Holiday Wines Part I – The Chardonnay Line Up

Holiday Wines Part I – The Chardonnay Line Up

Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here! In addition to all I’m grateful for, this has me thinking about wine. And dinner. Our table usually numbers more than 30. We’ve been known to have three turkeys (roasted, grilled, and deep fried) and everyone contributes their favorite side dishes. Many wines pair nicely with turkey, but when it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner, there is so much more happening! A beautifully roasted bird may take center stage at the buffet table, but the meal itself is all about the sides. We tend to overload our plates with those beloved side dishes—crowding that sliced turkey into a hodge-podge patchwork of fabulous flavors, textures, and colors. That’s right where tradition slowly changes and grows for the better. I mean, before JoJo joined our Thanksgiving celebration, we didn’t have jalapeño-spiked cheesy corn at the table. Now her Texas influence is an integral part of our annual tradition. For me, pushing some spicy, creamy corn into the mashed potatoes and gravy was an obvious move, but when Uncle Fran’s bittersweet orange-cranberry chutney mingled in . . . a serendipitous flavor bomb! Chardonnay is definitely one of the go-to favorites for Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s versatile yet familiar. And Chardonnay is known to play well with others. Whether you’re serving dinner this year or you’d like a nice bottle to present to your hosts, here’s a guide to some of our favorite Chardonnay trios for 2020. Lighter Chardonnay Trios For milder fare, we suggest a lighter Chardonnay. Think classic turkey dinner with simply prepared vegetable dishes, ambrosia salad, and Parker House rolls. We think these Chardonnays...
Holiday Wines Part II – The Reds

Holiday Wines Part II – The Reds

Red is the color deeply entwined with some of our strongest feelings—passion, love, rage, danger. It even symbolizes good luck. What better wine to bring to you next family gathering? For many reasons, the holidays are a great time to stock up on wine—to enjoy, to gift, and to collect. Like the color itself, red wines offer a spectrum of bold and dazzling varieties to enjoy. The Cabs tend to work nicely with most red meats, lamb, and a flavorfully prepared ahi tuna. We love Pinot Noirs for their versatility—most are both smooth and bold enough to work well with lighter fare such as roasted salmon or game fowl and heavier, classic dinner fare like Beef Wellington. Speaking of Beef Wellington and family gatherings—this is one of my family’s traditions! Many years ago, I gave my husband The New Basics Cookbook by Silver Palate authors Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. We’ve had decades of fun exploring so many cuisines and cultures through the recipes and informative anecdotes. Once beyond the chicken-nugget rite of passage, our kids joined us on the journey. While we each have our distinct preferences, we all look forward to Beef Wellington as our Christmas Eve tradition. In fact, my oldest—now living on that other coast—has asked for the recipe so many times that she’s receiving her own copy of The New Basics as a gift this year. Based on how tattered that original paperback is, I’m even springing for the hardcover edition. You can find that hallowed Beef Wellington recipe below. And if you want to find some great red wines, here are a few...
What Wine Goes with Dinner Tonight?

What Wine Goes with Dinner Tonight?

Knowing how to pair your wine with the food that you’re eating may seem like a confusing and daunting task, but there are just a few tricks you need to learn, and pretty soon you will be pairing like a pro. If you are wondering what wine goes with dinner tonight, follow these simple steps! This blog, entitled Six Rules for Perfect Pairing, goes into much more details, but it really can boil down to six very easy to remember rules. Whether you’re enjoying a few steaks or chicken off the grill on a balmy summer evening, you’re serving up a hot stew that’s been roasting in the slow cooker all winter’s day, or you’re just ordering pizza from the neighborhood parlor, the simple and easy to follow wine rules below will help you know which wine is going to bring out the flavors of your food best, and which foods are going to complement your wine in turn. First Thing’s First: Learn Basic Wine Pairing!   Read More in Depth Here >> The Six Rules of Perfect Wine Pairing   Rule 1: Match the richness of the food to the body of the wine. Rule 2: Match the acidity. Rule 3: Don’t let the food overpower the wine, or the wine overpower the food. Rule 4: Offset heat (spicy) with sweet. Rule 5: Serve your wine at the right temperature. Rule 6: Match the regional cuisine to the regional wine.   You’re Ready To Pair! Here’s a helpful list of recommendations and suggestions to get you started. Here at GiftTree, we got together with our in-house Sommelier to get...
Slow Cooker Weeknight “Dump & Go” Recipes

