on November 12, 2011
I sent this basket as a gift, the person who received it was appreciative of the gesture and so did not inform me of the quality of items until a much later date, almost six months after I had sent it. Her main complaint was that when she opened the packets of Godiva biscuits the chocolate coatings separated themselves from the actual biscuit and the biscuits crumbled in her hand. Since the Godiva Chocolate Brand has been one of favorites, she was completely turned off with the rest of the basket and basically dumped it in the garbage. I guess that these baskets are not in any great demand which would explain the fact that they had been packed sometime in the past and left to go stale in some corner, and then sold to some unsuspecting customer.
I send a lot of gift baskets because I have friends and work colleagues all over, and I tend to receive quite a few as well. My favorite thing to do is empty all the containers at once so I can have a giggle at how little food is actually in the basket. I'm happy to say that the California Bounty Gift Basket lives up to being bountiful (though resonates with California, where I lived for 20 years, only to some extent).
As with all gift baskets, almost all of the food is inside a bag that is inside a box. It makes for a handsome presentation, which is part of the wow factor of receiving a basket like this. Some observations:
- Came in a basket that was rounded, sturdy, and big with handles
- Delightful assortment of items, a real tasting adventure
- Enough for my whole family of 4 to enjoy over two weeks (ok well the toddler didn't have much)
- Some really nice 'luxury' items like Godiva chocolates (more than 50% dark chocolate) and Godiva cookies
- Snack mix (cracker rounds, pretzels, etc mixed together): tasty and very crunchy
- Three pepper water crackers: nice with the cheese
- Artisan breadsticks: rather like mild Ritz crackers in long thin crunchy form
- Smoked almonds: very salty and smoky well roasted almonds
- Parmesan peppercorn cheese: typical non-refrigerated soft cheese spread
- Olives: fancy and tasty small green olives
- Toffee pretzels: a combo of sweet and savory, very interesting
- Jar of Wildflower honey: this is a pretty big jar
- Butter cookies: not like other butter cookies I've had, these were more like molasses cookies but still good (and crunchy)
- Chocolate chip cookies: the chocolate was mild in these, they were a little more like shortbread cookies
- Godiva cookies (biscuits): some had the chocolate separated from the cookie, but were still delish!
- Godiva box of chocolates: boxes this size are very pricey, so I was happy it was full sized for sharing
- Almond Roca (2 pieces): love, just wish there were more pieces!
- Cashew Roca (3 pieces): still like the almond better!
- Wafer rolls: a nice light treat
This is a basket that not only looks impressive but also has a delightful array of goodies in good portions to enjoy.
First of all, this basket is very large - approx. the size of an oval cat bed (it's not the same basket as shown in the photo). The items in the basket are full size, making this the perfect basket to give to a large family or a whole office. Everything is the basket is top-notch, in my opinion, and are a few steps above other gift baskets we've tried. The number of items in this basket is too numerous to mention by name, but there is something for everyone in the basket - a 19 piece box of Godiva chocolates, crackers, cheese spread, a few different kinds of cookies, pretzels, a really good snack mix, a jar of olives, two kinds of nuts and on and on. Everything was really delicious and all of the items were in perfect condition. Not a cookie or cracker were broken. I wouldn't hesitate to give this basket for a minute. It will be sure to please anyone who receives it.
I tend to be fairly pragmatic when it comes to gourmet gift baskets. They always seem like a great idea, but oftentimes fail to live up to the price valuation placed on them. As someone who frequently purchases gift baskets (I average four to six a year and at one time procured hundreds as corporate gifts), I was actually pleasantly surprised by this offering from Wine.com. While I did receive this product free of charge, my evaluation is based on the same criteria I would use had I purchased this as a premium gift. Last year, I received a complimentary basket from Back Mountain Baskets (represented through the igourmet label) that I awarded the lowest possible rating due to amateurish packaging and a lack of luxury products. So again, I'd like to commend Wine.com for the appearance of the California Bounty Basket. When you purchase a gift basket, two things are relatively certain: 1) you're going to overpay for what's actually included, and (2) at least you're going to get something presentable and of gift quality. And this, at least, looks expensive and will represent the giver in a positive light!
Basket: I did not receive the exact basket pictured in the sample photograph (this is oftentimes not the case, and doesn't matter to me as long as the substituted one is presentable). In this instance, I'd say the replacement was a major upgrade! I got a very handsome wicker basket with sturdy wooden handles, almost like a shallow serving tray. It's lovely and the user will surely be able to repurpose it!
Wrap/Packaging: The basket was carefully packed in one large box, and then that was placed in a larger shipping container to avoid potential damage. The basket was wrapped in tightly fitting cellophane (no tears or unsightly pockets) with a big professional looking burgundy bow. Very elegant. Furthermore, the assortment inside were placed perfectly and secured (in some instances) with tape to insure that everything looked just right when the gift is opened. It simply looked expensive.
Contents: I was pleased with the contents. I might not have selected everything included individually and didn't love everything, but that's part of the gift basket experience--to sample brands/items you would not ordinarily. I'm not sure I got the California influence (as the title of the basket would indicate), but that wasn't a big problem for me. Although there is some variation (I suspect), my basket included 18 items including Parmesan Peppercorn Cheese, Pistachios, Almond Roca, Honey, Spicy Mustard, Godiva Chocolates, Olives, Butter Toffee Pretzels, Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies, Three Pepper Water Crackers, Smoked Almonds, Cashew Roca, Godiva Biscuits, Butter Cookies, Wafer Rolls, Breadsticks, Mocha Almonds and Tavolare Savory Snack. Nice blend of sweet and savory, not recommended for those with nut allergies!
