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on December 1, 2010
Let's start this with Amazon took care of the issue with this product promptly and courteously so FIVE STARS for them. Now the abysmal packaging and quantity/quality of this product. Run, stay away, don't think about it, just keep moving along. Not in a holiday box but in a brown box with a 11"x14" piece of colored paper that can be taped to the front to cover the cellophane. And no little view hole either like the picture. The brown box it comes in is about 5" deep but the interior brown box of contents is supported by 3" of cardboard underneath. The 2" deep contents box has 1" of scrap paper pressing the contents into the cellophane. So what is in that 1"x11"x14"? Not much! 1 packet of hot chocolate for a 6 oz cup? That's like a shot. The littlest 3-4 packages of other stuff not worth mentioning but think 1/3 the size of a small kids lunch bag of chips. The mustard is in a jar smaller than what the airlines serve jelly in. (1 Oz). The cheese wheel is more cardboard and little cheese. The knife to cut the cheese came out of some playdooh set.

Let's just say this isn't worth $5 and due to the packaging, it can't be gifted without shame.
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on December 27, 2010
This was advertised as a 2.5 lb gift. The total food was 20.12 oz or half of what should have been in there
The crackers were stale. Why include a small jar of mustard that didn't go with anything? The only decent tasting items were the two (less than an ounce) Ghiradelli candies. Many of the cheese straws were broken pieces.
I consider it to be a total waste of money and false advertising.
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on December 19, 2011
There was nothing in the package that indicated who sent the gift. The recipients contacted Amazon who has still not responded. This is quite embarassing. This inferior service does not reflect the usually impecable service provided by Amazon.
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on January 3, 2012
It had a nice price point and wasn't filled with junk food. Most importanly I have Amazon Prime so free two day shipping!! If you order gift packs on other sites they soak you for shipping or ship it ground and it takes over a week. Perfect gift for last minute buyers that need something for their boss or employees.
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on December 30, 2011
I sent out a few of these as gifts over the holidays about 5 of them to be specific. But for days did not recive any notice from any family or friends that they had recived them. I wrote messages for each but upon contacting them I had to tell everyone that I was the one that sent them. Rather embarassing if you ask . I would not purchase this item again. Amazon didnt seem to undersstand the issue at all and kept saying they could not re-send the item ugh what a hassle
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It is always fun to get a gift box or basket but the Wine.com box needs a better presentation.

This gift box includes small quantities of upscale food items. Included in the box are; Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt, a small jar of mustard, 2 squares of Ghirardelli chocolate, cocoa, cheese straws, wafer crackers, a small bag of chocolate chip cookies, a round of cheese wedges and a small knife. One concern I had was on the cheese. I was unable to track down the company that makes it to ask how long it could last without refrigeration. But I did call a rival cheese company who shared that if unopened some of their cheeses could last a year without refrigeration. So hopefully this is the same.

It is really hard to judge the value of a gift basket or box. I have sent flowers that were quite pricey that lost their bloom in a week yet delighted the recipient. Just recently I sent a fruit gift, from a popular fruit company, which included 6-8 pears, 6-8 oranges and 6-8 apples. It was on special but still pricey at around $60. The person on the receiving end was thrilled. With gift baskets there is a tendency to pay much more than the actual value of the items included. And a lot of it has to with presentation. Giving a fruit basket for example, is more exciting than say handing a person a bag of apples from the grocery store with best wishes. And getting one can be so exciting.

And that is where the Wine.com basket fails. For ease of transportation, the goodies are packaged in a cardboard box with nutmeg colored paper shavings. This is placed in a larger box to prevent any damage which is nice. However, the red wrap and gold bow are not on the box. It is just a plain cardboard box.

The packaging is substantial and fine but it is just not exciting. And presentation means a lot when it comes to gift baskets. So I have to ask myself would I be excited if I were on the receiving end of this gift instead of having received it as a Vine review product and my thought is, "It's ok". It is just not exciting.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First and foremost, let me make it clear that this item was received free to test and review through Amazon Vine Voice in May. I have no idea how long ago this was packed together. Nothing appears to be stale.

The packaging was a plain cardboard box with a thin cardboard insert that takes up the length & width of the box, in an attempt to make it look like there's a wrapped Christmas package inside. The whole thing was nicely protected for shipping.

I've never had Cheese Straws before and wasn't sure what to expect. They seem to be a cross between a thick cracker and a cookie. These are Aged Cheddar by Sonoma Cheese. The taste is pretty strong and be prepared for a hot feeling in your mouth afterward. The package contains 2 servings.

Three Pepper Water Crackers contains 4 servings that have the pepper visible on the crackers. A thin, dry cracker that has a mild taste.

Sonoma Jacks Parmesan Peppercorn gourmet cheese wedges have 6 individually wrapped wedges. The main ingredients listed are Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese. A somewhat plastic/rubbery texture, although the taste is okay; nothing special. A small cheese knife/spreader is included.

Beth's Chocolate Chip Cookies are bite-sized with 2 servings. The cookies appear to have a somewhat breaded coating on them that poured out of the package as crumbs. The cookies themselves were intact and I liked the taste.

