The Iconic (& Woman-Owned) Champagne Veuve Clicquot

The Iconic (& Woman-Owned) Champagne Veuve Clicquot

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne   About This Wine Clicquot’s signature non-vintage Brut is loved all over the world for its crisp, full flavors, consistent quality, and celebratory yellow label.  But did you know that this iconic and loved French Champagnes, came to its fame by one very business-saavvy lady of great taste? Read all about the fascinating story of Madame Clicquot here. Tasting Notes Medium straw, yellow color; complex aromas of ripe apple and light cream, excellent depth and persistence; layered on the palate; dry, medium acidity, well balanced; bright and beautiful ripe fruit and cream in the flavors; medium finish, lasting impression in the aftertaste. Blend Predominantly Pinot Noir, with Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Serving, Pairing & Gifting A toasty Champagne like Veuve Clicquot has all the perfect depth and smokiness for fish and shellfish, such as raw oysters, poached prawns or Petrale sole in a sauce full of fresh herbs. At a mid-level price point, Veuve Clicquot makes a wonderful gift for so many occasions!     Comment Below Have you had a chance to try Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne? What did you think? What’s your favorite...
Champagne 101 – A Crash Course on Bubbly

Champagne 101 – A Crash Course on Bubbly

It may seem like a drink that’s only used to ring in the New Year, raise a glass of at a wedding, or to sip the occasional mimosa at brunch, but champagne doesn’t have to be reserved only for special occasions. Champagne can be enjoyed on its own of course, or from appetizer to dessert, Champagne pairs perfectly with a wide variety of foods throughout the entire duration of a meal. And if you love it, why not make it one of your everyday standards? At first, the labels, terms and price points seem a little daunting, but fear not! GiftTree is here with a crash course on the confusing world of champagne. With just a little bit of knowledge, you can integrate champagne into any occasion, making the event feel extra special.   What is champagne? Champagne is sparkling (carbonated) wine made in the Champagne region of Northern France. However, not all of them hail from the region; in fact, champagne must be from the Champagne region in order to bear the name. If the wine is from Spain, it’s referred to as Cava, in Italy it’s known as Prosecco or Spumante, and in the United States, Sparkling Wine.   What kind of grapes are used to make champagne? Three types of grapes are used – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Pinot Meunier. If you see a champagne labeled “blanc de blancs”, that means only white grapes, Chardonnay, were used to make it. If the label reads “Cuvee”, it is a blend of all three varietals. And if you see “blanc de noirs”, the Champagne is made from red-wine grapes. That means Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier, but the skins are removed quickly so the wine remains white. If the...
Why We Gift Wednesday (Wedding Edition)

Why We Gift Wednesday (Wedding Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. Did you know that June is the most popular month of the year for weddings? Nearly 11% of all married couples have their anniversary in June. And why not? It’s the perfect month for wedding season – depending on where you live, you’re past the rainy part of spring and not quite into the hottest part of summer yet. But let’s get to what’s really important about weddings – the love, of course! What was the most memorable part of your wedding, or a favorite moment at the wedding of a loved one? From the personal vows, to the touching toasts, to the first dance or the Father-Daughter dance, few moments in life are as special as the ones that take place at weddings. And even the funny mishaps, though they may seem stressful at the time, end up being special memories that we can laugh about later on. If you’re headed to any weddings this month, make sure you take the time to really soak it all in and enjoy the celebration of love. And if you’re looking for the perfect wedding gift, GiftTree’s got you covered, too!  ...
Friday’s Featured Winery: Veuve Clicquot

