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The holidays have always been a time of great anticipation for kids. Meanwhile, adults typically spend the month of December stressing out, making plans, and running around to make all the magic happen behind the scenes. Taking time to slow down and celebrate the season shouldn't just be for kids, and with the introduction of wine Advent calendars, it doesn't have to be.
Traditional Advent calendars are filled with chocolate or candy and serve as a countdown to the Christmas holiday (December 25), but in recent years, Advent calendars have become much more creative and much more adult-friendly—still serving up daily treats throughout the month of December but in the form of coffee, beer, whiskey, wine, and more. Wine Advent calendars are particularly fun because they allow you to sample a variety of wines that you might not experience otherwise. After a day of shopping for gifts, searching for perfect table linens, or standing in line for a ham, you can go home and partake in some holiday spirit when you open your wine for the day.
There are several options out there for wine lovers of all types—something for red wine lovers, white wine lovers, and those looking to experiment—and even DIY editions for those who want more say over the wine they sip. Just be sure to order early because wine Advent calendars tend to sell out quickly.
Here, the best wine Advent calendars for festive holiday sipping this year.
In Good Taste Wine Advent Calendar
In Good Taste specializes in sample-size kits highlighting various grapes and regions, and the brand's wine Advent calendar is a top pick this year. If you consider yourself more of a seasoned wine drinker or wine enthusiast, this is the calendar to purchase this holiday season. Instead of just 12 days of wine, we like that this calendar is more like a traditional Advent calendar: There are 24 mini bottles, about one glass of wine each (187 milliliters), to enjoy during the December days leading up to Christmas. There are a variety of reds, whites, and rosés from a tangy Sauvignon Blanc to a fruity Syrah.
Shipping Info: This calendar is available for order now and ships by November 25
VINEBOX 12 Nights of Wine
Vinebox is one of the most popular wine boxes out there and for good reason. The wine comes in glass tubes and the packaging is gorgeous. This year's holiday offering of the iconic 12 Nights of Wine Advent calendar has been dubbed the "Women in Wine" edition, with a selection of wines from women winemakers. You can choose from three box designs—Abstract, Wonderland, and Confetti—and each includes 12 tubes of wine (holding a glass each or 100 milliliters) that were carefully selected by Vinebox's certified sommeliers. The wine variety is excellent as well: four whites, two rosés, and six reds.
Shipping Info: Now available for pre-order online; expected to ship early December
Give Them Beer Wine Advent Calendar 2021
Don't be fooled by the name: The 2021 Wine Advent Calendar offered by Give Them Beer contains 12 half bottles (375 milliliters) of wine. Each day is numbered, and you simply open the "door" to discover a new wine. It could be a red or white wine from regions all over the world, but you won’t know until you open it—keeping with the surprise element of traditional kids' calendars. While there are only 12 bottles in this calendar, they are half bottles so you get more than one glass of wine from each bottle, meaning there is enough to share with a loved one, if you so choose.
Shipping Info: Available for pre-order; ships in November
GiveThemBeer 2021 Sparkling Wine Advent Calendar
Givethembeer.com’s other wine countdown calendar, packaged in a blue-and-white box with a fireworks design, is ideal for bubbly lovers, with 12 different mini bottles of Prosecco, sparkling rosé, and other sparkling wines. Open a door to discover your sparkling surprise each day in the form of a 187-milliliter bottle. Also great for ringing in the New Year, it’s available to order now and typically sells out quickly.
Shipping Info: Order now; delivery begins early November
Usual Wines Mixed Pack
Advent calendars tend to sell out fast, and if your favorite option isn't available, don't despair. You can create a DIY wine Advent calendar with the Usual Wines Mixed Pack, which includes your choice of 12 or 24 small bottles from a selection split between red, rosé, and brut options. Or, if you want just one type, you can order all of the same.
Each of the bottles contains 6.3 ounces—just enough for a generous pour. Usual Wines is known for sustainably farmed, small-batch wines in California, and there are no added sugar or additives.
