Category Archives: Live

Holiday Dining & Celebrating with PlumpJack

balboa-holiday-shoot-46It’s the most wonderful time of the year to spend with friends and family, whether for group dinners, intimate dining options, holiday Happy Hours with friends, and more. Our restaurants and bars are great locales for libations and dining, see below for details.

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Balboa Cafe San Francisco
3199 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

Open 365 days a year, Balboa Cafe is a popular spot to gather during the holidays, especially for the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Thanksgiving & Christmas VIEW MENU
12pm-2pm Limited menu including the Balboa Burger, sandwiches, salads & appetizers
2pm-8pm Reservation-only (415.921.3944) special holiday a la carte menu
Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day Regular business hours (11:30-2am)

Book a large group for dining at Balboa Cafe San Francisco – please call 415.921.3944 or email

160215_hangar_steak_low_res_09_0a9a3001-copyBalboa Cafe Mill Valley (BCMV) 38 MIller Drive, Mill Valley, CA
Located in the charming town of Mill Valley just a quick drive over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, BCMV features creative holiday menus by Chef Howard Ko
Thanksgiving 2pm-8pm Reservations Strongly RecommendedVIEW MENU
Christmas Eve Brunch from 11am-3pm, Dinner 5pm-11pm*
Christmas CLOSED
New Year’s Eve Brunch from 11am-3pm, Dinner 5pm-11pm*
New Year’s Day Brunch from 11am-3pm, Dinner 5pm-10pm*
*No Happy Hour


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PlumpJack Cafe at Squaw Valley Inn
The perfect location to celebrate the winter holidays with festive meals surrounded by family and friends. Celebrate the 10 Days of Christmas with a special holiday-themed menu offered around the holidays. Make reservations online or call 530-583-1578
Thanksgiving CLOSED
Christmas Eve
5pm – 9:30pm
Christmas
5:30 – 9:30pm
New Year’s Eve
5:00pm – 11pm
New Year’s Day
5:30 – 9:30pm

For private dining inquiries for large groups, go to plumpjacksquawvalleyinn.com

Cheers it’s the Holidays!
For fanciful libations to celebrate the spirit of the holidays, pop into one of PlumpJack’s three bars MatrixFillmore, Forgery, Wildhawk.
forgery-manhattanForgery Holiday Hours
Thanksgiving & Day After CLOSED
December 23rd – 26th CLOSED
New Year’s Eve OPEN – Forgery & VERSO Nightclub
to operate as one venue (Entertainment and Offerings to be announced in November – go to VERSOSF.com to stay updated or follow on https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-pas-cher/ social media @verso_sf)
New Year’s Day CLOSED

Wildhawk Bar Holiday Hours
Thanksgiving CLOSED
December 25th – 27th CLOSED
New Year’s Day CLOSED

Insider Tips: Best Hikes in Marin County

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If you want a break from the hustle and bustle, we have insider tips on the best hikes in Marin County with breathtaking views of the city and the dozens of hiking trails that get you there. While the list of hikes in Marin has virtually no end, we’ve rounded up our top three picks based on insider tips. Grab those hiking boots!

Cataract Loop Trail Best Hikes in Marin County

Cataract Loop Trail on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County California

#1 Cataract Trail Loop on Mount Tamalpais
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.7 miles / 12.4 km
Duration: Half day
Mount Tamalpais State Park is the symbolic peak at the heart of Marin County and a beautiful change of scenery from the city to the woods. The loop offers panoramic views of the entire bay stretching to the Pacific Ocean. The most popular attraction is Cataract Falls; however, popularity comes with little secrecy, making the trail relatively packed during summer months. Our tip, and the best way to avoid crowds and ensure you can find a parking spot is to go on a weekday.
Click here for more tips and directions to the trail head.

Angel Island, Best Hikes in Marin County

Angel Island Fire Road Hike in Marin County California

#2 Angel Island Perimeter Fire Road
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.7 miles
Duration: Half day
If you’re looking for a more leisurely hike without skimping on the 360 degree view of the bay, Angel Island is your best bet. This loop is more than just a hike, you will encounter historic sites, beaches and picnic spots so pack some snacks and enjoy the view. Our insider tips are to A) check the weather. San Francisco Bay, especially at sea level, is prone to fog which would inhibit visibility of the main attraction! B) Check the Angel Island Ferry Schedule and plan your day ahead of time and don’t get stuck on the island overnight! Fun fact: you can take your bike to Angel via the ferry.

