Even though I’ve been making my own cocktails and mocktails at home for over a decade, sometimes you just don’t feel up to the task of mixing a drink, especially during the holiday hustle. Thankfully, the folks over at In Good Taste created the perfect thing: the wine advent calendar. I used to open advent calendars in the month of December during my childhood. It was my favorite part of celebrating the holiday season! The In Good Taste wine advent calendar is the perfect way to enjoy the fun of an advent calendar as an adult!
If you're looking to make your own holiday beverages, I have those bases covered with recipes like my pumpkin spice simple syrup and my chocolate espresso martini. But if your definition of "simple" is popping open a bottle of wine, this review of the wine advent calendar from In Good Taste is for you!
Note: this post contains affiliate links, but it still contains my honest opinion about this calendar. I have made all purchases using my own money, and I have not been gifted any product mentioned in this post. I make a small commission from each purchase when you use my affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. I am so grateful for your support! 🥰 Dear IGT, I'd love to work together if you're reading this. 😉
- 🍷 what is a wine advent calendar?
- 📰 how I found the In Good Taste wine advent calendar
- 💕 why you'll love this wine advent calendar:
- 📦 unboxing
- 👍 the good
- 👌 the okay
- 👎 the not-so-good
- 🧾 would I buy it again?!
- 💭 final thoughts
- ℹ️ tips and tricks for getting your wine advent calendar
- ❓q+a about the In Good Taste wine advent calendar
🍷 what is a wine advent calendar?
Advent calendars count down to Christmas from the first day of December. Each day, you open a little flap in the cardboard calendar to reveal a little gift. While originally, the advent calendar tradition had a strong religious connotation, these days, they're more about having fun and celebrating the season as a whole. I'm here for that definition of the calendars. 😅
📰 how I found the In Good Taste wine advent calendar
I was sure there were no advent calendars out there for me, because I don't have a Kurig, have only eaten boutique chocolates since the early 1990's (thanks in part to all the bad advent calendars of my youth), and I don't trust a cheese that doesn't need refrigeration. 🤔 I bought a jam advent calendar once, and it was cute at first. By day 10 though, it was no longer my jam. I have seen friends and family purchase wine advent calendars from local grocery chains and big box stores for years, but they always looked lackluster to me. Not to mention, they’re not exactly cheap. So, if you end up with a bad advent calendar, you’re kind of out of luck.
But then…one day on Instagram, I saw something that caught my eye. 👀 A friend from my job at the time posted an advent calendar that was intriguing, sleek, and looked like it actually had GOOD wines. I looked forward to her stories every day when she’d unveil a new wine. By the end, she told me there was only one wine (out of 24!) that she didn’t care for. I knew right then that I would purchase one of these in 2022. 🤩
💕 why you'll love this wine advent calendar:
🍷 perfect for wine lovers. If you enjoy drinking wine, this is a great way to celebrate the holidays throughout the month of December. While advent calendars are traditionally paired with Christmas, you can partake in drinking these wines no matter what holidays you celebrate!
🥳 celebration ready. These mini bottles are wonderful for turning every day into a celebration. Whether you choose to enjoy them the same day you open them, or save them up for a flight on the weekend, you’re sure to have lots of fun all month long.
🎁 totally gift-able. This wine advent calendar is the perfect gift for yourself or another wine lover in your life. The best part is that it has 24 bottles, so you can enjoy it throughout the month of December. You can even open them early if you want, after all, you’re a grown up!
Opening each day of the advent calendar is almost as much fun as drinking each wine! The team at In Good Taste totally nailed the packaging on this advent calendar, and it was a true joy to open the wines each day. The shipping process was flawless and both of my advent calendars arrived in great condition. There was one day where the cardboard circle was popped out, but luckily there were no spoilers with the bottle. I hate a spoiler—more on that below! 😬
👍 the good
- packaging - packaging can really make or break a purchase, especially when you see it hyped on social media like I did. In Good Taste actually revamped the branding and packaging between 2021 and 2022. And, it looks like they’ve kept the branding similar for 2023. The shipping process was great, although I did order two calendars and they arrived on different days. The boxes were well packed and the bottles in each box were perfectly preserved. Out of a total of 48 bottles of wine, not one was compromised!
- bottle size - the mini bottles are about 6 ounces, making it the perfect large pour of wine. You can enjoy one per day, or save them up and have a flight after a few days. I enjoyed saving them for the weekend and dividing them into flights. It was also fun to have a glass with dinner throughout December. As a bonus, I purchased some stoppers on Amazon. The stoppers allow me to repurpose the bottles for homemade simple syrups and alcohol infusions. They are also the perfect bottles for propagating plants!
- quality- I’m not a sommelier, but I do have particular wines I like. Some of the wines that are my favorite are $9-15 per bottle. So, I don’t believe you need to pay top dollar for quality wines. But, I am past the “two buck chuck” phase of my life as well. I’d say that the bulk of these wines were on par with some of my favorite wines I regularly buy. I do also love the mission statement of In Good Taste, which is to make wine tastings more accessible to the everyday wine drinker. No gatekeeping here!
