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Traditional Advent calendars packed with chocolates or toys have long been a way to mark the days leading up to Christmas and amp up holiday anticipation, but the thrill of the countdown is no longer just for kids. These days, Advent calendars are available for grownups, too, containing surprise samplers ranging from hot sauce or whiskey to luxury beauty products or even jewelry.
For the wine aficionados in your life, a wine Advent calendar is a fantastic holiday gift idea that will let them taste a variety of vintages and draw out the excitement and enjoyment over several weeks. Here are our picks for 2020’s best wine Advent calendars available online.
From Vinebox, the originators of the wine Advent calendar concept, the 2020 Edition, “Home for the Holidays,” features a curated selection of 12 elegant glass tubes, each holding one glass of wine. It includes a mix of red and white wines from around Europe, packaged in a stylish, colorful box. The box is designed so that—in traditional Advent calendar fashion—each night’s pick is a surprise. The box is available to order now and ships the week of October 12 to arrive in plenty of time for the holidays.
For fans of West Coast wines, the Vintage Wine Estates Holiday Advent Calendar includes 12 half-bottles (375 ml) representing six different types of wine from a variety of leading California wineries. Each numbered door on the holiday-themed cardboard box hides a bottle, and each bottle holds two generous glasses (or two-and-a-half 5-ounce glasses). The box includes a mix of reds and whites from Napa Valley and Sonoma vineyards and free shipping (in your choice of early or late November) is included.
This popular offering, in a festive box shaped like a steep-roofed winter chalet that can double as holiday decor, conceals one mini bottle of wine—all different—for each of the 24 nights leading up to Christmas. Each of the 24 quarter-bottles holds one glass (187 ml) of wine and the international selection includes red, white, and sparkling wines. It’s the only wine Advent calendar we found that contains 24 bottles, rather than 12, and even better, the box includes free shipping.
Despite the name, Givethembeer.com doesn’t sell only beer, and in fact, they’re offering not just one, but two different wine Advent calendars for 2020. The first, in a cheery Christmas-themed red box, contains 12 half-bottles (375 ml) of red, white, and sparkling wine from renowned vineyards across the globe. Each bottle holds enough for two glasses, so it’s ideal for couples. It’s available to order now for delivery in November.
Givethembeer.com’s second 2020 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. Also great for ringing in the New Year, it’s available to order now for delivery in mid-November.
If you’d rather gift a wine Advent calendar that’s fully customized to match someone’s specific tastes, this handsome, handcrafted wood stand in the shape of a Christmas tree lets you do just that. The 22-inch-tall stand can double as sophisticated holiday decor and it features 24 numbered holes, each designed to hold a 187-milliliter mini bottle of wine. The stand is sold empty, without the bottles, so you can choose the wines to fill it and put together a truly unique and personalized gift. You can also choose the stain color for the wood, and it’s offered with free shipping.
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This article was written by Danette St. Onge, a food writer and wine enthusiast who has lived in California, Italy, and France. She was previously the Italian Food Expert for The Spruce Eats and has contributed to SAVEUR, Cook’s Illustrated, the Food Network, and FoodBeast.