Saturday, November 6, 2010


Holiday Wines

Whole Foods Market has compiled a listing of their top wine suggestions for the holidays.  Their choices are designed to target the $20-and-under price range.  That's fine with us - who doesn't want to find good wine which doesn't cost a lot?  I've been happy with my wine purchases at the Whole Foods Markets locations in the Los Angeles area.  I just wish one of them near me conducted wine tastings!

The food chain also has announced its first-ever Twitter Tasting for those who like to taste and tweet.  The Whole Foods Market Twitter Tasting is scheduled for Wednesday November 17th, 2010 beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST.  National wine buyers Doug Bell and Geof Ryan will taste six wines from the holiday list and you can join to give your tasting notes along with theirs.  Bell says, "The holiday wine Twitter Tasting is designed to be a fun evening where friends can get together to taste wines and share their thoughts with other wine lovers."

Whole Foods Market is also partnering with on a contest to win a VIP trip to California wine country.

Here are Whole Foods Market’s Top 10 Holiday Wines, with Whole Foods' descriptions, suggested cheese pairings and recipes for dishes they feel are well suited to the wines:
De Chanceny Crémant Loire – Made for Whole Foods Market by a group of 30 families in France’s Loire Valley, this sparkler can be easily compared to Champagne costing two to three times the price.  This fresh bubbly is best shared with friends or paired with our Isigny Ste. Mere Brie.   Baked Apple and Brie Canapés

Römerhof Riesling – Made by the Heinz Eifel family that has been producing wines in the heart of the Mosel Valley for more than 400 years, this gorgeous Riesling is true to terroir, with apple and pear notes and a crisp finish.  Pair with Fourme D’Ambert blue cheese.    Sage Butter Turkey with Rice Rapini Stuffing

Chalone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – A perfect wine to share with friends over good conversation and appetizers, this wine offers mouthwatering tropical fruit notes, mingled with a hint of lemon zest and grapefruit.  Pair with Whole Foods Market Organic Goat Cheese.   Savory Fig and Goat Cheese Tart with Arugula

Simonette-Febvre Saint-Bris – Splash this Sauvignon into shrimp scampi and then pour yourself a glass.  Pair its minerality and citrus zest with Cypress Grove Lil’ Ziggycheese.   Easy Shrimp and Grits 

Earthstone Chardonnay* – Sustainably grown by Rodney Strong, whose winery is Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery, this Chardonnay has a spicy vanilla touch and bright apple notes, perfect to enjoy with rotisserie chicken, roasted duck or Cowgirl Creamery Organic Buckaroo cheese.   Roasted Duck with Pomegranate Glaze

Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse – This scrumptious green-gold beauty is Whole Foods Market’s "Cellar Selection" for the holidays, offering seductive aromas and round, full herbal fruitiness on the palate that complements its crisp acidity.  Enjoy with lobster tails, creamy Hervé Mons Camembert.   Salmon Chowder

Dievole Dievolino Sangiovese Di Toscana – When Italian favorites like osso bucco and ragù are on the menu, tuck this one under your arm for the host.  This centuries-old winery produces this lively, ruby red with a hint of juniper, ideal forRobusto cheese.   Spaghetti Bolognese

Estancia Pinot Noir – This estate-grown, handcrafted Pinot Noir offers soft, luscious aromas of dark berries and ripe blueberry, black cherry and plum flavor, balanced by creamy vanilla to provide a rich finish.  Enjoy with Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor.  Cranberry and Apple-Stuffed Roasted Pork

Bubo Old Vine Zinfandel – Made from 30+-year-old vineyards, this Zinfandel has rich aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry, pepper and chocolate.  Enjoy with steak, roast beef and piquant Fourme D’Ambert cheese.   Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Paso A Paso Tempranillo* – Making its second appearance in our Top 10 Holiday Wines, this floral, deeply colored Tempranillo offers huge flavor that pairs perfectly with slices of chorizo and Le Gruyère cheese.   Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Bodegas Castaño Hécula Monastrell* – Like winter’s best comfort foods, this bold, elegant red wine takes off the chill.  Made from Spain’s Monastrell grape, the pleasant tannins are vibrant with Manchego cheese while you warm by the fireplace.   Classic Butternut Squash Soup
Valley of the Moon Syrah – Enjoy this soft, silky California Syrah with smoky pulled pork, roasted root vegetables or Rogue Anniversary Blue cheese.  Made from Sonoma and Russian River Valley fruit, this Syrah features concentrated dark berry fruit with earth and spice notes.   Roasted Ham with Maple and Orange Marmalade Glaze

*Produced by vineyards with organic and/or sustainable farming methods

The featured wines for the November 17 Twitter Tasting are:
De Chanceny Crémant Loire
Römerhof Riesling
Simonette-Febvre Saint-Bris
Dievole Dievolino Sangiovese di Toscana
Valley of the Moon Syrah
Paso A Paso Organically Grown Tempranillo

To join the Twitter Tasting, pick up one or more of the featured wines to open during the tasting.  Sign up for a free Twitter account at, if you don't already have an account.  Go to the TweetChat room set up for this event to tweet directly.  Taste, tweet and follow along with Whole Foods Market wine buyers and other wine enthusiasts at @WFMWineGuys and #WFMWine.

For more information about the Twitter Tasting and contest, go

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