2017 Holiday Gift Guide—Food & Spirits

EODCellarsEOD Cellars from Tackitt Family Vineyards

This holiday season there will be millions of bottles of wine sold. According to the Wine Institute, there are 11,496 wineries in the country, and each year there are around 949 million gallons of wine consumed. Many people like to give wine as holiday gifts, take a bottle to holiday dinner parties, or keep some on hand for when company stops by to celebrate the season. Of those wineries, there is one, Tackitt Family Vineyards, that has made the commitment to help warriors with every bottle sold.

Leon and Cindy Tackitt, owners of Tackitt Family Vineyards, offer a line of wines called EOD Cellars, and a portion of every bottle sold goes to the EOD Warrior Foundation. That money is put to good use helping warriors and their families who are in need. The foundation provides financial support to warriors who need financial assistance with everything from college scholarships for their family members to picking up the tab for therapeutic treatment to help with such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The EOD Warrior Foundation is an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in our military who are Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, and perform bomb disposal duties. Engaging in the most dangerous job in the military, EOD technicians often sustain serious injuries, lose limbs, or are killed in action.

EOD Cellars wine collection includes four varieties of red wines and two types of white wines, and they are available in boxed gift sets and 6-packs. The wines are available for purchase online, as well as in select stores. The wines range in price from $21 per bottle to $32 per bottle. They have all been specially bottled to support the EOD Warrior Foundation. Tackitt Family Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery that is located in Paso Robles, California. They specialize in premium wines and offer several varietals for the EOD Cellars Wine. Specific wines in the collection include The Keeper, Basic Blaster Red, Senior Blaster Red, Master Blaster Red, Willie Pete White, and Det Cord White.

To view the EOD Cellars wine collection, visit the Tackitt Family Vineyard site online: www.tackittfamilyvineyards.com.

The EOD Warrior Foundation helps this elite group by providing financial relief, therapeutic healing retreats, a scholarship program, care of the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. and more. Their work is supported by private donations and the generosity of those who support the organization.  To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their fundraising events calendar, visit their site at: www.eodwarriorfoundation.org.


GourmetGiftBaskets.com is a family-owned, NH-based company celebrating its 15th birthday in November. Here are a few new items they’re offering, plus a few classics. To see the hundreds of gifts they have on display, click here.

  • TOP SELLER! Red Wine, Dark Chocolate Gift Basket, $189.99, SKU 5106: Sophisticated and elegant, this exquisite arrangement is guaranteed to impress. Inside a vegan leather suitcase, the gift recipient will discover your choice of one of three coveted red wines among a collection of decadent chocolate treats. Complete with Belgian chocolate truffles, chocolate filled wafers, and chocolate covered caramels, this stunning arrangement makes a gift that’s impossible to resist.
  • BRAND NEW — Estate Collection Fruit Gift Basket, $149.99, SKU 4408: This brand new basket is already making waves among breakfast enthusiasts who love a super-classy holiday gift basket with all of the fixings for a wonderful, home-cooked family morning feast. This basket includes the freshest red and green apples, plus juicy oranges, blueberry and pomegranate juice, bacon, country ham, gourmet coffee, Wild Maine blueberries, pure New Hampshire maple syrup, pancake mix, scone mix and fruit-infused oatmeal. It balances both hearty breakfast fare with very healthy additions.
  • Hanukkah Gift Basket Deluxe, $99.99: This delightful basket is the perfect way to impress during the Hanukkah season. Inside an elegant willow branch basket, your recipient will discover a beautiful arrangement of gourmet foods that aren’t only delicious, but certified kosher, too. Complete with squares of slow-melting chocolate, tangy multi-grain chips, and sweet toffee covered peanuts, this exquisite gift is guaranteed to make the holiday bright.
  • A Must-Have For The Football-Loving Dad) NFL-Themed Popcorn Tins, $59.99: How great are these, especially for couch-bound quarterbacks and other football game lovers? Tailgate in your family room with these attractive, branded tins reflecting the passion behind several top teams. Currently, GourmetGiftBaskets.com has very colorful, three-gallon tins for fans of nine different teams: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. Some of the most popular flavors for men are included in each tin — Kettle Corn, Cheesy Cheddar and Caramel Popcorn.
  • Perfect Snacks for Baseball Fans) MLB Popcorn Tins, $59.99: Now, if the sports fans in your life would prefer playing or watching baseball, we’ve got you covered there, too. Tins emblazoned with team-specific images are available for fans of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and the St. Louis Cardinals. Kettle Corn, Cheesy Cheddar and Caramel Popcorn are the featured flavors in these tins, as well.
  • Also, gift givers can purchase memberships to GourmetGiftBaskets.com’s Monthly Cheesecake Club (Annual Memberships for 9-inch cheesecakes: $412.99) or Monthly Popcorn Club (Annual Memberships for 3.5 oz. popcorn tins: $529.99).
  • SUPER Healthy Holiday Offering — Christmas Fruit Gift Basket, $39.99, SKU 1040: If you have a friend or loved one who’s dedicated to fitness and healthy eating above all else, this is a thoughtful and very budget-friendly gift. Wonderful orchard fruit picked at the height of freshness (plus a couple of fruity candies) make up this wonderful, refreshing Christmas basket. Also, this beauty is a favorite among women who want their men to be much healthier — even at the holidays.
  • Desserts Reincarnated As Popcorn — Holiday Gourmet Popcorn Sampler, $34.99 — This is a true WOW gift for the popcorn aficionado and the dessert/cookie lover on your list. It features handcrafted, fresh popcorn reflecting many past and modern holiday cookies and desserts. Here’s the list of flavors: Gingerbread Spice, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Eggnog, White Chocolate Peppermint, Cinnamon Bun, Anise Cookie, Dark Chocolate Orange, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Caramel, Milk Chocolate Drizzle and Peppermint.
  • Holiday Dinner Popcorn Sampler, $34.99 — Imagine 10 different gourmet popcorn flavors in a box designed to reflect everything on the table at a traditional, homemade holiday dinner: Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Herb Roasted Vegetables, Buttered Corn on the Cob, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and Strawberry Cheesecake. How cool would this be as a housewarming gift over the holidays?

