Engraved – Personalized Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Holiday gift giving can be a hassle.  We all want to give unique gifts that have a personal significance to the recipient, but that can be tough.  An easy – and thoughtful – solution to this common dilemma is to give engraved gifts. Engraveable gifts are timeless and chic. They say, “I care so much that I took the time to have this made expressly for you. I hope you love it.” Whether you are seeking head-turning personalized business gifts or something extraordinary for a beloved friend or family member, here are twelve outstanding personalized gift ideas to add the special touch that you are looking for.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whiskey

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Created from a blend of 16 of the world’s rarest, most sought after and expensive whiskies, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Whiskey is the crème de la crème of high end whiskies.  This is a shoe-in when it comes to selecting engraved business gifts.  Your gift will not go unnoticed and from the first taste of this robust and spicy whiskey, through the smoky texture, and into the surprising finish, your business clients or affiliates will remember who it came from.  Johnnie Walker Black Label now available!

Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack & Single Barrel

Both Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniels Single Barrel make amazing personalized gift ideas.  Present one of these all American whiskies in an engraved bottle along with a set of old fashioned, heavy crystal glasses to your Father or Grandfather and they will be moved by your generous and thoughtful gesture.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

This hand-crafted, small-batch Bourbon is specialty crafted at all five sources of flavor. For the bourbon connoisseur in your life, this engraveable gift will knock their socks off with unprecedented taste and it’s crisp, pure finish.  By itself or added to a gift basket containing rich Kentucky honey and hand-made Mennonite cheese, the lucky man or woman who receives the gift of Woodford Reserve will look back on it with fondness for years to come.

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Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This prestigious wine,  served at top steakhouses nationwide and praised for its soft finish makes a stunning gift on its own. Give it in an engraved bottle and it becomes a benchmark for others to live up to. Personalized engraved gifts can set you apart from others, and when the gift is as remarkable as this complex yet gentle Cabernet you will stand heads above the crowd.

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 Perrier-Jouët Champagne

Timeless elegance and a dedication to finessing every last bit of flavor from the grapes, makes each bottle of House Perrier-Jouët Champagne a personal and intriguing statement. The vivacious nature and lovely color of this amazing champagne is perfect for those celebrations that are too important to leave to anything less. Gift this and enjoy it together for a true feast of the senses. –

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Double Cross Vodka

Dr. Jan Krak is the Master Distiller for Double Cross Vodka and he considers it his “crowning achievement”.  This distinct creation, as dramatic as the mountains of Slovakia from whence it comes, is distilled with pure water from a 200 foot deep aquifer and fine winter wheat. Seven times distilled and seven times filtered the purity and clean taste are unrivaled. The sleek, contemporary bottle is award winning and inscribed with Slovakian poetry.  Imagine how having it engraved with you and your partner’s name and “Our First Christmas” will still his or her heart.

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Glenlivet Scotch

The 18 year old Glenlivet Scotch Whiskey is the result of aging in several different types of casks.  Both American and European oak are used at the Master Distiller’s discretion and the result is unique and flavorful.  The 21 year old Scotch produced by Glenlivet is distinct and each batch is special because each cask is hand selected.  This is truly a whiskey that speaks of class and is truly debonnaire. Giving Glenlivet as engraved business gifts will make sure that you are known as a gentleman’s gentleman.

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PATRON LALIQUE – THE MOST IMPRESSIVE BOTTLE

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Fine crystal makers Lalique collaborated  with premium tequila producer Patrón to create an impressive handmade limited edition decanter. Bottles are numbered and within each of the 500 bottles rests a blend of some of Patrón’s oldest and rarest tequilas, hand-selected from their barrel aging room in the hills of Jalisco, Mexico.

Pre- order by emailing: INFO@MELANROSE.COM

release date  November 2015

$7,950.00

Champagne & Butterflies

PJ_MischerTraxler_BelleEpoque2Exploring the magical conversation between Mankind and Nature

Perrier-Jouët continues bringing to life its Art Nouveau heritage with a new design commission by the Vienna based duo mischer’traxler. With Ephemera, Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler add to the conversation between Art Nouveau and Perrier-Jouët with a rich layer of contemporary design, told through their own unique voice.

Ephemera is the master work and starting point of Small Discoveries by mischer’traxler, an extended collaboration project between the designers and the Perrier-Jouët House that will run throughout the next year. The aim of the Small Discoveries collection is to tell the story of the magical dialogue between nature and mankind, and to stimulate curiosity of the individual through several design pieces. With Small Discoveries, Katharina and Thomas explore the moments between the unknown and known, being and not being.

