Tuesday, January 03, 2012

sambadays Gift-box Experiences - updated Jan 5th

... First posted December 27th, 2011
I never knew it existed! ...until Christmas morning opening my gifts. A package the size of a CD/DVD but containing a variety of ‘Gifts’ packaged as activities involving the recipient in an exciting adventure. Everything from Balloon Rides to Night Outs, from Spa treatments to Skydiving... and much more.  To be given at Christmas, on a special occasion or as Corporate awards sambadays sources to partners the elements needed as part of each package. Their website describes the numerous, as well as the newest, ‘Gift-box experiences’ available. 

Categories of Gift-boxes:

  • Adventure
    • Explore
    • Action and Adventure
  • Life and Culture
    • Live and Learn
  • Golf
  • Gourmet
    • Shared Plates
    • Table for Two
    • Chef at Home
  • Body and Soul
    • Rejuvenate
    • Pamper and Wellness
  • Wine
    • Wine and Tour
    • Global Wine
  • Getaway
    • Gourmet Getaway

As a Christmas gift I received the Global Wine package and the WineOnLine Marketing Company is sambadays’ fulfilment partner.

Global Wine

‘Activation’ is the first of a 3 step process and simply means registering the fourteen digit number, found on the small card
that comes with the Gift-box, on sambadays website

This package contains a choice of 10 wine styles (see photo) from which 6 bottles can be ordered from the partner. Included in the package are food recipes “to help accentuate your wine experience”, two Riedel glasses, a Vinturi aerator, tasting notes and Shipping costs. 
To help me decide what to order there is a card describing each style. For example, ‘Smooth and Silky Reds’ are said to be wines having “a firm yet distinctively soft texture, smooth, mellow, with no rough edges. Tannins and acids are well married and folded into the wine. When the wine is bigger, more opulent, the word ’velvety’ is often used. As you taste, feel the wine in your muoth, roll it around, noting not just flavor but texture as well. Soft & silky, young pinot noirs, mellow perfumed reds with lots of red fruit flavors.  Riojas, Chiantis and some creamy Malbecs will fall into this experience.”

The next step is up to me. I must:

  • Activate
  • Choose a Style
  • Order my Global Wines
…but first I’ll need to talk to the Partner to find out what's available.

My first choice is ‘Aromatic Whites’ with the expectation of receiving wines with “intense aromas and flavours that come from their particular grape variety, whether they are off dry or dry. … Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Riesling…”

… and in case this doesn’t pan out

My backup choice is ’Intense and Bold Reds’ with the expectation of receiving wines from “warmer wine producing regions such as Australia, Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal and California. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel are typical varieties”.

I believe I’m ready to call WineOnLine.  Stay tuned…I'll let you know how I make out.

…cont’d December 28th, 2011
A short conversation with the WineOnLine rep arranged for delivery of 6 bottles to my address in Mississauga.

However there are some restrictions imposed by Ontario’s monopoly, the LCBO. From a consumer perspective the following are completely arbitrary only enforced by an arrogant disrespect for the wine buying public and burdensome bureaucratic oversight.

  • An option on the WineOnLine website labelled Mix-a-Six  provides for mixing 6 wines if and only if they are from the same participating Ontario winery. Several wineries however have limited selections.
  • If imported wines are requested all six must be same label and may be limited to certain wines imported in 6 bottle cases.

A minor issue is a Vinturi aerator for white wines is not available. An aerator from another manufacturer can be substituted. Basically, the elegant descriptions of ‘10 wine styles’ are well intentioned but not pertinent in Ontario.

… cont’d January 3rd, 2012

A call from WineOnLine puts shipment within the week via Canada Post. For a wine selection a 2009 Dolcetto d’Alba  was recommended which I accepted after a review of the tasting notes and heritage.


... cont'd January 5th, 2012
Gift as received
A second call from WineOnLine scheduled a personal rather than a Canada Post delivery for today. The Gift is shown as received then as unpacked. Imagine. A real person at the door and offering me the choice of Riedel 'O' or Riedel Pinot Noir Stemware wine glasses.

Not included, and not a concern, were “food recipes to help accentuate your wine experience”.

The Ellana Dolcetto d'Alba has been added to my tastings for January 2012 Wines

Overall the contents are top quality and, separately priced, would be $230+ incl. shipping and taxes.  I appreciated the options of glassware, wines - which are not available at Outlets - and the attention from WOL considering having to comply with arbitrary LCBO restrictions. The only suggestion I have is for sambadays to clarify their wine packages to reflect Ontario laws. Anyhoo, it's a terrific Gift approach!

Now to taste the wine!

Cheers, Ww

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