When venturing abroad, the thrill of discovery can only be matched by offsetting airfare with a $6 savings on a bottle of duty-free wine. Increase that elation 300-fold, with the Algodon Wine Estates Barrel Ownership Program
A vineyard in San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina (the town so nice they named it thrice), Algodon's new offering lets you purchase, tend to, visit, and caress your very own barrel o' wine, good for 290 bottles of personalized fun-juice. The process: 1) choose from one of six different middle-toasted, medium-flavored oak barrels; 2) select your varietal (Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bonarda, Chardonnay, Pinot de La Loire); 3) decide your level of participation, from "harvest my own grapes" to "sit in recliner, feel supremely powerful as someone else harvests my grapes". In a year, it's time to wing down to sample your barrel, and arrange for shipment of bottles back; you'll get two days comped at Algodon's resort complex, which features a luxed-out adobe-walled old-world lodge, eats from a French-/Indian-trained high-end-hotel-vet chef, a golf course situated right alongside the vineyard, and nonstop stunning views of the Andes, which look even more majestic when they're not stamped on mints
If you desire, you can re-use your barrel to get up to two more batches out of it (at a discounted price) -- because nothing quite matches the feeling of accomplishment attached to having more wine in your closet than's in the entire duty-free shop.