Ephemera, revealed at Design Miami/ 2014, plays with the audience, inviting participation, discussion and questioning. Objects are set in a plain room, suggesting a deceptively simple installation. This ostensibly legible set-up acts as a scene for a delicate game of hide-and-seek, played out through a mechanical and magical ornamental garden. The audience find themselves drawn into an enjoyable, charming conversation with the work, and also with each other.

Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler founded their studio in 2009. They have quickly made their mark in the contemporary design art space with a wealth of delightful, thought-provoking pieces that have gained international recognition. This includes pieces in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Vitra Design Museum and Vienna’s MAK. Threads of exploring the natural world and our relationship with it run throughout their work in a subtle, yet constant, way. Their particular approach to this dialogue between nature and mankind is one of the reasons that Perrier-Jouët has chosen studio mischer’traxler for their latest design partnership.

  Herve Deschamps , Cellar master will be  Signing  the new release of 2007 bottle designed by artist duo mischer traxler, this gift set includes a collectible limited edition bottle of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque in a deluxe case. This is the ultimate luxury gift for the holidays or any special occasion. PJ CELLER MASTER PJ_MischerTraxler_BelleEpoque
Only 25 bottles will be hand-signed by Herve Deschamps, the winemaker on October 15th.

Why Wine makes you Happy ?

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Wine makes people happy, Its a known thing – but as it turns out, there are a few cool facts about this alcoholic beverage that you probably didn’t know. Here are 10 facts about wine that will make you look at your cup a bit differently.

1. The custom of bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting came from old Rome where they used this method to make sure no one is trying to poison the other (bumping glasses makes the drink spill from one cup to the other). This tradition started even earlier in ancient Greece – where the host was to drink the first cup of wine to show his guests he does not intend to poison them.

Happy friends toasting red wine glasses at restaurant table

Happy friends toasting red wine glasses

2. And if we mentioned Rome – In ancient Rome it was forbidden for women to drink wine. If a husband found his wife drinking wine he would be allowed, by law, to kill her.

3. An ancient civilization that did not like wine was Egypt. The old kings avoided wine from the belief that the red alcoholic beverage is actually the blood of men who tried to fight the gods and failed. This is why, according to the egyptians, what makes people act irrationally while drinking it (alcohol).

4. Do you like wine AND living extreme? If you visit Vietnam, ask your waiter a glass of cobra wine.  This extreme beverage  is rice-wine covered with snake blood that is killed on the spot. if you’d like you can add the snake’s heart to the mix as well.

5. During the prohibition period in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of the big drinking lust Americans had and put a great warning sticker on their product saying “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days – as it will turn into wine.”

6. The world champion of recognizing wine by smell was crowned in 2003. Richard Juhlin, a sport ed from sweden, was able to recognize 43 wines out of 50. For comparison – second place was only able to recognize 4 of them.wine5

7. Although the temptation is great – try not to keep your wine in the kitchen. The heat there is too much and may damage the wine’s quality. the fridge is no place for a wine either since it is just too cold. Find a cool dark closet somewhere in the house where you can keep all your bottles, or just get a wine cellar.

8. If you own a collection of bottles – don’t keep them standing up – this can cause the cork to dry, shrink and oxygen\air might get in the bottle. always keep the bottles lying down (Unless its an artificial cork.)

9. A survey that was being held in said that women that drink 2 cups of wine a day tend to enjoy relationships more than women who don’t drink at all.

10. People who have wine phobia are called Oenophobia – and they really do exist. It might sound funny, but this phobia – just like others, cause them a lot of suffering, especially if they go out to restaurants a lot.

Now you can raise your glass be Happy!

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PATRON TEQUILA MEXICAN HERITAGE

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In celebration of Patrón tequila’s Mexican heritage, the ultra-premium tequila brand has introduced a limited edition collector’s gift tin. Contemporary Mexican artist Verónica Villarreal Sada designed the Aztec-inspired metal box, which houses a bottle of Patrón Silver tequila.

“Though Patrón is enjoyed across the world, every drop of our tequila is produced in the town of Atotonilco el Alto in the picturesque Jalisco Highlands in Mexico,” says Ed Brown, president and CEO at Patrón Spirits International. “We’re very proud of our Mexican heritage, and the history and culture that for generations has inspired the production of tequila, showcased through this beautiful collector’s edition Patrón Mexican Heritage tin.”

