome gift as custom-blended spices arrive at their door each month, inviting them to enjoy a whole new world of flavor.

Thanks to all of those cooking shows, everyone’s a foodie it seems, right? There’s just something awesome about creating a new meal that you never would have considered before, and having just the right spice blend to give it that “wow” factor. That’s the beauty of the Spice of the Month Club and how these amazing spices are delivered right to your door each month.

Whether for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, a birthday, anniversary, or any special occasion, this is sure to be a unique gift that will stand out for any recipient. Send a friend on a culinary adventure with this gift.

About Gourmetfoodclub.com’s New Experiences Wine Club

 

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Choosing a gift for the person you love is always a trying experience. Will you get them something they want? Do they already have the item you are thinking of? And of course will it be in stock when you go to get that gift are all questions that are asked when picking out gifts. But why put yourself through that kind of hassle? Instead choose something that men and women can both enjoy and let them continue to enjoy it for three months or six months.

The New Experiences Wine of the Month Club from Gourmetfoodclubs.com is a great way to give a gift that everyone can enjoy. It makes a great gift idea for Christmas, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day leaving nobody out. You can choose how long of a subscription you want them to enjoy from three months to six months, or even choose one for yourself. This gift idea is great for those that are new to wine drinking. Subscribe to the New Experiences club and get a different bottle of red wine each month so you can sample them all and find out which one you enjoy the best. Each month you will receive different varietals of red wines such as Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

All of these great wines are from the Paso Robles and Santa Barbara regions of California. Shipping is included in the price with the only restriction being on age of course. All deliveries need to be signed by an adult who is of legal drinking age. Isn’t it time someone you cared about received a unique gift, lasting more than a day?

David’s Cookies Cheesecake of the Month Club Review

Let’s face it: When you have a craving for cheesecake, nothing else will satisfy that craving except cheesecake. Cheesecake has the distinction of being a dessert unlike any other. Nothing else will do when you’re craving the singular texture and flavor of rich, creamy cheesecake. That’s why a gift subscription to David’s Cookies “Cheesecake of the Month Club” is the ideal gift for the cheesecake-lover on your shopping list.

I sampled the Original New York Style Cheesecake. The sweet graham cracker crust was sweet but not too sweet, and had a buttery flavor. The texture was perfect with just the right amount of crumbliness. This classic cheesecake recipe hit the spot. The best thing about it is how easily it freezes. For the next several weeks, whenever someone in the family had the cheesecake craving, it was easy enough to pull a slice from the freezer, let it thaw, and a few hours later—tada! Cheesecake cravings satisfied.

The varieties of cheesecakes that you or your gift recipient will receive is just one more tasty perk of this Club. David’s gourmet cheesecake gifts are available in over a dozen rich and delicious flavors, including:

  • Cookies & Cream
  • No Sugar Added Creamy Dreamy
  • Strawberry
  • Triple Chocolate
  • Chocolate Caramel Pecan
  • Chocolate Marble
  • Cherry

And, David’s Cookies cheesecakes are also OU Kosher Dairy certified.

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Cookie of the Month Club Review from David’s Cookies

Is there anything better than receiving a giant tin of cookies in the mail? The freshly baked Cookie of the Month Club from David’s Cookies offers a wide assortment of cookies that will please everyone in your family. The variety of cookies included were:

• Chocolate Chunk
• Peanut Butter
• Oatmeal Raisin
• Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip
• Dried Cherry and White Chocolate Chip
• Double Chocolate Chunk

I received 2 large cookies in each flavor. With so many classic flavors, it was hard to choose a favorite. The Dried Cherry and White Chocolate Chip is a combination that I’ve never seen before, and I think the uniqueness of this flavor profile made this cookie my favorite. Second favorite was the Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip, which had bits of shredded coconut—always a plus! The Chocolate Chunk (not a chip, mind you) and the Double Chocolate Chunk had big fat chunks of chocolate in them. Yummy! The other classic flavors will be enjoyed by all.

These cookies came in a reusable, classic “David’s Cookies” tin. David’s Cookies has been in business since 1979. They guarantee satisfaction on all their products, so rest assured if you don’t like your goodies for any reason, you will either receive a refund or a replacement item. Cookies are a thoughtful gift that everyone will love. Send a Cookie of the Month Club as a birthday gift, Housewarming gift, Thank You gift, Christmas gift, Get Well gift, or as a care package to a college student or summer camper.

Got a diabetic friend or family member? Shopping for a health-conscious recipient who still has a sweet tooth? David’s Cookies offers “no-sugar added” goodies for these individuals. Their products are also Certified kosher dairy OUD.

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David’s Cookies Tart Sampler Review

Upon opening the box containing the Tart Sampler from David’s Cookies, something unusual happened: I started talking like a French person! Snippets from high-school French class, long forgotten since then, were suddenly fresh in my memory. “C’ést magnifique,” I exclaimed. I also emitted several “ooh la la’s” which probably aren’t technically French, but seemed appropriate considering how gorgeous the tarts are.

Reminiscent of the goods displayed in a Parisian patisserie window, the Tart Sampler is visually stunning. The tart has two pieces of each of the following flavors:

• Raspberry Almond
• Lemon Flower
• Cabernet Pear
• Chocolate Pecan
• Mango Splash
• Caramel Apple

With such diversity of flavor, there’s bound to be a slice for every dessert-lover; thus this tart is a definite crowd-pleaser! Those who aren’t as adventurous with their taste in dessert can stick to the classic flavors of Caramel Apple and Chocolate Pecan. Those with a more “refined” palate will be pleased by the Cabernet Pear and Raspberry Almond flavors. And fans of fruity, citrus flavors will devour the Mango Splash and Lemon Flower.

Those who love tarts as much for the crust as for the fillings will be delighted by the thick, generous crust. The dense, crumbly crust has a rich, buttery flavor and a wonderful texture. As for the fillings, they were all “délicieux,” which is French for amazingly deliciously wonderfully good.

My favorite was the Chocolate Pecan, since pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts. With a classic pecan pie flavor, chunks of pecan and a thick drizzle of rich chocolate, this is a decadent slice that will satisfy your cravings. The lemon was a close second, and was the favorite of several co-workers. Perfect for those who love a strong, slightly tart lemon flavor, the texture of the filling was very pleasant—not too thick but not too thin, either.

Both the Cabernet Pear and Mango Splash had a light filling. The Cabernet Pear gelée was very light and airy and I could really taste the Cabernet in the topping. The pears were thinly sliced and added nice texture and bite. The Mango Splash was almost like a whipped mousse texture, and the mango flavor really shone through.
The Caramel Apple will appeal to fans of classic apple pie with its thick chunks of ripe apple and cinnamon spice. Raspberry Almond is very similar to tarts that I have eaten in Paris. This French favorite had delicious texture thanks to the slivered almonds, and the raspberry gelée.

If you want a dessert that will definitely impress your family, party guests, co-workers, or whoever else is lucky enough to have this shared with them, this tart is the answer to your pastry prayers. Suitable for an upscale party, engagement, bridal or baby shower, this Tart Sampler from David’s Cookies is well-worth the price.

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David’s Cookies Brownie of the Month Club Review

Of all the amazing desserts I’ve had the pleasure of sampling from David’s Cookies, the Chocolate Chip Brownie is my absolute favorite. And I am not normally a brownie fan, so that is a good indication of how delicious this dessert is.

The Chocolate Chip Brownie, featured in David’s Cookies Brownie of the Month Club, is a decadent delight that will satisfy the chocaholic. It has semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed in a dark chocolate batter, a most harmonious combination that will make both semi-sweet and dark chocolate lovers happy. What was most impressive about the brownie was how moist it was. The brownie was so moist and dense that I could lightly squeeze it with my fingers and it would hold its shape. If you’re looking for a crumbly, light brownie, look elsewhere. This is the type of dessert that is meant to satisfy those who love a rich, decadent, moist, chewy, chocolaty dessert.

This brownie screamed out for a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cold glass of milk to accompany it. It will definitely satisfy chocolate lovers and brownie lovers. It will also turn someone who is just ho-hum about brownies into a brownie fanatic.

The 26 oz. tray will easily serve 8 people. Because this is such a rich, filling dessert, one serving of brownie is more than enough to satisfy your chocolate brownie cravings. This dessert kept very well in the refrigerator for the next several days. I heated an individual serving in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, and it tasted like it had just come out of the oven, freshly baked. The super-moistness of the brownie was still present a week later. Impressive!

The Brownie of the Month Club from David’s Cookies is a great gift to send to a friend, family member or significant other. It’s ideal to send to kids who are away at college, or as a birthday or Christmas present for a loved one. David’s Cookies has been in business since 1979. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their products, so rest assured that if you don’t like any of their products, they will provide you with a refund or re-ship the product.

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Amazing Clubs Pasta and Sauce of the Month Club Review

Amazing Clubs Pasta and Sauce of the Month Club Review

Who doesn’t love a delicious plate of pasta paired with a glass of vino? Pasta is one of America’s best-loved meals. And a subscription to the Pasta and Sauce of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs is an ideal way to sample the very best pastas and sauces from Italy and the United States.

I love that the pastas and sauces that I received are vegetarian friendly so that those who want to serve a meat-free meal can do so. And those who love meat can easily add it. I also appreciate that my items were made with fresh, all-natural ingredients, ingredients that I could pronounce and recognize. Both the pastas and sauces were generous in size, too. My shipment included:

• Flying Noodle Sweet Roasted Red Pepper and Onion
• Local Folks Foods Tomato & Herb Marinara Pasta Sauce
• Flying Noodle Lemon Pepper Rotini
• Pastabilities Palm Tree Paradise Pasta
• Pasta & Sauce Newsletter

My package arrived from Amazing Clubs in perfect condition. The package included a newsletter with ideas for recipes and how to serve the pastas and sauces. However, the pastas and sauces themselves served as my inspiration.

I gave a squeee of delight when I first saw the Palm Tree Paradise Pasta. I never thought pasta could be so cute! This pasta was green and beige in color and in the shape of palm trees and sun symbols! I decided it was perfect for an upcoming summer potluck, and wouldn’t you know it, I was responsible for bringing a salad. I made a pasta salad, and it was delicious. Despite the delicate shape of the pasta, it held up very well in a pasta salad with bulky ingredients like olives, cherry tomatoes and roasted artichoke hearts. Needless to say, the pasta salad was the star of the potluck and many people asked where I had got the pasta. There’s just something inherently happy and joyful about eating mini-pasta palm trees.

I served the lemon pepper rotini with the Tomato and Herb Marinara. The scent of fresh Italian herbs hits you as soon as you open this jar of sauce made with all-natural ingredients like tomatoes and herbs. The pasta only took 3 minutes to cook, a sure sign that there are no preservatives and unwanted ingredients in this pasta. Just flour, lemon juice, pepper and water. The pasta had a delicate lemon flavor that perfectly complimented the rich tomato sauce. I shaved some slivers of fresh parmigiano reggiano on it and served it with a green salad and a glass of red wine. Simple and delicious!

The Sweet Roasted Red Pepper and Onion Sauce was my favorite sauce. I could taste the sun-ripened tomatoes and the mild sweetness of the roasted bell peppers and onions. Unlike grocery store sauces, these sauces are so delicious on their own that they don’t need a lot of other ingredients added to them. I enjoyed eating this sauce with some mushroom ravioli and more parmigiano. And more wine… I was sad when all of my items were gone!

With items of this caliber and quality, I would be quite happy to be a recipient of the Pasta and Sauce of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs.

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Amazing Clubs Coffee of the Month Club Review

Fans of the almighty brew called coffee are known by many different names. Java junkies. Coffee lovers. Caffeine addicts. But there’s a wide range of coffee addiction, starting with the person who stops by the “big chain” café every day for their morning latte, and the person who wouldn’t touch the big chain coffee with a 10 foot pole. There are also many names for this latter category of “java junkie:” coffee aficionado, coffee snob, coffee enthusiast, and my personal favorite—the coffee connoisseur.

If there’s one thing most people can agree on, it’s that for most of us, coffee is a daily requirement that is essential for getting us through the day. Many of us would be downright intolerable without at least one (or multiple) cups of coffee in a day. Whatever your level of coffee addiction, any coffee consumer would love a subscription to the Coffee of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs.

The Coffee of the Month Club delivers two 12-oz bags of 100% Arabica bean coffee. The Arabica bean makes up approximately 70-80% of the world’s coffee production. The Arabica bean is popular not only because it grows well in various geographic locations, but also because it produces a mild, better-tasting coffee that appeals to a wide range of consumers. The Arabica bean is less bitter because it contains lower amounts of caffeine, and it’s the caffeine in the coffee bean that gives coffee its bitterness. Most gourmet coffees are made with Arabica beans.

My delivery from Amazing Clubs arrived beautifully packaged, making it an ideal gift. The coffee came with “The Daily Grind,” a one-page newsletter that gives detailed information about the type of coffee in the shipment, along with brewing tips and recipes. I tried the recipe for Turkish Coffee, made with the suggested Dark Roast Guatemala Antigua coffee, and it was delish! The Antigua coffee is described as being “mildly sweet with citrus tones and a smooth cocoa finish.” It strikes a perfect balance between flavor and acidity.

I also received a 12 oz. bag of Brazil Cerrado coffee. Cerrados are known for being a well-balanced, medium roast blend that is highly quaffable. The Cerrado is a mildly acidic coffee that is low in caffeine but high in anti-oxidants. It’s ideal for those with sensitive stomachs who still can’t live without their daily “Cup of Joe.” I would recommend ordering a gift subscription to the Amazing Clubs “Coffee of the Month” Club in the whole bean vs. the ground coffee version. A true coffee connoisseur will want to grind their coffee to the appropriate consistency for their particular coffee-making method.

Despite your level of coffee addiction or snobbery, any coffee drinker would be thrilled to receive a subscription to the Coffee of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs.

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Review: Monthly Smile Maker from Omaha Steaks

The “Monthly Smile Maker” from Omaha Steaks lives up to its namesake, because getting 2 Filet Mignons and 2 Boneless Strips delivered to my door definitely put a huge smile on my face.

 

A helpful assortment of materials accompanied my steaks. The “Great Gathering Guide and Cookbook” is a 50 page guide on how to cook Omaha Steaks products. It includes recipes, guidelines, basic cooking and grilling tips. There are extensive instructions on every product on how to prepare them, including cooking times, temperatures, even resting times. Also included was a full-color leaflet describing the clubs available at Omaha Steaks. Omaha Steaks have thought of every concern a customer might have. For example, they include a suggestion list of how to re-use and recycle their coolers.

 

Now, on to the steaks. The Monthly Smile Maker includes two 6 oz Filets and two 11 oz strips! The variety in this sampler makes it perfect for individuals, couples and families. I prefer Filet, and the men that I cooked this for usually prefer Strip steaks, so everyone was happy and “smiles” were plentiful.

 

After cooking these up on the barbeque, despite our “preferred” favorites, we all agreed that both types of steak were absolutely delicious, and choosing a favorite became impossible. Both steaks were tender, juicy, flavorful and melted in my mouth. These steaks were just as good as the steaks I’ve had at expensive steakhouse restaurants. They were also incredibly easy to prepare and only needed salt and pepper to make the flavor of the meat standout.