Point Bonita, Best Hikes in Marin County

Point Bonita in Marin County California

#3 Point Bonita Marin Headlands
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.1 miles

/ 6.6 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
When you see pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge with downtown San Francisco in the
background odds are they were probably taken in the Marin Headlands. The headlands offer
many long and short loops and trails, but this short hike leads to a beautiful historical sight
and a local favorite vista point. Point Bonita Lighthouse is a fully operational lighthouse with
fascinating history to be learned and experienced at the site. Don’t let the short distance lead you to believe this will be a boring walk; the hike is steep at points and requires crossing 2 suspension bridges. Insider tip: the tunnel to the lighthouse is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm, so plan accordingly so you don’t miss out on the beautiful
views.

After you experience the local nature and vistas Marin has to offer, enjoy brunch (weekends), lunch or dinner at Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, a local favorite in historic Mill Valley. The restaurant is a short 10-to-15 minute drive from all of the hikes listed above!

Your nature experience doesn’t have to end with the hike; alfresco dining is available during the summer months! A day trip to Marin is a must during your visit to San Francisco for a local experience full of beautiful hikes and delicious cuisine.

24 hours of New Year’s Eve in SF

Follow our blueprint for our ideal New Year’s Eve and you’ll be guaranteed that 2016 will welcome you with open arms and a warm hug.
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Attire – more importantly, the dress. Choose from a comfortable, clubby ensemble from Amour Vert, a classic lace get-up from DVF that says I am serious about this holiday, or something fun and flashy that you can layer with a jacket when getting around on the city streets. All these dresses and styles available at PlumpJackSport.
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Are you in the mood to party on New Year’s Eve? 
Are you the popping bottles and noshing on caviar partier or are you the laying low-type that likes intimate conversations over some good bubbles and hearty fare. Ditch the grocery store party platter and whip up some delightful finger food, but first, the main character, the bubbles.
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Go to PlumpJack Wine & Spirits and ask for Paul, or just take his word for it and buy his top picks.
1. Comtes De Champagne Taittinger, 2005: “100% Chardonnay, in my mind this is one of the greatest Champagnes around. It is probably the only champagne i would flat.
2. Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne: “This is an equal blend of the three main varietals. This champagne has a toasty and fruity balance to it.
3.Champagne Gratiot Gerad: “100% Pinot Meunier. This champagne has a little more of a floral note to it and a nice creamy mousse.”
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Diversify your libations and add a celebratory signature cocktail to liven up your soiree.
We enlisted our favorite bartenders at Forgery for a cocktail recipe, and guess what, they know what their doing, so take notice. If you don’t know what some of these items are, there is always Google.
And then there are snacks – very important if you want to continue the party til midnight.
We have lots of inspiration on our Pinterest board, we literally spent many hours searching, pinning and procrastinating, because that is what Pinterest is for, let’s be honest. When it’s time to usher your guests out of your place, because things are starting to get messy and the bubbles are all gone, get yourself to a club. We have two choices for you. For a smaller venue with great jams and lots of dancing, plus champagne and really great cocktails, and even a beer for those who just want to quench their thirst, get to MatrixFillmore. New Year’s Eve features DJ Amy Robbins, spinning the best Top 40 and House beats. Purchase tickers here
If you’re looking to go out and dance your face off to some serious DJs and want to splurge on ultra-exclusive table service, featuring batched craft cocktails, light fare, and more, you need to add Verso to your NYE agenda. Or you can just purchase a ticket to dance and drink, and it will still be the best New Year’s EVER! Purchase tickets here.
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Aftermath of New Year’s can be bitter, but you know what makes it sweet? Brunch!
Get yourself to Balboa Cafe San Francisco, STAT, and order the following: a Balburrito (trust us), an order of Eggs Benedict, or Huevos Rancheros and then wash it down with the city’s best Bloody Mary. Okay, feel better now, we thought so. And, maybe you had a big night and are still up at 9am, in which case, you’re in luck, the Balboa opens bright and early and if you slept in until 1pm, you’re still doing great. And if you are unable to leave the confines of your living room/bedroom, Balboa delivers with partner Caviar. MENU
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When it comes to getting away for New Year’s, Squaw Valley is the place to be! PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is a cozy, lodge-like resort located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in North Lake Tahoe California. With amazing snowfall kicking off this season, you wont want to miss the chance to get up to the mountain with amazing conditions this season. Enjoy a great apres ski at the PlumpJack Bar (view menu), the perfect place to wind down from a day of skiing with friends! We are also offering a special Prix Fixe menu for New Years (view menu).