Set against a vibrant pink background, the Patrón Silver Mexico tin prominently features two Aztec deities, Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent, and Tonatiuh, the sun god, as well as an eagle to represent ancient mythological symbolism. Drawing inspiration from traditional mosaics and embroidery, Sada used bright, eye-catching colors to capture traditional Mexican patterns and prints. Circling the Patrón bottle on the side of the tin is an interpretation of the ancient Aztec calendar.

The special edition Patrón Mexican Heritage tin is available for purchase : http://www.melandrose.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=92502

Patrón Silver is made from only the finest 100 percent Weber Blue Agave handcrafted in small batches in Jalisco, Mexico to be smooth, soft and easily mixable. Its taste is sweet, with fresh agave and citrus, and a light pepper finish.

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LABOR DAY – WHAT WINE TO SERVE WITH YOUR BBQ

Labor Day with our family sometimes begins local craft brews; such as not your NOT YOUR FATHERS ROOT BEER and you most defiantly can’t go wrong with good, cold beer in a tub of ice. My husband like me, are committed to being wine fans. Choosing the right wines isn’t as easy as you might think.  Often times, he would say it’s totally about the meat, the technique, and the sauce! I happen to agree

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There are many flavors you’ll come across while barbecuing: umami, smoky, salty char, and sometimes sweetness and savory. They’ll vary by which area you are eating the BBQ like in Texas barbecue, beef rules, either brisket or ribs, and is often served with a sweet, hot tomato-based sauce. The flavor is deeply smoky, the meat rich. On the other hand Southern-style like North Carolina pork barbecue, hang on on vinegar-based sauces and lighter spice rubs.

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So for a stern wine-and-barbecue conversation, big, heavy, high-alcohol reds seem heavy with rich meat goes great with chilled rosé.

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What you want for all types of barbecues are wines that rub the smoke and sauce off your tongue so you can take another fresh bite.  So with dense, ingratiating brisket needs the difference and refreshment of acidity and bright fruitiness. We are great drinkers of Super Tuscan wine barbecue pairing. These big, heavy, high-alcohol reds seem ponderous with rich meat. We feel biased just thinking about the combo. Here are some tips on what to try instead:

  • Rosé (“the beer of the wine world”) with barbecue.  Me, too—and the fruitier the better, to hold its own with smoked meat.
  • Syrah or some people call it Shiraz with your spicy chicken wings
  • White wine with barbecue only if it’s grilled shrimp or chicken with citrus-y rubs can be delicious with tart, floral-scented vinho verde, we’d rather drink bubbly or a chilled rosé.
  • Reds – Save big, bold, tannic, high-dollar reds, such as cabernet, for char-grilled steaks. The quick cooking doesn’t break down the meat’s fat the way hours in a barbecue pit do, but the wine’s tannin will do the trick.
  • Forget oaky wines. The meat is already smoky enough, and a spicy sauce will make the wine’s oak character stand out even more.
  • Keep your choices simple. Grilled foods and barbecue have so many intense flavors that wine nuances will be lost.
  • Pulled pork and succulent ribs go very well with lively pinot noir and with other high acid, lighter reds or rosés that can be chilled.
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Rosé: The Best Summertime Wine

Now that summer is well and truly upon us, (and in fact, has been for some time,) we at Mel & Rose thought it appropriate to take the time to talk about that oft-ignored member of the wine family: the Rosé.  In that liminal space between red and white, the pink wine is rarely mentioned when discussing wine.  (After all, when was the last time you went to a restaurant and saw a “Rosé” section on their wine list?)  But, to discount this entire category of wine is to miss out on some of the most enjoyable libations that wineries have to offer, and it is the perfect accompaniment to a backyard barbeque, a pool party, an evening on the porch: basically, anything that has to do with a hot summer’s day.

A little background on rosé wine.  Like red wine, it is made from red grapes, but receives much less color from the grapes during its making.  It can be made using three separate processes: skin contact, saignée, and blending.

