Producer Profile: Kathie Lee Gifford’s GIFFT Wines!

Wine has long been a part of Kathie Lee Gifford’s life, and perhaps, now more than ever. Since becoming co-host of the über-popular 4th hour of the Today Show eight years ago, Gifford and co-host Hoda Kotb have become legendary for their on-air imbibing (“we really don’t drink all that wine!”) as they dish about celebrities, fashion, “favorite things” and... Read More

The post Producer Profile: Kathie Lee Gifford’s GIFFT Wines! appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

Continue Reading >

Producer Profile: Kathie Lee Gifford’s GIFFT Wines!

Kathie Lee Gifford, GIFFT Wines, Wine Atelier, The Glamorous Gourmet

Wine has long been a part of Kathie Lee Gifford’s life, and perhaps, now more than ever. Since becoming co-host of the über-popular 4th hour of the Today Show eight years ago, Gifford and co-host Hoda Kotb have become legendary for their on-air imbibing (“we really don’t drink all that wine!”) as they dish about celebrities, fashion, “favorite things” and pop culture. While Gifford has already achieved legendary status for her roles as TV host, actress, spokesperson, author, playwright, singer and songwriter, this always inspiring and ever creative lady has recently added “vintner” to her lengthy list of credentials.

The GIFFT wines were created through Gifford’s partnership with Scheid Family Wines of Monterey, California. The family’s eponymous winery was established in 1972 and presently consists of 4,200 acres of estate vineyards. The GIFFT name is derived from Gifford’s last name combined with her steadfast belief that friendship, love and laughter are gifts to be cherished. She freely admits, “I’m not a wine expert but I know what I like!” and her primary goal was to create a line of delicious, quality wines at an affordable price. The proof, my friends, is in the bottle! The GIFFT portfolio currently consists of a 2012 Estate Grown Chardonnay and a Merlot-dominated 2011 Red Blend which includes 10 different grape varieties. A Rosé of Pinot Noir will be released later this Spring and made its debut alongside the rest of the GIFFT wines last weekend at the 2015 Boca Bacchanal, a food and wine extravaganza which benefits the Boca Raton Historical Society.

Kathie Lee Gifford, GIFFT wines, Scheid Family Winery, Boca Bacchanal, The Glamorous Gourmet, Wine Atelier

Heidi Scheid, Kathie Lee Gifford and Bobby & Barbara Campbell

At Saturday night’s Vintner Dinner, held at the home of philanthropists Bobby and Barbara Campbell in Boca Raton, the GIFFT/Scheid wines were expertly paired with the cuisine of featured Chef Darek Tidwell of George’s at Alys Beach. Gifford was in attendance along with winery Senior Vice President, Heidi Scheid to promote her wines to lucky revelers. During her stay in Boca, I had the opportunity to speak with Gifford about the inception of her wines as well as her longtime love of Florida:

GG: Has wine always been a part of your life?
KLG: My father was part of Eisenhower’s staff so we lived in Post-WWII Paris and some of my sweetest memories growing up were of family meals in France and then later Germany. Dinner usually involved wine and my father would always say, “You don’t drink wine, you sip it!” He really savored his meals and took forever to eat but wine was a big part of the culture there.

GG: How did you end up partnering with Scheid Family Winery?
KLG: Our longtime friend Andy Cohan said to me, “You need to be in the wine business and I know the perfect partner!” And I said, “Where have you been all my life?” So we met the Scheid family and visited their wonderful boutique winery where they’ve been making phenomenal wine for over 40 years. They farm 4,200 acres and all their wines are estate grown, estate harvested and estate everything! The quality was excellent which was very important to me because I can’t sell something I don’t believe in.

GG: Did you know what type of wine you wanted to make?
KLG: I’ve always been a fan of Chardonnay, the way it was in the mid-1970’s, smooth, crisp and fresh, but I had stopped drinking it because it had gotten too heavy, too oaky and it didn’t pair well with food anymore. I had even switched to drinking Pinot Grigio so when it came to our wines, I explained to the Scheids I wanted to make a Chardonnay that was light and delicate without being sweet, as well as a red wine that was smooth, luscious and easy drinking.

GG: Were you very involved in the process of making and selecting the wines?
KLG: Yes and it’s been so much fun – we were just out for harvest in September! Initially, my friend Christine and I went out to sample the wines and [the Scheids] had 5 whites and 5 reds for us to try. She loves red wine and I love white so we agreed that she would pick her favorite red and I would pick my favorite white. As luck would have it, she loved the white I chose and I loved the red she chose which just so happened to be the Scheids’ favorites too! These wines are also bicoastal, they’re made in Monterey, California and we live in Connecticut on the Long Island sound and our favorite place to entertain is our gazebo which is pictured on the label.

GG: Are there any particular dishes you recommend to pair with your wines?
KLG: I published a book last year called “Good Gifts: One Year in the Heart of a Home,” which is a celebration of love, life, laughter, food and faith. We used our stylists from the show, Andy and Elvia, and it’s a beautiful book which features alot of our favorite family recipes and also celebrates God’s abundance. With our GIFFT Chardonnay I really love Andy’s Frutti de Mare (recipe below) or the Chilean Sea Bass with Orange Marmalade Sauce; and with our Red Blend I like Joanie’s Spaghetti or the Grilled Salmon Fillet with Sun Dried Tomato Topping.

GG: You and your family spend alot of time in Florida, what is it about our state that drew you and your family here?
KLG: When I was a spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line twenty years ago we were spending alot of time in Miami. While we loved it, we really needed a place to get away from the paparazzi and we eventually discovered the Ocean Reef Club. It was so down to earth, family friendly and not snobby at all and we just fell in love with it. We hang out at places like Alabama Jack’s which is so laid back and they even serve the GIFFT wines now! It’s so much fun to watch people taste our wines there.