Friday’s Featured Winery: Veuve Clicquot

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to the most inspiring women whose strength has shaped the world around them. That means on this Friday’s Featured Winery, we’re sharing the fascinating history of none other than the courageous woman of La Maison Veuve Clicquot (translated to english as the House of the Widow Clicquot). In a time when a woman running a business was totally unheard of, Madame Clicquot took her Champagne House to the very top, making the name Clicquot itself synonymous with luxury. Here is the inspiring story of Barb-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot and her amazing determination. Barb-Nicole Ponsardin grew up in Reims, France as the daughter of a shrewd businessman who started a textile company in the late 1700s, with the hopes of elevating his family’s status from the middle class. These dreams were drastically changed with the start of the French Revolution in 1789, when he joined the resistance. At age 20, Barb-Nicole married Francois Clicquot, a member of another wealthy textile merchant family. His family also happened to run a side business of wine making. Francois took over the family’s small winery, choosing to focus on Champagne that had made the region famous, but had recently fallen out of favor. He worked to gain sales and shipping routes out of France, while Barb-Nicole had her hand in the wine business as well, carefully learning her husband’s techniques in winemaking and business. However, the French Revolution took its toll and the business didn’t attain the success they’d hoped for. Francois became depressed and ill, eventually succumbing to typhoid fever, although many suspected it was suicide. Following her husband’s passing, Barb-Nicole took up the family business as a widow at the...
Friday’s Featured Winery – Domaine Chandon

Friday’s Featured Winery – Domaine Chandon

From their storied vineyards to the vibrant sparkling wine in your glass, Friday’s Featured Winery – Domaine Chandon – blends the best of centuries-old French Champagne traditions and new world innovation. Domaine Chandon’s history dates all the way back to 1743 in Epernay, France, where the esteemed Champagne House Moët & Chandon was born. But let’s fast forward precisely 230 years to 1973, when Moët’s director Robert-Jean de Vogue had a stroke of genius and established the first French-owned sparkling wine house outside of France – Domaine Chandon, in Napa Valley, California. In the 1970s, Napa had not yet gained its renown as a wine-producing region in the world. But the investment that Moët & Chandon made in the area certainly caught the attention of the rest of the world, and undoubtedly changed the course of history for Napa Valley itself.   That very same year, Domaine Chandon founder John Wright and grower Will Nord selected Yountville, Napa Valley as the winery’s home, and planted the first vineyards on Mount Veeder and in the Carneros region. The first crush took place in nearby Trefethan, and for the next twenty years, Chandon’s Senior Winemaker Dawnine Dyer and his team married the vibrancy of their California fruit with the old world winemaking traditions of Moët, ensuring an always exceptional, always distinctive sparkling wine, year after year. After pressing the grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay varieties), the juice is separated into two or three lots for its first primary fermentation. Using proprietary yeast strains from France and their know-how in the art of blending, the wine is then bottled (with a little sugar) to...
Life of the Party: Toast-worthy Champagnes for New Year’s Eve

Life of the Party: Toast-worthy Champagnes for New Year’s Eve

Whether you’re shaking off some bad ones or relishing good ones, 2017’s events are now memories, and it’s time to welcome 2018 – hopefully a year of good health, prosperity and joy for us all. And how do we ring in a new year, you ask? With a Champagne toast, of course! Bringing a bottle of great Champagne to a New Year’s Eve party is a longstanding tradition – Champagne makers have been marketing the wine as an essential part of the New Year’s celebration since the early 1800s. It’s said that as the cork pops and the Champagne overflows from the bottle, it symbolically represents the abundance of hope and joy in the new year. When it comes to choosing the most toast-worthy Champagnes for New Year’s Eve, the labels, terms and price points can seem a little daunting at first. But fear not! First, check out this absolutely awesome guide to bubbly – a great crash course on the confusing (and very broad) world of Champagne and other sparkling wines. Next, keep reading to explore some of our favorite Champagne recommendations to toast on New Year’s Eve.   Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine Give a toast with this 90 point blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay! Hailing from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Argyle’s flagship brut sparkling boasts a zesty essence of lemon, honey, and pear. Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Cuvee Delicate and refined, this contemporary Brut Cuvee is a stylish sparking wine crafted in the classic French method. Crisp yet delicate flavors of apple, pear and citrus give way to toast and tangerine on the finish. Michelle Brut is the perfect accompaniment for salty snacks like calamari...