The skin contact method is the most common, and is the closest to the way red wine is made.  After the grapes are picked, they are crushed to extract the juices, skins left on.  Then, the skins and juice are left to soak together for a short time, usually around a couple of days, in a process called maceration.  The pigments and tannins in the skin impart some color to the juice, but not nearly the amount that a red wine would receive.  (A red wine would have the skins soak with the juice for weeks or even months before fermentation.)  After the short soak, the process is the same for most other wines.  Like white wine, the lack of extended maceration means that the wine is less oxidized and has less potential for aging.  Rosés should be drank soon after they are made and ought to be enjoyed right now.

The other process is the saignée method.  When making a red wine, the winemaker may wish to create a richer, deeper color and flavor than a normal maceration would allow.  So, he will “bleed” off a portion of the juice from the must (the mixture of juice, stems, skins, and leaves created after the grapes are crushed) to intensify the remaining juice.  This pink juice can then be used to make a rose.  While amazing rosés can be made with this method, it is traditionally considered to be inferior to the skin contact method, in that the rosé made is created from the “leftovers” of the “primary” red wine.

Finally, the blending method is exactly what it sounds like: a red and white wine are blended together to create a “pink.”  This method is very rarely used and is in fact illegal in the prominent rosé-producing regions of France.

Though you might not think it, rosé is most likely the oldest style of winemaking.  The ability to cleanly skin grapes (in order to make white wine) and to concentrate the must sufficiently (in order to make red wine) takes a lot of technical know-how that the earliest winemakers simply didn’t have.  They mostly likely were only able to crush the grapes by hand is barrels and then shortly after made wine out of the juice, which is essentially an early version of the skin contact method.  As winemaking progressed, rosé has always been present.  France, that great winemaking country, has been making rosés for hundreds of years in virtually all its winegrowing regions.  Provence, in the south of France, currently holds the reputation for the greatest roses in the world, but Rhone and Champagne are also known to make fantastic roses.  Italy makes rosé versions of many of their wines, including their Proseccos, while the Spanish make “Rosado” wines, some of which are made by a process called “dolbe pasta” (double paste), which is basically a reverse saignée method.  (The rosé is made by the skin contact method, and then the dry remains of the must is added to a macerating red wine must to concentrate the red wine.)

Rosés are made in the New World as well, though their reputation has been marred in the wine community by something called a White Zinfandel.  Also often called a “blush” wine, a White Zinfandel is a much sweeter version of a rosé made by a different process called a struck fermentation.  Often when making wine, a struck fermentation mean disaster.  After the juice has been drained from the must, it is mixed with yeast, which digest the sugars in the juice into alcohol.  The yeast, though, requires a very particular concentration of alcohol and sugars in order to thrive.  If the concentration is off, the yeast can die before they transform all the sugars into alcohol, leaving the remaining wine much sweeter than usual.  In 1972, a Californian winemaker named Bob Trinchero managed to salvage a struck fermentation of Zinfandel, which had resulted in a sweet, pick colored wine.  He marketed this as a new style of wine, dubbed “blush” by wine writers of the time, and reaped the benefits of its remarkable success in the 1980s.  Unfortunately, most wine connoisseurs did not enjoy this very sweet wine, and the reputation of rosé was swept along with it.  Now though, and in fact, throughout its wine making history, New World rosés of all styles, from bone dry to dessert sweet, can be found and enjoyed, whatever your taste.

Now, for some actual recommendations.  Although we have rosés of most every style and origin available, we have a particular fondness for those from Provence.  Of the rosés of Provence, our favorites would have to be from the Chateau d’Esclans Winery.  They have a range of four wines, starting with the entry-level Whispering Angel, followed by the mid-range Rock Angel and Clans, and ending with the luxurious Garrus bottling.

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But, our favorite, both for its flavor and its value, is the mid-range Rock Angel.  Their newest bottle, Chateau d’Esclans wishes for this to be their flagship offering, and it is certainly worth that title.  A bright and crisp wine, with soft red-fruit notes on the nose and front of the palate, it matures nicely to a dry, refined finish that leaves one exceedingly refreshed.IMG_1067

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If you are looking for something a little sweeter, Provence has another fantastic offering with Domaine Ott.  Their Chateau De Salle rosé is a pale pink color with gold highlights, that starts fruit forward, with notes of peach and lemon, before giving way to warm red fruits and soft vanilla notes, all wrapped up in the sublime terroir that only Provence is capable of.IMG_1062

So, now, as summer is winding down, if you ever are looking for something to drink that is cool and refreshing, while bright and flavorful, don’t forget about Mel & Rose and that dark horse of wines, rosé.  We promise it won’t disappoint.