Why We Gift Wednesday (Wine & Cheese Edition)

Why We Gift Wednesday (Wine & Cheese 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. July 25 – that’s right, TODAY, is National Wine & Cheese Day! Today’s the day that we celebrate the definitive duo – wine and cheese. The pairing of wines and cheese has a long tradition. Across wine-producing cultures, many have approaches to pairing wine with local cheese, contrasting the complexities in sweetness and acidity.   Wine and cheese pairing makes the perfect gift and an even better party. So what will it be tonight – warmed Brie with cool and tangy Sauvignon Blanc? Maybe you’re in the mood for a sharp English farmstead cheddar and a glass of Cabernet. (Hint, hint: our Gourmand’s Cheese Selection has Brie and English Cheddar.) Looking for helpful advice to pairing wine with the right hunk of cheese? Match the flavors in your glass to the cheese on your plate! Check out The GiftTree Guide to Wine and Cheese Pairing.   Comment Below What’s your favorite wine and cheese...
The GiftTree Guide to Wine and Cheese Pairing

The GiftTree Guide to Wine and Cheese Pairing

Get ready – January 20th is National Cheese Lover’s Day – that perfect day devoted to cheese lovers. But if you’re anything like us here at GiftTree, the word “love” doesn’t quite suffice for our passion and devotion to the dairy delicacy. In the United States, Americans eat an average amount of 30 pounds of cheese a year (can you believe that? I can.), but of course the French have us beat at 50 pounds per year. We love cheese oozing out of a grilled cheese sandwich, piled high on pizza, melted on the perfect nacho… but today we’re setting the bar higher and talking about cheese’s ultimate companion – wine. The worlds of both wine and cheese are intricate, complex and storied, to say the least. There are so many varieties of wine, and even more types of cheese out there, so it can be tough to know what wine is going to be the best companion to this or that particular type of cheese. Behold The GiftTree Guide to Wine and Cheese Pairing! Using this simple guide, you too can match the flavors on your cheeseboard to the wine in your glass and make some palate magic. We’ll start with popular varietals of wine and build from there – keep checking this blog post as more pairing ideas are added. Onward! White Wines Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Riesling – the creamy vanilla and buttered toast aromas and flavors of Chardonnay pair perfectly with light-colored, surface-ripened soft cheeses. Even if your Chardonnay is unoaked and possesses more brightness than that of the oaked varietal, it’s good to know that...
Why We Gift Wednesday (Cheese & Crackers Edition)

Why We Gift Wednesday (Cheese & Crackers 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. If you’re anything like us, you love cheese and crackers so much that it has become a meal in and of itself. What’s better than a slice of creamy cheese with a hint of salty sweetness combined with a crispy cracker? Here at GiftTree, we’re constantly tasting and testing all of the cheese and charcuterie, wine and Champagne, chocolate and every other component in our baskets, making sure that we’re delivering the best quality food and drinks to the recipients of our gifts. It’s no surprise that cheese and crackers have become quite the staple of our everyday diet here at headquarters! Very often, we find ourselves making it the main meal of the day, especially if we’re taste testing wine. 🙂 So this Why We Gift Wednesday is a shout out to all the cheese and cracker connoisseurs just like us!   One of our favorite cheeses has got to be Beemster Vlaskaas, a rich creamy cheese with a hint of sweetness with a very time-honored Dutch recipe. Dutch farmers of the past ate Vlaskaas on thick slices of bread during the flax harvest season, and centuries later, Beemster was asked to recreate the recipe. It was such a hit that Vlaskaas took home...
A Tasting Tour of Italy