 

Each steak is individually vacuum-packed for those who will only need to cook one steak at a time. A couple can afford to have “Steak Night In” twice a month, and the significant savings compared with going out will definitely put smiles on faces. To make “Steak Night” even more complete, favorite steakhouse appetizers, side dishes and desserts are also available for omahasteaks.com. For example, you can order some crab cakes, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and molten lava cake to accompany the “Monthly Smile Maker” club.

 

Omaha Steaks has been the leader in producing quality steaks since 1917. Their products have an Unconditional Guarantee. Their extensive selections are not limited to beef as they also have chicken, pork, and fish clubs. Their website has many helpful tips on how to cook their products, a Recipe Center, and a series of “How-To” videos.

 

With the Monthly Smile Maker, having a “fancy steakhouse dinner” on a regular basis isn’t just a dream, it’s a reality.

 

Omaha Steak Club

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Review: Gold Medal Wine Club Gold Series

Unboxed
What Comes in the Box (Gift Version)

Have you ever heard the words “all that is gold does not glitter”? They came from the pen of J.R.R. Tolkien who, despite being an excellent fantasy writer, would have benefited from taking a look at Gold Medal Wine Club’s Gold Series wine of the month club. The reality is that this club is pure gold. For the purpose of this review I sampled the simple 2 bottle club, which usually comes with one red and one white wine. People who are particular about their wine may request all red or all white, but I’ve always been a fan of sampling as much as I can.

Before I talk about my experience I’d like to mention some of Gold Medal Wine Club’s other offerings. While the Gold Series is the most popular membership, Platinum and Diamond levels also exist for those who demand higher rated, more exclusive wines. Two more clubs, the International Series and Pinot Noir Series, also exist. Gold Medal Wine Club guarantees that they never feature bulk wines, private labels, or close outs–and that virtually all of the wines featured have earned top medals from major wine competitions or high ratings from popular publications. You can check all of them out here.

Back to the club: Once you get past the ubiquitous brown shipping box your order arrives in, you’re greeted with some really nice packaging that helps makes the Gold Series shine as a gift. Even though I ordered this for myself, I still felt like being pampered by the beautifully designed gift box, high quality newsletter, and nicely-wrapped wine bottles. It doesn’t look like any expense was spared in making an awesome presentation.

Wine
Cutest Wine Labels Ever (And they tasted good too!)

As for the wine itself, I was really excited to see that I had received Anthony Bell’s Big Guy 2010 red and white wines. Besides having one of the cutest wine labels in existence, Anthony Bell is a well-known name and Big Guy is one of his many cool projects. The newsletter that comes included with the club, The Wine Press, was very helpful, and included some food pairing suggestions. Trusting the experts, my significant other and I went off to the market and grabbed some sushi rolls since they were recommended for the Big Guy 2010 White Wine.

The experience was perfect. The white wine was a wonderfully refreshing addition to the sushi rolls, and my own underdeveloped palette was able to pick up notes of pear and lemongrass: something I can rarely do with store bought varieties. My partner is a little more receptive and also picked up on pineapple and grapefruit flavors. While we wined and dined we also got to enjoy flipping through the newsletter and learning more about the wine we were drinking. The Wine Press came with information about the vineyard, the winemaker, and the story of the dog, Ty, whose happy face is pictured on every label and for who the wine is named after.

While it’s easy to make a romantic night out of the shipment, this gift isn’t only for the coupled. It’s jam packed with plenty of information, and the wines stand on their own as superb. Simply opening the package makes for a fun night, although it doesn’t hurt to share it with someone special: be they a friend, family member, pet, or romantic partner. The worst part of the club is that I have to wait until the next month to receive another shipment, but I’m absolutely looking forward to it. Honestly, this club should simply be called GOLD GOLD GOLD. I loved the unboxing experience, the wine I sampled, and the newsletter; and, even better, I still have the red wine to look forward to enjoying. You or your recipient will love the Gold Medal Wine Club Gold Series. As for myself, I give it a gold medal.

Sorry Tolkien, this club makes me a believer that everything gold does glitter.

Review: Cookie of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Gourmet Food Club’s Cookies of the Month Club: Reviewcookie

All cookies have 2 sides. A front and a back… or a top and a bottom, depending on how you hold it.  Doesn’t take a baker to tell you that.

Yet when I say there’s two sides to every cookie, that’s not what I mean. I’m trying to warn you that cookies have both a light and a dark side. No, not a light brown and dark brown side. You probably just burned the bottoms. And not a side dipped in chocolate, either. I mean that your sweet cookie pal has a dark streak piercing his soft chewy center. (No, not a streak of fudge! Seriously, just play along for a minute here).

Cookies are made from a recipe that’Cookie of the Month Clubs equal parts good and evil. It’s simple. For every added cookie you eat another notch on your belt begs to be loosened. Of course I’m not counting sugar-free, gluten free, and flavor-free “cookies.” Those stale cookie pucks are pure evil.

Unfortunately, all other delicious cookies are not to be trusted. None of them. Not even the crumbly, soft, crisp, creamy, chocolate-morsel packed, cinnamon-sugar coated, peanut-buttery, fudgy, flaky, and fruity ones in Gourmet Food Club’s Cookie of the Month Club.They are all so good, and all so bad. At least for those of us who care (or pretend to care) about watching our weight.cookie-of-the-month-club

When self control and cookies go head to head, cookies always win. They are world champion diet-defeaters, and for that, I know something truly evil must be mixed into all cookie batter. But then again, knowing this doesn’t prevent me from eating them. And I always enjoy eating cookies. At the end of the day, life should be about what makes you happy. And cookies make everyone happy.

So why not send them as a gift? The Cookie of the Month Club is one of those gifts where a “satisfaction guarantee” is inherent to the concept. You don’t need me to confirm that a 2 pound batch of cookies in new flavors every month makes a person happy. You’ll know it when you see them smiling for the next 3  months. Trust me, with cookie crumbs and milk mustaches smeared along the rim of their mouth, you’ll know the Cookie Club is to blame. Eating this many cookies is messy business. Sending them as a gift? Much simpler.

Sign up for the Cookie Club at Gourmet Food Clubs.

Review: Olive Oil of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Olive Oil of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs: Reviewgfc-oil-review2

Fact: Greece is the world’s largest producer of extra virgin olive oil.

Not surprising, especially if you’re aware the fine print on most oil bottles reads “Made in Greece.” Then the real question becomes, who consumes the most olive oil?

Before I give away the answer, consider what you already know about olive oil. Unless you’ve been trapped underground for the past few decades, you know olive oil’s popularity stretches far beyond its Greek and Mediterranean homelands. Americans have adopted olive oil into imitation-French and Italian cuisine, as well as welcomed it into their homes via cooking, dipping, and even some beauty products. And what does that olive oil hand lotion represent?

American consumerism. It was inevitable. When Americans likes something, we buy, sell and eat a lot of it.

Only somehow, Greeks win the prize for eating it too! They consume the most olive oil per capita by a large margin. This means compared to you average-Joe, the average-Stavros sops up a lot more oil on a daily basis.  For this to be accurate, Greeks must practically drink this stuff.

To be fair, American olive oil lovers do consume more bottles year-round. We even have our own legitimate “olive oil delivery services” like the Olive Oil of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs. And as I dip this spongy slice of sourdough into a dish of flavor-infused olive oil, I salute what these all-American Gourmet Foodie’s have done to reinvent the oily staple of Greek cuisine.

This month I sampled 2 unique flavor-infused olive oil’s from the Olive Club’s 3-Month Membership: CV Delights’ Sun Dried Tomato Olive Oil and Savor Swinney’s Garlic Infused Olive Oil. These subtle flavors left a strong impression. Here’s why:

I’m not a chef. I’m not even an okay or semi-decent cook. In my case, it probably is for lack of trying. You see when I’m hungry, I’m like a child on the cusp of full-blown temper tantrum. I want a golden egg and I want it now! Only I’d take any old ordinary egg. Scrambled, over-easy. Or any food at all really.

Thus, I cracked open and dipped into these oils within minutes of receiving them. Thank you to whoever bought the bread I found in the break room. If it wasn’t for you, I’d have had no choice but to “go Greek” drink the stuff straight. Something tells me that would not have ended well.

In spite of my enthusiasm, I can be a littlgfc-oil-review1e picky about flavored olive oils. Why mess with a good thing? And artificial flavoring makes my throat a scratchy (this may be psychological. Don’t know, don’t care.)

I started with the Sun Dried Tomato olive oil, thinking it would prep me for the ominous garlicky punch in the mouth I looked forward to later. The oil’s delicate sweetness and rustic tomato flavor complimented the olive oil nicely. It was tasty enough that I had to take a few extra dips for good measure. And then a few more after that. You know, because I am so good at my job.

A half a loaf of bread later and I remembered the Garlic-Infused olive oil was still waiting for me out back. I tried wafting the bottle to see if it gave off a strong scent, then just gathered my courage and dipped right in. I don’t know how my breath was after sampling, but I can tell you that the taste wasn’t too strong! Plus it was clearly made from real cloves of garlic. I imagine it’d be great to serve along with Italian appetizers.

The break-room bread and I fully recommend you sign up for this Olive Oil Club. Especially if delicious, authentic, gourmet olive oils in a variety of flavors is your kind-of-thing. To order the club, go to Gourmet Food Clubs. That’s all folks!

Review: “Bacon is Meat Candy” Bacon of the Month Club from Bacon Freak

“Bacon is Meat Candy” Bacon of the Month Club from Bacofreak: Reviewbf-bacon-reviews4

When it comes to bacon, there’s only one rule:

No one should ever be stripped of their right to eat bacon strips.

Sadly, I’ve seen it happen. In these moments of crisis, it doesn’t matter why the grocery store “ran out” or “forgot to re-stock” their meat department. You’re not looking for an explanation. You are looking for bacon.

Hungry, desperate, and hankering for bacon, you crawl toward your laptop and open a browser window. With your pork-reserves running low, you’re growing weaker by the minute. Somehow, you manage to type “bacon” in the search bar and click to Baconfreak.com. You frantically place an order for the first flavor you can find.  It’s a close call, but once the bacon arrives, you pull through.

bf-bacon-review1Bacon lovers, I issue this scenario as a warning.  It’s time to take preventative action.

The possibility of a bacon shortage happening to you is all too real. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution.  Simply sign up for one of Bacon Freak’s Bacon of the Month Clubs and you’ll have 2 pounds of bacon delivered to your door in new flavors each month. There’s no reason to suffer symptoms of a bacon-withdrawal ever again.

I sampled the “Bacon is Meat Candy” Bacon of the Month Club just this month and already feel fuller and more confident than ever. Bacon has finally given my the strength to say I’ve got brbf-bacon-review2eakfast, lunch, and dinner covered with bundles of bacon left to go. When you sign up, just pick 3, 6, or 12 months of bacon. My advice: reduce the risk of ever running low. Go with the full year.

In my sample shipment I found two highly recommended bacon classics: Boss Hog’s Hickory Smoked & Honey BBQ Bacon.

Don’t these bacon flavors just sound important? They should, because they taste even better. Flavor-wise, they’re the king and queen of our United States of Bacon. They’re the smokey captain and his sweet first-mate on the S.S.Baconfreak. They’re the gods of bacon-flavor looking down on us from Bacon Heaven.

Too far? The point is, this is really top-notch bacon. The Boss Hog’s Hickory Smoked variety slays that “wood-smoked” claim other store bought varieties make. I tasted the time it took this bacon to develop its savory, smokey taste. You can’t paint on that kind of flavor and you definitely can’t create it with chemicals.

On the other hand, the Honey BBQ Bacon sounds pretty straightforward if you were trying to make it on your own. One bottle of Honey BBQ sauce and you’re in the bacon-coatinbf-bacon-review3‘ business. Yet when I opened the Boss Hogs’ package, it revealed a bacon so obviously tended with bacon-handling expertise. There was not a single spec of bacon left exposed by this sweet and savory coating.

How was it after being cooked? Lets just say this bacon taught me something I’d always believed to be true about bacon. Pigs are meant to be coated in honey.

If this were a Bacon of the Day club, I think I could still keep up with the fast-pace bacon deliveries. Then again, I’d like to keep at least a couple arteries un-clogged.bf-bacon-review5

Thankfully, the charming (and hilarious) fliers included in the Baconfreak gift box say bacon is actually a healthy protein…when you cook it the right way. The “Oven Cook Your Bacon” flier includes step by step cooking directions to show and tell you exactly how it’s done. But if you still choose to fry your bacon, the Bacon is Meat Candy Club comes with a graphic Baconfreak t-shirt to protect you from any splatter.

If you still don’t feel persuaded to order a Baconfreak Bacon Club, I’m not sure why you keep reading this review. Clearly, you hate bacon and there’s nothing I can say or do about it.

However if you love bacon (a.k.a. are human), you can find all the Bacon of the Month Clubs you’ll ever need at Baconfreak.

Review: Coffee of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Coffee of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs: Reviewgfc-coffee-review2

Finally. The club for those who’ve vowed never to spend more than $3 on a single cup of coffee, ever again.

I’m on to to you, coffee houses. I know I’m not paying for just the coffee. I’m paying for the whipped cream, the sugary syrups, the portable cup, the coffee sleeve, the beverage station, the hip coffee-house atmosphere!

Can I drink atmosphere? And another thing, if you let me bring a mug from home, I would! And who asked you to put all that other artificial stuff in there? Your drink menu’s so convoluted, I hardly knew what I was ordering. Don’t even get me started on those names for cup sizes. Do I look like I speak French? And to top it all off, you misspelled my name.

Keep your free WiFi. This overly complicated, price-inflated coffee scheme is robbing me blind. And Gourmet Food Club’s Coffee of the Month Club has turned out to be a much tastier and practical alternative. I don’t even have to change out of my pajamas to drink these deliciously rich brews. And unlike some baristas, I never burn the batch.

No long lines, less calories, a choice of flavors, and I don’t need to ask for a key to use the bathroom. I could rant and rave for hours about the advantages of this 3-Month Coffee Club membership, but by now I’m sure you get it. So just get it… the Coffee Club, I mean.

February’s Whole Bean Coffee

Gourmet Food Club’s Columbian Narino “Reserva del Patron”  (8 oz):gfc-coffee-review1

I can describe this coffee blend to you in a single word.

Versatile.

Even if it’s not your “favorite flavor,” everyone needs a supply of classic coffee. Not vanilla, not caramel macchiato, not hazelnut. I’m talking about a medium roast, full-bodied cup of coffee that gets in and gets the job done. No squirts of syrup, no bonus calories, no frills. Just coffee.

However, “normal” coffee should still have flavor! And good, rich, roasted flavor at that.  In the past I’ve struggled to decide which coffee bean is best. Or rather, which bean nationality is best. Please keep in mind, this is not prejudice. Its okay to discriminate against beans, not people.