- virtual tastings - One of my best friends also purchased the calendar. We enjoyed comparing notes, celebrating ones we loved, and scoffing at each other’s favorite selections throughout the month. It was honestly so much fun to connect throughout the month of December, and we both agreed it was a purchase we loved.
👌 the okay
- variety - usually, we get stuck in our wine ways in my house. Lots of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio live in our fridge at any given moment. It was nice to be able to try so many other varieties of wine and make notes of which ones we liked. We did feel like there were some very similar kinds of wine flavor-wise. But overall, I was impressed with the variety! Out of all the wines, there was only one or two I didn’t care for. And there was only one bottle I passed on completely. I wish there was a way to enjoy sparkling wines in this calendar because it would be SO CUTE to have a split of champagne as a surprise one of the days. 🍾
- take notes - the advent calendar came with a pamphlet for learning about the wines or making notes as you tried them. It was a fun way to learn more! They even had some recipes for wine-based cocktails you could make with the wines and even food pairings that go with each wine! While this was a cute addition, it did come with some problems, noted below in the next section.
👎 the not-so-good
- price - the price point of the calendar is a bit more than others you’ll find in grocery stores and big box stores. At $140 full price, you’re paying about $5.84 per bottle of wine. The good thing is they do run sales throughout the launch of the calendars. At the time of this post, they are offering a code for $20 off. While it is a splurge, I do think it's a fair price for the fun factor! 😛
- difficulty buying bottles - the wines you’ll find in the advent calendar are great for sampling. But if you absolutely love a variety, it may not necessarily be available for purchase from In Good Taste. The silver lining is that you can at least make note of the variety you like, so you can find something similar in a wine shop later on.
- spoiler alert - When purchasing an advent calendar, in my opinion, part of the allure is the surprise factor! In 2022, the printed booklet told you all about each wine. Sometimes, there were 3-4 wines listed on every set of 2 pages. This means you’ll immediately see the next 2-3 wines that are in your calendar over the coming days. 🥲 That was a huge bummer for me because I love a good surprise when opening the calendars. Depending on the email you purchased with, you may get spoilers each day from the mailing list. You could also see them on social media if you follow them, so be aware if you’re waiting until the nighttime each day to pop your calendar open.
- harder to enjoy together - while the mini bottles are the perfect size for enjoying a large pour of wine to yourself, if you want to share this with your partner, you’re looking at about 3 ounces each. This is a good amount for a small tasting, but I opted to purchase two calendars, one for me and one for my husband. It was quite the splurge at $320 total. I did purchase them at full price and paid shipping. In 2023, the cost now includes shipping, which is great news!
🧾 would I buy it again?!
Yup! You bet! I am a fan for life of this advent calendar, and my husband is, too. We've bought a few advent calendars over the years. But, this is one we will definitely buy again. It’s a fun “treat yo’self” moment in the hectic holiday rush. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a splurge. While it is more expensive than other options, I think the price is fair for the quality offered. Six bucks a day is worth that to me, especially considering it’s just once a year! I think it’s a nice little tradition to update from my childhood of chalky chocolate in cardboard boxes.
💭 final thoughts
This advent calendar is thoughtfully curated, exceptionally packaged, and beautifully put together. It’s a definite must have for any wine lover this holiday season! Overall, I think this advent calendar is a phenomenal way to try a variety of quality wines and discover more about what YOU like. Good wine is wine that is all about you and your preferences! I have one friend who puts frozen mango in her red wine. I have one who only drinks rosé. And I love popping an ice cube in my wines…yeah…even the red ones. 😇
24 Nights, 24 Mini Bottles, 24 Reasons to buy one today.
If you want to treat yo'self and enjoy a delicious variety of wines in the month of December, join me and purchase your 2023 Wine Advent Calendar now! 🥳
If you're not ready to commit to a full 24 days, check out this Wild Child 8-Wine Flight which happened to be some of my favorites from the 2022 advent calendar.
ℹ️ tips and tricks for getting your wine advent calendar
- be in the know - sign up for the mailing list over at In Good Taste to be in the know. They'll share any active sales or coupon codes they have, and they'll let you know exactly when the calendars are in stock. Currently in September 2023, they are available for preorder with a coupon code.
- avoid spoilers - if you like surprises in your calendars, avoid checking your email from In Good Taste or looking at their social channels during the first 24 days of December, or until you open your wines!
- repurpose your bottles - use your 24 adorable bottles for things like propagating plants or storing oil and vinegar. You can also use them to gift simple syrups or homemade infusions to family and friends throughout the year.
❓q+a about the In Good Taste wine advent calendar
If you are a wine drinker and are interested in trying a variety of wines, this is a great way to do that during the month of December! It can also be fun to share with family and friends during a holiday party!
You get a wide variety of wines, including red, white and rosé wines. From bold Cabernets to flavorful Languedoc, from crisp Chardonnay to refreshing Verdejo, you’re sure to find something you love!
The wines are sourced from several places in the world, including California, France, Italy and Spain. You can learn more about the offerings here on the In Good Taste website.