AUSTIN, Texas (June 2, 2009) – From crisp, sassy sparklers and versatile rosés to zesty whites and laid-back reds, Whole Foods Market pops the cork on its most delectable wine picks yet, releasing this year's much-anticipated list of “Top Ten Summer Wines.”  Suited for all kinds of summer revelry and everyday enjoyment alike, these summer picks are sure to make a splash – even for those on the shallowest of budgets.

“Whether you're hosting a classy dinner party for friends or lounging by the pool with a good book, you can complement any occasion with our Top Ten Summer Wines,” said Geof Ryan, global wine co-buyer for Whole Foods Market. “And you don't have to pay top-dollar to get premium taste. All of our selections are not only delicious, they're affordable, too.”

Whole Foods Market also offers recommendations for pairing wine with food and the season's best cheeses – including a full-flavored Robusto, a medium-aged Taleggio and a sharp Kilaree Irish Cheddar. Starting under $9 a bottle, the lineup includes:

Presto Prosecco

  • Crisp, clean and refreshing Italian sparkler
  • Brightens up any occasion with its tropical flavors and fruity effervescence
  • Perfect solo, in mimosas or as a cheerful contrast to hollandaise-topped egg dishes, white fish or the rich and buttery double crème Fromager D'Affinois

 

Rudolph Müller “Bunny” Riesling

  • Floral and fruity
  • Drier-style with crisp peach, pear and light acidity
  • Delightful when paired with salads, Asian spiced cuisine or with slices of the award-winning, firm, aged Hirtenkäse mountain cheese

 

Biokult Grüner Veltliner Made with Organically Grown Grapes

  • Austrian white with light zesty flavor and hints of cracked pepper and prairie grass
  • Clean acidity and a soft, seductive finish
  • Enjoy with spicy dishes, grilled seafood, burgers, pizza or mild, spreadable Whole Foods Market Organic Fresh Goat Cheese

 

Vinum Cellars Chenin Vio

  • A marvelous medley of pear, melon and grapefruit
  • A supple texture and snappy finish
  • Try with brunch or thin-crust pizzettas made with smooth Cana de Cabra

 

V-solo Verdejo

  • Fruity Spanish sipper with zesty acidity
  • Floral aromas and hints of gooseberry, lime and citrus
  • Plays well alone or with shellfish or nutty, sharp Robusto cheese

 

Manifesto! Sauvignon Blanc

  • Ideal for a sunny picnic, with its smooth texture and food-friendly acidity
  • Coats your palate with ripe lemon, gooseberry, grapefruit and orange peel
  • Enjoy with sushi and oysters or any fresh goat cheeses

 

Bonterra Rosé Made with Organically Grown Grapes

  • A melodious blend of Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Grenache
  • Full of ripe summer berries, a touch of spice and juicy acidity
  • Splendid alone or with grilled sweet corn or portabellas, salmon or Spanish Cana de Cabra goat's milk cheese

“Rosés continue to be the rage when it is hot outside, be it in France, Spain or in the U.S.,” said Ryan. “Americans are now embracing drier rosés like our continental cousins in Europe, where they drink pink on hot days.”

Escudo Rojo

  • Enhance warm-weather fare with this compelling mélange of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère
  • Rich spice, toast and black cherry aromas
  • Delicious with Italian washed-rind Taleggio melted into pastas or on pizza or with burgers topped with sliced aged Kilaree Irish Cheddar from Kerrygold

“Everyone likes this style of red, fruity and jammy,” said Doug Bell, global wine co-buyer for Whole Foods Market. “It's light but flavorful, which makes this a great burger wine.”

Pirovano il Rosso di Enzo

  • For a long, hot and lively summer, add this juicy and evocative Italian red to your summer
  • Delicious with grilled food, pizza, burgers or with a cheese plate that includes classic Taleggio from the mountains of Italy and Kilaree Irish Cheddar

 

Rutherford Hill Merlot

  • Dark cherries, luscious chocolate and a silky finish make this the “king of Merlots”
  • Balanced with hints of vanilla, cinnamon and tobacco
  • Pair with hearty meats such as grilled steak or burgers, or with slices of nutty Seaside Cheddar with crunchy, flavor crystals

 

Penfolds Koonunga Hill “76” Shiraz Cabernet

  • An outstanding value for a commemorative release!
  • Succulent blueberry, cherry and black currant coupled with chocolate and olive flavors
  • Superb with beef, lamb and chicken or slightly sweet Gran Queso cow's milk cheese from Wisconsin modeled after Spanish Manchego

 

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti

  • A lush bouquet of ripe red fruits
  • Dry, well-balanced and full-bodied
  • Complements hearty summer cuisine, including grilled beef, barbecue and pizza

Look for Top Ten Summer Wines displays throughout Whole Foods Market wine departments. “Grab a bottle for your next summer occasion,” said Bell. “Or pick up a whole case and cash in on a case discount.”

For more about these wines, or about pairings not mentioned in the Top Ten Summer Wines list, visit Whole Foods Market's blog at blog.wholefoodsmarket.com, where Whole Foods Market Global Wine Buyers Doug Bell and Geoff Ryan will discuss this season's hottest values. Wine and cheese photos can be found at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/pressroomhoto-gallery.