It almost always boils down (or brews down) to Cuban and Colombian coffee. While both countries know how to grow a good coffee bean, ultimately I must choose one. This one.

After trying the “Reserva del Patron” whole bean blend, I am prepared to crown Colombian coffee the king of all cups of Joe. It’s so smooth and filling to the finish, and that versatility I mentioned earlier proved impossible to beat.

Not even the pickiest coffee drinkers can find a problem with this coffee. With a standard standby like this in my pantry, I’m prepared to entertain any dinner guest with a hot brew for dessert.  How do I know? Because it stood up to every creamer, sweetener, whipped cream topping and flavor syrup I threw at it. No matter when, where, or how you take your coffee, this rich Colombian flavor will shine through.

I’m very excited to find out what other whole bean blends this Coffee of the Month Club has in store for the future. If this first bag is any indication of what Gourmet Food Clubs has roasting, I suggest you sign up soon.

Review: Premium Cigar of the Month Club from Monthly Clubs

Premium Cigar of the Month Club from Monthly Clubs: Reviewcigar-review2

Gentlemen, when you’re ready. Get set…draw!

Woah there, lower the weapons please. And as you do, please accept my misleading invitation to try the smooth draw on this premium selection of stogies. This month I’m sampling Monthly Club’s Premium Cigar of the Month Club and I was simply hoping to share a few puffs with some cigar aficionados. And perhaps inhale some of your tobacco-expertise while at it…

As a cigar newbie, I fear my palate lacks the experience to give these cigars the fair rating they deserve. Brands, blends, binders, fillers, gauges, wrappers, caps, aromas; in this thick cloud of confusion and cigar smoke,  it’s easy to get lost.  Thankfully, Monthly Club‘s newsletter Society Brief has risen from the ashes to guide me through it.

After all, the tobacconists who pick and rate these cigars smoke a combined 12,000 cigars a year. That breaks down to about 3-4 cigars per person a day! If anyone is qualified to help me smoke and review these cigars, it’s got to be them.

With a monthly membership you get 5 aged to perfection cigars in various shapes and sizes a month. For me, that’s 5 cigars to try in the 5-day work week. And it’s Monday. So better start smoking.

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January’s Selection of Premium, Hand-Rolled Cigars

  1. Diesel Grind Double Perfecto
  2. Sancho Panza Double Maduro Lancero
  3. Puros Indios Viejo Corona
  4. Baccarat “The Game” Rothschild,
  5. and the Black Crown Toro

Let’s see if these cigars live up to those great names.

The first draw of the week comes from a cigar designed special for this Cigar Club: the Diesel Grind Double Perfecto. My Spanish isn’t perfect, but my Spanglish is superb, so I can tell you this cigar doubles down on its promise of sheer ground perfection. Does it deliver?

You bet! Monthly Club’s panel of experts gave this cigar the highest rating this month, and if by some strange miracle they had asked for my opinion, I’d have agreed. Like the experts suggest, it had loads of flavor and an even burn. For me, the coffee flavor stood out most.

After a short smoke-break…or in this case, a short break from smoking, I resumed with the Sancho Panza Double Maduro Lancero. This rich cigar taught just how long it takes to smoke an entire one of these things. The Double Maduro lasted about 30 minutes. I was tempted to smoke this cigar down to the nub by something I read about its unique ability to change flavors. Indeed it did. The Maduro’s dark chocolate taste evolved into a mocha flavor about halfway through. Makes perfect sense that the newsletter recommends pairing it with a cup of coffee!

Numero tres in my week-long regimen: los Puros Indios Viejo Corona de Honduras! If the name “viejo” is any indication, these cigars son muy old (told you my Spanglish was good). According to the specs, the Corona is between 8-9 years old. In cigar years, that makes this little guy well into his golden years. If you think growing old means getting a little nutty–well, you’re right. But in terms of this elder cigar’s taste, that nuttiness isn’t a bad thing.

For a moment I thought I had heard of the Baccigar-review3carat “The Game” Rothschild. Turned out I was thinking of the rapper. No, not the wrapper, the rap-artist. You know, The Game? Just, never mind. It all worked out in the long run because this popular mild & sweet cigar is perfect for newbies. Kinda makes me wish I’d started with this one. Hindsight is such a frustrating feeling.

At last, Friday. The final cigar. I was slightly bummed to read the Black Crown Toro is named for “toro” the cigar shape, not toro, the Spanish word for bull. Still, Society Brief said this cigar is unique for a couple of reasons. Not many people have heard of it, it contains seven different long-fillers, and it has some pretty interesting notes, “toasted peanut” probably being the strangest. Made for a funky yet robust way to finish off the week.

I won’t pretend that by week’s end I’m not a little more raspy and a little less fresh-scented. That being said, this club was a good time. As for month 2, I’ll be handing over these hand mades to someone marginally more macho. Having given it the old college try,  I can confirm the Premium Cigar of the Month Club is the perfect gift for the true guy’s guy.

My ideal guy’s guy? Glad you asked! He’s the manly man with an iconic wit and true literary genius, Mark Twain. And apparently, he’d recommend you sign up for this Monthly Club membership too. He once wrote: “If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go.”

Not sure how that decision worked out for him, but you should sign up to send/receive these heavenly cigars soon. There’s really no need to wait till the afterlife to smoke them.

Review: Honey of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Honey of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs: Reviewgfc-honey-review3

What’s sticky, sweet, and was once used to embalm Alexander the Great?

Honey! While I can’t prove that honey was used as preservative back then, I did read it in an article. Turns out there’s a whole world of interesting and strange honey facts out there just waiting to be discovered (as in, on the Internet). For instance, did you know two tablespoons of honey is enough fuel for a bee to fly around the whole world? It’s true! …According to this website I found that has little to no credibility whatsoever.

That’s the thing about searching for information online. How sure can you know if a source is reliable? Or a product, for that matter. It’s hard to know what you’ll get when you buy online, even when shopping for something as sweet and pure as honey.

Allow me to be of some help. I sampled Gourmet Food Club’s Honey of the Month Club this month so you can be certain this gift 100% quality, organic, and gourmet-flavored honey. Just as promised by the Gourmet Food Clubs’ website.

I chose to receive the 2 flavor per month shipment of this 3-month long Honey Club and tasted these honeys in every way imaginable. On toast, in tea, with fruit, in a PB&Honey sandwich, and straight from the jar.  I wanted to insure I could fully stand behind my endorsement of this club.  So straight from me to you, I think it’s a majorly sweet deal. And here’s why:

February’s Honey of the Month Club Selectiongfc-honey-review2

Raw & Real Honey Varietal Honey (10.5oz each): Orange Blossom and Blueberry

Honey is a simple formula. One ingredient, made by nature and eaten by man. There’s  no reason to improve a substance this good in it’s raw, original form. That’s why it’s refreshing to find out this small-batch Raw Real honey brand is committed to preserving the beauty of honey’s delicate, subtle taste. The elegant glass jars and packaging is a lovgfc-honey-review1ely added touch.

It’s clear the Orange Blossom honey didn’t cave to peer pressure when mass-market honeys were passing around phony fruit flavoring and food dye. This honey was focused on his studies. And it paid off with one project in particular: mingling two natural flavors in one jar to craft a harmonious flavor friendship. The orange-infused flavor simply adds a citrus, tangy touch to the original organic basic. It quickly became my favorite part of breakfast.

The Blueberry honey was similarly lacking in artificial blue-coloring and the usual cough-syrup taste. If that’s what you’re looking for, I promise you won’t find it in this Honey Club. However, if you enjoy the just-noticeable taste of blueberry-infused honey, perfect for drizzling over granola, you’re in luck. This club has just that.

Sign up for the Honey of the Month Club at Gourmet Food Clubs. You can trust me when I tell you this honey doesn’t lie. This Raw and Real honey is the very real and rare opportunity to send a gift club that’s better than it claims to be.

Review: BBQ Sauce of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

BBQ Sauce of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs: Reviewgfc-bbq-review2

Fire up the grill and throw on a few extra coals. It’s time to sample some BBQ sauce.

I have what you’d call extreme barbeque stamina. I can grill for hours and never grow bored of burger flipping. When tears well up in my eyes from a cloud of slow-cooked rib smoke, they do not defeat me.  On multiple occasions, I’ve thought about duct taping tongs to my hands. In other words, when you love grilling this much, the more meat & heat, the merrier.

However, not everyone loves barbequing as much as I do. Or has as much free time. I can admit, standing guard over meat until flavor finally decides to seep in is tedious (to say the least). That’s probably why BBQ sauce was invented in the first place. Slather some sweet and spicy sauce on your meat and there’s really no need to cook till you drop. Apply before, after, or as you cook and you can dip, brush, or baste flavor in a flash. Barbeque sauce is the lazy griller’s best friend. Some might call that an easy way out.

This month, Gourmet Food Clubs’ Barbeque Sauce of the Month Club taught me an important lesson about doubting what barbeque sauce can bring to the flavor table. I am slightly ashamed to admit it, but the 2 gourmet sauces I sampled in this 3-Month BBQ Sauce Club had richer, bolder, and more mouth-watering flavor than anything I’ve ever achieved with a spice rub or marinade. I’m surprised to be saying this, but these barbeque sauces are the way to go.

Just don’t forget to buy napkins.

February’s BBQ Sauces of the Month:

gfc-bbq-review1

Channel Islands Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce and Honey BBQ Sauce

Thanks to my Italian heritage, I have both respect and high tolerance for the taste of garlic. This worked out well for me with the Channel Islands Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce, which though not too hot and not too sweet, was very very garlicky.

This sauce packs a punched-up garlic flavor made possible by really fresh ingredients. Basted on a rack of ribs and some boneless chicken breasts, this sauce helped me grub without feeling gluttonous. It’s no where near as heavy and sticky as the sugar-loaded store bought sauces I’ve tried in the past.

Speaking of sugar, the garlic-lover’s sister sauce, Channel Islands Honey BBQ, hit all the right flavor notes for my sweet tooth. I coated a second rack of ribs with this sauce and left them to smoke a while. In the meantime, I checked the label and found this sauce also swaps preservatives for fresh ingredients. Real honey, no corn syrup! Believe me when I tell you in the sweet sauce subcategory, that’s hard to find.

Keeping in mind the health benefits of substituting honey for chemical sweeteners, this sauce is very addictive. You may soon turn up at Gourmet Food Clubs’ “Artisan Gift” section shopping for a few extra bottles. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

When the fire was out, I realized barbeque-made-easy isn’t just for amateurs. While it’s fine to appreciate the art of grilling, becoming a barbeque snob is not. There’s no reason not to use gourmet BBQ sauces like the ones in this club. They are a great contribution to the grill master’s pantry and make a wonderful gift to both barbeque experts and beginners.

To send/receive the BBQ Sauce of the Month Club, sign up at Gourmet Food Clubs.

Review: Tea of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Gourmet Food Club’s Tea of the Month Club: Review

Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to kick the coffee habit.gfc-tea-review-1

Here’s the plan: swap one hot beverage for another, cross my fingers, and hope it works. Can tea live up to coffee’s caffeine-addled greatness? To find out, I’ll try gourmet loose leaf teas from Gourmet Food Club’s Tea of the Month Club.

Why? Because if I want to fill the coffee-mug sized hole in my heart, I can’t count on store-bought tea bags to do it. Have you tried them? It’s like sucking on a bar of soap. Or drinking dirty dish water (please don’t ask me how I know this). If  I am forced to add 6 packages of Splenda and a half-jar of honey to drink them, these soggy tea bags won’t drastically improve my health.

To survive the transition to healthier drinking habits, I’m going to need the good stuff. Gourmet loose leaf teas in smooth herbal blends with pretentious multi-syllabic names like Chinese cherry blossom and herbal citrus lavender. And while this Tea Club’s 3-Month membership has all that and more, I remain painfully disinclined to start steeping.

Perhaps you think I’m not giving tea a fighting chance, but is it my fault coffee turned me so bleak and bitter? Tea’s serene, warm embrace is no match for a club reviewer whose soul has been brewed to a deep shade of black by a decade-long coffee binge. That being said, let’s see what good Gourmet Food Club‘s 2-flavor tea shipment can do for me:

February’s Tea of the Month Club Selection:

English Breakfast Tea and South African Rooibos Blood Orange Tea

If that first tea wakes up all of London, one tiny American should be an easy steep. I did my research and it should be rich, dark, and malty enough to trick me into liking it. Logical, since an English Breakfast Tea normally has to wash down a hearty British breakfast.gfc-tea-review2

I decided to give my tea the proper English treatment: a splash of milk and sugar, some counter-clockwise stirs, and my pinky up. I took a sip. Then a second sip. Then sip after sip till my mug had run empty. This may in fact be the only cup of tea I’ve ever finished. Historic!

To my delight, this black tea really is full-bodied and strong enough to stand in coffee’s shadow. I can understand why it’s considered a standard amongst tea drinkers.

But the second tea has me scratching my head. Whose Rooibos? What is a blood-orange doing in my tea? Why do I suspect blood oranges think they are superior to normal oranges?

Since tasting it, I’ve sorted out a few of these questions. (1.) Rooibos is a shrub used as the base of this tea and (2.) blood oranges actually are superior to other oranges. They’re less acidic and slightly more sweet, which (3.) is exactly what it’s doing in my tea. It gave the blend a mild citrus flavor that for lack of a better comparison, tastes like a cream-sicle.

This South African Rooibos Tea was much more floral and aromatic than I had prepared for. My experience drinking it was like having a flower bloom directly in my mouth. Though, I don’t mean that in a bad way. While this type of tea isn’t my thing, I appreciate how fresh and flavorful it was. As far as red teas go, this one’s a winner.

Could my caffeine needs me met by these two teas combined? (Combined as in overall, not two brews/one kettle. I definitely don’t condone that)

Sort of. At the end of the day, the Tea Club led to some excellent progress. I can now enjoy drinking tea half as much as I enjoy drinking coffee. And trust me, that’s saying a lot.

Sign up to start your own tea regimen with Gourmet Food Club’s Tea of the Month Club today. If unlike me you’re a true tea expert, I challenge you to write this Tea Club the rave review it rightfully deserves.

 

 

Review: Olive of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Olive of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs: Reviewgfc=olive-review-3

I like to imagine Greeks eat olives like we Americans eat…oh I don’t know, potato chips? Pretzels? Bagel bites? Cheese-puffs? As a nation, we seriously need to work on our snacking habits.

As I was saying, I picture toga-clad men and women lounging on their day-beds, tuning in to watch the highly-anticipated Greco-Roman wrestling match, sipping gauntlets of red wine and devouring olives by the jar-full.

Needless to say, this hypothetical Grecian game-day is probably inaccurate. Not only have I never been to Greece, but my understanding of the culture comes primarily from the movie Troy and a Classics course I slept through in college. How should I know what modern Greek life is like? There’s still a good chance they eat olives though, right?

As I discovered, Gourmet Food Club’s Olive of the Month Club will transport you to whatever mystical, historically-inaccurate time and place you want. And if you refuse to believe these irresistibly salty olives have magic powers, just trust me when I tell you the club is worth buying. The 3 Month Subscription in up to 2 flavors each month will elevate your snacking and have you wistfully marking days off your calendar until the next jar arrives.

