Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Whole Foods Market: NZ Oyster Bay Chardonnay

Whole Foods Market has another social media get-together planned to spotlight their New Zealand wines.  The Twitter tasting event is set for Thursday October 9, 2014 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. CT.

To participate in the virtual tasting event, get the wines at a Whole Foods Market near you, take them home, log onto Twitter and stay ready with the hashtag: #WFMwine.  Using the hashtag in your tweets will channel your comments into the stream with everyone else's.  To follow along, set up a search for #WFMwine and save it.  It's very easy to keep in the flow that way.

Here are the wines which are set to be the topic of the October 9th Twitter tasting:
Sophora Sparkling Cuvée
Kim Crawford Pinot Gris
Grove Mill Pinot Noir

A previous event featured these wines:

Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc
Oyster Bay Chardonnay
Villa Maria The Red Blend

All the wines are available in the wine department at Whole Foods Market.  Get yours, get set and get ready to tweet about what's in your glass.

Oyster Bay's stated winemaking philosophy is to produce "elegant and assertive wines with glorious fruit flavours."  A noble objective, sure, and one on which they deliver.  The real calling card of their wines, however, is their monumental minerality.  Their Sauvignon Blanc is well known and loved, and found on restaurant wine lists everywhere.  It is laden with enough minerals to form a quarry.  The mineral-driven fruit of their Chardonnay takes the same path.

The Chardonnay grapes used to make this wine grow in the Marlborough region, on the northeastern tip of New Zealand's South Island - in vineyards located in the Wairau Valley and the Awatere Valley.  The Whole Foods wine department calls this a "sleek, well- balanced white" with a "whisper of oak."   Both French oak barrels and steel tanks were used for fermentation, with an additional six months of aging in oak.  No malolactic fermentation was employed, so it is as crisp as can be.  Alcohol is restrained, at 13.5% abv and it retails for $14 at Whole Foods.

This New Zealand Chardonnay shows off a pale green tint, with a slight frizzante - bubbles cling to the sides of the glass.  The nose screams minerals, along with citrus and apple aromas. On the palate, a strong citrus flavor and mineral tartness marries perfectly with the bracing acidity.

The Wine Guys at WFM say to pair it with Gruyère cheese, fish or squash with caramelized onions or onion soup.  I say, that sounds great - but try it with some hummus and pistachios for a great snack.

The Whole Foods Wine Guys - @WFMWine - opened the comments on this wine with "Oyster Bay Chard. Love this wine, drank many a bottle visiting a few years back. We Americans love Oyster Bay winery."  @AIRNZUSA tweeted, "We're definitely picking up the lemon aroma in this one!"  @davidnzwineusa admitted, "drink this wine often at home. Classy balanced and a gr8t value to boot."  @vespaspeed1 noted, "tastes like summer and good for any occasion."  @WFMSantaFe had an interesting question from a customer: "Do you have half bottles of the Oyster Bay? If I had a whole bottle I'd drink it all!"  Get the whole bottle and be proud of your restraint.

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