Finding the best subscription box and wine club for your traveler
Subscription boxes are popping up everywhere. Brands have them, bloggers have them, and companies are curating them, but finding the best subscription box for the traveler in your life can be painful. Let’s not even get into the issue of finding your friends and family a wine club they will enjoy. We’ve been keeping a close eye on a few of our favorite subscription box makers, vintner and cider guys that either inspire travel or keep us moving between trips in the past year and here’s what we think. Whether they are for you or not, is your call, but any of these subscription boxes or wine clubs would make a great gift this year.
Subscription box options
Scentbird. Who has a favorite scent but wants to expand their collection a bit, but you aren’t sure where to start? Yup. Me too and that’s why Scentbird is a great monthly subscription box (or bottle I supposed). Instead of buying a big bottle and then deciding you just can’t stand the smell, Scentbird allows you to take a fragrance out for a test run with a 30-day supply (assuming you wear perfume every day). Their reusable dispenser makes it easy to toss your perfume in your bag without worrying about leakage or TSA restrictions. The dispenser opens like a lipstick tube and is less than 3oz. I love Marc Jacob’s Dot and I’m thrilled to have it with me everywhere I go now.
- Who: Scentbird
- Frequency: monthly
Marley Spoon. Honestly, I hate to cook on a daily basis. Give me a special occasion or party and I go all out, but coming up with something my family will actually eat is driving me insane. Marley Spoon came to my rescue in the fall through their weekly subscription box service. This meal delivery service, created by the former editorial director of food at Martha Stewart, comes with everything I need in one box. I don’t have to run out to the grocery store to grab the one item I forgot (it happens more than I would like) and no guessing what is for dinner. You can order a box for two or for a family of four or five people to be delivered once per week (includes up to four meals per week in each delivery), which is perfect when you are coming home after a week away. You don’t have to worry about making dinners. Everything will be thought about for you, so you don’t have to meal plan at all. Unlike many other meal services, this food subscription box is very reasonably priced. You can also pick which meals you want each week and note food allergies, which is a big deal for me since I am allergic to soy and mushrooms—two ingredients often used in fresh, healthy cooking.
- Who: Marley Spoon
- Frequency: weekly
GlobeIn. Ready to see the world but don’t quite have the cash to get everywhere on your bucket list? GlobeIn’s subscription box gives you a glimpse of the fair trade, locally handmade products that are out there just waiting for you to discover. A recent sample box I was sent to review actually came in a beautifully hand-woven basket. Inside I found an elephant travel journal made from elephant dung paper (it’s not gross, it’s sustainable and one of my favorite journals to use), a drawstring backpack, a natural insect repellant made by a Sudanese women’s cooperative, and a Kuli Kuli Moringa bar to munch on the road. Going above and beyond your average subscription box, GlobeIn also allows you to buy fair trade items a la carte, plus fair trade means more people have jobs that need them. It’s a win for everyone.
- Who: GlobeIn
- Frequency: monthly
Try the World. Food lovers won’t be able to get enough of the Try the World monthly subscription box that shows up with goodies from across the globe. Use ingredients to make new recipes, or try sweet new treats (my favorite) that you might not have ever heard about. I got to try out the Argentina and Japan subscription boxes. Scrumptious! Full size jars made it easy to share with my family, and I love that they include a new tea in almost every box for me to try. If you are looking to expand your palette, let your taste buds do a little dance, and explore the world from your kitchen, this is the box for you.
- Who: Try the World
- Frequency: monthly
Wine clubs for the 21 and up crowd
I had the chance to visit several wineries this year, some impressive, some not so much. Many had wine clubs, but here are two of my favorites for the year based on their product, but also location.
Francis Ford Coppola. The Coppola Winery isn’t just another tasting room; it is a destination. Sit by the pool sipping cans of Sophia Blanc de Blanc, or tempt your taste buds over dinner at Rustic. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery is offering five wine gift packages this season, including the one for artists called Water Colors and Reserve Viogner, which was one of my favorite wines during my visit. The Zoetrope Collection is perfect for red wine enthusiasts, or you could just become a wine club member and sample a bit of everything.
Just a few of the benefits of wine club membership:
- First access to new wine releases and exclusive winery events like Festival Vendemmia.
- 25% discount on wine at the winery or online, excluding Archimedes and Eleanor (flat discount applies).
- 15% discount on merchandise at the winery or online.
- Complimentary Sonoma Inclusive Tasting or Bottling Ballet Mecanique Tasting (up to 4 people).
- Preferred pricing on select winery experiences(up to 4 people).
- 10% discount on food at any Francis Ford Coppola restaurant, including RUSTIC and our Pool Cafe at the winery, and Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco (up to 4 people).
- Dine at RUSTIC every Wednesday from 5-9pm for Wine Family Wednesday and receive 15% off your meal.
- Discounts at the pool and park.
Jack and Helen’s Hard Cider from Hauser Estate Winery. Although the Hauser Estate Wine is good, it’s the cider that really blew me over. Cider has burst onto the scene and is taking over the buzz once held by microbreweries. Jack’s Hard Cider is crisp and pairs well with burgers, while Helen’s Hard Cider is a bit more sweet and perfect for a hot summer day. Seasonal offerings like Fire Side (spiced cider) and the summer peach cider have people flocking up to Gettysburgh, PA to get the first batch. Finally a reason for the rest of us non-history buffs to get up to this surprisingly fun and food-filled town. All ciders are made in house using the Hauser farm and local Adam’s County apples. Club membership gets you four shipments a year, which can only ship within the state of Pennsylvania (for now), although out-of-state residents can drive to the winery to pick up their order.
Whether you chose the wine or cider club, you will get these added benefits as a club member.
- Each Shipment hand selected by Hauser’s Winemaker, with detailed descriptions of each wine included in the selection.
- Free Tastings for you and a Guest
- 10% off all purchases, including glasses of wine at the Tasting Room
- 25% off next Purchase if you refer a friend
Many thanks all companies mentioned who sent us a sample of their product to try out in 2015. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.
Image of boxes against wood background via ShutterStock.com