Blog

Holiday Gifts for Him

The holiday season is the perfect time to show your love and appreciation for those important men in your life; even the ones who are hard to shop for. Whether you’re searching for the ideal present for your boyfriend, brother, dad, cousin, or husband, chances are you’ve been stumped on what to buy. At long last, you don’t need to search any further because we have the perfect holiday gifts for him.

Whether your loved one is across the hallway or across the country, sharing a gift from WineCollective this holiday season will have him smiling from ear-to-ear. Easily delivered to his door for one, two, three, six, or twelve months, this is truly the gift that keeps on giving! We admit we’re a little biased in how great our gifts are, so we’ve asked our members to share their personal WineCollective gifting experiences. 

A Gift For The Man Who is Hard to Buy For

A glass of white wine on a table with charcuterie and yahtzee during the holidays.

We know it’s cliche, but men can be tricky to shop for, especially when it comes to the holidays. Oftentimes they’ve already bought everything they need, which leaves you searching high and low for hints. Part of the fun of the season is finding that great gift he would never expect. And what is more unexpected than a shipment of wine, right to his front door?! Our wine gifts include wine selections that aren’t often found in stores across Canada and they’re always a surprise. It’s truly an exciting, unexpected gift each month.

Every month when their gift delivery comes, they take pictures of the bottles as they open them, they give us their thoughts. They haven’t had a bottle they didn’t like in 3 years and we like knowing that their gift is the easiest one on our list every year.

Rita

He’s hard to shop for?

A Gift For Distant Family

Profile view of a man taking a sip of red wine.

Gathering during the holidays is something extra special. However, it doesn’t always happen the way you imagine. Especially this year with many people staying closer to home, we’re all searching for ways to spread holiday joy far and wide. WineCollective makes gifting across Canada simple. You can still be a holiday-hero, even from a distance! 

… all our children and families in Nanaimo, Sherwood Park, Halifax, Edmonton and Calgary have our Xmas presents; great wine selected carefully, shipped on time, along with arrival communications. … Right now we’re preparing our notes with addresses, email data, phone numbers, etc. … For us it’s like a miracle and we’re happy as can be. Sincere thanks for your ability to get things done, excellent products and real caring for your customers.

John

Holiday Gifts Across Canada

A Gift For The Entertainer

A stem-less glass of red wine surrounded by spices for cooking and a corkscrew.

Whether he’s inviting some friends over for a backyard cigar or hosting a small holiday party, the guy who lives to entertain will love WineCollective. While it’s tempting to open up every bottle you receive each month, WineCollective members also save them to share. Whether that’s for gifting individually or to uncork at dinner parties, getting 3 bottles of great wine shipped each month takes the guesswork out of purchasing wine. What more could a host want?! Save him time and get him a WineCollective gift.

We received a gift of five months of WineCollective. The gift was to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary… So far we have collected on the first two months, and the wines have been excellent… What an excellent Christmas present for that special person or a couple in your life.

Rick and Donna

Gift the Ultimate Host

The Best Holiday Gifts For Him

Take some time to relax this holiday season. We’ve definitely all earned it! And take the guesswork out of finding the perfect present. Giving him the gift of wine is not only easy, but memorable and exciting – well into 2021. Find the wine gift that works best for him and send great wine from around the world straight to his doorstep. We’ll even take on the hassle of shipping and the post office for you! Make new memories with the best wine, from WineCollective.

The Perfect Gift for Him


Holiday Gifts for Her

Sisters. Moms. Wives. Friends. We search high and low to find perfect gifts for her during the holidays. Whether she already has everything or she lives on the other side of the country – you’ll be able to show her how much she means to you this holiday season with the help of WineCollective. 

Gift her with the present that keeps on giving – a monthly wine gift subscription. Delivered to her door for however many months you choose, it’s a constant reminder of how much she is loved. We admit we’re biased, so don’t just take our word for it! We asked our members share their own personal stories about gifting with WineCollective.

A Gift Idea for the Woman Who Has Everything

Two women using the WineCollective tasting guide as they taste their monthly wine gifts for her.

There is always that woman on your list who just seems to have it all. When asked ‘What’s on your list this year?’ she likely says ‘Oh, don’t worry about me, I don’t need anything.’ (Very helpful, Mom). But you still want to show her how much she means to you through a holiday gift. This is where we come in; send her a wine gift. She’ll get a monthly delivery of wine which she can enjoy on her own or share with everyone she loves. It’s the perfect gift for your mom, wife, or girlfriend. 

