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...
Friday’s Featured Winery – Louis Roederer, Makers of Cristal

Friday’s Featured Winery – Louis Roederer, Makers of Cristal

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Winery! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect wines are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a famous Pinot-producer or an iconic Champagne House – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. This Friday we’re delighted to feature a Champagne House: none other than Louis Roederer. The House Roederer was founded in 1776 and has been family-owned for 8 generations. When Louis Roederer inherited the dynasty in 1833, he took a visionary’s approach and set out to perfect every stage of the Champagne’s production. Blending the Champagne’s character, style and flavor, he resisted the usual practices of buying grapes, and bought some of Champagne’s Grand Cru vineyards. It was there that he nurtured each one of his vines, familiarizing himself with the characteristics of each and every parcel, all the while building his empire, acquiring the best terrior in Champagne. Louis Roederer knew that all great wine depends on quality of the soil, the condition of the vines and a passionate vision for the future. Today, this strategy remains the cornerstone of The House Roederer’s continuing production. House Roederer owns 240 hectares located exclusively in the Grands and Premiers Crus of Marne, where their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes are nurtured. (Much like a state, Marne is a department of Northeastern France, home to subprefectures Épernay and Reims. This is the sole source of Champagne vineyards, producing all the world’s famous French sparkling wines.) This brings us to Louis Roederer’s most famous Champagne, Brut Cristal. It was created in 1876 to satisfy the...
The Basics of Wine Aeration

The Basics of Wine Aeration

Wine is all around us, from visiting wineries to enjoying a glass with a friend, it is a popular drink. Even with its popularity, wine still has some mysterious elements to it. One of the lesser known intricacies of wine is proper aeration. To help de-mystify the process we are here to explain the basics of wine aeration; such as when to aerate your wines, which wines can benefit from aeration, and helpful tools to allow you to fully enjoy that special bottle you have been saving.   First, let’s start with the basics: what does wine aeration do and what is the purpose? Wine aeration is the process of exposing wine to air which causes two things to happen: oxidation and evaporation. Oxidation is beneficial to wine because it helps mellow out strong, overpowering flavors. In combination with oxidation, evaporation removes ethanol from the wine which can overwhelm more delicate flavors and aromas.   Next, we’ll talk about how to aerate your wine and different ways this process is done.   Opening the Bottle Aeration occurs when the wine is exposed to air, but simply opening the bottle isn’t enough. However, this limited type of aeration doesn’t have a noticeable effect, so usually the wine is further aerated in two ways: decanting the wine, or pouring the wine through an aerator.   Decanting Decanting is the process of pouring the wine into a wine decanter and letting it sit. A decanter usually has a wide base which allows a greater exposure to air helping the wine oxidize and “breathe”. This process takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 3...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Perrier Jouët

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Perrier Jouët

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. As Champagne lovers, this Friday’s Featured Artisan is someone we at GiftTree hold near and dear to our hearts – the Champagne House Perrier-Jouët. Perrier-Jouët was founded in Epernay by Pierre-Nicolas-Marie Perrier and his wife, Adele Jouët in 1811. One of the most prestigious houses in Champagne, the firm was shipping wine to Great Britain by 1813 and to the United States by 1837. Perrier-Jouët owns 266 acres of vineyards in Champagne, with an average rating of 95%, and is known worldwide for its consistency of style. Their most famous vintage is Belle Epoque, or Fleur Belle Epoque, known for its iconic brilliant green bottle with hand-painted Japanese Anemone flowers – a motif destined to become iconic over the years. All the lightness of white flowers combine with hints of honeyed apple, white peach and lemon zest in this fresh, stylish and iconic champagne. Silky and elegant, this well-structured champagne has a base of mineral notes from the best chardonnay. On the palate, floral and fruit gives way to subtly spicy hints for a pleasant finish. “Belle Epoque 2007 is a crystalline vintage whose subtlety and generosity highlight the precision of the Perrier-Jouët style. It is an epicurean wine.” ~ Hervé Deschamps, Cellar Master GiftTree is delighted to offer Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque in a number of beautiful...