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Okanagan-Taste

Start your Christmas gift shopping early this year

Prepared for giving

Yes, it’s just Thanksgiving this weekend, but if you’ve been paying attention to shopping trends and advice this fall, we’re all being told to get on board the gift-giving train early this year.

Why? The global supply chain continues to lag. It was tough enough in a pre-pandemic year to get those in-demand items, and it’s possible this year will be worse. As if 2021 hasn’t been tough enough in so many ways.

But there is somewhat of a bright light on the B.C. wine horizon—the 2021 vintage is looking good. The extreme heat earlier this summer happened at an opportune time and the excessive smoke wasn’t hanging in the air when grapes were at their most vulnerable.

In fact, that heat has led to the berries being picked now and through the fall to have intense, concentrated flavours this vintage. That said, overall tonnage is down.

Translation? If there’s a wine lover on your holiday gift list, there is a possibility there will be less wine from the 2021 bottles to buy upon the eventual release of this vintage. Solution? Join a wine club now, or sign up for e-newsletters from your favourite winery (or other beverage producers), so you’ll be alerted to new releases.

Start looking now for table-shaping elements from charcuterie boards to glassware to linens. Stemless champagne flutes surely will become a trend soon so don’t miss out. And consider new cloth napkins, since paper goods seem to have supply issues off and on. Get environmentally friendly with the reusable version this year.

Books are always a solid choice, but there have been warnings already to order early since shipping may take longer than usual if you’re buying online. Better yet, hit the culinary section of your favourite bookshop and stock up on a few hardcovers.

And it’s easy to support small businesses with custom gift baskets, keep an eye out for tasting rooms and gift shops offering this service. Or buy a basket and start filling it now with local products. Note: staff shortages may make it harder to have a basket put together at the last minute this holiday season.

Finally, the go to—gift cards. Sure, you can leave these to the last minute but why not get a jump on it now?

We’ve all been stressed this year, so let’s collectively ease into the holidays with a bit of a strategy. Get done early and reward yourself with a glass of something bubbly.



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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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