Beats the heck out of a bottle of champagne. So far we have collected in the first two months (four bottles of excellent affordable wines each month) and the wines have been excellent… As a matter of fact we have actually purchased four bottles of the wines we have liked the best to date. We are pleased that we were introduced to WineCollective. What an excellent Christmas present for that special person or a couple in your life.

Rick & Donna

She Already has Everything?

A Gift Idea for the Hostess with the Mostest

A Callipepla Malbec wine bottle sitting in front of a charcuterie board.

Is that special lady in your life always hosting? She loves to have guests over and treat them to yummy snacks and delicious drinks. Give her a truly meaningful gift this year with WineCollective. She’ll receive 3 bottles of wine per month (for as many months as you choose) accompanied by an interactive tasting guide. She’ll love learning about each unique wine and sharing her knowledge with her guests. She could even lead them in a wine tasting. It’s the perfect holiday gift idea for your mom, wife, or best friend.

The wine collective subscription has been the answer to the perfect gift. They love trying new wines and the cards that come with each wine help them impress their friends with all their fancy wine knowledge.

Rita

Leave a Lasting Impression

A Gift For The Far Away Friend

A mother and daughter enjoying white wine together.

Many of us have family and friends spread across Canada. Travelling to visit everyone on your list during the holidays can be a challenge, especially in 2020 (darn Covid…). But it doesn’t mean that you can’t spread holiday cheer by sending an amazing wine gift to your Mom in Nova Scotia, and your sister in Ontario or even your wife on the couch beside you in BC. 

I’m retired and have been for about 2 decades, so personal shopping for our family members is extremely limited. At that time of our first order, your phone number was available… and I called to receive the best help for holiday shopping that ever existed. Every November since I make the same call, answered by the same person and through her we buy presents for our family and friends right across Canada.

So that’s our story. One phone call and all our children and family in Nanaimo, Sherwood Park, Halifax, Edmonton and Calgary have our Xmas presents; great wine selected carefully, shipped on time, along with arrival communications.

John

Gift from a Distance

The Best Holiday Gifts for Her

It’s always our goal to make your holiday gifting experience not only memorable, but easy too. Sending a meaningful holiday gifts to her is as simple as pressing a few buttons. You can avoid the busy malls, and stay safe at home. WineCollective will even battle the post office for you! We know you’ll find the perfect gifts for her this holiday season. Make memories with great wine, from WineCollective.

The Perfect Gift for Her


WineCollective’s Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Oh 2020… What a year! With the Holidays just around the corner we can happily say that this strange year is almost over – which calls for a celebration! Whether you are planning for a small holiday gathering with your closest friends and family, or if you will be celebrating together from afar, we have some great gift ideas that will fit any budget. Plus — we deliver across Canada, reaching most everyone you love. So, let’s get shopping and find the perfect gift!

Holiday Gift Ideas Under $100

Online Holiday Shopping

Have a really big wine fan in mind that deserves a great gift? Our 1-month wine gift is a great way to introduce WineCollective to the wine-oh in your life! With 3 bottles of wine (either all red or mixed), sourced from around the world, this introductory pack will get their taste buds going. Our 1-month gift includes all the perks of being a member:

  • Tasting guide
  • Door-to-door delivery with tracking
  • Special member pricing and access to our online store
  • $25 to spend in the online store
  • One-of-a-kind wine experience and education
  • Wine you can’t always find in local stores
  • Professionally curated bottles from around the world

At under $100, this is a great wine gift that any wine enthusiast, pro or new, will love. We pride ourselves on sharing the best wine and know this will be the perfect start to a new wine experience from Canada’s favourite wine club.

Holiday Gift Ideas Under $250

Wine Club Holiday Gift

If you’re looking for an even bigger gift, we have you covered! With gifts available in many different increments, a 3-month wine gift is the holiday present that keeps on giving. Your recipient will enjoy wine well into the spring, shipping out: January, February, and March. What an incredible holiday gift! This longer gift includes all the perks mentioned above, from tasting guides, to member only access to our online store, and more. It’s a great way to show your ultimate appreciation! Our 3-month wine gift is perfect for:

  • Group gifts. Pitching in with your sibling? Get Mom and Dad 3 months of wine!
  • New parents. Save them trips to the liquor store for 3 whole months!
  • Teachers. It’s been an extra hard school year so far, so show your appreciation with wine!

No matter who you are gifting to, our wine gifts are the ultimate holiday gift. How often do you get amazing wine, sent right to your door?!