Februgfc-olive-review-2ary’s Olives of the Month:

Almond-Stuffed and Sun Dried Tomato Olives 

Based on my past experience, all olives taste incredible. I don’t think an olive has popped into this mouth that ever let me down. They’re just so good! As a reviewer, I find it hard not to applaud olives just for being olives. However, I’ll put down my pom-poms for a second and try to evaluate these flavors on some legitimate criteria.

1. Flavor
2. Texture
3. Authenticity

That last category is slightly hard to define, so I’ve based it off quality of ingredients coupled with how “Greek” the olives feel to me. Cut me some slack. It’s product reviewing, not science.

First up, Almond-Stuffed olives!gfc-olive-review1

  1. Great flavor. These olives aren’t brined into oblivion or overly salty. I could taste equal parts almond and green olive, which is completely suitable for snack-time, not just garnishing.
  2. Excellent! The texture of the almond-stuffed olive is what I love most, since it’s has a mightier crunch than most olives. Especially the mushy, cheese-stuffed ones.
  3. Very authentic. According to the label, the ingredients are 100% all natural and healthy. And come on, the combination of olives and almonds? It doesn’t get Greek-er than that.

On to the Sun Dried Tomato olives:

*Might be worth mentioning, I’ve never tried this kind before. Don’t know how they avoided me for so long.

  1. Amazing flavor! Fact: tomatoes are the only fruit I love as much as olives. Fact: tomatoes and olives are the only 2 fruits people often mistake as vegetables. And, fact: the sun-dried tomato is the only tomato variety sweet & roasted enough to handle an olive’s bold taste. Well played, CV Delights. Well played.
  2. Great texture. These olives have a solid chew. They won’t melt in your mouth so quickly that they’re gone before you know it.
  3. Probably authentic? Again, the ingredients in this jar are all natural and organic. I’m just not sure if sun dried tomatoes are an ingredient of the modern Greek diet. But I think I’ve had them on a Greek pizza once, so close enough.

Now that the lids are back on these olive jars, let’s review. My 3-step olive analysis has qualitatively proved that Gourmet Food Club’s Olive of the Month club tastes good, feels good, and according to my limited knowledge, is an authentic Greek snacking experience. But you should probably still taste them to double check.

To do so, sign up to give/receive the Olive of the Month Club at Gourmet Food Clubs.

 

 

 

Review: Pancake of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs

Pancake of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs: Reviewgfc-pancake-review2

I’m sure you’ve already heard: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Load up on nutrients in the morning and your day is bound to be brighter. But I suppose you can have a light breakfast if you want. Light and fluffy, that is.

Gourmet Food Club’s Pancake of the Month Club surprised me this month with a sample shipment of not one but two gourmet pancake mixes: Bacon Freak Maple Bacon Pancake Mix and Baby Bubba Gourmet Cinnamon and Raisin Pancake Mix. Because I love few things more than golden, fluffy flap jacks, I just went ahead and decided to make both mixes at the same time. This taught me 2 very important lessons.

  1. Pacing yourself is overrated.
  2. The only thing better than a short stack? A tall stack.

Before I break breakfast down into 2 flavors, let me say something in defense of the pancake breakfast. Is any other breakfast food this fun to eat? Eggs are great, but they’re a grown-up food. The word “omelet” alone sucks the fun right out of my morning. Relax egg-lovers, I don’t mean to ruffle your feathers. We pancake people won’t mind sitting at the kid’s table so you can read the newspaper in peace.

In this morning fun category, waffles pose the only real threat to my precious pancakes. But as I found out, the Pancake Club‘s mixes also work great in a waffle iron! And I didn’t stop there. I experimented and tried the mixsed with syrup, butter, hot fudge, a whipped cream smiley face, and in silver-dollars, Belgian waffles, pancake puffs, and chicken ‘n waffles.

February’s Pancake Mixes of the Month

gfc-pancake-review3

Bacon Freak Maple Bacon Pancake Mix:

I already know what you’re thinking. Whose idea was it to put bacon in the batter? And why didn’t you think of it first?

This genius concoction has the potential to skew a little salty and a tad far-fetched for pancake lovers. It’s a tricky business messing with the classic buttermilk recipe. To make things more difficult, they plan to incorporate the world’s favorite savory breakfast item? Let’s just say these pancake stakes are unbelievably high.

Thankfully, this mix nails the crucial salty/sweet ratio. With the brown-sugary maple flavor mixed into the batter, the savory bacon flavor balances out. Though make no mistake, these pancake still merit the butter-syrup treatment. For that matter, they might even go well with some strips of bacon. Baconfreak would be a good place to start looking for that.

Baby Bubba Gourmet Cinnamon and Raisin:gfc-pancake-review1

When I spot cinnamon raisin pancakes on a breakfast menu, I immediately think of a country breakfast. I envision the red and white checkered tablecloth, the jar of homemade apple butter, and maybe a cuckoo clock mounted on some French doors.

Paints a beautiful picture, but I never buy them. There’s always a flashier pancake flavor standing in my way, like strawberry, chocolate, and apparently now bacon. That’s a raisin’s luck in life. We know them, we love them, and we take the dried up little cuties for granted. Who in their right mind eats an oatmeal raisin cookie if a chocolate chip cookie is present? Yet it feels good knowing you have options.

Anyway, Pancake Club finally strong-armed me into eating some raisins. And I am very thankful it did.

This is really just a long way of issuing raisins an apology. If it wasn’t for the Pancake Club, they would have remained in that hypothetical Bed and Breakfast forever as if starring in a low-budget, breakfast-themed sequel to The Shining. Which would be bigger mistake because the cinnamon raisin mix is superb. Even better as waffles! I’m sorry raisins, but better late than never.

With a 3-Month Membership supply of batter, I’ve designed a plan to fully maximize my fluffy-food consumption for the next few months. I’ll have pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then for dessert: waffles a la mode. Develop your own strategy, or send Gourmet Food Club’s Pancake of the Month Club to someone whose inner child is growing hungry.

Review: Puzzle of the Month Club from Month Club Store

Month Club Store’s Puzzle of the Month Club: Reviewpuzzle-month club store 2

Let me tell you a little known fact about puzzle-lovers.

They don’t all live alone in a house full of cats. Yes, this hobby can accurately be described as “safe,” “methodical,” and at times, “solitary.” Does this mean puzzles belong solely on the wobble-legged card table in Grandma’s game room? No! Though she’s welcome to keep working on that one.

Why must puzzlers suffer these slanderous lies?

Jealousy. Finishing a puzzle requires an amount of skill, time and concentration that most people lack. The more elaborate the puzzle, the more jigsaw-expertise you need. If you’re no good at puzzles, you just need more practice. So don’t tear down hard-working puzzle-lovers because you feel inadequate.

Moving on. Both puzzle-doers and gift shoppers know; trying to find a good-quality, adult-level jigsaw puzzle in the super-store is pointless. All you’ll find there is some lone overpriced puzzle collecting dust on the back shelf. It’s a very puzzling problem.

Don’t give up! Month Club Store‘s top-selling Puzzle of the Month Club will ship a quality 500-1000 piece jigsaw puzzle right to your front door. And then a different one next month. And then another and another until you decide you’ve had enough. Or at least until your hand cramps from handling puzzle pieces.

Sign up for the Puzzle of the Month Club and eliminate the effort normally required to find a jigsaw puzzle you like, that’s challenging enough, and that you’ve never done before. With different puzzles every month guaranteed, that long hunt for the perfect puzzle stops here.

Review: Bloody Mary Mix of the Month Mix from Month Club Store

Month Club Store’s Bloody Mary of the Month Club: Reviewbloody mary Month CLub Store

The Bloody Mary. There’s a few things about the classic tomato cocktail we often take for granted:

1. It’s bartending for dummies! Until you run out of Bloody Mary mix. The original recipe is actually pretty complicated. Into the tomato juice goes vodka, horseradish, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, a handful of other unusual ingredients, all mixed together with a celery stick stirrer. Why not use a spoon? No clue.

2. It’s named after Mary I, Queen of England. Or as she was known for obliterating England’s Protestant population, “Bloody Mary.” Even though the color (and the vodka) are befitting, the Bloody Mary cocktail may not be named for a queen. Some claim it was actually named after a cocktail waitress.

3. This rich cocktail can help your hangover. So that’s why people drink Bloody Marys at brunch. But is this red-hot hangover cure really effective?

Jury’s still out on this one. Chances are, probably not. Yet a lot of college kids would swear the best home-remedy for a hangover is indeed, more alcohol. Controversial? Yes.  But if you look into the science of it, there’s some wisdom in gradually weening yourself of the “juice” rather than stopping cold.

Month Club Store’s Bloody Mary Mix Club is sounding pretty good already, isn’t it?

Even without the hangover (which for your sake, I hope is not what brought you here), Bloody Marys are tasty, fun, and easy when you invest in good Bloody Mary mix. And don’t let the limited grocery store selection fool you. There are tons of Bloody Mary mixes out there to try. To find them, simply open the front door, bend down, and pick up the Month Club Store box.

You may not think you can put away a quart-sized bottle of Bloody Mary mix every month. But who are you kidding? And if you think you’ll get bored of drinking the same thing again and again,  mix it up! Literally, the different mixes provide different flavors, ingredients, and levels of heat and sweetness. That’s enough variety for a 3-month to full-year long membership. Plus, there’s tons of bloody mixed drink suggestions out bloody-mary month club store 2there. Like the Bloody Geisha (made with Sake!)

Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable not to spike your Bloody Mary if you prefer virgin cocktails. But I’ll leave that decision up to you. Aside from telling you sign up for the Bloody Mary of the Month Club one last time, there’s only one thing left to say:

Cheers!

Review: Potato Chip of the Month Club from Month Club Store

Month Club Store’s Potato Chip of the Month Club: ReviewPotato Chip Month Club Store

Put a potato in front of me and if it’s not fried, I could take it or leave it. Mashed, baked, hashed, diced; thank you, but no thank you.

But a potato chip? I’ll snatch that salty sucker up the second it leaves the frier, 2nd-degree burns and all. Clearly, deep-frying is an effective way to make anything instantly irresistible. Okay, perhaps not people. But if you really think about it, don’t most people look better with a tan…?

Anyway, back to that potato.

What is it about potato chips that makes it impossible “to eat just one.” When I tried Month Club Store’s Potato Chip of the Month Club, it occurred to me potato chips have the only snack slogan as true in practice as in theory. If you feel it is my job as the chip club reviewer to tell you why potato chips are so crave-able, I have failed you. I was a little preoccupied sticking my face in the chip-bag to answer that age old question.

So forget the “why,” and let’s all agree to just celebrate our collective love for potato chips. The best way to do this? Better-quality potato chips! That, and a bigger variety of brands and flavors than you can find in any supermarket. Monthly shipments of the Potato Chip Club include 4-5 potato chip bags from a featured regional cookers, not the infamous mega-chip warehouse.Potato Chip month club store 2

I’m sure the crunch on these expert-made potato chips is enough to tempt you. Still, I should mention a bonus feature of this popular club that crisps up every now and again. In the event a specific chip vendor offers more than 5 different flavors, they’ll ship them all to you in smaller size bags. No added cost. So it doesn’t matter what length membership you choose to get or give as a gift (from 3-months to a whole year). You’ll never miss out on any flavors.

Hurry up and sign up to snack-it-up with The Potato Chip of the Month Club from Month Club Store. While it may be hard to save any chips for later, it’s always be easy to open a new bag.

Review: Jerky of the Month Club from Month Club Store

Month Club Store’s Jerky of the Month Club: ReviewJerky Month Club Store 2

Manly men do manly things. They cut down trees. They grow facial hair. They yell at the television. They wrestle, they sweat, they spit, and sometimes, they open our ketchup bottles. Still, there’s one thing men do that’s the manliest of all.

They eat meat.

Sorry vegetarians! But basic biology says it’s  what they’re born to do. The manlier the man, the more meat needed to fuel his man-ventures. Whatever those entail.

Unfortunately, manly men also have terrible cholesterol. I’m not a doctor, but It’s probably safe say the problem stems from all that meat-consumption. True love comes at a price, guys. So put down the plate of ribs and start looking for lower-fat meat options. That, or there’s always the Jerky of the Month Club

Chicken cutlet not gonna cut it? Filet of fish a little too feminine? What if I told you you could still have all the premium beef you want, along with buffalo, elk, pork, and turkey, plus a variety of bold flavors like Hickory, Teriyaki, BBQ, Chili Lime, or Spicy Cajun. Sign up for the Jerky of the Month Club from Month Club Store and you can have all that and more.

Jerky (especially high-quality jerky) is made of lean meat. It has to be, since fat causes jerky to spoil, and the only way to combat that is with a bunch of chemicals and preservatives, which the Jerky Club is careful to avoid. This also means the Jerky Club stuff is nothing like what you find at the gas station checkout. And even though it’s pretty bad-ass that astronauts eat jerky too, gourmet jerky isn’t just some space food.

The 2 (or more) differjerky Month Club Storeent kinds of jerky you’ll get in a monthly shipment from this 3 month to year-round Jerky Club are dried, smoked, salted, flavored and made by hand from whole muscle-meat. Plus they’re high in protein and low in fat. Just what a manly man needs to bulk up without bulging out in the beer gut region.

If you’re sending this Jerky Club membership to your own burly, rugged, foul-mouthed, hands-like-sandpaper, rough and tumble kind of guy, let me reassure you. Jerky is a healthier snack substitute, not a meal replacement. I don’t expect your manly man to commit himself full-time to dried meats. Just let him know this jerky is better for him those pork-rinds he’s been sneaking between meals.

As for the rest of you manly men and jerky-loving gals, sign up for Month Club Store’s Jerky of the Month Club today and get snacking. There’s always plenty more jerky on it’s way.

 

Review: Jelly of the Month Club from Month Club Store

Jelly of the Month Club from Month Club Store: ReviewJelly Month Club Store

Normally, I’d debut a new month club with the usual song-and-dance review routine.  You know, the one where I recall a product-related anecdote, tell you buy/don’t buy this club, explain the flavors I sampled, so on and so forth. The End.

But not today. For Month Club Store’s Jelly of the Month Club, I’ve left the bells and whistles at home. Why? Because these all-natural jellies, jams, and preserves clearly don’t need another rave-review from me. And frankly, neither do you.

I really could say “You’re on your own,” sit back, eat some jam, and watch these jelly jars sell themselves. But I’m so accustomed to the word-flourishes and clever turns of phrase usually demanded of this job.

Thus, I’ve quickly prepared an abridged Jelly Club recommendation for your reading pleasure. If you’ve already signed up for this incredible club (as you may well have), consider this a short encore performance:

Why this Jelly Club?

You’ve tasted your fair share of flavors. Strawberry, grape, raspberry, apricot, even a little blackberry from time to time. None of them have ever completely “done” it for you. When people ask about your favorite jelly, you shrug them off. From what you know about jam, every jar’s the same.

