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Details: 2-pound first delivery box $14.99l; $34.99 after that Availability: Online
Camano Island Roasters coffee club offers USDA certified organic, 100% shade grown and fairly traded coffee.
The coffee — from Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Peru or Sumatra— is available as light, medium or dark roast. Their decaf is processed by the Swiss Water Method that involves only water, heat and time to extract the caffeine.
- bonnie: We sampled the flavorful regular roast, but never had the opportunity to try their decaf. I’d recommend the regular.
Many affordable wines have been specifically crafted to be shared with friends, family and food! Consider these four California ones for the holidays.
Chateau Souverain offers contemporary wines ($12.99 SRP) with fruit forward flavors appealing to many.
Their Cabernet Sauvignon has balanced fruit, acidity and round tannins that pairs nicely with cheeses like Cheddar, Stilton, steak, prosciutto and even a burger. With rich berry flavors, the Merlot has a soft finish and pairs with pasta with marinara sauce, lamb, ribs and pizza. There’s a buttery Chardonnay with oak, citrus and spice that goes well with soft cheeses, Cacio e Pepe and lobster.
A bit more expensive, the B.R. Cohn 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast Silver Label ($22 SRP) has a long finish after berry flavors and smooth tannins. This Cab pairs well with spaghetti and meatballs in marinara, a leg of lamb or a rib-eye steak.
And even pricer, is a Chardonnay — 0ne that other ABC folks (Anything But Chardonnay) should like as it’s neither buttery or oaky. Viansa Sonoma 2013 Carneros Chardonnay Signature Series ($45 SRP) is a fruit-driven, fresh and lively one with a bit of lemony stone fruit. Pairs with rich foods like jambalaya, seafood ravioli and grilled salmon.
Details: $1.99 per 1-liter bottle Availability: Nationwide
Smartwater introduced a sparkling version of their water. In other words, its carbonated water with added electrolytes. The water is vapor-distilled necessitating the addition of electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and potassium) only for taste.
There’s no clinical research about added hydration benefits. Not worth the extra price over other bottled waters.
Kim Crawford (whose wines I enjoy) must have money to spare. They’re offering pricey Wine Gems by ANNA New York that arrived to me in a box that could house Chopard, Tiffany or Harry Winston jewels. I hesitated tossing it, trying to figure out how to re-purpose.
My box contained a bottle of their tasty Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, two crystal white wine glasses and another fancy box housing the six stones. The $76 price tag includes only the gems — in a box also nice enough for jewels. The larger one I received was only for promotional purposes. A waste of resources for sure!
These wine gems consist of six fluorite stones to keep a glass of wine chilled for up to an hour without diluting the flavors. It’s ANNA’s “whiskey stones” for wine. Simply freeze, drop in your glass of wine and rinse to reuse.
Details: $12.99 per 8.8-ounce can Availability: Online
Bialetti introduced Aroma Classico, ground coffee specifically made for use with the Moka Express stovetop coffee maker, but can be used with any coffee maker. The espresso is a strong full-bodied blend made from 70 percent Arabica and 30 percent Robusta beans.
Varieties: Ugo, prosecco, moscato, lambrusco, spritz Details: $5.00 per 187ml-bottle, $12.00 per 750ml-bottle Availability: Nationwide
Mionetto IL Ugo is an Italian semi-sparkling cocktail made with elderflower blossom. The beverage contains 8% alcohol and pairs well with grilled vegetables, cheeses, barbecue and spicy fare. - bonnie: An unusually flavored and deliciously, light low-alcohol bubbly!
Varieties: The plunge, mermaid pilsner, seas the day indian pale lager Details: $6.99-$9.99 per 6-pack bottles Availability: Metro New York, available through February
Coney Island Brewing Company winter seasonal beer, The Plunge is a Belgian-style ale brewed with ginger, orange peel and fennel seed with 6.9% ABV. The beer is inspired by Coney Island Polar Bear Club annual New Years Day plunge into the Atlantic ocean for charity.
Varieties: Dry rosé cider, dry white cider Details: $4 per 12-ounce bottle, $16.00 per 4-pack, $48.00 per 12-pack, $86.40 per 24-pack Availability: Wölffer winery, speciality wine and liquor stores in New York, online
Wölffer 139 Dry Rosé Cider is made exclusively from New York State apples with about a third grown locally at White Cap Farm in Bridgehampton, New York, five miles from the Wölffer Estate vineyard.
The rosé color and subtle difference in flavor is achieved from the addition of red grape skin extracts.