The Ultimate Holiday Gift – A Year of Wine

Wine Holiday Guide

This is the gift for those really looking to blow the socks off everyone. In fact, you’d never be caught giving someone socks as a gift. You’re probably always looking for something exciting and unique to give. Well, we have the greatest gift idea for you: an entire year of wine. 12 whole months, January to December, with wine delivered right to your recipient’s door. Every month includes great WineCollective perks, from tasting guides to wine education. This is the perfect gift for the wine professional who already has an established cellar, or for the wine newbie who is looking to get a start. We provide outstanding bottles of wine, ready to please any palate. So if you’re looking to really impress this holiday season, then the year of wine gift is just what you’re looking for!

Wine Gifting Made Easy

Considering the many options you have available for gift giving, we’re happy to have shared what WineCollective has available. In fact, there’s even more options available that will fit any budget! We’re sure there is a perfect wine gift to fit your needs and we can’t wait to share great bottles of wine throughout 2021 and beyond.

Find the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List!


Three Secrets to Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party

The most magical time of the year is also often the most stressful. Luckily it’s also an amazing time full of joy and excitement. Finishing off 2020 on a high note with an intimate gathering of loved ones is sure to be a holiday highlight. We are here to help ease the stress of hosting and help you create easy, memorable moments this holiday season with simple recipes, wine pairings and cocktails. 

1. Serve Holiday Hors D’oeuvres Paired with Your Favourite Wines

A holiday appetizer spread featuring lamb pops and a charcuterie board.

There is nothing that makes a festive gathering more memorable than delicious food. We’ve created three holiday appetizer recipes to pair with your favourite wines. Pick one or serve all three – your guests will definitely be impressed with your wine-pairing know-how! 

Appetizer Recipes to Pair with Pinot Noir

Spicy-ish Honey Mustard Recipe

This honey mustard pairs great with Pinot Noir thanks in part to the sweetness from the honey. Its typical medium-body and medium-high acidity makes it an easy companion for food pairing, from duck to mushrooms. Adding our honey mustard to your favourite cut of meat will be a delicious partner to a glass (or two) of Pinot Noir.

Appetizer Recipes to Pair with Merlot

Pistachio Mustard Crusted Lamb Pops Recipe

Merlot is the ideal wine match for our mustard crusted lamb pops. The wine’s inherent sweetness works well with the umami of the lamb and the spiciness of the mustard. Merlot is a classic dinner wine that is typically universally enjoyed, so it is great to open up when having guests over. 

Appetizer Recipes to Pair with Sauvignon Blanc

Pomegranate & Pine Nut rolled Goat’s Cheese

Share this sweet and savoury Goat Cheese on your holiday charcuterie or as a light hors d’oeuvre, with a perfectly chilled Sauvignon Blanc. Both the cheese and the wine offer great acidity that don’t overpower one another. Sauvignon Blanc is appropriately citrusy and mineral-driven, which clears your palate for the next bite.

2. Serve Festive Wine Cocktails to Get Everyone in the Holiday Spirit

Two french 75 cocktails garnished with lemon peels, with a sparkling wine bottle in the background.

When it’s time to get people on their feet, dancing to the best holiday songs, it’s also time for cocktails! We created some incredibly delicious (and easy) wine-based cocktails for you to serve at your holiday party. They’re sure to put your guests in a festive mood.

Holiday Wine Cocktail Recipes: 

Sparkling Wine French 75 Recipe

Served best extra chilled and with your most favourite sparkling wine. This is your chance to break out the cocktail shaker and impress your guests!

Red Mulled Wine Recipe

A traditional drink for good reason. This is a holiday standby that deserves a spot on your party menu. Keep your guests warm and toasty

Cranberry and Rosemary White Sangria

Who doesn’t love a wintery spin on a summer classic? Sangria can be shared all year and is the perfect punch alternative to keep your holiday festive and merry.

3. Be Prepared

A wine bottle with a branded WineCollective gift-wrap bow and tag

If you’re looking to keep things simple this year or maybe you’re hosting a few times throughout the year, keep your cellar stocked with a monthly wine subscription. WineCollective offers a number of subscription options – from 2, to 4, to 6 bottles per month – just choose all red or mixed.


Wine Pairings for Your Holiday party

To think we have made our way this far through 2020 already! How time flies. Many of us are well into holiday planning mode, now that we’ve long said our final goodbye to summer. It’s time to gather your dearest loved ones, and indulge in great food and even better wine. Follow along for some WineCollective holiday party wine pairings.

