AUSTIN, Texas. (Nov. 4, 2009) – From taste-tempting, luscious reds and bright sparklers to elegant, spicy whites, Whole Foods Market unveils its “Top Ten Holiday Wines” list. At prices fit for merrymaking, shoppers can toast old friends and new beginnings and celebrate the special moments of the season with wines all priced under $15 a bottle! “Here’s to this year's list – featuring a large selection of organic wines – which offers super variety at great values,” said Doug Bell, global wine co-buyer for Whole Foods Market. “Whether you're looking for something to liven up a holiday gathering or thirsting to warm your soul on a cold winter's night, you'll find it on the list this year.”

Here's the list (check it twice!):

El Coto Special Cuvée Rioja

  • Toasty with a long finish from Spain’s noble Tempranillo grapes
  • Hearty cherry-vanilla and plum notes make it perfect for roasted meats
  • Pair with sharp El Trigal Manchego or Mahon cheese to give it the flavorful grip that Rioja’s known for

 

Helfrich Gewurztraminer

  • Floral, spicy, bursting with freshness and a rich finish, this is THE White for Thanksgiving and holiday aperitifs
  • Tows the line between old-fashioned rose and honey notes and vibrant tropical fruit
  • Serve with shellfish or spicy Asian food, or for downright buttery results drink with Bavarian Blue or Robusto cheese

 

Pisato Montepulciano Made with Organically Grown Grapes

  • For turkey and other rich poultry, consider this affordable alternative to Chianti with soft tannins and hints of dried fruit
  • Bold ruby color and dry, silky fresh tomato notes complement Italian food
  • Superbly creamy with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar aged at the Cellars of Jasper Hill or Parmigiano Reggiano Aged 24 months

 

Marqués de Riscal Rueda Selección Especial

  • Old-world Verdejo comes alive in a straw-colored wine brimming with fruit and fennel
  • A huge value, serve as an aperitif or with tapas or roasted chicken
  • Pair it with Fourme d’Ambert or Drunken Goat cheese to brighten its flavor

 

Red Truck Zinfandel Made with Organically Grown Grapes

  • Balanced, organic California wine
  • Brambly berries, cracked pepper and dark chocolate finish make taste buds stand at attention, whether you’re eating pot roast or pasta
  • Wow your taste buds when paired with Stilton produced by Colston Bassett or Borough Market

 

Santa Julia Bonarda Made with Organically Grown Grapes

  • Juicy berries and underlying spice drive this lively wine
  • Savory match for tomato sauce in pizza and pasta
  • Pair with a few bites of Drunken Goat cheese to make the wine jump

 

Los Vascos Special Selection Sauvignon Blanc

  • Whole Foods Market snatched up all of this Chilean white, bottled by legendary Bordeaux winemakers
  • Boxwood and exotic fruit with minerality and lean elegance are hints of an extraordinary terroir in the foothills of the Andes
  • Sip with oysters or a knob of Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog cheese to bring out its juiciness

 

M. Chapoutier Belleruche Special Selection Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc

  • Authentic, floral special selection white from a family vintner
  • Apple, lime and white pepper notes
  • Perfect with roasted veggies or pork, or pair with Austrian Amadeus select cheese and you’ll swear you’re eating fondue

 

Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir

  • From a beloved brand, warm cherry pie with vanilla ice cream and earthy oak dominate this Chilean bargain that comes in a convenient 750mL two-pack, offering shoppers a real value
  • Enjoy a glass while you cook and still have enough for the table
  • Serve with beef or look for Gruyère Reserve, Seaside Cheddar or cranberry cheddar to tame the tannins

 

Sutter Home Muscat of Alexandria

  • The retro label is a tip-off—you’ll find comfort in this bottle
  • Honeysuckle and peaches make it playful for occasions like brunch of dessert when you need a wine on the sweet side
  • Cowgirl Creamery Organic Mount Tam or Rogue Creamery Anniversary Blue cheese makes the wine’s sugary side divine

 

J. P. Chenet Blanc de Blancs Brut

  • The value-minded—and utterly delicious—French sparkler is back! Fine bubbles and a golden hue make this delicate but powerful pour refined
  • Apricot and buttery brioche notes
  • Isigny Ste. Brie from Normandy or Hervé Mons Camembert, pour for a toast or sip after a long day, it always shines

 

 

 

Paso a Paso Tempranillo Made with Organically Grown Grapes

  • From sandy soils in the prized terroir of La Mancha, Spain, comes this powerful Tempranillo
  • Six months of aging in French oak barrels results in its deep opaque color and ripe plum and toffee aromas
  • Perfect for drinking with hearty winter stews or bring out the creaminess in P’tit Basque cheese for an intense flavor experience

Look for Top Ten Holiday Wines displays throughout Whole Foods Market wine departments. “Feel good about grabbing a budget-friendly bottle to make any meal at home this winter a special occasion,” said Bell. “Or pick up a whole case for gifts or party favors and cash in on a case discount.”

Whole Foods Market offers recommendations for pairing wine with food and the season's best cheeses — including a sharp El Trigal Manchego, a super creamy Drunken Goat, and an artisanal Parmigiano Reggiano aged 24 months.

For more about these wines, or about pairings not mentioned in the Top Ten Holiday Wines list, visit Whole Foods Market's Whole Story blog at http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/category/wine-beer.

Wine photos can be found at wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/photo-gallery.

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