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...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Walk to School 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 don’t know about you, but here in the Pacific Northwest, Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors. That’s why this Why We Gift Wednesday is the Walk to School Edition! Walking your kids (or grandkids! or nieces! or nephews!) is a wonderful way to connect with the kids who are near and dear to your heart. On a good walk, you can talk about absolutely anything that’s on their mind, and help them to feel like you’re listening to them and you’re there for them. Listening to your child’s perspective will teach you a lot, and studies show that letting your children speak their mind and talk things out boosts their own introspection, leading to more effective communication and better relationships in their adult life. Plus, taking in the Autumn atmosphere is simply rejuvenating, too. So while the air is turning crisp and cool and the leaves are starting to get that tinge of gold and red, get an early start and walk your child to school sometime this month! Want to bring a touch of that Autumn vibe to the indoors? Send an Autumn bouquet to someone special (or maybe even yourself!)       Comment Below:  Did you walk to school as a kid? What do...

How to Welcome Out of Town Guests

Whether they’ve come for weddings, family reunions or a weekend together with family or friends, almost everyone has been host to out of town guests. And when hosting loved ones, it’s all about making sure everyone feels comfortable. Regardless if guests are staying at your home or a nearby hotel, little gestures can go a long way in making sure everyone feels just at home. Here are a few houseguest gifts that will make for a one-of-a-kind stay that they’ll be sure to remember as much as you will. What better way to say “welcome” than to create luxurious bed and breakfast-like experience for guests in your own home! Beautifully wrapped gift baskets of treats left on the guest bed are a great surprise for guests as they settle in. Certainly the fridge is open to them, but the convenience of treats right in their room can’t be beat. Our Golden Gourmet offers a little something for everyone, with Auberge Camembert Cheese, Habanero Pepper Jelly, California Crisps Natural Mandarin Oranges and more. Freshly laundered plush terrycloth robes left in the guest bathroom will have guests feeling right at home, especially after a nice warm bath with a Luxe Bubbling Bath Crate which they can keep. Hotels can be abundant in amenities but can’t always match the comfort of home. Surprise your own of town guests with a basket of snacks at their hotel. With a Wine Trio Travel Tote, guests will comfortably have almost everything they need to enjoy three bottles of wine. Your friends and family will appreciate not having to run out when they get a little...

Explore the Beekman 1802 Farmstead

There’s a 60-acre farm nestled in rural New York that is as quaint as quaint can be. A stark white mansion built in 1802 is the focal point; the blazing red barn a close second. Heirloom vegetables dot the garden with drops of color while an endless sky perfectly encapsulates it all. Seeking a weekend retreat away from the city, that Manhattanites Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a former advertising executive and Brent Ridge, a physician and former Vice President of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia decided to buy the farm in 2007.(If the names Kilmer-Purcel and Ridge sound familiar, you may have watched them win The Amazing Race in 2012). When both men lost their jobs during the 2008 recession and faced foreclosure on the property, they made the decision that, to save the farm, they would need to make it profitable. After hearing of a neighboring farmer who was also in dire straits, they offered to take him and his heard of dairy goats in, and, together, began producing soaps and cheeses and laid the foundation for what is now the Beekman 1802 farmstead. The ensuing hilarity of the pair’s new life with Farmer John and the goats was documented on the show The Fabulous Beekman Boys and in Kilmer-Purcell’s best-selling book The Bucolic Plague. The team’s hard work paid off, though, as the Beekman 1802 brand has skyrocketed into one of the fasted growing lifestyle brands in the country. Beekman 1802 features a variety of home goods, foods, cookbooks and more, all of which are exclusively theirs. The brand reflects a passion for fine foods, beautiful products and, most importantly, community. Kilmer-Purcell...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Just a Cup of Coffee 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. This Friday, September 29 is National Coffee Day, so we figured what better way to celebrate than with a shoutout to our coffee-drinking friends and family on this Why We Gift Wednesday. The act of sitting down with a cup of coffee got us thinking about two things – the first being the enjoyment of slowing down and living in the moment, stopping and taking just a little bit of time to relax in the present – not worrying about the future or deliberating on the past. The second thing we thought of was just how little effort it really takes to make someone feel cared for, just by meeting up with them for good conversation, a listening ear and a comforting cup of joe. Has it been a while since you sat down and got caught up with everything going on in the life of someone close to you? Give them a call or shoot them a text today, and ask them out for a cup of coffee and a chat! After all, it is pumpkin spice latte season. 😉 If there’s a friend from afar who you’d like to send a coffee gift to, here are some of our favorite GiftTree coffee gifts!      ...

