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It is not very often that I feel strongly enough about a company to write about it. Even though I am not a “major” blogger (by any stretch if anyone’s imagination), I do understand the power if a written word and take it seriously.

This little company’s products are impressive. They make “flavored” olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I first encountered them at the Holiday Fair in my town (Fayetteville, NC) a couple of years ago. I bought a couple of bottles if their balsamic vinegars and, unbeknownst to me, my friend bought a bottle as a Christmas gift for me. I have been a fan and follower ever since.

The company’s website claims their vinegars are “aged in Oak barrels in Italy”. I have no way to either prove or disprove this, but the results are really, really tasty!

Their balsamic vinegars are dark, and rich in flavor. A very small quantity makes a fantastic salad dressing or a great marinade. They also are great in sweet applications, which is counterintuitive but very apropos….

The prices are very comparable (and in many cases lower) than the price of balsamic at my local Grocery store.

Grapes & Olives on Tap does not have a store front – they sell online and at Shows and Fairs. Below is a picture of their booth:

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When one visits their booth, they are presented with a sample, which is the best way to sell their product. I was VERY skeptical, until if had the sample – I was instantly sold!

Generally, I order online as their process is quick and easy. In addition, they often offer specials, which defray part of the shipping cost.

They process their orders quickly – recently I ordered on a holiday weekend, my box was shipped first thing the next business morning, and arrived two days later. When I opened the box, I was impressed by the attention that was given to appropriate packaging:

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Even more impressive, the box contained a brightly colored envelope, with my name and “Thank you” and “enjoy” handwritten on it (it contained my receipt and a few recipe cards for the particular flavors I had purchased). My first, totally irrational, very silly thought was: “Oh, they remembered me!”. A second later, I realized what a clever, marketing tool that is – of course they do not remember me, but if they can make me feel that way by handwriting five words on an envelope, that is a pretty inexpensive strategy!

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I would like everyone who reads this to know that no one from Grapes & Olives on Tap has been in touch with me (other than to ship me my purchased product), no one enticed/hired/prodded/persuaded or paid me to write this post – it all came from me and the fondness I have for their balsamic vinegars!

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