Friday, November 15, 2013

Top Ten (12) Holiday Wines At Whole Foods Market

The Whole Foods Market wine department is crazy about lists.  They come up with lists of Top Ten wines for every occasion, holiday and season - which sounds like a pretty good job to me.

This is the time of year, of course, for the WFM Top Ten list of holiday wines.  Each wine on the list is priced below $25 and each is hand selected by the WFM wine folks as a winner for holiday parties, gift-giving and feasting.  There were so many good wines to choose from, the top ten list became a Top 12 list this year.  The more, the merrier.

WFM is sponsoring a pair of Twitter tasting events you may find interesting - and informative.  The first one comes in time for Thanksgiving, on Thursday November 21, 2013.  The second will give you inspiration for the Christmas party season, on Thursday December 12.  Both of these virtual tasting events will happen from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CT.  The December lineup will feature singer/songwriter/musician Mat Kearney chatting about his Napa red blend, Verse and Chorus.

It’s easy to participate.  Just pick up a bottle or two of the top holiday wines at Whole Foods and open them for the Twitter Tasting event.  Follow along on Twitter, using the hashtag #WFMWine.

Here is a list of the twelve wines. I have not tasted them yet, so I’m including the WFM descriptions to help steer you in the direction you want to go. “*” indicates a wine available only at Whole Foods Markets.

For Nov. 21,2013  7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CT

*Grace Lane Yakima Valley Riesling, Washington $9.99
“This medium-dry riesling has delicate notes of fresh green apple and crisp white peach. Its delicate yet complex flavors lead to a long, full finish.”

*Tablao Navarra, Spain $7.99
“This juicy red, made up of mainly tempranillo grapes, has an aromatic nose of raspberry with complex hints of licorice and cherry, which round out its sublime, lingering finish.”

*H & G Priorat, Spain $13.99
“Silky and robust, this spicy, well-balanced red is rich with aromas of red ripe stone fruits and finishes with a touch of oak and earthy minerals.”

*Les Hauts de Bel Air Bordeaux, France $10.99
“The powerful but elegant nose is redolent of red and black fruits, especially cherry and blackberry, with black pepper. This rich and supple red has smooth tannins and is superbly balanced on the palate with a lengthy finish.”

For December  12, 2013  7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CT

*Roger d’Anoia Cava, Spain $9.99
“Lively effervescence with bright notes of green apple and pear, this sparkler is ripe and round with a touch of sweetness in the well-balanced finish.”

*Skouras Anassa, Greece $11.99
“Made with 70 percent moschofilero and 30 percent viognier, this medium-bodied white has aromas of ripe apricot and orange peel and a clean, crisp finish.”

*Santa Julia Innovacion Bonarda Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina $9.99 (1 liter)
“Deeply complex and full-bodied, this red created by the Zuccardi family has forward notes of plum and cigar box with jammy flavors of dark ripe berries. The luxurious finish has smoky, savory notes.”

*Mat Kearney Verse and Chorus Napa Valley Red, California $24.99
“This bold claret is made through a partnership between famed musician Mat Kearney, Peju and the John Anthony family who, combined, have more than 60 years of Napa Valley wine making experience. This luscious red is 87 percent Napa Valley merlot and 13 percent Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and has soft aromatics of black currant, plum, and notes of cedar. The bold but well-balanced flavors of vanilla, black cherry and chocolate give way to juicy dark cherry and wild blackberry. And, the long finish has nuances of roasted coffee and toasted hazelnut.”

The other four:

Simonnet-Febvre St. Bris Sauvignon Blanc, France $12.99
“The micro-climate in the Saint-Bris appellation allows for the sauvignon blanc grapes to express their full aromatic character as well as the minerality of the terroir. The exuberant nose is characterized by freshly cut herbs and delicate fruits with a hint of red bell pepper, and the elegant finish has a lovely minerality.”

Novellum Chardonnay, France $10.99
“This zesty white has honeysuckle and white peach aromas, and anise, fennel and a hint of oak show in the lengthy finish.”

Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir, New Zealand $14.99
“This wine is rich and dark with black cherries, violets and a pleasant earthiness on the nose. It has a velvety, harmonious finish with smoky oak, subtle spice and raspberry flavors.”

Cercius Côtes du Rhône, France $14.99
“This blend of 85 percent grenache and 15 percent syrah is beautifully textured, lush and decadent with an aroma of smoky eucalyptus and berry and deep notes of kirsch, plum and stewed fruits and plum and a hint of leather in the long finish.”

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