Quickly forget everything youjam on scone thought you knew about jelly. This indifference toward preserves is a simply a symptom of over-exposure to store-bought jelly. Thankfully there’s a home remedy. Gourmet jelly, hand-crafted and canned by the best jelly-makers in the world; a couple months of Jelly Club deliveries and we’ll get you up to speed. Then only one question remains. Now which flavor is your favorite?

The Jelly Club has your standard strawberry and grape jelly, some less-common flavors like apple, blueberry and cranberry, and mixed preserves like blackberry guava daiquiri and plum pomegranate. There’s even some truly unexpected batches for you adventurous types. Like bumbleberry! By the sound of that last one, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Snozzberry jam in this Jelly Club’s future.

So pick the length of membership right for you or your gift recipient (3 months-1 year), how many jars you’d like a month (1-2), order you Jelly of the Month Club, and send these jelly jars packing.

Review: Pickle of the Month Club from Month Club Store

Pickle of the Month Club from Month Club Store: ReviewPickle Month Club Store

Come one, come all! Gather round as the world’s very first “Miniature Pickle Ferris Wheel” is finally unveiled!

Watch how each peg props up a pickle in a different gourmet variety. Fully stacked with snack-picking potential, this rotating pickle-go-round lets you pluck any of your favorites. Dill!  Bread and Butter! Jalapeno! Sweet, sour, spicy, kringle-cut and completely whole, all available for your pickle-loving pleasure!

When I heard Month Club Store had hungry shoppers “lining up” to get in on some pickle action, I figured this pickle-lover’s fantasy ride had opened for business. Turns out, it was their Pickle of the Month Club drawing crowds. And if you think about that, it’s still pretty exciting.

This membership promises a new shipment delivered on time every month, packed to the brim with scrumptious salty pickles. And keep in mind, these pickles are Month Club Store’s highest rated products. So sign up while this fan favorite Pickle Club is in full swing. You’ll find unlike most rides, it never leaves you hanging.

Need a pickle chip to garnish your Panini? You can count on The Pickle Club. Want a spicy game day snack? Pickle Club. Desperate to satisfy a sweet tooth? Pickle Club. Like relish on you hot dog? Pickle Club. Is your baby teething? Pickle Club.

That last one might be conspickle hot dogidered bad parenting, so be careful. The point is, this best-selling Pickle of the Month Club is always there when you need it. They offer 3-month through full year memberships, your choice of 1-2 different pickle varieties a month (including hard to find regional favorites) and nearly unlimited ways to personalize how, when, what kinds, and who you want to receive it. Just trying to convey the full extent of pickles represented in this club has me drained. And that’s before draining any pickle jars for taste-testing.

My opinion post-pickle sampling? These pickles were so good, they’re worth the wait. Which is why I can hardly believe there’s no waiting in line to send/receive the Pickle of the Month Club today! Flavor, freshness, crisp textures and delicious pickle juices:

Pure, unadulterated pickle bliss awaits.

 

Review: International Wine of the Month Club from Monthly Clubs

MC-wine-review3Monthly Club’s International Wine of the Month Club: Review

Ask an expert. Wine tasting and bad weather are a famously bad blend.

If you’ve cancelled your trip to the vineyard (again), don’t put the cork in your wine plans just yet. Instead, let Monthly Clubs cater an indoor tasting party with their International Wine of the Month Club!

For those who can’t last long long without the comfort of fine-wines, this membership is the solution to the long winter months. And all those other months too. In fact, you might want to just start building a wine-cellar.

The International Wine of the Month Club will send 2 different bottles of wines from the world’s best vineyards to your front door. Pick and choose the club to fit your  taste: 2 reds, 2 whites, or 1 of each.  Then impress friends with your abundant knowledge of elite wine making, regional specialties,  and proper food pairings.  Oh don’t worry. The International Wine Club’s monthly newsletter Cellar Notes will get you up to speed.

January’s Masters Series Wine Club Selection:

The White: Anayón de Corona de MC-wine-review1Aragon Chardonnay 2010 (from Spain)

They say Chardonnay is a good place for wine tasting amateurs to start. Let’s hope they’re right! Since I’m a beginner, I’ll start by just stating the obvious: it’s yellow! Fitting, since I’ve always associated Spain with the color. Might have something to do with saffron.

The Corona de Aragon tasted just as yellow as it looked. Tropical banana, pineapple and passion fruit notes balanced the oaky taste behind this full-bodied wine. The insert said it didn’t need a food pairing, but I’ll admit, I wish I’d had one. If only Cellar Notes’ seafood recommendations could cooMC-wine-review2k themselves.

The Red: Château Sainte-Eulalie Minervois La Livinière La Cantilène 2009 (from France)

This red wine is a completely different story…with a surprise happy ending. Since I’m not a red wine fan I was less inclined to like it. But this bottle of Minervois truly had me at hello. Although, I had to wait about 30 minutes after that initial greeting to try it (this wine is better the longer you let it breath).

The Cantilène is like tasting a dark forbidden fruit. I could practically envision the vineyards full of plump blackberries ripening on the vine. If you’re preparing a menu for your indoor wine tasting, my advice is simple. French wine, french food. Everybody’s happy.

In my opinion, the Masters Series Wine of the Month Club is the greatest thing since sliced bread…which might also pair well with that sultry red wine. What can I say,MC-wine-review4wine makes me hungry.

If you want to learn more or are ready to start a membership, check out Monthly Club’s  International Wine of the Month Club today.

Monthly Club’s Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club – Review

MC-beer-review3Monthly Club’s Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club: Review

12 bottles.  1 judge. This month, domestic and international microbrews faced off with a little help from Monthly Clubs. Beer fans know, this US v. International beer rivalry has long been brewing.

The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club actually offers 4 choices in beer clubs (if you only like rare beers, for example). But for January, I sampled the US and International Variety. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to answer the age-old question: which beer is best?

Before the results, I strongly urge you sign up for this club. If you’re a regular beer-drinker, you already spend more on beer in a month than the cost of a membership. And chances are, you get way less quality. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club offers hard-to-find craft beers along with tasting notes, food pairings, and A+ customer service.

Cut spending, start drinking. It’s  that easy.

 January’s Beer Club Challenge: Domestic v. International

First up, the US Beers:

Our first competitor hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and boasts a 7.5% alcohol content. Weighing in at a solid 12-oz, it’s the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company Emancipator Doppel Bock! Called “The Emancipator,” this malty favorite is ready to party like it’s 1938. This celebratory beer marks the 75th anniversary of prohibition being appealed in Ohio. Has it really been that long? Who knows! We’ve been drinking, not counting.

Monthly Clubs Beer Club BoxI tried the beer according to the newsletter’s serving suggestion and thoroughly enjoyed the caramel MC-beer-review2flavor. The Hersbrucker hops and 5 different malts give the beer notes of everything but the kitchen sink . Not like that’s a bad thing.

Second, the Baltimore’s own Clipper City Brewing Company Heavy Seas Über Pils! This beer makes up for its slightly lower alcohol content with a surprising 48 IBUs. This dry brew’s herbal aroma and floral malts marry well with its 6 different type of hops. Overall, this copper brew is a perfect marriage of bock and pilsner styles. So far, it’s in first.

Now on to the International Brews:

Two different styles of EKU Brauerei: EKU 28 and EKU Pils. (As an FYI, EKU is a German abbreviation for the First United Kulmbacher Brewery).

The EKU 28  has a whopping (and belly-warming) 11% alcohol content and spends 9 long months lagering. And it’s Über-thick, as Bavarian brewers might say. With its concentrated flavor, this secret German recipe has stolen the lead.

Finally, the EKU Pils has some good notes to end on. Unfortunately, this light golden beer’s got nothing on it’s darker competitors. That being said, I give it last place.

As you can probably tell, the outcome of this Us/International beer tasting was less than conclusive.  Guess it all brews down to a matter of taste.MC-beer-review4

The real winners today? Members of The Gourmet Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club (or in this case, me. Thank you Monthly Clubs!). Select your own beer club or send someone this brewed-up gift today.

Monthly Club’s Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club – Review

MC-cheese-review3Monthly Club’s Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club: Review

There are two types of people in the world: those who love gourmet cheese and those who haven’t tried it. As far as I know, it’s  safe to eat cheese wrapped in plastic. So to the latter group I apologize for disturbing your perfectly bland adequate grilled-cheeses.

 

As for the rest of you cheese connoisseurs, listen up! You know what’s out there: Bleu, Gouda, Parmigiano, Gruyere, Comte (or as Kraft-singles fans would call them, “stinky cheeses”). Now, Monthly Club’s  Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club sends aged-to-perfection artisan cheeses from world-famous farmhouse creameries straight to you.

With The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club, you get 3 cheeses a month. The international variety will amaze you, and the 1/2 pound a cheese every month? You won’t know what to eat without it.

January’s Gourmet Cheeses of the Month:

Stilton, Emmentaler Classic, and the Montchevré Goat Cheese Log

No better way to start a newMC-cheese-review1 year than with this classic cheese trifecta. First, the Stilton.

The monthly newsletter, In Pursuit of Cheese, gave lots of great history on this favorite Blue cheese. Surprising to read Stilton got its name from a popular English marketplace, not where they started making it. Guess they thought “Melton Mowbray” didn’t roll off the tongue. I beg to differ!

As for taste, this semi-soft cheese was so rich and creamy that I actually saved some for later. The taste is mild and mellow enough that even amateur cheese-tasters might like it. That is, until Stilton’s pungent, salty-nut aftertaste kicks in.

Like many people, the new year means new healthy eating habits. I’m choosing to believe crumbling Stilton in my salad qualifies . It’s all-natural, after all! If that fails, I’ll reward myself with Stilton for dessert at the end of the week.

Overall, I’d say the “The King of Cheese” has earned its title as British royalty. Plus unlike other royal family members, Stilton’s not the kind to find himself in any naked photo scandals.

On to the Emmentaler Classic.MC-cheese-review2

If there’s such a thing as a “Cheese Personality” quiz, I’m sure I’d be a Swiss. Why so sure? I’m mellow, sweet and just a little nutty. With a holey disposition.

Naturally then, the Emmentaler was my favorite cheese this month. It’s aged 4 months, semi-firm, and cut from a 220 pound wheel. For frame of reference, that’s about twice what I weigh in pure, delicious Swiss.

The taste? So good. I’d say more, but cheese lovers already know and love this Swiss.  However, I recommend you check out the newsletter to find out where Swiss gets its holes. No spoilers, but it turns out Emmentaler’s walnut-sized holes are a strong indicator of quality. Might explain why store-bought Swiss holes are so puny.

Last but not least, the  Montchevré Goat Cheese.

Wisconsin cheese has made quite a name for itself in international cheese circles. The Montchevré is no exception.

Preservatives: even though you can’t taste them,  you can always tell when they’re there. But rest assured, I’m 100% sure this log is end to end of 100% natural goat’s milk. Amish farmer’s milk, to be precise. Doesn’t get more organic than that.

As for my diet, the monthly newsletter says goat cheese has 2x the calcium with 1/2 the fat of cream-based cheeses. I wish I’d known sooner! I ate mine cold, though there’s really no wrong way to eat this soft cheese. It’ll be worth trying with fruit, in recipes, and of course, paired with wine.MC-cheese-review4

Cheese aside, I can’t say enough about the excellent customer service from MonthlyClubs.com. Cheese can’t be as easy to ship as they make it look. Gourmet cheese lovers, let me cut right through it...I mean, to it. Start sending or receiving The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club today.

Belgian Gudrun Chocolate Review: Gourmet Chocolate of the Month Club from Monthly Clubs

MC-chocolate-review3Monthly Club’s Gourmet Chocolate of the Month Club: Review

We all know certain holidays have a special knack for sneaking up on us (I’m looking at you, Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries). Thankfully, last-minute shoppers only need one item on their shopping list.

Chocolate.

A time-honored  tradition. A classic. A safe bet. Used properly, this sweet can get you out of any sticky situation.

…Or so you thought! Gift-buyers beware; all that wax-based, sugar-loaded chocolate has gone straight to your head. In case you haven’t noticed, the store-bought chocolate is just not cutting it.

Thankfully, that’s where Monthly Club‘s  The Gourmet Chocolate of the Month Club comes in. Decadent hand-crafted chocolates sent from world renowned chocolatiers to your front door. One bite of a real  Belgian chocolate truffle and your forgot-the-anniversary woes will quickly melt away.

Now just imagine what a whole batch can do. And did I mention they offer unlimited memberships? There’s no reason to ever stop her (or him) from indulging.

January’s Gourmet Chocolate of the Month:

Belgian Gudrun ChocolatesMC-chocolate-review1

Now that you’re done playing it safe with the chocolate, I’ve got news for you. So are the Belgians.

The chocolate masters have embraced innovation, and this month, I sampled some exotic  confections that were both fruity and nutty.

First off, this shipment is a boat-load of chocolate. The gold and silver wrapped gift boxes had a total of 48 pieces for me to try: 1 box of truffles and another of assorted. Don’t judge me! I didn’t eat them all myself. But if I were going to eat them all (hypothetically MC-chocolate-review2speaking) the pictures and matching descriptions on the box would really come in handy.

When I tasted the assorted chocolates, I was struck by the flavor combos. They far exceed what you get in a box of assorted chocolates from the mall. Just to name a few: smooth hazelnut praline  with Himalayan salt and white chocolate, four spice dark chocolate, and crunchy gianduja with coffee infused fresh butter cream in white chocolate. Nothing simple about that.

The Gourmet Chocolate Club’s monthly newsletter, In Pursuit of Chocolate, says contrast is key to these gourmet goodies. It also points out some key ingredients, like the West-African island  Sao Tome Cocoa. That cocoa packs some seriously rich and long-lasting flavor into the truffles. Yes, they look like little dirt-mounds. But didn’t your mother tell you not to judge desserts based on outward appearance?MC-chocolate-review4

The fillings. These surprised me most. As a fruit-lover, I found the passion fruit and tart raspberry flavors  unexpected, sharp and perfectly fresh.  Artificial flavorings pale in comparison.

Salty. Sweet. Rich. Tart. Classic, yet undeniably fresh. YMC-chocolate-review5ou won’t struggle to eat the Gudrun chocolates within the 3 week shelf life. However, assuming you were in a coma, you could always just store them in the fridge. Or send them to me! Just please, for the love of chocolate, don’t let them go to waste.

A Final Note: Monthly Clubs isn’t kidding about the A+ customer service. This lovely Belgian bundle came on time, in perfect condition, and in 100% recyclable packaging. Couldn’t have asked for more.

Sign up to give someone you love the Gourmet Chocolate of the Month Club. And that includes yourself.

Chocolate of the Month Club Review

A great gift idea for Mother’s Day… a delectable Chocolate of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs.

Every month, you receive a new selection of chocolate delivered to your door. The gourmet variety will satisfy the sweet tooth of any chocolate-lover!

This month featured an assortment of five different truffles from Green Mountain Chocolates, each with rich, double-filled centers. Simply delicious!

You also receive a newsletter each month which gives more detailed information about your monthly chocolate gift selection.