Sentimental Gifts for Far Away Friends

Giving the gift that encapsulates your feelings is difficult, but when your loved ones or friends are far away,  it can be even more of an undertaking. Showing your sentiment from so far away is hard when you’re close to the person you’re sending a gift to. Whatever the occasion, you want to send a gift that shows how much you care. It’s important not to let a moment pass by understated, simply because you’re far apart. If you’re anything like the gang here at GiftTree, you love to show how much you care through your gifts. In exploring the idea of sending long-distance gifts, we came up with a list of expressive, sentimental offerings to help you send your very best. No matter the occasion, here are our favorite sentimental gifts for far away friends. Onward!  Sending Long-Distance Thank You’s and Congratulations When someone goes out of their way to do something for you or has achieved a goal and deserves a reward for a job well done, sending a gift that expresses your sincere thanks or congratulations is in order. Don’t let the moment pass by without expressing what you really mean – GiftTree’s collection of thank you gifts and offerings of congratulations hit the mark of sentimentality and sincerity. Sending Happiest Birthday and Anniversary Wishes from Afar Want to send the makings for a fabulous birthday or a happy anniversary? When it comes to making the milestones matter, a card simply won’t do! Go above and beyond with a bottle of champagne or wine to send a toast across the miles, or send along some well-deserved pampering! Sending Comfort...

Hello Autumn! Our Favorite Fall Bouquets

Autumn is a time of rapid metamorphosis, straddling the line between plenty and scarcity. It alerts Mother Nature to slow down, shed everything but what is absolutely necessary, and hunker down for cold days ahead. While she is paring down, humans work to gather the last of Her year’s gifts as part of their preparation for the barren months ahead. There is tremendous beauty in the autumnal transformation, as witnessed by the changing of the leaves – from green to yellow to orange to rust. Those who pause long enough to observe this progression are privy to a beautiful kaleidoscopic show. Even crunchy leaves, half barren trees and brown fields have an appeal of their own. With so much beauty afoot, it’s no wonder that much tradition surrounds these rust colored days, from annual harvest festivals and farmers announcing the last of the year’s bounty to Thanksgiving with cornucopias featuring the best of our year’s yield. Autumn may, perhaps, be the time of year where we are most aware of and connected to our natural surroundings. Our hands get dirty in the garden pulling out pumpkins and squash. We lean against trees, plucking the remaining apples from their limbs. We rake up leaves and jump in the brittle pile. We ride atop hay bales on rickety trailers through pumpkin patches. Then, once home with our glowing globe, we plunge our hands into its cavern to pull out its slimy, delicious seeds. One can’t forget that this period of allurement also welcomes some of the season’s most vibrant, unique blooms. In our own gardens, we may see the emergence of chrysanthemums...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Autumn 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. This Friday September 22 is the first day of Fall, so today’s Why We Gift Wednesday is the Autumn Edition, naturally! It’s no wonder that Fall is the favorite season of so many people – it’s just such a beautiful and happy time of year! The golden glow that falls over everything is just perfect, and the temperatures dip just low enough to get out our scarves and cozy sweaters. Seeing our kinds playing in the leaves is just wonderful, too – there are no phones, TVs or tablets involved – just good ol’ fashioned fun with a big pile of beautiful leaves in a palette of warm color. It’s one of those activities that’s simply timeless – we played in the leaves, our parents did, and so did their parents. With the excitement of all the upcoming holidays and special occasions that Fall ushers in, Autumn is a perfect time of year relish life’s simple joys, as we like to say! If you’re looking for ways to make the milestones matter this Fall, GiftTree has a gorgeous collection of Fall gifts this year! Explore our masterfully curated collection of Fall bouquets, gift baskets and fine wine gifts – there’s something for everyone to feel special...

More Cheese, If You Please! – The Art of Cheesemaking

We all know that cheese is one of the most in-demand and sought-after foods in the world. In the United States, the average American consumes 34 pounds of cheese per year. Think that sounds like a lot? It is, but not when you compare it to Europe. If you’re French, it’s more like 57 pounds per year. And if you’re Greek, you’re eating more cheese than anyone in the world – the average Greek person eats 68 pounds of cheese every year!    From American cheese melted between two pieces of grilled Wonder bread, to a wheel of Winnimere wrapped in spruce bark and flecked with black truffles, one of the most astounding things about cheese is its versatility. While it’s sometimes best on its own, cheese is the main ingredient in thousands of different dishes. It comes countless different tastes and textures. It originates from hundreds of different countries. Let’s face it – cheese is amazing. But how is it made, you ask?   Depending on the variety, cheesemaking involves many different techniques. Cheddar or Brie, Stilton or mozzarella, cheesemongers master the craft over years of matriculation, but it all starts with fresh milk. It takes a little over one gallon of milk (usually cow, sheep or goat milk) to make one pound of cheese. Depending on what’s added to the milk – acid, heat, cultures… these are what curdle the milk into a solid, referred to as curds. Separating the solids from the liquid (the whey) and adding heat is how cheese is made! The resulting variety of cheese depends on process from here – heat applied at high or low temperatures, salt...