A Tasting Tour of Italy

One look through GiftTree’s curated selection of gourmet meats, cheeses and wine gifts and it becomes pretty clear – we love Italy. From Sicily to the Italian Alps, we at GiftTree draw so much inspiration from the rich, storied history of Italy’s gastronomic tradition. Italy is divided into 20 regions, and virtually every region is dominant in some type of agriculture or winemaking. The country is the world’s top producer by volume in wine, as well as olive oil, tomatoes, artichokes and many fruits. There are nearly two million farms in Italy with agricultural fields covering almost 30 million acres. Amazingly, 99% of these farms are owned by families, averaging ownership of only about 20 acres each. These are some small farms! With such a rich dominion over agriculture, its no wonder Italy is a leader in the world of wine and cuisine. Let’s explore a few of our favorite gourmet gifts that feature Italian wine and fare as their centerpieces, and embark on a tasting tour of Italy. Buon appetito! We’ll begin in the central region of Tuscany, where wine production reigns supreme. Our Italian Wine Trio crate features three wines from the region that command the attention of wine lovers, and each wine pairs wonderfully with Italian cuisine. Hailing from Antinori, Santa Cristina is one of Italy’s best known wineries. Their Pinot Grigio pours straw-yellow, boasting aromas of peaches and ripe apples. A long-finishing Sangiovese showpiece at its peak, the excellent Nipozzano Riserva greets you with deep purple hues and aromas of dried plum and sour cherry to match. And lastly, Banfi’s Sangiovese Toscano is fresh and fruit-forward, with intense red currant,...
Why We Gift Wednesday (Cheese Lover’s Edition)

Why We Gift Wednesday (Cheese Lover’s 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. We’re excited – Saturday January 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day! Here at GiftTree, a few of us decided to celebrate our love of cheese by showcasing a few of our favorites (and some not-so-run-of-the-mill cheeses) for today’s Why We Gift Wednesday – the Cheese Lover’s Edition!   Staff Favorite: Petit Basque Why We Love It “Petit Basque has a really robust, sharp and sweet flavor, no matter how small a piece you take. I love the creamy texture. It goes great on any cracker, fruit or bread, and any wine will taste awesome with it.” – Amy, Catalog Producer Staff Favorite: Beemster Vlaskaas Why We Love It “This cheese is so soft and smooth and creamy, it almost has a texture like American but the flavor is out of this world It’s the absolute BEST on a sandwich!” – Christine, Copywriter (Side Note: Read all about Beemster here!)     Staff Favorite: Sottocenere Why We Love It  “Where do I even begin? This cheese is just luscious. The rind is rubbed with truffle oil, and it seeps in to the cheese, permeating the whole wheel with a delicious truffle flavor.” – Erica, Gift Designer Staff Favorite: Sartori Basil and Olive Oil Asiago Why We Love It...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Beemster Premium Dutch Cheese

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Beemster Premium Dutch Cheese

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. This Friday’s Featured Artisan is none other than Beemster – a premium Dutch cheesemaker founded in 1901. The Netherlands is famous for their cheese, and one Dutch masterpiece is a feature in many of GiftTree’s cheese gifts. Beemster vlaskaas is made from high-quality milk and aged six months to create a sweet, creamy and somewhat sharp flavor. During the flax harvest season festivals centuries ago, Dutch farmers would eat vlaskaas cheese on thick slices of soft, chewy bread. Vlaskaas roughly translates to “flax cheese”, and when the recipe was rediscovered in 2004, Beemster was asked to recreate it. The result was so spectacular, vlaskaas took home bronze in the Wisconsin Cheesemaker’s Competition, the fiercest cheese showdown in the world. So now, what was once a special-occasion (and lactose-free!) cheese eaten only during celebration is available to devour year-round. Founded in 1901, Beemster is made up of small family farmers and master cheesemakers. Their line of cheeses is rich, flavorful and available in a range of ages and varieties. The Beemster recipes and techniques are the foundation for creating every wheel of Beemster cheese. Working-side by-side with master cheesemongers, young cheesemakers complete years of training and apprenticeship, handcrafting each wheel with the same care and techniques used centuries ago. Only after years of dedication to perfecting their...