If you are looking for a unique Mother’s Day gift this year (or any occasion, for that matter) that keeps on giving month after month, check out the Chocolate of the Month Club. It is sure to please!

Visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website for more information.

Read another Chocolate of the Month Club Review with more photos.

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

This Mother’s Day, give her a gift that will last all year long. Gift of the Month Clubs are a great way to let Mom know you are thinking about her… every month of the year.

Top 10 Gift Clubs for Mom:

1. Wine of the Month Club
If she loves wine, a Wine of the Month Club from Cellars Wine will make a lasting impression. Several clubs to choose from, including International Wine, Champagne, or a variety of different wines.

2. Chocolate of the Month Club
The Chocolate of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs will satisfy the sweetest of all sweet tooths! Different types of rich, delicious chocolate will be shipped right to her door every month. Read our Chocolate of the Month Club review to see photos of what we received for this club.

3. Fruit of the Month Club
If you are looking to keep it healthy this year, then a Fruit of the Month Club from The Fruit Company will do the trick. Choose from the standard variety, exotic fruits, or organic fruit clubs.

4. Flower of the Month Club
Stick with tradition and send her flowers. But show her you really care by sending flowers every month. Check out Clubs of America for a great variety of fresh flowers shipped monthly.

5. Dinner of the Month Club
Give mom a break from the kitchen and treat her with a gourmet, ready to eat, dinner of the month club. We just love Gourmet Station’s club because of the flexibility. She can choose exactly what she wants to get — when she wants it. Check out our Dinner of the Month Club Review to see what we got when we tried this club.

6. Soup of the Month Club
The Soup of the Month Club from Gourmet Station may be one of our all-time favorites. Believe us when we tell you that this soup is GOOD! Complemented with a breadstick and cookie fresh from the oven, it makes a satisfying meal. Check out our Soup of the Month Club Review to see what soups we tried.

7. Spa Body Care Monthly Club
Pamper mom on Mother’s Day with a Spa Body Care Club from Month Club Store. She will love trying out new products in the comfort of her own home.

8. Brownie of the Month Club
Get creative with you chocolate-loving mom this year. The Brownie of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs is sure to satisfy her sweet tooth for months to come.

9. Dessert of the Month Club
And if it’s cookies that she likes, your mother will love getting a batch or two from David’s Cookies every month. Macadamia Chocolate Chunk Cookie, White Chocolate Cherry, Butterscoth / Coconut / pecan, Assorted Mini Cookies… the delicious list goes on and on.

10. Candle of the Month Club
This club from Clubs Galore allows her to experience soft scents of fruit and flowers, sentimental aromas of herbs & spices and the clean fresh fragrances of nature.

Another Craft Beer Club Review

Another delicious shipment of microbrewed beer from the Craft Beer Club. You can see for yourself what we got. Such a nice variety.

Wouldn’t this make a great gift for someone special this holiday? Visit the Craft Beer Club website to learn more.

Indica IPA from the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, California:

Alleycat Amber Ale from the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, California:

Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing in Washington, D.C.:

Dominion Ale from Old Dominion Brewing in Washington, D.C.:

Visit the Craft Beer Club website to learn more about this beer of the month club.

Exotic Fruit of the Month Club

If you want to add a unique spin to a Fruit of the Month Club, try an “exotic” fruit club. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual pears, apples and oranges.

The following photos of fruit are some of the shipments we received from The Fruit Company’s “Harvest Club Exotica“…

Star Fruit and Kiwi:

Pomegranites (note: the kumquats were delayed, so we opted to receive all pomeganites and get our shipment faster):

Cara Cara Navel Oranges and Blood Oranges (darn… forogt to take photos of their flesh to show the nice, red color):

Red Bananas and Fingerlings (yes, they are supposed to be that dark):

To learn more about this Exotic Fruit of the Month Club, visit The Fruit Company website.

Review: Cushman’s Fruit Stand Club

The 3-month Fruit Stand Club from Cushman’s offers great value and makes a perfect gift. The club is only available once per year, and includes Navel Oranges in December, HoneyBells in January and Ruby Red Grapefruit in February. Each shipment has 8 – 9 lbs of fruit, which means you get a lot more than the average Fruit of the Month Club.

Here is our shipment of Navel oranges from December:

12 beautiful, juicy oranges. Mmmmm……

Citrus keeps a long time in the refrigerator (the card from Cushman’s says citrus will last for several weeks in the fridge), so it’s okay if you don’t eat it all at once.

The Fruit Stand Club is the best value we’ve found on Fruit of the Month Clubs. And for well under $100, you can give a great gift that lasts into February.

Cushman’s is offering Free Shipping on all Fruit Clubs through 12/31/2011. Use coupon code CUSHFSD.

»Visit the Cushman’s website

Month Club Store Review

We received a sampling of goodies from the Month Club Store.

The Month Club Store offers more than 40 different Gift of the Month Clubs. They have so many unique and fun ideas — from pickles, jerky, and potato chips to soup, pickled veggies, and hot sauces.

Stay tuned as we write more about each of the samples we received….. or visit the Month Club Store website to learn more.

Review: Gourmet of the Month Club

The Gourmet of the Month Club from Clubs Galore includes a variety of unique, gourmet items delivered each month. This month, we received gourmet breakfast items. I love the gift packaging… it looks so festive and pretty!

Our Gourmet Gift of the Month package included these four items from the Stonewall Kitchen, along with a nice little note:

  • Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • Crepe Mix
  • Cinnamon Apple Syrup
  • Sour Cherry Jam

We haven’t tasted these items yet, but are planning a fun breakfast to try them out! Stay tuned and we’ll let you know what we think….

To learn more about this Gourmet Club, visit the Clubs Galore website.

Review: Soup of the Month Club

I loved this soup!!! Well, not just the soup, but the whole package. The Soup of the Month Club from Gourmet Station includes soup, baguette, and a cookie. It makes the perfect meal, especially on a chilly day.

The first soup we tried was Italian Wedding Soup (pictured above). Just pour the soup in to a sauce pan to heat it and you are ready to go. There were plenty of meatballs and lots of flavor! This is a soup I don’t usually make for myself, so it was a treat to try something different.

The other soup we sampled was a Tomato Basil soup. Yum yum! Just the right combination of spices. Hearty enough to leave me feeling satisfied, but not too full.

In typical Gourmet Station fashion, everything comes packaged concise, convenient, and beautiful. The soup is easy to prepare from canister to stove top (or microwave – but I prefer stove top).

The bread and cookies come ready to pop in the oven.

Pop the baguette and cookie in the oven for a truly fresh-baked taste. The warm baguette is such a nice, home-y accompaniment to the soup and really makes it a meal. The fresh-baked cookie with its gooey caramel and chocolate topped it off perfectly.

This Soup of the Month Club includes 6 individually-sized servings of soup, 6 baguettes and 6 bake your own gourmet cookies every month. Gift recipients can choose from a menu with lots of selections, including other tempting choices like Lobster Bisque, Ginger Butternut, or Rustic Beef Stew. Available in 3, 6, 9 or 12 month memberships.

To learn more about this Soup of the Month Club, visit the Gourmet Station website.

 

Review: Fruit of the Month Club by The Fruit Company

This review covers the mangoes we received from the Organic Harvest Fruit Club from The Fruit Company. Five mangoes were included in the shipment.

They were large, ready to eat, and delicious! Seriously, these were some of the best mangoes I’ve ever had. They were sweet, juicy and just the right amount of ripe.

I was super-pleased with this Fruit of the Month Club selection. We enjoyed mangoes for several days and they were such a treat!

If you want to learn more about this The Fruit Company’s Harvest Fruit Club, visit their website.

Craft Beer Club: Review

We got to try The Original Craft Beer Club for the first time last week. Boy, were we impressed!

The Original Craft Beer Club includes 12 beers (4 different varieties) from small-production, independent brewers.

What we really liked about this Beer of the Month Club were the extra gifts — the beer opener, the nuts, and the set of four tasting glasses. It adds a really nice touch when giving this as a gift. This is something you won’t find in other Beer Clubs out there.

Here is a breakdown of what you need to order to get the free gifts:

  • 2 – 5 month memberships: Free beer bottle opener
  • 6 – 11 month membership: Free beer bottle opener + four packages of tasty nuts
  • 1 year membership: Free beer bottle opener + four packages of tasty nuts + four tasting glasses (and you save $25)

All four varieties beer were really tasty. I mean, they were really tasty. Sometimes microbrewed beer can have a bitter after tastes. But every one of these beers was super smooth. Here are the four different varieties included this month:

The next photos will give you an idea of the different colors of each beer.

Southern Pecan from the Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company:

Oktoberfest from the Lancaster Brewing Company:

Reb Ale from the Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company:

Hop Hog from the Lancaster Brewing Company:

And we also put one of the tasting glasses to work as a dish for the tasty, flavored nuts.  These were yum-my in between beers.

Also included in the package was a helpful newsletter describing all of the beers we received.

All in all, this is a very cool club. I know lots of guys (and gals) who would be totally psyched to get this gift.

To learn more or place your order online, visit the Original Craft Beer Club website.

Dinner of the Month Club Review

The Dinner of the Month Club from Gourmet Station is the ultimate treat. It’s easy, convenient, and delicious!

Gourmet Station sets the expectation from the moment the package arrives. Everything is bundled beautifully and kept cold in a sturdy, insulated box with ice packs included. Your meal can either be eaten within three days of receipt, or you can freeze it and eat it at another time. We enjoyed ours on the day it arrived.

Our dinner was from the Americana Menu and consisted of an appetizer (for two) with Portabella Puffs and Mushroom Tarts, 2 main entrees – salmon and beef tips, and 2 triple chocolate parfaits for dessert. Everything is packaged individually and it is a cinch to prepare. I love that the containers are foil — not plastic. Just remove the lids and pop everything into the oven.

Our appetizers were ready first, so we enjoyed them while the entrees finished cooking.

Both Mushroom appetizers were scrumptious. I love having a small appetizer before my meal, but don’t want to deal with the extra effort (and mess) that come with preparation. So it’s nice to enjoy a sampler without any fuss.

We had two different entrees – salmon with dill sauce on the side (sauce not pictured) and beef tips.

Both meals included a side of potatoes, which were yummy! The salmon was very good, but the beef tips are what really stood out for me. They were so tender and moist and full of flavor. I would definitely order those again.

Time for dessert… I just love these individual-sized parfaits. Light and chocolaty and just the right size to end our gourmet dinner.

The best part about this meal may have been that that there was no mess to clean up afterward!

A Dinner of the Month Club is definitely a treat and makes a perfect gift, especially for busy couples, new parents, or anyone who likes good food but doesn’t always have to the time to cook. Gourmet Station offers a wide menu selection to choose from, so gift recipients can chose the meals that appeal to them.

Give them the gift of good food and convenience this year – it’s sure to be a hit!

To learn more about this Dinner of the Month Club, visit the Gourmet Station website.

Organic Fruit of the Month Club Review: Harry and David

Organic Fruit of the Month Club: Harry and David

November is pear-month for the Harry and David Organic Fruit of the Month Club. We have been getting fruit from Harry and David for years. Pears are one of our favorites!

Harry and David has been in the business for a very long time, and they offer a very generous satisfaction guaranteed policy. On a few occasions, the fruit we received was less than satisfactory. After a quick phone call to customer service, they quickly remedied the situation by sending out another package, which has always been perfect. It’s good to know that they back their Satisfaction Guaranteed policy.

We received 7 beautiful pears for the November Organic Fruit of the Month Club selection from Harry & David.

If you want to give a delightful gift this holiday season, try the Harry and David Organic Fruit of the Month Club. Clubs start at around $40 per month.

Visit the Harry & David website for more information.

More reviews of Harry and David:

This Month’s Beer of the Month Club Selections…

Great American Beer ClubWe received another shipment of beer from Clubs of America. This month’s selections were very “seasonal.”

Two of the beer selections were from the Atwater Block Brewery in Detroit, Michigan:
* Atwater Michigan Lager from
* Atwater Vanilla Java Porter

And two were from the Bison Brewery in Berkely, California
* India Pale Ale
* Organic Gingerbread Ale

Beer of the Month Club

Can’t wait to try them out!!!

This Beer of the Month Club is $36.95 per month (includes shipping). There is no minimum number months you must join. You can choose which month the membership should start. And you can even choose to have beer delivered every other month or every third month (quarterly).

To learn more, visit Clubs of America.

Yummy Jelly of the Month Club!

We received a sample of the Jelly of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs. Delicious Pumpkin Butter and Apple Butter in mason jars. It brought back memories from childhood of my nana! A perfect treat for the autumn season.

If you know someone who loves to try different kinds of jams & jellies, check out the Jelly of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs. It’s a gift that’s sure to make a hit!

The Great American Beer Club from Clubs of America

Great American Beer ClubCheck out the Great American Beer Club from Clubs of America. 12 beers. 4 different types of beer. 2 different breweries. Heaven!

We enjoyed a dark London Porter and Hampshire Special Ale from Geary’s Brewery in Portland, Maine. And we savored a light Paradise Ale and dark Oatmeal Stout from Hub City Brewing in Stanley, Iowa.

All 4 beers were distinctly different in their taste. A very nice variety.
Beer of the Month Club
This Beer of the Month Club is $36.95 per month (includes shipping). There is no minimum number months you must join. You can choose which month the membership should start. And you can even choose to have beer delivered every other month or every third month (quarterly).

To learn more, visit Clubs of America.

An Old Favorite: Beer of the Month Club

Of all the different Gift of the Month Clubs out there, the most popular is still the Beer of the Month Club. Gourmet Monthly Clubs offers a fantastic Original Microbrewed Beer Club which includes 12 bottles of beer every month. Each month you receive 4 different types of beer (3 bottles of each). So you get to try a huge variety of different beers. What could be more fun???

Beer of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

This month’s beer selections included 2 types of beer from the Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia and the Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee.The selections from Yards were the Brawler and a Philadelphia Pale Ale. The Brawler is a clear medium brown color. The flavor is mild, but ample. The Pale Ale is a medium straw color with a big hoppy aroma.

Great Beer of the Month ClubsSprecher offered a Winter Brew and a Dunkle Weizen. Winter Brew is a Munich-style bock beer that pours a very dark brown chestnut color and a pale tan head. A wonderful German-style beer! The Dunkle Weizen is a dark wheat beer, deep caramel in color. To really enjoy this beer, drink it while eating a German smoked sausage!

Widen your beer-drinking horizons. Or send someone you know a Beer of the Month Club as a gift this holiday. They will surely thank you for it!

Gourmet Monthly Clubs offers 3 different Beer Clubs:
1. The Original Microbrew Club (discussed here)
2. The International Beer Club
3. Or a combination of the two: International & Domestic Variety Beer Club

Visit the website to learn more…

The Perfect Gift: Wine of the Month Club

Looking for the perfect gift this Christmas and holiday season? Look no further… the Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs is sure to please!