Varieties: Cherry, mango, orange Details: $1.15 per 8-ounce bottle, $14.50 per 12-pack Availability: Select stores and online
Rooibee Roo Tea is a kid friendly beverage that is an excellent source of vitamin C. The tea is USDA organic certified, and caffeine and BPA free.
Each 8-ounce bottle varies from 50 calories to 56 calories and 12 grams sugar.
Olivia Ostunio, intern at Bite of the Best: My favorite, the sweet and predominant Mango flavored tea, contains only 50 calories and 12 grams of organic sugar cane (no high fructose corn syrup) making this great alternative to juice or soda.
Varieties: Blanc de blancs brut and brut rose Details: $20 per 750-ml bottle, $8 per 187-ml bottle Availability: Nationwide and online
Le Grand Courtâge sparkling wine comes in two fruit-forward flavors The blanc de blancs brut — made with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Ugni Blanc grapes — has a light effervescent with undertones of apples, honey and a hint of berries. The brut rose is dry — from Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc and Gamay grapes — also is light with more berry flavors. Either makes a delightful aperitif.
Details: $79.99 per 750ml bottle Availability: Nationwide
Anchor Distilling company introduced Westland American Single Malt Whiskey made with a pale barley malt and five different roasted and kilned malts. The unusual nose when swirled and flavor when sipped is present due to a Belgian yeast that creates fruity esters during the fermentation process. The whiskey is matured in new American oak casks to round out that flavor profile with hints of vanilla, caramel and coconut.
Varieties: The Anniversary Edition (6 colors: Light Blue, Dark Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow, Red) is $19.95; the standard collection colors: (Red, White, Black, Lime Green) is $29.95 Availability: Select stores
BODUM a coffee company, introduces the Pour Over, a coffee maker with a manual drip filter.
To coffee, fill the filter with ground coffee beans then pour the water into the filter. The coffee will then drip into the glass carafe to make 34 ounces of coffee.
- bonnie: These colorful pots are available only this year for $19.95 as an “anniversary special,” they’re regularly $29.95!
Varieties: Small - 8 oz.; Medium - 18 oz.; Large 32. oz Details: $79.95 to 119.95 Availability: Kitchen stores nationwide
The stainless steel ESPRO Press launched their French press in three sizes with a filtration system that contains a double filter for grit free coffee. When pressed, the micro-filters are side by side to prevent furthered extraction.
- bonnie: This solves my main complain about French press coffee not staying hot. The stainless steel walls of this press keeps the brew hot for up to two hours! I like that.
Varieties: Buddy's Blend, Chocolate Cannoli, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Dulce de Leche, Vanilla Buttercream, Hazelnut Biscotti, Raspberry Truffle,Italian Rum Cake Details: $9.99 for a box of 12 pods Availability: TLC Website
Single Cup Coffee introduced a Cake Boss line of Keurig single serve coffee with 8 different coffee blends: Buddy’s Blend, Chocolate Cannoli, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Dulce de Leche, Vanilla Buttercream, Hazelnut Biscotti, Raspberry Truffle and Italian Rum Cake.
Details: $4.29 per 40-count box Availability: Nationwide and at the BiteoftheBest.com shop
Lipton Natural Energy Tea is a black tea that naturally contains caffeine and L-theanine, an amino acid. The teas contains 75 mg of caffeine and 20 mg L-theanine.
Kelly Sloan, Bite of the Best Intern: The Lipton Natural Energy tea contains L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid found in tea that transmits brain nerve impulses. I enjoyed both the flavor and stimulating effect of the tea.
Avuá Cachaça, a single-estate, limited-production spirit comes in two flavors: one unaged (Prata), one aged in Brazilian wood (Amburana). Cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit is used for famous classic peasant cocktail, the Caipirinha. It is distilled from fresh sugarcane.
Avuá Cachaça Prata rests in steel tanks for six months before bottling; Amburana is matured for up to two years in casks made from wood indigenous to South America.
Varieties: Mexico Chiapas Fair Trade Organic, Papua New Guinea West Highlands Kimel Estate Details: $14.99-$15.99 per lb, $49 per 3lb coffee package, $79 per 5lb coffee package, $99 per 5lb and coffee grinder coffee package Availability: Online and nationwide
The micro-roaster Booskerdoo roasts beans from all over the world, including their two newest varieties” Mexico Chiapas Fair Trade Organic and the Papua New Guinea West Highlands Kimel Estate.