Kathie Lee Gifford, Stephanie Miskew, GIFFT wines, Scheid Family Winery, Boca Bacchanal, The Glamorous Gourmet, Wine Atelier

For information on or to purchase the GIFFT wines, please click here. The GIFFT Rosé will be available later this Spring and will be announced in my weekly newsletter. To sign up and stay up to date on all the latest dish, please click here.

Many thanks to the gracious Kathie Lee Gifford for taking the time to share her insights on family, friends, food and, of course, wine!





“Andy’s Frutti di Mare “
From “Good Gifts: One Year in the Heart of a Home”
Makes 4 servings

1 16 oz. box linguine
1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 whole garlic heads, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 8 oz. bottle of clam juice
1 cup fresh finely chopped parsley, set aside 2 Tablespoons for garnish
2 dozen medium size littleneck clams
aluminum foil
3/4 lb. rock shrimp or squid cleaned and deveined
5 lbs. Manila clams or cockles, thoroughly cleaned
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

1.) Cook linguine as directed and set aside
2.) In a large deep roasting pan (can be cooked on 2 burners of stovetop or on an outdoor grill), heat pan to medium heat and add olive oil. Heat 2-3 minutes.
3.) Add garlic, stirring frequently until aroma begins to release (careful not to burn).
4.) Add 2 Tablespoons of butter and melt, stirring frequently
5.) Add clam juice and salt and pepper to taste, incorporate, and bring to boil.
6.) Add 1/3 cup of parsley and stir
7.) Add littleneck clams into the pan over the heat and cover with foil. Cook for 3-5 minutes until clams begin to open. These will take longer than the Manila clams and shrimp. Stir them around to give equal cooking time.
8.) Add shrimp to center of pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, covered.
9.) With a slotted spoon, stir all clams and shrimp, and add remaining Manila clams. Cover and cook for another 8-10 minutes. When all clams have begun to open, add tomatoes and remaining parsley. Stir to incorporate all ingredients, cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat.
10.) In a separate sauce pan, add 2 cups of broth from clams and bring to a boil. Add remaining butter, wine, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture has been reduced to half. On larger platter, place linguine first and seafood over the top. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve immediately.

“Grand Tasting Giveaway: Win 2 Tickets to the 11th Annual Boca Bacchanal’s Grand Tasting!”

Picture this: it’s a sunny, South Florida, Spring day and you and a friend are strolling the emerald green lawn at Mizner Park Amphitheatre sampling the cuisine of over 30 local restaurants, a selection of over 140 wines as well as a comprehensive offering of beers at this year’s new Beer Garden…and it didn’t cost you a thing! This scenario can indeed become a reality if you’re the winner of The Glamorous Gourmet’s Grand Tasting Giveaway.

Continue Reading >

Get Ready to Revel at the 11th Annual Boca Bacchanal!

The countdown to the 11th Annual Boca Bacchanal is in full swing and as Honorary Chair this year along with my husband Steve, I’m very excited to give you the scoop on what is sure to be a fabulous weekend of revelry! This year’s Bacchanal will take place March 22nd-24th and will feature a total of eight events over the course of three days with the proceeds benefiting a very good cause: the Heritage Education and Historic Preservation programs of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum (for more information, please click here). We’ve also made some exciting changes to the format this year so read on for all the details!

Continue Reading >

New Year, New Adventures & a New Website!

An official Happy New Year to everyone and I hope your 2013 is off to a fabulous start! I’ve been hard at work on my new website which I am very happy to introduce to you right now. I hope you find it useful in enhancing your adventures in food and wine in 2013 and beyond.

In keeping with the spirit of the New Year, January is all about starting fresh and setting goals for the year ahead. If one of your goals for 2013 is to explore the world of food and wine, you’re in luck – The Glamorous Gourmet and The Wine Atelier have you covered! A couple features of the new website include:

1.) Weekly Wine Picks: as the name implies each week I’ll be featuring a selection of wines based on a common theme. Whether it’s a specific region, season or featured producer the focus will first and foremost be on learning about what’s in your glass, where it’s from, who made it and how it got there!

2.) The Wine Atelier Wine Club: Explore the world of wine from the comfort of your own home with The Wine Atelier Wine Club! Every month, two personally hand-selected bottles will show up on your doorstep with detailed information on the wine region, producer, grape variety and suggested food and wine pairings. All you need is your corkscrew, glass and a sense of adventure!

3.) Weekly Wine Facts: Do vinous terms like “Sommelier,” “Vendages Tardive,” and  “Pouilly-Fuissé” get you tongue tied? Well, not for long, my fellow wine lovers! Each week I’ll feature a new wine term complete with proper pronunciation and definition to further demystify the world of wine and keep you one step ahead of those pesky wine snobs.

4.) Food & Wine Pairings: For those of you who enjoy pairing food and wine, I’ll be featuring recipes and pairing suggestions to help you create than magical synergy of 1 + 1 = 3. Whether it’s “Fast & Fabulous” recipes for everyday enjoyment or “Menus for Entertaining” there’s wine pairings at every price point to suit your budget as well as your occasion.

5.) Special Events: Do you enjoy socializing with other wine lovers? Whether it’s “The Art of Wine and Food” at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, the upcoming Boca Bacchanal or The 2nd Annual Country Club Chef Showdown I’ve got lots of fun wine loving events on my calendar for 2013. Check back often for updates!