Khortytsa PLATINUM 750mlKhortytsa Vodka

Ukraine’s famed Khortytsa (Hor-Ti-Tsa) Vodka (or KHOR for short) is the world’s third largest selling vodka!

The Khortytsa Distillery is located near Khortytsa Island, known as the “heart of Ukraine.” This ancient island’s history dates back thousands of years and reaches the roots of civilization. It is considered a sacred place in Ukraine and is one of the country’s seven wonders. Built in 2003, it uses a local organic filter containing schungite (a unique natural mineral) which allows it to get as close as possible to the structure of natural water.  The filtration process is further enhanced with special birch and alder-tree charcoal and quartz sand sourced near the famous Ural Mountains.

Currently, there are four items within the Khortytsa line imported to the United States: Khortytsa Platinum, which is the most popular item in the line, retailing for $13.99per 750 ml.; Khortytsa Ice, with a bottle color that changes when chilled, retails for $13.99per 750 ml.; Khortytsa Honey Pepper, which offers a spicy zing to a variety of cocktails, retails for $13.99 per 750 ml., and Khortytsa De Luxe for vodka connoisseurs, is a “super premium” vodka with a suggested retail of $25.99 for a 750 ml. bottle.

uncle bens long grain wildUNCLE BEN’S RICE

Delicious and nutritious meals begin with rice!

Studies show that when you begin with rice, you end up with a meal that’s better for you. That’s because rice attracts colorful vegetables, savory spices, and leaner cuts of meat. Thanks to this tiny grain, the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand has the power to bring your family back to the dinner table.

UNCLE BEN’S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food North America, part of Mars, Incorporated. You’ll find them in homes, restaurants, and commercial kitchens in more than 100 countries worldwide. That’s right, the amazing grain we call “rice” is fluent in Chinese, Thai, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, English…you name it!

Pomegranate Green Tea Liqueur 051 HORIZEverclear & Pomegranate Green Tea Liqueur

This holiday season, consider a merry mix for the masses:  homemade holiday liqueur.

Pomegranate Green Tea Liqueur brings together the sweet taste of pomegranate and tea with Everclear, ensuring holiday cheer is never in short supply. Combine with simple syrup and water, and within two hours it’ll be ready to bottle and enjoy with Holiday Road Punch (recipe below) or gifted in a mason jar with festive ribbons and labels.

If you’d like to include this in your gift guide, please let me know and I’ll ship you a bottle of Everclear to make these drinks for yourself. I also have pictures available upon request.


8 Pomegranate green tea bags
6 oz. Everclear®
7 oz. Filtered water
13 oz. White simple syrup


1.      Combine tea bags, Everclear® and water in a sealable container.

2.      Steep 2 hours.

3.      Remove tea bags and add simple syrup. Mix thoroughly.

4.      Bottle and enjoy.


15 oz. Pomegranate Green Tea Liqueur
5 oz. Vodka
5 oz. White rum
10 oz. Lime juice
10 oz. Champagne


1.      Combine all ingredients except champagne in a pitcher or punch bowl.

2.      Mix and chill in refrigerator 8 hours or more (overnight works best).

3.      Just before serving, add chilled champagne and stir carefully.

4.      Add ice, along with 10 lime wheels.

5.      Serve in punch glasses, ice optional.

6.      Garnish with lime wheel (also optional).

Screen Shot 2017 12 03 at 9.11.48 AMJarlsberg Cheese Crisps

Before you know it, the holidays will be here. This season, Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps would be perfect for your party, holiday table or favorite snacking. These crispy treats will put the sparkle back in your holiday season!

Jarlsberg® Cheese is rolling out the next generation of go-to Holiday snacks of the season, with portable, convenient and delicious Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps.

Perfect for dipping, snacking, as part of a cheese board or as a crispy companion to a bowl of hot soup, Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps offer a variety of perfectly balanced flavors  that will compliment your snack, party, or holiday table. These incredible savory, crunchy baked crackers are handcrafted in small batches, and made with freshly shredded Jarlsberg Cheese that is immediately sprinkled on top of the crunchy crackers just prior to being baked.  New Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps takes the mild, mellow and nutty flavor of Jarlsberg Cheese and bakes it into a delicious crunchy snack.  Each Crisp is topped with Jarlsberg Cheese, using the original Norwegian recipe, perfectly balanced with invigorating seasoning and spices for a savory, scrumptious and delectable bite. Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps are available in 4oz bags and have an SRP of $3.99 – $4. 99.

LEAF Organic Vodka

LEAF believes vodka’s main ingredient, water, is what truly defines the spirit.  LEAF Vodka is sourced from unique waters here in the USA. One variety is made from Alaskan Glacial water, which lends a pure, smooth taste with a hint of sweetness. The other, made from Rocky Mountain mineral water, provides richness and complexity, offering a warm and savory impression. The water sources give LEAF Vodkas their signature tastes.

The packaging for LEAF Vodka is designed with the intention to have the contour of a leaf, accentuating the brand and giving it a premium look. With a recommended shelf price of $14.99 for 750mL—and Certified USDA Organic — LEAF Vodka is well positioned within the dynamic and growing vodka category and quickly gaining ground with consumers.