Back in the days before kids, I bought my husband a membership in a wine-of-the-month club. It went well, so the next year I tried the spa-item-of-the-month. That was nice too, although I think we may still have a container of powdery stuff that’s supposed to go on like lotion (or something like that).
In case you might be interested in sending this type of gift, I have done you the service of researching a few. You don’t have to thank me, chocolate will be fine. If you’ve been paying attention the past few months, a couple of these should come as no surprise.
“When Pigs Fly: American Bacon Club” is brought to you by the Ann Arbor-based Zingerman’s deli. What could be better – bacon from the home of my alma mater? You can get 3 months for $99, but you might want to go for the 6-month plan at $189. It includes Balinese Long Pepper Bacon. I assume that the long pepper is from Bali, not the pig. But the recipient would never know.
Next we move on to Murray’s Cheese of the Month Club. You can get a four-month membership starting at $275. Each month the recipient will get 1.5 pounds of cheese from various sources (cow, goat or sheep). I would make sure your loved one likes to eat almost anything. One year a friend got us cheese hand-made by monks in some famous abbey. It was a soft cheese and when we melted it, it smelled (and tasted) like dirty socks.
My personal favorite is the 12-month, $480 plan from master chocolatier Jacque Torres. Once a month, they send something something chocolatey to your chosen recipient. The gifts range from brownie mix to truffles and everything in between. (Men: this may sound like the perfect monthly gift to your wife. Just make sure she’s not planning a major diet for after the new year. Unless you don’t think she’ll mind you eating top-notch chocolate in front of her.)
Want something sweet but not chocolatey? I’m not sure what’s wrong with you, but try a quarterly shipment of Capogiro’s gelato. (It’s kind of a creamy sherbet for you provincials.) They send six pints at a time in what they call hyper-seasonal varieties. I’m not cosmopolitan enough for these flavors, but perhaps someone you know is. They include honeysuckle, rhubarb and sweet potato. Only $240 for the year.
Then we have the above-mentioned wine clubs. The most cost-effective (cheapest) option I found was a $29.98/month club offered by wine Library TV. You get a red and a white for that price. It is the same price I paid 15 or so years ago. I’m guessing these are not of that quality. But I could be wrong.
Looking for something stronger? Stirrings offers a 12-month plan of drink mixers for $180. They are advertised as flavorful, original, and all-natural. Once again I would recommend that you only send this assortment to someone who will try almost anything. Flavorful and original mean different things to different people.
Not a drinker? How about the Counter Culture coffee plan? The beans are fresh-roasted and seasonal. Don’t all coffee beans come from more-or-less the same part of the world? The hot part? How seasonal can it be? You can get a 3-month subscription for only $79.95.
These final three clubs are for those of you who really want to impress. We start with the Organic Vegetable Club. (Disclaimer: The ad is addressed to people shopping for a woman. If you are shopping for a man, this is not an appropriate gift.) It’s kind of an open-ended offer. You can choose how much you want to send (5-15 pounds) and the number of deliveries per year. Five pounds for 3 months costs $119.99. It doesn’t say anything about being seasonal (or local), so you might need to keep an open mind.
A little more indulgent? Holy Smoked Salmon has a smoked salmon of the month club. There are more types of smoked salmon than you might imagine. Once again remember the open mind about flavors. It is described as silky, spicy, salty, supremely good salmon. Hopefully it is as good as its copywriter.
Finally, for the well-off Ernest Hemingway types, I recommend the Kobe and Cab Club. It is offered by Signorello Vineyards in Napa Valley. Three times a year someone would receive “a rich, buttery, marbled piece of Kobe beef (note single serving) and a tremendous glass of Cabernet (I assume they send an entire bottle).” At $390 per shipment, it’s probably too expensive to send to get even with the evil vegan who just broke up with you. But it might impress the father of the new one.
Upside to these gifts: you don’t have to wrap it. Downside: if they don’t like it (or you), they will be reminded every few weeks throughout the year.