Value: As I mentioned, the cost of any gift basket surely exceeds its content value. You are paying for the experience as much as anything. With its luxurious presentation, this is upscale gift quality. Whether the price is right for you is a matter of personal decision, but this made an extremely impressive visual gift whose contents were just interesting enough to make it seem fairly exotic as well. KGHarris, 5/12.
I was going to list every item they sent but Vine Voice Reviewer "Mrs. R. Henderson" has kindly done that. The only difference I think is that I seemed to get a few more small items tucked in here and there - just extra single cello-wrapped chocolate dipped Oreos and pretzels. Everything else was virtually the same. The Godiva Box of chocolates was one that if you bought in the store, you'd pay at least $25 to $30 for depending upon the type of box you chose. Mine came in a HUGE and sturdy olive colored wood and Raffia woven basket that in and of itself was a gift. The basket had wooden handles that were cut to a pattern and the raffia was woven through the wooden frame. This was all topped off with an elaboprate burgundy ribbon that again would be suitable for re-use on a Sunday hat or another gift.
I wanted to upload some photos of the items all dissassembled and show as they are but the moment I ordered it, the item became unavailable and I am guessing this is due to the hot weather. When the item becomes available again, I will include my photos so you can see that Wine Gift Baskets has been paying close attention to the complaints about the quality and number of items in their baskets by increasing both to created added value. I feel this was an appropriately priced gift that anyone would be glad to receive provided they don't live in a hot temperature climate that would melt the choclates, candy and cheese.
I will update this review when the item becomes available once more.
The main problem with sending gift baskets is wondering how fresh each item is and if it arrived in good shape and was well-received by the recipient.
This basket fulfilled and exceeded expectations in that:
1) All items were well within expiry date. No stale items.
2) All items were in good shape, no broken, melted, crumbled items, or dented boxes
3) Each item was secured in its place by a combination of paper padding and the entire basket was shrink-wrapped in plastic. There were no bits of tape and glue sticking items together as is common among other gift baskets. Removal of each item from the basket was frustration-free
4) The gift basket itself was shrink-wrapped in plastic and then wrapped with a large burgundy wired-organza bow that held its shape.
5) The basket itself was double boxed for shipment.
6) each item either came from California (the theme of this gift basket) or was from a Californian gourmet company.
7) All items were either brand name or boutique brands in CA.
While the actual sticker-value of all types of gift baskets doesn't come close to what is actually paid, this one seems a much better value than your typical gift basket in that:
8) there are full-sized retail packaged items
9) 2 of these full-sized retail packaged items are Godiva brand.
10) All items arrived in good shape.
11) The basket (oval not rectangular as shown in the product photo) is of a decent quality and can be reused.
Overall, highly recommended for giving to an office or a family as there is enough in both quantity and selection for all to share and to suit different tastes.
My gift basket arrived in a huge box..actually it was in a box inside an even bigger box with plenty of paper packing and a clear plastic wrap seal so the basket and all the goodies arrived in perfect condition. I really liked that almost all of the sweets, snacks, nuts and treats are from local California companies. Everything was fresh and delicious. The Butter Cookies were amazing! Same with the Wildflower Honey and nuts. I can't choose one favorite. I think anyone would enjoy this basket for the interesting (and tasty) assortment of treats.
Basket includes: Tavolare Savory Snack Mix, Artisan Break 3 Pepper Water Crackers, Beth's Chocolate Chip Cookies, Holly's Bakery Traditional Recipe Butter Cookies, Napa Mustard Co. Sweet & Spicy Mustard, Marin Bee Co. California Wild Honey, Godiva Signature Biscuits, Spanish Manzilla Olives, Almond Roca, Cashew Roca, Box of Godiva Chocolates, Nunes Farms Mocha Almonds, Fontazzi Butter Toffee Pretzels, Sonoma Jack Parmesan Peppercorn Cheese Wedges, Nunes Farms Roasted Pistachios, Smoked Almonds, Dolcetto Chocolate Wafer Rolls, Artisan Bread Sticks.
on July 6, 2013
THIS WAS HORRIBLE. ALL THE CHOCOLATE WAS MELTED AND THE OTHER PERISHABLE GOODS WERE STALE. SENT THIS TO MY MOTHER FOR MOTHERS DAY. I WILL NEVER ORDER FOOD BASKETS AGAIN THROUGH AMAZON, ESPECIALLY DUE TOMTHE RETURN POLICY. MY MOM SENT PHOTOS OF DAMAGED PRODUCT BUT THIS PACKAGE IS "NOT A RETURN ITEM"... BEWARE SHOPPERS!!!!
This isn't one of those rinky dink baskets with a bunch of products that have HUGE boxes and like 3 crackers in each. I've gotten those before, and they suck. It's so misleading, and so frustrating as a gift recipient to prepare to dig into something great only to find the box is all empty air with a small cellophane package inside!
- Proper sizes of actual foods
- Almost everything was actually pretty tasty
- The basket itself is huge. Seriously, this thing could send a full grown adult down the river. Made it actually useful for other purposes.
- The cookies were melty, and had to be tossed. Summer in St. Louis.
- Some of the items were just eh. Not great, but not terrible.
on May 14, 2012
Usually I think gift baskets are hit or miss. You end up with name brand good items and random other items. However I think this basket was excellent. There wasn't a bad thing in here.
The basket was the perfect blend savory (cashews) and sweet (godiva chocolates!).
Basket: The basket itself was ok. it was sturdy and large and reusable so that is good.
Packaging: it was wrapped really well and sent inside a box so no broken items
Contents: Godiva Chocolate, Roasted Pistachios, Honey, Olives, Butter Cookies, Almond and Cashew Roca, Cheese Wedge, Chocolate chip cookies, and a bunch of other things.
I don't think you could go wrong sending this basket as a gift to someone.