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Steven Smith Teamaker

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. The temperature is dipping ever so slightly, the leaves are starting to get the tiniest tinge of gold on the tips and we’re starting to take the sweaters down from the top shelf of the closet. That’s right – Fall is coming. And what goes better with the cool Autumn air than a steamy cup of tea? That’s why this Friday’s Featured Artisan is none other than Portland, Oregon’s own Steven Smith Teamaker. As the co-founder of Stash and then a tea shaman at Tazo, Steven Smith gained worldwide recognition for his deep understanding and masterful blend of flavor and fragrance in fine tea. In 2009 with the help of his wife Kim, they created their own signature brand. Using a big-bellied, sterling silver antique ladle to taste, Steven Smith lovingly crafted and perfected the teas that would bear his name. Made in small batches, each tea is inspired by the many adventures he embarked upon, from India and Sri Lanka, to China, Africa, Provence and beyond. Though Steven himself passed on in 2015, his spirit and charisma live on in every aspect of Smith Teamaker, now overseen by his wife Kim. Smith sources only the finest tea leaves and botanicals from around the world, through the strong relationships and partnerships that Steven fostered with growers, exporters and...

The Perfect Cup: Gifts for Tea Lovers

With cooler days ahead, there’s nothing quite like a steaming cup of tea. It is an experience of the senses – the mug warming our hands, various flavor notes filling our noses, the steam dancing before our eyes. There is a method and a rhythm to steeping tea. Everyone has their own cadence, their own preference as to how their tea is made, to the point that it becomes ritual. More than that, tea is often the centerpiece around which we and loved ones surround ourselves. When company comes over or a neighbor stops by, when someone is under the weather or have had a bad day, it is often a hot cup of tea that we offer them as an extension of our generosity and care. The history of tea, including the ways we use it to bond with others, goes farther back than one may imagine. Chinese legend tells that the history of tea dates back to 2737 B.C.E. (yes, that number is correct!) when Emperor Shen Nong accidentally discovered the drink. While boiling water in the garden one day, a wild tea leaf fell into Nong’s pot. As an herbalist, the resulting concoction peaked his curiosity. He took a sip. And another. He loved the resulting drink so much that he began to research the plant. The legend ends by telling that the Emperor discovered tea’s medicinal properties during his investigation of the miraculous leaf. Since Nong’s discovery, countless traditions have stemmed from people’s love of tea. Before becoming the beverage of choice and a way of life, tea was considered a medicinal staple in China....

Why We Gift Wednesday (Encouragement 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. You know the old adage, “to have a friend, you must first be one”? There’s a lot to that statement – it’s a universal truth that the amount of loving-kindness we pour out is the amount that we ourselves receive. As we know all too well, life is full of peaks and valleys. At the peaks, everything seems like it’s going great and we’re on top of the world! And then there are valleys, where we’re convinced everything is falling apart. These are the times we need support from our loved ones the most. That’s why this Why We Gift Wednesday goes out to encouragement – sending comfort to a friend or loved one who is facing difficult times. A listening ear – one that’s not trying to fix everything – can be one of the most supportive and encouraging things you can do for someone you care about. Sometimes we may even be encouraging someone without even knowing it, just by saying hi or giving them a smile. You never know – the person you just greeted could be having a rough day, and really needed that smile to remind them that they’re not invisible and they’re not alone. It could be as simple as...