2 bottles of wine are shipped every month. You can choose 2 bottles of red wines, 2 bottles of white wines or 1 bottle of red and 1 bottle of white. Also included is a fun and informative newsletter (with info such as the History of the Wine, How the Wine is Made, Tasting Notes and Accompaniments).

Why do we love this Wine of the Month Club over all the other Wine Clubs out there? Simple… it oozes with quality. The moment the box arrives, you know you are getting a quality product. From the tasteful packaging to the professional newsletter to the high quality wines, this Wine Club will make a lasting impression.

And if you purchase a membership before Jan 1, 2010, you can get a Holiday Discount…

Visit the Wine of the Month Club website and enter the following coupon codes to save:
GMCH15 – good for $15 off any prepaid order of 6 months or longer
GMCH25 – good for $25 off any prepaid 12 month order

So what kind of wine did we receive this month?

Quality Wine of the Month ClubOur selections included 2 red wines. The first was a 2007 Emilio Moro Finca Resalso Ribera del Duero from Spain. The wine reveals pure, ripe fruit, savory spice and a polished, textured feel. It goes well with a variety of foods, such as as a simple herb roasted chicken, sizzling fajitas, lasagna, grilled eggplant, and zucchini. The newsletter also includes a recipe for Veal with Lemon and Tomatoes that sounds absolutely delicious!

The second wine was a 2005 Chateau Plaisance Bordeaux Superieur from France. The wine is blend of Merlot (70%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), and Petit Verdot (10%). Try it with veal chops, filet mignon, roasted chicken or soft style cheeses such as Edam or Port Salut.

So if you are looking for that perfect gift for someone special this year, check out this Wine of the Month Club. You can purchase as little as one or two months, or splurge and give them a whole year. And you can choose from 3 different price / quality levels.

Don’t forget the Holiday Discount… we mentioned above.
Give a Wine of the Month Club membership this holiday

Visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website.

Read our other reviews of Wine of the Month Clubs from Gourmet Monthly Clubs:

Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Just in time for the holidays… a gourmet Cheese of the Month Club Review.

This Cheese of the Month Gift Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs includes 3 different types of cheese each month. Each block of cheese is a generous 1/2 lb in size and the selections are unique – not something you will find in your chain grocery store.

Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

This month’s selection included: Parmigiano, Manchego, and Gouda. We were treated with a cheese tour through Europe, as these cheeses come from Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Our Cheese of the Month gift arrived nicely packaged in a plain cardboard box with insulated envelope that included an ice pack to keep the food chilled.
Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Also included in the box is a newsletter which explains all about the different cheese selections we received. The newsletter talks about the history of the cheese, suggestions for serving, and tasting notes. It’s really quite interesting!

Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club Newsletter

For example, do you know anything about Manchego cheese? Well, as we learned from our newsletter, it is a hard, easily grateable cheese that comes from Spain. It is made exclusively from the milk of Manchega sheep found in south central Spain. Manchego cheese can be found in most tapas bars in Spain, usually alone on a plate in fanned triangles, sliced thinly from the wheel. It is usually accompanied by olives, chorizo, or Jamon serrano and often washed down with a cava (sparkling white wine), fin (dry sherry), alight red wine, or some beer. it is also good over grilled vegetables or sometimes is served as a dessert accompanies by fresh fruit and honey. It only takes a small amount of cheese to satisfy your palate.

Are you looking for a unique gift idea this Christmas? Or do you know a food connoisseur or cheese-lover who loves to experiment with new flavors who would enjoy getting fine, gourmet cheese delivered each month?

Then give them a gift they will love – a Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs!

Check out a previous review of the Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs:

A Box Full of Bacon, Sausage, Ham and Other “Pig-Out” Goodies…

Do you have a meat-lover on your Christmas list this season? Check out this Bacon Gift Box direct from the original Bacon Freak…

Bacon Gift Basket from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

This gift box is chock full of “pig-out” favorites and is sure to please any meat-lover. Check out what’s inside the box…
Bacon Gift Boxes from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

*1 lb of bacon: The original favorite!
*Bacon Jerky (one of our favorites!): Great snack. But beware – you can’t eat just one!
Bacon & Bacon Jerky from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

*12 oz of ham: HUGE, lean slices of gourmet country ham
*Bacon Cheese Stix: Made with 100% real cheddar cheese and sprinkled with Boss Hog’s Bacon Seasoning. You’ve never had these before!
Ham and Bacon Cheese Stix from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

*1 lb of sausage patties (4 patties total): A unique blend of ham and smoked sausage
*1 lb of smoked mozzarella cheese: A hearty pound of smoky, cheesy flavor
*Bacon-Flavored Seasoning: Sprinkle this spice on your own dishes to enjoy the delicious taste of bacon or just about anything
Sausage Patties, Smoked Mozzarella Cheese, Bacon-Flavored Seasoning from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

Price for this Bacon Gift Box: $64.95

If you are looking for a one-time gift that will make a lasting impression, check out the Bacon Gift Box from the BaconFreak.com.

Also check out popular Bacon of the Month Clubs to try different varieties and unique flavors of bacon delivered to the door every month.

Cellars Wine of the Month Club: Review

Cellars Wine of the Month Club Cellars Wine of the Month Club is an excellent choice if you are considering a Wine of the Month Club gift for someone special – or for yourself.

Cellars Wine Club offers a wide selection of different wine of the month clubs to meet the tastes of the inexperienced to the discriminating wine connoisseur and everyone in between. With 10 clubs to choose from, including a selection of reds, white, or a combination, you are sure to find the club that suits your individual needs.

The presentation of this club is impressive. Very professional. You’ll receive 2 bottles of wine, along with detailed descriptions of your selections and suggested food pairings. We also received a nice wine magazine for additional reading pleasure.

Here’s what our Platinum Wine Club package looked like:

Cellars Wine of the Month Club

2004 Narcissa Red Columbia Valley
2004 Narcissa Red Columbia Valley from Whitman Cellars in WashingtonThe first selection was a 2004 Narcissa Red Columbia Valley from Whitman Cellars in Washington.

This wine combines Carbernet Sauvignon , Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This robust Bordeaux-style blend is multi-layered with tobacco, coffee, leather, cherry, blackberry, and white pepper… Enjoy this wine with red meat or tomato-based dishes for the next four years.

Whitman Cellars are crafters of traditional Bordeaux and Rhone style wines of balance and expression of terrior… Whitman Cellars is truly a boutique winery with a production level at just 5,000 cases per year.

2006 E Prove Corse Calvi
2006 E Prove Corse Calvi from Domaine Maestracci in FranceThe second selection of wine was a 2006 E Prove Corse Calvi from Domaine Maestracci in France.

E Prove mixes Grenache and Syrah grapes – grown widely through the south of France – With Nielluccio, and ancient local variety. It is a lovely black cherry color. Drink now through 2013.

The Domaine Maestracci is run by winemaker Michel Raoust, who is actauly from the Rhone Valley. He married into the family and is making wine is a region known as the “Tuscany of Corsica.”

The excerpts above were taken from the accompanying wine notes. You can see a sample page:
2006 E Prove Corse Calvi from Domaine Maestracci in France

To learn more about Cellars Wine Club or to sign up for a Wine of the Month Club, visit their website.

Dinner of the Month Club Review: GourmetStation

This week we enjoyed a wonderful gourmet Dinner of the Month Club selection from GourmetStation. Our 3-course, international dinner-for-two consisted of an appetizer, 2 entrees, and a dessert.
Dinner of the Month Club from Gourmet Station

Summary of Review:

    • The presentation and quality were top-notch, from the packaging to the food itself
    • The meal was easy to prepare and yielded exceptional results
    • This would make a great gift for someone who likes to eat a nice meal, but does not have time to prepare and clean up (ie new parents, working couples, bachelors)
      • Appetizer: Phyllo & Portabello Puffs
      • Entree #1: Lemon Herb Salmon
      • Entree #2: Tortellini with Shrimp
      • Dessert: Raspberry Cheesecake
      • Tortellini with Shrimp in Lobster Sauce and Creamy Spinach
      • Lemon Herb Salmon and Creamy Spinach

From the moment the package arrived, we knew we were in for first-class treatment. The packaging was impeccable! From the personalized message inside the box to the fully insulated lining with ice packs to keep the food cold, there was no question this was going to be a very special package.
Gourmet Dinner of the Month Club
Lovely box to create a great first impression for a gift
3-course Dinner of the Month Club
Custom greeting to personalize the gift for the recipient
International Dinner of the Month Club from Gourmet Station
Fully insulated on all sides, and secured with bubble wrap and ice packs inside
Dinner of the Month Club
All items arrive perfectly in tact, appealing, and ready to go

Our cuisine of choice was the Parisian Three Course Dinner. It consisted of the following items:

Parisian Three Course Dinner

Sounds scrumptious!!!

Everything was super-easy to prepare. The directions for each item were printed right on the package. Just remove the lid and pop into the oven for the specified time. That’s it – no hassle whatsoever.

The handmade appetizers needed less time than the entrees. So we followed the suggestion on the instructions, and enjoyed our appetizers while the entrees were finishing.
Hand Made Appetizers: Phyllo & Portabello Puffs
Hand Made Appetizers: Phyllo & Portabello Puffs

For the main course, we enjoyed 2 different entrees:

Tortellini with Shrimp in Lobster Sauce and Creamy Spinach
Tortellini with Shrimp in Lobster Sauce and Creamy Spinach
Lemon Herb Salmon and Creamy Spinach
Lemon Herb Salmon and Creamy Spinach

Both entrees were fabulous – definitely than I could make myself at home (and without all of the mess). When I initially saw the packages, I wasn’t sure there would be enough food to fill us up. Boy, was I wrong! The servings were more than ample. Had to wait a little while before we started on the tempting dessert…

Dessert was 2 slices of the best raspberry cheesecake I have ever had! It was rich and delicious. A perfect ending to a gourmet meal!
Raspberry Cheesecake
Raspberry Cheesecake

For more information on this and other Dinner, Soup, Dessert, Steak or Seafood Gift of the Month Clubs, visit the GourmetStation website.

Fruit of the Month Club Review: Harry and David (October)

Today’s Gift Club review is for the well-known and very popular Fruit of the Month Club from Harry & David. The October Organic Fruit of the Month Club featured beautiful (and huge!) Royal Riviera® Pears. What a treat!
Fruit of the Month Club from Harry & David

Secured in classic Harry & David packaging, the pears arrived perfectly in tact without a single bruise. There were 7 pears total in the shipment.
Organic Fruit of the Month Club
Fruit of the Month Club: Pears

The pears were still a little hard, so I followed the instructions and left them out for a few days to soften up. After 2 days, I stuck half in the fridge and left the other half out another day.

When I bit into the first pear – WOW! It was perfect! Not too hard, not too soft. And so incredibly SWEET! Just what you would hope a pear would taste like.

I used one in a fresh smoothie with some strawberries and bananas. Topped it off with a little cinnamon and it was way better than anything you get at the local smoothie shop. The pears really complemented the cinnamon spice and made for a great fall treat.

Overall, we were quite pleased with our first Organic Fruit of the Month Club from Harry & David. Stay tuned… we have 11 more month to bring you photos & reviews of each and every selection!

To get more information on this and other high quality Fruit of the Month Clubs,
visit the Harry and David website.

Another Beer of the Month Club Review: Amazing Clubs

Amazing Clubs Beer of the Month Club once again included 4 different types of beer from 2 different breweries.
Beer of the Month Clubs from Amazing Clubs

The first brewery, Pennsylvania Brewing Company in Pittsburgh, included 2 German-style beers: Penn Gold and Penn Weizen. Penn Gold is light-colored and Penn Weizen is a bit heavier with a tangy clove flavor, typical of a weizen style beer. I really enjoyed the Penn Weizen. I wasn’t as crazy about the Penn Gold.

The second brewery, Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts, offered a Stone Cat ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and Stone Cat Blonde Ale. I didnt’ care for the Stone Cat ESB at all. Offered a bottle to a friend, and he didn’t go back for a second. Asked another friend to try the third and final bottle, and he didn’t care for it either. Thought it was just me – perhaps not liking the bitterness – but 3 for 3 said “no go.” Oh well, we enjoyed the Blonde Ale.

The beer arrived in sturdy packaging and all bottles arrived perfectly in tact.
The Beer of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs

And from the 1-page flyer, we learned that Mercury Brewing Company produces 47 different beers as well as 19 soft drinks. And Penn Brewery is both a brewery and restaurant. They use only the 4 classic ingredients to ensure their beer complies with the German beer purity law: malted barley, hops, water, and yeast.
The Beer of the Month Club Newsletter from Amazing Clubs

For more information on this Beer of the Month Club, visit the Amazing Clubs website.

Check out a previous review of the Amazing Clubs Beer of the Month Club

Another Hot Sauce of the Month Club Review: Amazing Clubs / Flying Noodle

Here’s another shipment of Amazing Clubs (aka Flying Noodle – they are the same company) Hot Sauce of the Month Club. This month included a bottle of Jamaica Joe’s Genuine Red Hot Sauce and Semper Fi Gourmet Hot Sauce.
Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs
Jamaica Joe’s Genuine Red Hot Sauce and Semper Fi Gourmet Hot Sauce

What did we make with this month’s selection of Hot Sauces???

We combined the Jamaica Joe’s with the Semper Fi to make a spicy and flavorful batch of Buffalo Chicken Wings. Yum! Yum!
Buffalo Chicken Wings made from hot Sauce of the Month Club selections

Of course, we didn’t use ALL of the sauce. So we still have some leftover to use on scrambled eggs, sandwiches, and other snacks that need a little pizazz.

Here’s what this shipment looked like when it arrived:
Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs - packaging
Two bottles of red hot sauce, packaged securely, with a supplemental newsletter with detailed information about this month’s hot sauce selections

Get more information on the Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Flying Noodle / Amazing Clubs.

Wine of the Month Club Review: “The Premier Series” from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The Premier Series Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly ClubsA Wine of the Month Club is such a fun gift to give and to get! When 2 bottles of wine are delivered to your door, along with a wealth of information about the choices (from Tasting Notes and Accompaniments to Recipe suggestions), it brings a smile to the face of any wine-lover!

This review is for Gourmet Monthly Club’s Premier Wine Series. We requested 2 bottles of red, as that is our preferred color of wine. But you can also choose 2 bottles of whites or 1 bottle of red and 1 bottle of white. It’s completely up to you!

Last month we received a bottle of Beaujolais from France and bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot from South Africa. What a nice variety of wines to enjoy on a special occasion!

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2007 – France

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2007 – France You know this bottle is direct from France the minute you hold it. The label has a different “feel” to it and the cork is covered with a red wax seal.

From the Gourmet Monthly Clubs Newsletter:
Tasting Notes: Pretty violet and cherry fruit flavors literally pour from the glass. And in the mouth, the 2007 Lapierre Morgon is round, vinous, and positively charming. It finishes with panache and the most important attribute of any wine: it makes you want to come back for more. Enjoy the 2007 Lapierre Morgon cool (60º-65º F) after just a few minutes of aeration. It should drink well now and for next three or four years.