Pinot Noir Wine Pairing: Spicy-ish Honey Mustard

homemade spicy mustard wine pairings

(Yield: 3x 500mL jars)

Although this is not a main dish or focal point during a cocktail party, this is a must-make at the beginning of the holiday season. It is great to pull out for a sandwich bar for a midday get together, amazing as dip for savoury meats, or on a charcuterie board. 

This honey mustard pairs great with Pinot Noir thanks in part to the sweetness from the honey. Pinot Noir is also great with charcuterie and the many possible mustard-pairings you create.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. Mustard Seed
  • 1 c. Beer (stout or a heavier wheat beer)
  • 1 c. Mustard powder
  • 1 ¾ c. water
  • ¾ c. White vinegar
  • ¾ c. Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¾ c. Honey

Getting it done:

The night before you make the mustard, combine the mustard seeds and the beer in a bowl. Let them soak overnight. The next morning strain the seeds, use a mesh strainer as the seeds are quite fine, make sure to capture the excess beer into a measuring cup – you should have about 1/4 cup of excess beer.

Blend the seeds into a paste using a full size blender or hand blender, whatever is accessible or easiest for you.

Next is the easy part! Throw everything in a pot — except the honey. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and allow it to come to a boil while you whisk everything together. Turn it down to low and set a timer for between 7 and 10 minutes. If you like really spicy mustard, you can turn it off at 7 and if you like it a little milder turn it off at 10 minutes.

Once the stove is off, you can whisk in the honey. Allow the mustard to cool for about 30 minutes in the pot before transferring into jars. Make sure that your jars have been cleaned thoroughly prior to use. In the fridge, this mustard should keep for up to 6 months, but we’re sure you’ll eat it all before then!

Merlot Wine Pairing: Pistachio Mustard Crusted Lamb Pops

lamb pops recipe wine pairings

Lamb is lovely to serve over the holidays, as it has a unique flavour that pairs so nicely with holiday spices, nuts, and aromas. It is also a dish that warms you up and can be served both as a great main or in this case an awesome appetizer! In this recipe we use our homemade mustard. If you are not that adventurous, or just don’t have the time, any grainy or spicy mustard will do!

Merlot is a wonderful match for this mustard crusted lamb dish. Its inherent sweetness works well with the umami of the lamb and the spiciness of the mustard. A match made in dinner heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • ¼ c. Pistachio (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp Mustard (homemade mustard or any spicy mustard will do)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper for seasoning

Putting it together:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare the rack of lamb by patting it dry with a piece of paper towel. Once it is dry it can be rubbed down with the olive oil and seasoned with the salt and pepper. 

In a bowl place the finely chopped pistachios with the mustard. Mix together to form a paste. This paste can be spooned and spread around the meaty end of the rack of lamb. Make sure to spread the paste across the whole rack evenly, but try not to make the layer too thick. A thick layer might fall off during the cooking process.

Place the rack in a shallow baking tray lined with parchment, leaving uncovered while in the oven. Cook for 25 minutes for a medium rare rack. Once the desired cook is reached, remove from the oven and cover with a foil top for about 5 minutes to naturally finish the cooking.

To serve, slice the rack between each rib and display on a plate as you see fit. Serve with a small bowl or ramiken of mustard!

Sauvignon Blanc Wine Pairing: Pomegranate & Pine Nut rolled Goat’s Cheese

holiday goat cheese recipe wine pairings

To round out your holiday party, offering a soft cheese with a crisp fruity kick is always a nice touch. This holiday season we have the fresh flavour of pomegranate with a little crunch from pine nuts to create this festive cocktail party pairing dish.

Share this delicious Goat Cheese on your charcuterie or as a light hors d’oeuvre, with a nicely chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity from both the cheese and wine are a wonderful match and Sauvignon Blanc is an adaptable wine that will suit the added pomegranate and pine nuts.  

Ingredients:

  • ¼ c. Frozen pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ c. Pine Nuts
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • Goat’s Cheese Log (long)

Putting it together:

Remove the goat’s cheese log from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before working with it. It should be soft and malleable.

In a food processor using the stainless steel blade, pulse together the frozen pomegranate seeds and pine nuts until they are almost a powder. Add the pepper and cinnamon, pulsing a few more times to mix in.

Lay a piece of saran wrap flat on the counter, then pour the pomegranate and pine nut mixture on it. Spread it out (try and keep the edges of the saran clean of mixture, at least 1”), about the width of the goat’s cheese log and as far up the saran as you have mixture for.

