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Give a gift that goes beyond the ordinary

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(ARA) - Are you looking for gift ideas this holiday season that are more than just a gift? How about enhancing a tasteful gift with culture and knowledge to enhance your loved one's stature?

A wine club membership is the perfect gift for a budding connoisseur. This allows your friend or family member to become knowledgeable about wines, their flavors and the grapes that made them.

Wine clubs ship different styles of wine - usually red and white varieties, depending on your preferences - to your house on a regular basis, complete with background history for the wines. A wine club membership is based on different price points, which would allow you to adjust your gift based on your friend or family member's previous wine experience.

When researching wine clubs, make sure you look at the original Wine of the Month Club, which evolved more than 30 years ago in Palos Verdes, Calif., when Paul Kalemkiarian purchased a pharmacy with a liquor store next door. He turned the liquor store into a fine wine shop and renamed it Palos Verdes Wines and Spirits. Soon, he began treating customers to special red and white wines pulled from the shelves each month. These recommendations were made after many varieties of wine were tasted and compared by knowledgeable customers and friends of Kalemkiarian who became the first members of the Wine of the Month Club.

Soon customers wanted to have the special wines of the month delivered. This process first was done by hand, but then through shipping agencies. Eventually Kalemkiarian decided to retire, and sold off his pharmacies and Palos Verdes Wines and Spirits, but he kept the mail order rights and trademarked the "Wine of the Month Club" name.

Now his son, Paul Jr., owns the original Wine of the Month Club, sampling hundreds of varieties of wines every week to make sure the best selections are mailed out to members. For more information, visit www.wineofthemonthclub.com.

A gift membership to the Wine of the Month Club sends the recipient two pre-screened bottles of wine each month, every other month, or once every three months for a duration of three months, a half year or a year, along with a copy of the monthly Wine Letter and newsletter. The newsletter discusses recipes to make around the wines, the wine steward's thoughts on the wines highlighted that month, characteristics of the grapes, characteristics of the region where the grapes were grown and even the mechanical part of making wine.

Make your holiday gift extra special this year by enhancing it with culture and knowledge through a wine club membership. It's the perfect gift for a budding connoisseur.

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