Accompaniments:
Grilled salmon as well as lightly flavored meats such as veal, ham, and pork make fine accompaniments to the 2007 Lapierre Morgon, especially now while this wine is young and in the full bloom of its youth. Light game, such as Cornish hens, quail, and squab will fare well, too, especially as this Morgon matures in bottle. Traditional, savory Burgundian dishes, such as Coq au Vin, provide other excellent choices with this comely Morgon. And if these classics do not provide enough tasty choices, there is no better red wine pairing with cheese than Grand Cru Beaujolais, especially a Morgon of this stature.

Bouwland Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005 – South Africa

Bouwland Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005 – South Africa I can’t recall the last time we’ve enjoyed a bottle of wine from South Africa. It just doesn’t catch my eye when we browse the shelves of our local liquor store.

From the Gourmet Monthly Clubs Newsletter:
Tasting Notes:
A full-bodied, deeply colored wine, the 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot embodies the best that Stellenbosch and the Cape of South Africa have to offer. In fact, the aromatic fireworks alone on this wine are worth the price of admission. The 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon offers up the unmistakable scents of roasted coffee, chocolate, espresso, scorched earth, and eucalyptus to tantalize the nose, but be sure to let this youthful wine breathe. It is packed with smooth black and red berry flavors and backed by ample, sweet tannins that will allow it to improve in bottle for at least another four or five years. It is, however, positively enthralling now with a little tender love and care.

Accompaniments:
Beef, lamb, and game provide outstanding accompaniments to the 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. Tenderloin of veal or beef served with mushrooms and a truffle glaze, smoked breast of duck or turkey served with warm foie gras, and Pecan-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Green Beans are but a few winning combinations with this wine. However, antelope, ostrich, and venison offer other fine choices to pair with the 2005 Bouwland Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, at least for the slightly more adventuresome. For the more timid, burgers and ribs will do, too.

More Information

At the time of this writing, the Premier Wine Series costs $42.95 per month. There is a two-month minimum commitment. Featured wine selections in this club retail between $15 and $25 per bottle.

Gourmet Monthly Clubs also offers a Collectors Series which offers very high quality wine selections. Bottles in this club retail between $30 and $60 per bottle. Or you can compare and contrast wine quality by joining the Master Series and receiving one bottle from each of the other two clubs.

Visit Gourmet Monthly Clubs for more information or to join.

Chocolate of the Month Club Review: Gourmet Monthly Clubs

This month’s Chocolate of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs included an assortment of six biscotti with different flavors of dark and milk chocolate, as well as two boutique-type chocolate candy bars.
Review: Chocolate of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Chocolate of the Month Club
Now this “Biscotti” was not at all like what I think of when I envision Biscotti – it was 98% chocolate, with just a bit of crunch to it. The crunch was similar to the krispies in Krackel bars. Very light and airy.
Gourmet Monthly Clubs - Chocolate of the Month Club

The varieites of milk chocolate and dark chocolate was nice. Each had a subtle flavor to it, such as mint, raspberry, and apricot, and the chocolate is rich. The candy bars were exceptional – rich, smooth chocolate. Just what you would expect!

And of course, the newsletter accompanying the package was fun and informative as usual.
Chocolate of the Month Club Newsletter

All in all, this would be a real treat to receive every month. A Chocolate Lover would absolutely LOVE it! It’s nice to try varieties of chocolate that you normally would not have access to or think to purchase for your self.

For more information or to sign-p for this Chocolate of the Month Club, visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website.

Bacon of the Month Club Review: Coastal Vineyards

“Bacon is Meat Candy” – that’s the motto at BaconFreak.com. This post is for bacon-lover’s only (or anyone who is shopping for a bacon-lover)… vegetarians should move on!

How many different ways can you really make bacon? Well, at BaconFreak.com – a LOT! There’s Bourbon Street Cajun Style Hickory Smoked Country Bacon, Vanilla Bourbon Hickory Smoked Country Bacon, Smoked Jalapeno Bacon, Apple Cinnamon Bacon, Boss Hog Honey BBQ Bacon, Boss Hog Hickory Smoked Brown Sugar Cured Bacon, Baby Bubba’s Butcher Block Hickory Smoked Peppered Bacon, Rocco’s Private Reserve Country Pepper Bacon, Rocco’s Private Reserve Sun Dried Tomato Bacon… the list goes on. The folks at BaconFreak.com LOVE their bacon!

We were treated to a sample of Rocco’s Bacon of the Month Club – and it was definitely out of the ordinary!
Bacon of the Month Club from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

The shipment looks like any other shipment…..
Bacon of the Month Club from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

Inside the box, there are a couple “goodies” to accompany the bacon… a “Bacon is Meat Candy” t-shirt with a huge pig on the front and a bacon-scented air freshener. Yeah, these folks love bacon alright! And the bacon is wrapped in what else but bacon wrapping paper!
Bacon of the Month Club from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

The bacon flavors this month included Boss Hogg Honey BBQ Rubbed Hickory Smoked Bacon and Smokey’s Savory Select Dry Cured Maplewood Smoked Bacon.
Bacon of the Month Club from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com Bacon of the Month Club from Coastal Vineyards / BaconFreak.com

We fried up some of the Honey BBQ bacon right away. Good stuff! Meaty, smokey, and full of flavor! This is not the bacon you’d buy from your grocer’s freezer.

If you know a bacon-lover, send them this Bacon of the Month Gift Club and they’ll love you forever!

For more information or to order, visit the Bacon Freak website.

View more Bacon of the Month Clubs

Cheese of the Month Club Review: Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Say “Cheeeeese!” Yummy…
We received 3 truly gourmet blocks of cheese in the first shipment of Gourmet Monthly Club’s Cheese of the Month Gift Club. The three varieties included a Vermont Cheddar, Percorino Pepata, and a Spanish Tetilla.
Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The package arrived nice and snug in an insulated envelope with a reusable ice pack inside a cardboard shipping box.
Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs
Each of the blocks of cheese is approximate a half pound, for a total of 1 and a half pounds of cheeses.

The accompanying Tasting Notes suggested using the Spanish Tetilla cheese in recipes that call for a stuffing or melted cheese coating. So we made Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was delicious! We didn’t even need to use a whole lot of the cheese because the flavor was so strong and distinct. It was a perfect choice! And the Tetilla is good to eat plain, too!

The Vermont Cheddar was described as being “creamy, smooth and gentle” as opposed to having a “strong, bitter bite” like many cheddars. They were so right! Such good flavor, still sharp, but not overly so. We have used the cheddar in many ways already… straight up on crackers, melted in scrambled eggs (although in hindsight it’s really too good to be used like that), and crumbled in a salad. Like the Tetilla, a little goes a long way. So you don’t have to use as much as you would a common grocery store variety.

We have not tried the Pecorino Pepata (pepper cheese) yet. It’s the one pictured above. But we look forward to tasting it soon!

This would make a great gift for someone who enjoys high quality, gourmet food and / or cooking. It’s one of my favorites! The cheeses featured in the Gourmet Monthly Club’s “Cheese of the Month Club” are usually varieties you won’t always be able to find easily on your own.

Photos of the newsletter:
Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs
Cheese of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

For more information or to order, visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website.

Beer of the Month Club Review: Amazing Clubs / Flying Noodle

We just received our first monthly shipment of beer from Amazing Clubs (also the parent company to Flying Noodle). The monthly beer selections included 4 different types of beer from 2 different breweries.
The Beer of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs

The first brewery, the Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, included Prelude Special Ale – a full-bodied ale with a deep amber hue – and Longfellow Winter Ale – a hybrid between a Porter and a Scottish Ale. Both look to be hearty beers.

The second brewery, Sherwood Forest Brewers Limited in Marlborough, Massachusetts, offered the Archer’s Ale – similar to an English Pale Ale – and Maiden’s Blueberry Ale – described as “a colored pale ale with the subtle flavor and aroma of fresh blueberries.” Hmmm… we’re not quite sure what to think about that one, but will find out soon enough!

As you can see, the beer arrived in sturdy packaging and all bottles arrived perfectly in tact.
The Beer of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs The Beer of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs

There is also a 1-page flyer that tells a little about the breweries and each of the beers. It’s nothing fancy – just an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper that looks like it was photocopied (and some of the ink is smeared). The backside just contains sales info.
The Beer of the Month Club from Amazing Clubs

We have not sampled the beer yet. Will post again once they get nice and cold! Stay tuned…

For more information on this Beer of the Month Club, visit the Amazing Clubs website.

Cigar of the Month Club Review: Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Just a quick post today… photos of the cigars received from Gourmet Monthly Clubs’ Cigar of the Month Club. 5 cigars in various sizes and varieties. Comes packaged with a small humidification device to keep the cigars fresh. So we won’t open the package until they are ready to be smoked!
The Cigar of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website

Packaged in sturdy cardboard cylinder packaging. Delivered via US Postal First Class Mail
The Cigar of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Informative newsletter….
The Cigar of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs The Cigar of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The Cigar of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Flower of the Month Club Review: Fresh Cut Flowers from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Fresh-cut flowers always brighten my day. And these Flowers from the Gourmet Monthly Clubs “Flower of the Month Club” did just that…
The Fresh Cut Flower Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs
A stunning arrangement of hot pink and pale pink orchids

According to the notes that accompanied these flowers, orchids are a key ingredient in love potions and the Greeks used orchids as an aphrodisiac! In any case, they sure are beautiful.

The flowers were delivered via Fed Ex Priority Overnight. They were packaged nicely in a green flower box.
Flower packaging
A look at the contents inside

This delivery contained 5 stems of small hot pink orchids, 1 stem of large pale pink orchids, a generous amount of green leaves for arranging, and 2 packs of food. You can see that each flower has its own watering tube to keep it fresh and moist.
Fresh cut flowers

If you send this to someone as a gift, make sure that they have a flower vase on hand (most women do) because these flowers are not shipped with a container. I was a little disappointed to find that several new buds had fallen off the stems. But it didn’t seem to affect the end result.

I had fun arranging the flowers. I prefer using only a few green leaves to keep the focus on the flowers. So I ended up throwing out some of the extra greenery. Even though I’m not the best flower arranger, the end result is stunning! Don’t you agree???
Fresh cut flowers

The accompanying newsletter that Gourmet Monthly Clubs provides with all of its Gift of the Month Clubs was high quality and professional as always. They also included a supplement on “How to revive and lengthen the life of your bouquet” that was helpful.
Fresh cut flowers Fresh cut flowers
Fresh cut flowers

If you want to learn more about this Flower of the Month Club, place an order online, or check out some of their other great monthly gift clubs, visit the Gourmet Monthly Clubs website.

Wine of the Month Club Review: The Collectors Series from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Today’s review is for one of the most popular Gift of the Month Clubs around… a Wine of the Month Club! We received 2 bottles from Gourmet Monthly Club’s Collector Series, their top-level membership. One bottle is red, and the other is a bottle of champagne!
The Collectors Series Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The red is “Dehesa La Granja Vadillo de la Guarena – Zamora Seleccion 2000” from Spain. Sounds fancy! And the champagne is “B. Deville-Chevallier Brut – Grand Cru Champagne N.V” from France. Both were very well-packaged and arrived in perfect order.
The Collectors Series Wine of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

As always, Gourmet Monthly Clubs includes a high quality, informative newsletter. this edition tells about the monthly wine selections, includes Tasting Notes, Accompaniments, and Recipes. Everything you need to know about your wine selections is in there!
Wine of the Month Club Newsletter Wine of the Month Club Newsletter

Wine of the Month Club Newsletter Wine of the Month Club Newsletter

We haven’t opened the wine yet, as we want to save it for a special occasion! But I’ll post again once we’ve had a chance to sip the vino and champagne, and tell you all of our impressions!

The Collector Series costs $78.95 per month. There is a two-month minimum commitment. Featured wine selections in this club retail between $30 and $60 per bottle. This Wine Club reaks of quality and would make a great gift this holiday for someone who appreciates fine wine.

Gourmet Monthly Clubs also offers a Premier Series for about half the price of the Collectors Series ($42.95 per month). Bottles in this club retail between $15 and $25 per bottle. Or you can compare and contrast wine quality by joining the Master Series and receiving one bottle from each of the other two clubs. The Master Series costs $58.95 per month.

Visit Gourmet Monthly Clubs for more information or to join.

Blind Betty’s HOT Caribbean Concoctions

We tried the “Blind Betty’s HOT Caribbean Concoctions” hot sauce – it was yummy! Spicy, but not uncomfortably hot (and my palette is a bit sensitive!). We added it to rice & beans and it gave it a nice Caribbean flavor. It had a tomato-y base with an intriguing blend of other subtle flavors. Just the right amount – nothing was too overpowering.

I think I’m going to try it out next mixed with a little mayonnaise and use it as a sandwich spread…..

Hot Sauce of the Month Club Review: Flying Noodle / Amazing Clubs

Two bottles of Hot Sauce arrived in the mail today. I have not tried them yet, but they appear to be pretty spicy!
Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Flying Noodle
Two bottles of red hot sauce

The first is called “Deathwish” and is a red jalepeno sauce. The other is called “Blind Betty’s HOT Caribbean Concoctions” and is a blend of Caribbean spices and flavors. The ingredients are intriguing…. pumpkin, apple juice, tomato juice, carrot, onion, habanero pepper and some other stuff. Doesn’t sound TOO spicy, huh? Guess I’ll find out!

Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Flying Noodle
Good packaging – maybe a little excessive for such small items

Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Flying Noodle

Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Flying Noodle
Newsletter is simple – just an 8.5″ x 11″ black and white paper. One side is about the sauce. The other side is marketing stuff to try and get you to buy more.

I’ll post again once I’ve had a chance to try out the sauces.

Get more information on the Hot Sauce of the Month Club from Flying Noodle / Amazing Clubs.

Beer of the Month Club Review: International & Domestic Beer Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The first official review for FindGiftClubs.com is for the International & Domestic Variety Beer Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs. It’s always exciting when a package arrives – but even more so when that package contains 12 bottles of domestic and imported BEER!
Beer of the Month Club from Gourmet Monthly Clubs

The shipment arrived secured in impressive packaging to ensure none of the bottles broke during transit.

Sturdy packaging and the newsletter right on top!

Upon closer examination, we discovered four interesting selections of brews…

  • Butt Head Bock from the Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, Colorado
  • Red Rack Ale from the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery
  • Hobgoblin Strong Dark Ale from the Wychwood Brewery in Central South England
  • Golden Pheasant – made from 100% barley – straight from the Slovak Republic


What a fabulous assortment of beer we would probably never buy for ourselves from the local liquor store

While we waited for the beer to chill in the fridge, we perused the newsletter to learn a bit more about the tempting beer selections that awaited us. They packed in quite a bit of info into a little newsletter!


All in all, we were impressed with the quality of beer included in our Beer of the Month Club. It would certainly make great gift. Keep it in mind when the holidays arrive and you just can’t think what to get dad, or brother, or boyfriend… or sister… and so on. Anyone who enjoys a cold brew now and then is going to LOVE this special gift!

Get more info and pricing for the International & Domestic Variety Beer Club or check out more great Gift of the Month Clubs from Gourmet Monthly Clubs