The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids


How To Find Great Wine Gift baskets For Any Occasion

Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new babies, college graduation, and even Christmas can leave many gift givers struggling to decide what to give that person who has everything. There are few people who do not drink or cook with wine. Therefore, creating a lavish basket full of wine and vineyard themed products can make for an unforgettable celebration.

Wine baskets are a happening trend. No matter whom the gift is for, they are certain to love it. You can easily stock the basket to fit the needs of the recipient.

A typical wine gift basket should include a bottle or two of wine, some wine glasses, a corkscrew, coasters, napkins, attractive replacement wine stopper, wine glass decorations, and maybe some chocolates or fruit. These items are then attractively displayed in a basket large enough to fit them. You can wrap the basket in cellophane paper for a glamorous gift.

Select a basket that fits the occasion. If a couple is getting married, find a white basket and add plenty of sparkles. A couple celebrating their 25th anniversary will get a kick out of a basket that is trimmed in silver.

Any craft store will have loads of inexpensive baskets from which you can choose. For the new mom, who may or may not be drinking yet, a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne, chocolates, fruit, and nuts can be a major timesaver. It can be bothersome for new moms to find time to fix a proper meal, so having handy snacks of fruits and nuts lying around can be uplifting. If the recipient enjoys wine but knows little about it, ensure the basket contains items for the beginner.

Start with a bottle of red and a bottle of white, add a book on the different styles of wine, some wine glasses, wine charms, and a wine stopper. For the wine drinker who considers him or herself to be an expert, a couple bottles of wine with some nuts, dried fruits, and chocolates can be a classy gift. They are sure to remember your thoughtfulness. If the wine drinker is adventurous, consider creating a basket of wine that offers a few bottles of less popular wines. Toss in a White Shiraz, a style that is new to many, with a bottle of apple wine. The offerings can be endless.

Another option is to create a gift basket full of wine kits. Brewery supply stores sell kits that can help a wine connoisseur create their own wines. This is an excellent gift basket for someone who enjoys cooking. Not all items will fit in a basket, but the essentials will and then the recipient can find the rest among his or her kitchen items. A wine gift basket is sure to please a fussy recipient. They will be thrilled with this wonderful gift that comes straight from the heart!.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as wine gift baskets at


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