Father’s Day Gifts that Will Prompt High Fives


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No more boring ties, bbq tools or golf balls, here are five gifts that will put a smile on dad’s face. He’s your go to guy, someone you can always count on to have your back. This Fathers Day PlumpJack can help you show Dad you care, because your dad deserves something awesome.
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1. Whisky, Wine & Beer, OH My!
Choose from so many great PlumpJack Wine & Spirits clubs, like our American Whisky Club, Gin Club, or Beer Club.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
VIEW CLUBS
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2. Fly Fishing in Tahoe
Spoil dad with something relaxing and outdoorsy. Book the Fly Fishing Package at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn that includes private casting lessons and guided fishing on private, stocked ponds with famed fly fisherman, Matt Heron. Plus welcome snacks and wine in your guest room.
BOOK THIS PACKAGE
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3. Forego Brunch and Opt for Cocktails
Spend a night sipping manly cocktails, at one of San Francisco’s Hottest New Bars in mid-market.
VIEW MENU
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4. Gift Kits with a Kick
Choose from a number of great Cocktail Kit choices, including some classics like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned or a Sazerac.
ORDER A KIT
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5. Burger & Wine: A Perfect Pairing
Indulge in two balboa burgers with the suggested toppings of blue cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms, perfectly paired with a bottle of 2012 Adaptation Petite Sirah for $100.00
BALBOA CAFE SF


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6. PlumpJack Gift Baskets
Gift baskets don’t have to be a drag to receive, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits has gift baskets that will be sure to please Dad. From the Build a Better Bar Basket to the Three Cheers for Beer in a Bucket, our hand crafted baskets are loaded up with premium items.
PURCHASE ONE 

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Festival Fashion: BottleRock Napa Valley

Year three of BottleRock Napa Valley kicks off this weekend, which makes for the perfect excuse to rock cut off shorts, kimono’s, slouchy tanks, all with your favorite beer or wine in hand. We’ve picked our favorite pieces of the moment for some festival approved fashion to get you through the weekend (and the warm days) in style.black nike air max 90

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S U N G L A S S E S // Oliver People Westair jordan 5

K I M O N O // Fifteen Twenty

T A N K // Red 23

S H O R T S // Hudson

J E W E L R Y // Gorjananike shoes free run

S A N D A L S // Tory Burchnew balance 574 shoes

Five Ways to Host a Festive New Years Eve Bash

Get the streamers and noisemakers ready because it’s just about time to ring in the New Year! If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve bash make it fun, get creative and welcome 2015 in style. From the delicious drinks to the festive entertainment, use these tips to keep your guests having a great time. From the moment they show up until the ball drops. 
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1. Champagne
New Year’s Eve is all about the bubbly. Stop by both PlumpJack Wine & Spirits locations for a wide selection of champagnes. The PlumpJack Wine & Spirits team can help you pick out the perfect bottle of bubbly to impress your guests. Our Champagne Club features our favorite bottles, ranging from tête de cuvées to some of the best farmer fizz we can find.
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Wine & Spirits buyer, Paul Birman has been with PlumpJack Wine & Spirits for 19 years. Here are Paul’s picks of champagnes he believes are fitting for celebrating the New Year. All available at our Fillmore Wine Store.

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Paul’s Picks
1. Billecart – Salmon Brut Réserve
2. Bollinger Brut Champagne Special Cuvee
3. Louis Roederer Brut Premier’
4. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
5. Billecart -Salmon Brut Rosé air jordan 4


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Click here to watch this simple raisin trick, on how to revive a bottle of Champagne that’s gone flat. And use this guide to easily pick out the perfect champagne.
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2. Festive Decor
Create a festive atmosphere with decorations that will get your guests in the spirit. When it comes to New Year’s, the more sparkle and pop the better. We love these DIY Confetti Wands from The Haunted Interior. For a creative twist on the countdown, number your champagne flutes for a countdown toast. Have each person yell out their number when it’s time, and then drink to the New Year!
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3. Food
Keep it to the small bites. Let guests nosh on hearty apps throughout the night. Check out our Pinterest board, Small Bites for delicious appetizers to keep your guests going until the clock strikes midnight.

Crab Cake Poppers with Spicy Aioli

Crab Cake Poppers with Aioli

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Mushroom Tartlets

Mushroom Tartlets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Entertain
Keep your guests entertained! Get out the playing cards – like these that feature New Year’s resolutions – turn into a fun guessing game. Gather the cards, read them aloud randomly, then let everyone determine who wrote what. Download the playing cards here.