Brown & Haley Cashew Roca. These were really good and are doubly wrapped for freshness. Too bad there are only 3 in the package.

Nunes Farms Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt. I generally eat plain almonds so I was happy to find that the salt is very light and added just enough to make these more interesting. 3 servings per package.

1 sleeve of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix. I'm saving this for later.

2 Ghirardelli Chocolate squares with Caramel filling. It's Ghirardelli. Enough said.

1 Napa Valley Mustard Co Hot Sweet Mustard. Label claims it's rich with honey; the main ingredient is sugar but honey is listed in there as well. I really don't understand why this was included in the box. There isn't anything to try it out on so this hasn't been tasted yet.

As of this writing the price appears to be $39.99. I just can't see myself purchasing this as a gift at that price.
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VINE VOICEon May 31, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I think reviewers are being a bit harsh on this product. I think the quality of the food products in this gift basket is above average. You just don't get a whole lot for 40.00 dollars (plus shipping & handling, of course).

The included chocolate is Ghiradelli--one of the better American made chocolates available, but sadly there are only 2, 2x2 squares of it. There's a few ounces of spreadable cheese--something like Laughing Cow cheese (semi-soft cheese) in texture, but with pepper in it. You also get an inexpensive, but workable, cheese knife with a wooden handle. There's a handful of good quality almonds (3.5 oz). A small 3/4 oz. jar of sweet/hot mustard. Two bags of cheese crackers- of which one bag tastes like Cheez-It's. Ten or so quarter sized chocolate chip cookies-which taste more like Keebler Pecan Sandies with chocolate chips. And 1 or 2 nut covered caramel candies. Oh and .85 Oz of Ghiradelli Hot Cocoa Mix.

The edges of the cheese began to harden after about a week after receiving the gift box. The wedges were refrigerated 3 days after receiving the gift box were kept unopened in their foil wrapper.

If this were, 25 dollars I would say it was a good deal, but unless you are totally out of ideas on what to give someone or can't figure out how to make a gift basket yourself...I would avoid, buying it. Not because of the food, but because it's too expensive for what you get.

The cheese hardening is disconcerting, however.
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on December 22, 2011
This is my first review ever. After seeing the price charged, I felt I had to let people know what to expect for their $39.99.

We received this as a gift from a company with which we do business. Unlike other reviewers I was able to find in the box a small flimsy thermal paper printed sheet saying "nk you for your business! Happy Holidays from ..." That's right - the paper was sliced off so that the whole word "Thank" did not appear!

Then, there's the contents! The picture on amazon.com makes it look like there is a lot of stuff and the description says "generous" and something about using it for entertaining (again, implying large quantities), but, the quantity of each item is actually miniscule. You get: 2 - 1 1/2 inch Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares with caramel filling (the same as the individual foil-wrapped candies that come in those small bags of Ghirardelli chocolates), 3.5 oz of Nunes Farms Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt, 2 oz of Cheese Straws, .85 oz of Ghirardelli Hot Cocoa mix (makes one cup when you add milk!); 4 oz of Sonoma Jack's Parmesan Peppercorn Cheese Wedges; 1.27 oz of Cashew Roca; 4 oz of Three Pepper Water Crackers; 2 oz of Beth's Chocolate Chip Cookies; 1.75 oz of Napa Valley Hot Sweet Mustard and a wood handled metal spreader. The person who wrote the description must have very small parties!

The amazon.com picture also misleads you into believing that the assortment is gift wrapped. If fact, that is not the case. The items are arranged on a bed of shredded and crinkled brown paper in an open brown paper box which is shrink-wrapped. Then there is a completely separate piece of heavy printed paper that is what you see in the amazon.com picture (and that you could easily mistake for gift wrapping). The shrink-wrapped package and printed paper are packed in another brown paper box - this one opens on a hinge. Then, that box is surrounded by crunched up brown paper and packed inside another box for shipping. The aforementioned flimsy thermal paper "gift card" and a packing slip are in this outermost box - amongst the crunched up paper. A lot of trees died to send this paltry food assortment!

Don't get me wrong - I do appreciate receiving a gift but I hate to see well-intentioned gift givers taken advantage of. In this case, the company that sent this gift box to me was clearly ripped off. I would suggest that this $39.99 gift box should sell for closer to $9.99!
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VINE VOICEon June 21, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Especially for You Gift Box had a nice variety of snacks inside, and the gift box is packaged attractively.
Chocolate Chip Cookies - these were very good and had a nice flavor
Cashew Roca - chocolatey crunchy roca rolled in cashews.
Sonoma Cheese Straws - not quite what I expected. They're really not straw-shaped at all, but they had a nice spicy cheese flavor to them.
Three Pepper Crackers - these were a big hit with my husband. He loved the taste and texture.
Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt - a tasty nutty snack
Brie Cheese spread - this spread went well with the crackers provided, and spread fairly easily with the enclosed cheese knife.
Chocolate Squares and Hot Cocoa Mix - these were Ghirardelli, and what can I say about Ghiradelli that you haven't heard before? If you've had Ghiradelli you know it is some of the best chocolate around. Yum!

All in all, this would be a nice gift for anyone who isn't on a special diet.
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