Shipping Info: Free shipping; available for shipping immediately
Drizly Holiday Spirits Advent Calendar
Drizly is known for its beer, wine, and liquor delivery so it's no surprise that the company curated its own Advent calendar with top-of-the-line selections. This is another 12 bottle assortment, offering wines from around the world and featuring different grapes and regions so you can feel like you’re traveling even if you’re staying home this holiday season. There are twelve 187 milliliter mini bottles (sometimes called a split, these are a quarter of the size of a standard wine bottle) in this calendar. Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Can (California), Tussock Jumper Chardonnay (France), Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Can (New Zealand), Tussock Jumper Pinot Grigio (Italy), and Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Rosé (California) are just a few of the options included. Availability and shipping vary by state so be sure to check your address.
Shipping Info: Available for orders and shipping now
Studio29ElevenDesign Mini Wine Bottle Advent Calendar
Wine Advent calendars go fast and they can be tricky to order with availability and shipping varying from state to state, so if you want to take matters into your own hands, we found a particularly festive DIY solution that you can reuse year after year. Shaped like a tree, this calendar will hold 25 mini wine bottles of your choosing. Fill the tree with your favorite bottles from a recent trip—this could become something you collect for all throughout the year—or perhaps bottles from your dream wine region. This also makes a fun gift or cute activity for roommates or couples.
Minimal assembly is required—no tools—so the only real work is deciding on the wines and filling it. It stores flat so you can put it away with the holiday decorations and pull out again year after year.
Shipping Info: Ships free to the United States; check site for details; wine not included
Wall Street Journal Wines of the World Advent Calendar
The Wall Street Journal's 2021 Advent calendar features 24 different wines and the slogan "A delicious pour behind every door." The calendar is made up of quarter-sized 187-milliliter bottles, which equals about one glass for every day in December leading up to Christmas. Some of the wines offered are an Italian Prosecco, a ruby Port from Portugal, a Super Tuscan, and a Bordeaux, and there are no repeats so you'll get quite the variety this holiday season. This calendar is expected to sell out so don't wait to order.
Shipping Info: Order by November 21 for delivery by December 1
What to Look for in a Wine Advent Calendar
There are a lot of Advent calendars on the market so you should think about which style you want. Do you want it to have larger bottles of wine or mini bottles? Should it last for 24 days or 12 days? Are you looking for wines from the same region for further exploration or will this calendar be a fun way to try new things from all over the world? These questions can help you decide which advent calendar would be best for you. Some allow for customization and there are even DIY varieties.
These calendars move fast—like lightning fast—and you need to factor in shipping time if you want to start on December 1. If you want one, decide the type you’re looking for (from our list above, of course), then buy it right away. If the one you want sells out, DIY options are a great way to count down with wine this season.
No matter which calendar you order, do keep in mind that you are getting several bottles of wine specially packaged and shipped to you (so they can be expensive). Pricing varies based on a couple of factors: The size of the bottles and how many bottles are in the calendar, 12 or 24. Some vendors are offering free shipping for pre-orders as well, which is a nice touch.
What is a wine Advent calendar?
Advent comes from the Latin word for "coming toward" and is a season in the Christian church that comes just before Christmas, December 25. Advent calendars are also used for gift calendars in December as we are coming toward Christmas. A wine Advent calendar celebrates those days of anticipation with a small bottle of wine in a box, labeled by the days, for one to open, drink, and enjoy. A traditional Advent calendar has something for each day of the month of December, but some wine calendars go with the "12 days of Christmas" theme instead. Of course, no matter what holiday you celebrate (or don't celebrate) you can partake in the festivity of the season with samples of wine during the month of December.
When do Advent calendars start?
Traditional Advent calendars start on December 1, although the actual start date of the season of Advent varies each year. Advent calendars typically span 24 days leading up to December 25, but many wine Advent calendars only feature 12 days.
When should you order your wine Advent calendar?
As soon as possible! Wine Advent calendars famously sell out from every vendor every year, so act quickly.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Tanisha Townsend is a freelance writer for The Spruce Eats and the founder and chief wine officer of Girl Meets Glass, a wine lifestyle and education agency. She lives in Paris, France, where she conducts wine and food pairing experiences, hosts a podcast, and teaches wine courses at universities.