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Set up a jaw-dropping backdrop for the perfect photo booth. Take a look at this chic backdrop from Style Me Pretty. You and your friends can take pictures throughout the night! Have a Polaroid camera ready and your guests can take home their photos as a souvenir.


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Don’t let your guests leave the party empty handed. As a favor create fun care packages for New Year’s Day. Fill them with ibuprofen, Alka-Seltzer, vitamin C and maybe some baked goods..

5. Sweet Treats
We save the best for last! Any good party has delicious desserts to help round out the night. Strawberries pair well with champagne, dress up your chocolate covered strawberries with some glitter. If you want to wow your guests even more and keep them going, consider an espresso soaked Tiramisu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the first day of 2015 the right way, with Balboa Cafe San Francisco. Brunch will be served from 10am until 3pm! Enjoy a delicious meal from our special New Year’s Day Brunch menu and pair it with our famous Bloody Mary, for the perfect kick off to 2015!

If you’re someone who loves hosting but without the fuss of planning, try PlumpJack Catering.

 

 

Airport Essentials

The holiday season is upon us! This means shopping for loved ones, the sweet smell of baking, and traveling to see friends and family. So I thought I’d take a moment to share my picks for when you’re at the airport and on the plane, when traveling this holiday season.
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I used to not be a fan of flying, but in recent years, I have become more comfortable with it and actually view it as something to look forward to. With each flight, I also become more of an expert flyer, as each trip I learn new tricks to make the traveling experience as seamless as possible. Here are a few pieces to help you find a little more comfort when in the sky in the coming months.
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1. Comfortable pants – the ultimate lifesaver. You want a truly comfortable pant to wear on the plane, especially if you’re going to be on a coast to coast flight. These are great since they’re a modal/spandex blend and have fantastic stretch and keep their true black color wash after wash. (Level 99 Lily skinny straight pant in forever black, $118)

2. Comfortable flats – because no one wants to wear bulky shoes while trying to curl up in your seat while watching the latest movie (and taking your shoes off is just not an option). These feel like slippers but wear as a chic flat. Bonus, you can still wear a nylon sock with them for when you have to go through security. (Yosi Samra Samara flat in black crocodile, $70)

3. Notebook – my motto when I’m in the air is, “Life is so much simpler at 30,000 feet”. Thus, the best time to reflect and write down anything that comes to mind. (Kate Spade, “Leave Something to the Imagination” notebook, $24)

4. Hair ties – nothing is worse than when you’re half way through your flight and don’t have something to put your hair up with. I bring a handful of these each trip, just in case. (Goody hair ties, $4)
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5. Oversize cozy cardigan – versatility at its’ best. This cardigan is perfect for layering and even better to wrap up in as an alternative to a mysteriously packaged on board blanket. (Tart collections Darla cardigan, $150)

6. Travel proof skin care – for when you feel the effects of the glorious recycled cabin air on board. The line was “created specifically to combat environmental stresses that affect the health of the skin including travel and flight fatigue.” The travel size products offer five ways of hydration to keep you feeling refreshed all flight long and keep you reaching for them even after you land. (Air Repair skincare kit, $42)
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Happy and safe travels this holiday season!

Balboa Cafe’s GM, Lisa Leventhal, Shares her Five Faves in the Marina


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Lisa Leventhal, General Manager at Balboa Cafe San Francisco, will celebrate her one-year anniversary with the restaurant on November 1st. Originally from Florida, Lisa loves San Francisco and all it has to offer. When she isn’t holding court at the Balboa, you can find her stand-up-paddle boarding or hanging out at her favorite spots in the Marina. Here are her five neighborhood faves:
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1. Rapha Cycle Club San Francisco  – corner of Fillmore & Fibert

Rapha merges fine cycling wearables, books, and accessories with a neighborhood coffee culture. Cyclists and  locals unite to drink exceptional Four Barrel coffee and nosh on delectable pastries only a cyclist can burn off in a day.  Lisa works long hours on her feet, so strong coffee is a necessity and mingling with the locals makes for a fun break in the day.
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2. BodyRok – 2128 Lombard St, San Francisco


Lisa loves BodyRok as a workout because of the versatility it provides, whether you want to cycle, sculpt or even do both in one session. BodyRok Is a fresh approach to fitness, combining core focused strength training and cardio in an upbeat small group environment. The classes pack a lot of punch in just 45 minutes, which is perfect, when you’re working 12+ hours in a day and need to keep up with the energy of a popular neighborhood bar and restaurant that never rests.
3. Causwells – 2346 Chestnut St.
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As much as Lisa loves the Balboa Cafe, when she just cannot look at another Balboa Burger, she heads out to her favorite local spot, Causwells. The menu features classic American favorites, as well as European-influenced fare with a seasonal twists. It’s a great place to grab a drink with friends and share plates. Lisa loves the Grilled Octopus with Garbanzos and the housemade ricotta.