Lay the goat’s cheese along the edge of mixture on the saran, width wise, as you have spread it out to fit. Pull the saran up over the goat’s cheese and start to roll it along the mixture. Since the goat’s cheese has been sitting at room temperature it will be malleable, so feel free to gently push along the saran as you are rolling to ensure the mixture attaches to the cheese. Display the cheese on any serving tray and serve with a cracker of your choice.

Share the Pair(ings)

Holiday Recipes

Continue to explore the world of wine throughout the year with WineCollective. You can subscribe yourself, or gift a subscription to a loved one. Packages are delivered to your door every month and come with a new selection of delicious wines to taste, an interactive tasting guide, recipes and more!


Wine Cocktails for Your Holiday Party

Dust off your best cocktail shaker, break out the shot glass, and get ready to serve! We know the holidays can be an overwhelming time to create fun, new menus— that’s why we’ve put together three amazing recipes for the most delicious wine cocktails. We know your guests will love sipping these great drinks as you pass around great food and play your favourite games. 

Sparkling Wine Cocktails to Serve at Your Holiday Party

Popping the cork isn’t the only fun part of sparkling wine! Nothing is more refined or enjoyable than a fancy sparkling wine cocktail. And the best part is: this one is so easy to make! Impress your guests by serving a Sparkling Wine French 75.

French 75 Cocktail Recipe

bottle of sparkling wine with two glass behind it, to the right

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 3 ounces dry sparkling wine, very chilled
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions:

Squeeze and juice 1 lemon into the cocktail shaker. Do this over your hand or a strainer so that you catch any seeds. In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.  Strain into chilled champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a thin lemon peel, if desired.

Dry sparkling wine works best with this recipe. This allows you to add some bubbles, without adding any unnecessary sweetness. The drier the sparkling wine, the less sugar!

Red Wine Cocktails to Serve at Your Holiday Party

If there was a ranking for “most traditional holiday drink”, it just might be this one. Nothing says winter or holidays more than a steamy cup of mulled wine. This festive beverage has been around since the 2nd century and we aren’t surprised it’s stuck around! Warm and spicy in the best way, our mulled wine recipe will keep everyone feeling grateful.

Red Mulled Wine Recipe

Glass of mulled wine on a wood block, surrounded by ingredients like cinnamon sticks and clove.

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 1 x 750-ml bottles of Merlot
  • 250 mL water
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 clementines or medium orange
  • 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 4 apples (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (and 6 for optional garnish)
  • 1 tsp vanilla 

Instructions:

Press the pointed end of cloves into each clementine/orange through the skin. Place clementines/orange, wine, cider, apples (if using), cinnamon sticks, and vanilla into a large pot. Bring to a slight simmer over medium-low heat, cooking gently for 20-25 minutes. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Rewarm gently over medium-low heat before continuing. Serve and garnish with a cinnamon stick and slice of apple, if desired.

Merlot is the preferred red wine for making mulled wine. This is largely because it is more fruit-forward, has higher alcohol content that can handle being cooked off, and typically has a bold flavour palate that can stand up to the spices.

White Wine Cocktails to Serve at Your Holiday Party

Looking to go a little beyond tradition? Mix things up with white wine Sangria — holiday-style. This refreshing, light cocktail is synonymous with warmer weather. We might be knee-deep in snow in most of the country over the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we have to avoid delicious Sangria. Add a seasonal twist to this white wine favourite and have your holiday guests asking where you got such a great idea!

Cranberry & Rosemary White Sangria Recipe

Bottle of white wine beside chopped apple and a glass with sprigs of rosemary

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  •  2 x 750ml bottles Pinot Grigio
  •  1/4 cup sugar
  •  250 ml sparkling water
  •  1/2 cup apple cider 
  •  1/2 cup cranberries
  •  2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  •  3 rosemary sprigs
  •  Garnish: rosemary sprigs

Instructions: 

Chop apples into small cubes. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir together with a large spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve chilled and include fruit from the pitcher in each glass!

This refreshing yet festive sangria will be everyone’s favourite drink in no time. The Pinot Grigio is so light and bright, while the rosemary and apple cider adds some spice.

Holiday Party Cocktails to Remember

two glasses with clear cocktail, topped with a thin lemon peel

There is something special about visiting with loved ones this time of year. And nothing adds to a celebration quite like having a special cocktail in hand. We’re happy to share these recipes with you and hope to bring some extra cheer your way, in a glass, this holiday season.

If you want to develop your palate and continue to learn about wine, check out our monthly wine subscriptions. You can even send a wine subscription as a gift. Every month you (or your loved one) will receive a variety of new wines and an interactive tasting guide – delivered!