Martin’s Musings: GiftTree’s Milestone Wine Trio Crates

I’ve always loved to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays by popping the cork on something memorable. For anniversaries, there is something particularly important about the mutual acknowledgement of love, commitment and experience together. Ogden Nash once said it humorously, “Marriage is the bond between a person who never remembers anniversaries and another who never forgets them.” My wife and I are lucky to have gotten married on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so we never forget to toast the occasion. Twenty-two years and we haven’t forgotten yet! With GiftTree, you can make it easy for every couple to remember their anniversary and all the special little relationship milestones that they share. We’ve recently launched two gifts that are perfect for wedding or anniversary gifts.   I love our new Milestone Anniversary Wine Trio as a creative option as a wedding gift. For year 1 (in our “Best” version), pop the cork on the iconic crisp apple acidity of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne. The couple can celebrate Year 5 with a perfectly aged bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon. In Year 10, the enduring unctuous glory of Fonseca LBV Port will be ready for action when the time comes for their 10-year anniversary. Above all, this gift is all about the symbolism of a celebrating each day and looking forward to a joyful life together.                 For other milestones, we have similar but more versatile gift that is designed to let the couple choose when and for what they’d like to celebrate; called the Evenings Together Wine Trio. The wine choices are the same as the...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Wisdom 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. This Sunday September 10th is Grandparents Day, and it got us thinking about all the wisdom and good advice given to us by our grandparents and the other elders in our families. Huffington Post ran a great article of reader-submitted pearls of wisdom imparted from grandparents, and some given by grandparents themselves. One of our favorites in the bunch was this: “I would like my grandkids to know that everyday is an opportunity to be better than they were the day before.”  Isn’t that so wonderful and true? It’s little bits of wisdom and advice like this that make us so grateful for our grandpas and grandmas, and so happy that they got to see us grow up. To see more bits of sage advice, check out The Pioneer Woman’s blog post about wisdom from grandparents. Want to thank and honor your grandparents for all the wisdom and advice they’ve handed down to you over the years? Explore GiftTree’s collection of baskets, delicious goodies, flowers and keepsakes for every grandpa and grandma!   Comment Below What was the best piece of advice or bit of wisdom given to you by your...

Get Ready for Grandparents Day!

Sunday, September 10th is National Grandparents Day, a special day where we honor those who have contributed to the shape of our character, and to show our gratitude to these role models for their immeasurable acts of love, care, and understanding. The official commemorative Grandparents Day is the Sunday after Labor Day, first established in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. Having wonderful grandparents is one of life’s biggest blessings. Not only do they see their grandchildren with eyes of unconditional love, but the care they put into raising our parent and the wisdom they impart is what raises us into upstanding people with integrity. And the chain continues as we grow older and have our own children, becoming grandparents ourselves. Want to honor your Grandparents with a gift? Explore our collection of gift baskets, keepsakes, bouquets and more, specially curated just for Grandparents Day. Here are some of our favorites!       As Good As Gold Crisp dried pineapple slices, rich almond roca, zesty lemon rolled wafers and so much more are collected in this keepsake basket with leather handles – one that we’re sure will end up full of Grandma’s knitting supplies, long after the goodies inside this basket have been devoured!   There’s just something so homey and comforting about the Full Leaf Tea Tasting Crate. Full leaf teas and herbal infusions from the world’s best tea makers are arranged with a porcelain teapot and teacup set for one, along with apple blossom honey and shortbread cookies in our exclusive gift crate. Make Grandparent’s Day truly spectacular the Wonderful Day Bouquet – a large and gorgeous bouquet of richly colored...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Comfort 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 meaningful moments. On this WWGW, we’re actually turning our attention to a not-so-celebratory event. Yesterday, August 30 was Grief Awareness Day, and it got us thinking that not every meaningful moment is a particularly joyful one. Grief Awareness Day was founded in 2014 by an American woman named Angie Cartwright. Through her own grieving processes, she saw the importance of grief and dedicated her life to bringing support to those who have suffered like her and enlightening others to the realities of bereavement. “There is a cliché that is said often: ‘Time heals all wounds,‘” she says. “This is far from the truth. Time cannot heal a broken heart. The grief may ease up, but I believe it’s because we have learned how to manage it.” Losing a friend or a loved one is never easy, and the emptiness that is left behind affects everyone in a different way. That’s why its so crucial to recognize the time it takes to heal from a loss, and to be there for those who are suffering. How do we support those who are grieving? When someone you care about experiences the passing of a loved one, it may be difficult to know what to say or how to comfort them....

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 – Ruffino Italian Wine

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, Ruffino Italian Wine, is a company with a rich history of producing award-winning wines in the heart of Tuscany. In 1877, cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino decided to embrace their passion for winemaking by starting a small winery in their tiny village in Florence. With Tuscany’s mineral-rich soils, cooling breezes off the Mediterranean Sea and dry summers, Tuscany was (and still is today) a region renowned for its tradition of growing exceptional wine grapes. Today, more than 135 years later, Ruffino is still at the top of its game, with wines exported to more than 100 countries around the world and varietals named one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines. Winemaker Gabriele Tacconi and Global Brand Ambassador Beepe D’Andrea write, “Our founders Leopoldo and Ilario Ruffino were among the first in Tuscany to recognize that the best wines come from the best vineyards. We honor that philosophy today as we meticulously choose top vineyard sites, carefully manage the vines and the yields, and use non-interventionist practices in both our vineyards and in winemaking.” GiftTree is honored to carry Ruffino’s Moscato, a sweet white wine with a crisp taste. Ruffino Moscato d’Asti is pleasantly sweet and fragrant with distinct notes of peach and orange blossoms. This wine is perfectly tempered by...
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