  1. Blo –  2167 Union Street


Dry bars are a lifesaver for any working girl who wants to get a fabulous blow out that will last days. Blo is Lisa’s favorite blow dry bar, located just steps from the Balboa on Union St. Drop in before your shift or before a night on the town for a quick and affordable catwalk-quaility blow out. Reservations are recommended.
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5. Paper Source – 2061 Chestnut Street
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It is nearly impossible to leave Paper Source without purchasing something, whether it’s something you need or something you absolutely don’t need, but HAVE to have. From books to kitschy cards and crafts, Paper Source has it all and then some. Lisa likes the fact that she can run down to grab a quick birthday card for a regular or a staff member on the fly or that spontaneous gift she didn’t know she needed for that person she just met.
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So there you have it, Lisa’s Five Fave, but there is more. To find out about her other go-to spots in the neighborhood and beyond, you’ll have to come visit her at the Balboa Cafe. Cheers!

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What’s the story behind the PlumpJack Wine Store?

PlumpJack Wine Store was started in 1992 as the first business for the PlumpJack Group, by then founder Gavin Newsom. It’s mission is to make the wine-buying experience approachable and to remove the intimidation factor. In 1992 we had more than 100 wines priced at under $10 per bottle. We now have more than 300 selections that are $25 or under and an expansive collection of spirits and domestic craft beers.

What is a little known secret(s) about your business?
If you buy a bottle of wine from the wine store and take it across the street to the Balboa Cafe, there is no corkage fee. And we will deliver your wine and spirits for FREE in San Francisco proper for all orders over $100. Gift wrapping and enclosure cards are complimentary.

Can you tell us a little about your clubs?

Our Monthly Wine Club (2 bottles) has been operating for more than 20 years, and in that time we have featured wines from all over, from California and Oregon to France, Portugal, Greece and beyond. Our members love that the club gives them a chance to discover new wines from different regions every month. These wines are carefully chosen and are always small production, hand-crafted wines with unique stories.

Our Red Rogues (not rouge) club is a quarterly club that no one else is doing. This is where we pick three red wines that have a unique combination of character, varietal, viticulture, and appellation that members can experience the difference in style and terroir. For example, past features have included three Amarones from Italy; three Pinot Noirs from Oregon; or three different Shiraz from the same winemaker, but from different appellations. It’s a fabulous way to compare and contrast wines that have similarities but display differences as well.


The Case Club is a perfect way to design your own parameters on a monthly or bi-monthly time frame so that you always have a stash of wine to drink, to give as a gift, or to take to someone’s house. Become a member if you don’t have time to shop, if you have unexpected guests frequently, or you are tired of grocery store selections. You set the pricing parameters as well as the varietal type, countries, all red, all white, all rose, or all sparkling—then we do the work so you don’t have to trouble yourself with parking or picking up. We deliver right to your door.

PlumpJack Gift Baskets & Wooden Boxes

Purchase one of our gift baskets for the holiday season. Gift baskets and wooden boxes are filled with wine of your choice and our gift baskets are packed with gourmet foods to your delight. For more information visit our site here.

#PlumpJackLife Instagram Contest!

PlumpJack LifeAt PlumpJack, we’re about living life to the fullest and taking advantage of the Northern California lifestyle. This is our #plumpjacklife, show us your #plumpjacklife on Instagram. Follow us at @plumpjackgroup, then point, zoom, shoot and tag #plumpjacklife to be entered to win $500 in PlumpJack Bucks that can be redeemed at any of our 15 properties. Go to plumpjack.com to view list of properties.
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HOW TO ENTER
1. Follow @plumpjackgroup on Instagram
2. Take a photo of something that represents #plumpjacklife and tag it
3. Make sure your privacy settings are open, so the PlumpJack judging team has access to your photos
4. You’re done, you’re automatically entered!

GOOD LUCK! Love, PlumpJack

Sweepstakes Rules
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