Slow Cooker Weeknight “Dump & Go” Recipes

Between our careers, keeping up with the household, the kids’ school and the upcoming holidays, this time of year is just BIZ-EE. It can be hard to get a nourishing and healthy meal on the table with the limited amount of time we have. That’s why we’re so grateful for things like Instant Pots and Slow Cookers! It’s as simple as “dump & go”, “set it and forget it”…. you know what we mean. Here are a few slow cooker recipes that are perfect for weeknights! These recipes are brought to you by GiftTree‘s own Corporate Team! We also thought we’d ask our Sommelier for wine pairings, too, because why not? It’s been a long week.     Slow Cooker Weeknight “Dump & Go” Recipes All Photos Courtesy Shutterstock   Slow Cooker Turkey Black Bean Chili By Christine, Content Manager 1 lb. ground turkey 1 sweet yellow onion, diced 1/2 cup chicken broth 2 cans S&W® Chili Beans, undrained 2 cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained 1 can S&W® black beans, drained & rinsed 1 small can diced green chiles, your chosen degree of heat Big dollop of tomato paste chili powder, cumin, bay leaf salt & pepper to taste Christine says…. “In a skillet, dice and sauté the onion until tender. Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper. When the turkey is almost cooked through, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until turkey is completely browned. In your slow cooker, combine the turkey-onion mixture, all the cans, tomato paste, spices and bay leaves. Salt and pepper to your liking and cover. Cook for at least 8...
Happy National Red Wine Day

Happy National Red Wine Day

Happy Wine Wednesday and #nationalredwineday. This might be one of our favorite days to celebrate here at GiftTree as we feature an extensive selection of delicious Fine Wine as well as Wine Gift Baskets. Below are a few of our beloved Cabernet Sauvignons, we simply can’t get enough of! Five Cabernets You’ll Love   Belmont Cliffs Portico Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon The 40-acre Tenma Vineyard is located in the foothills of Mt. St. Helena, Napa Valley. This is where our reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in partnership with renowned winemaker Robin Akhurst of Clos Pegase. Because this wine is bold and unctuous, it boasts opulent flavors of jammy black fruit and a touch of creamy vanilla.   Broadstone Sonoma Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Hints of leather and walnut round out the nose, while the well-balanced palate boasts flavors of black pepper, cherry and dark chocolate. This Cabernet is made in partnership with Sonoma’s iconic Delectus Vineyard and Winery.   Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 This vintage opens with aromas of mixed berry fruit, boysenberry, and layered with hints of graphite and toasted oak. On the palate, a smooth entry is followed by intense, ripe berry notes.   Tesca California Cabernet Sauvignon This classic full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant and smooth. Broadstone has a sophisticated blend of cool mineral elegance. Therefore, it’s an ideal for pairing with American fare such as grilled chicken or a rack of barbecued short ribs.   Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon embodies the essence of the most remarkable wine growing region in the Napa Valley. The 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon shows...
Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Pinot Noir

Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Pinot Noir

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 Oregon Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir   About This Wine One of Oregon’s most renowned Pinot producers, Archery Summit is the only Oregon winery with with natural subterranean caves. Modeled after Burgundy’s underground caverns, Archery Summit’s incredible Pinot Noir is aged in the volcanic rock cellar underneath the estate. Never rising above 59 degrees F, this is an optimal condition for storing exceptional wine that is aging in mature barrels. See it for yourself! So if you ever get the chance to visit Archery Summit’s winery, be sure to take a tour! Tasting Notes This seductive Willamette Valley wine leads with vibrant floral notes of lilac and violet. Touches of cherry, raspberry and cocoa powder join the floral components. Following, secondary notes of black licorice, berry bramble and rosemary complement the leading fruit flavors. With flavors so persistent and saturating, the palate is enveloped. Lingering, the wine smoothes out through a refined, balanced finish. Blend 100% Pinot Noir Serving, Pairing & Gifting This is a perfect medium bodied Pinot Noir for pairing with delicious meals. A few of our favorite dishes are coq au vin, pork tenderloin with a cranberry glaze...