AUSTIN, TX (Nov. 3, 2014) – Tis’ the season for festive holiday parties, cozy fireside nights and delightfully decadent dinners. Whole Foods Market has curated a top-notch selection of winter wines at a range of prices that will make meals memorable and harried hostesses happy.
This year’s Top 10 Holiday Wines showcases a wide variety of wines from a perfect-for-turkey-and-ham silky Sonoma County pinot noir to a French chardonnay-viognier with a round, fruity softness that pairs well with yams and cranberry.
“We’ve assembled a group of wonderful seasonal whites and reds that offer something for every occasion and pocket book,” said Doug Bell, global beverage buyer for Whole Foods Market. “Whether you are looking for an inexpensive red to gift neighbors and friends or an organically grown Italian to pair with an intimate cocktail party, Whole Foods Market has you covered.”
For the first year ever, the company’s wine experts are casting the spotlight on Grower Champagnes, which means the same people who tend the vineyards and grow the grapes also make the Champagne. Whole Foods Market will be featuring a very special sparkler that displays the craftsmanship of these handmade wines.
“While there’s been customer interest for some time about these Champagnes, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to celebrate the Grower Champagne movement, and introduce our shoppers to this beautiful Champagne, Gaston Chiquet,” said Devon Broglie, M.S., associate global beverage buyer for Whole Foods Market. “The difference between these artisan wines made by dedicated farmers and more widely consumed sparklers is the difference between a slice of American cheese and a farmstead blue from Point Reyes. We can’t wait for shoppers to taste the difference.”
This year’s featured holiday wines include:
Pizzolato Pinot Grigio – Stone fruit aromas give way to an enticing minerality and vibrant acidity in this organically grown Italian white.
Pairings: Oro del Tiempe Piave Vecchio, delicate seafood, shellfish, lemon vinaigrette, citrus fruit salad, and Shrimp Cocktail with Creamy-Spicy Green Onion Dipping Sauce
Globerati Sauvignon Blanc – From the Central Valley of Chile, this bright, fresh white has aromas of lemon and grapefruit with a hint of honeysuckle, and mineral notes are balanced with a green apple acidity.
Pairings: Mitica Campo de Montalban, Manhattan clam chowder, shrimp cocktail, mussels, sliced pears, and Grapefruit and Beet Salad
Louis Latour Duet Chardonnay-Viognier – An easy-drinking, food friendly French blend that showcases a round, fruity softness, this white has slight earthy notes and a hint of smoke that adds nice complexity.
Pairings: Hervé Mons Camembert, crispy roast turkey, yams, cranberry sauce, and Roast Turkey Breast with Apple Cider Gravy
Sea Pines Russian River Chardonnay – Subtle aromas belie big flavors of green apple, lemon and vanilla bean. A pleasant richness hints at the use of just the right amount of oak for a lovely balance.
Pairings: Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, poached turbot, Cornish hens, chowders, lobster bisque, cream sauces and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Coppola Sonoma County Pinot Noir – A classic see-through, fruit forward ruby red with a tartness of dried cherry and strawberry and subtle floral jasmine notes. This California pinot noir is silky with an elegant mouthfeel.
Pairings: Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, turkey, lamb chops, Peking duck, sour cherry glaze and Sour Cherry Glazed Ham
Bodegas Belgrano Malbec – With aromas of warm spices and stewed blueberry flavors that mingle with woodsy hints of smoke, this textbook Argentine malbec has a roundness that makes for an easy drinking classic.
Pairings: Hennings Cranberry Orange Cheddar, roast duck, pepperoni pizza, spaghetti with sweet and sour meatballs and Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Italian Sausage and Garlic Bread
Leyenda del Castillo Rioja – Mineral, earthy aromas are found in this deep garnet Spanish red. With bright, sunny fruit flavors like ripe cherries, this Rioja has a lingering, well-balanced finish.
Pairings: Mitica Mahon, grilled meats, pork chops, eggplant marinara, charred steaks and Beef Skewers with Romesco Sauce
Bubo Cabernet Sauvignon – Surprisingly fruity, pleasant and approachable with a touch of green pepper aroma, this red has flavors of blackberries and ripe plums that accentuate the juiciness of this easy drinking wine.
Pairings: Ashley Chase Estate Seaside Cheddar, cranberry turkey sandwiches, veggie lasagna, cassoulet, beef enchiladas and Tempeh Bell Pepper Chili
H&G Priorat – Earthy, herbaceous aromas in this brick red wine lead to a refined minerality and complex dark fruit flavors. The terroir of Priorat, Spain proudly shows in the glass.
Pairings: Guilloteau Fromager d’Affinois, barbecue, hearty veggie stews, Brunswick stew, grilled ribeye and Roasted Beef Brisket with Carrots and Tomatoes
Charles and Charles Merlot – There is an attractive baked biscuit aroma in this inky, hearty red. Black and blue fruits come forward and then recede into a rich, elegant, full-bodied finish.
Pairings: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Aged at the Cellars of Jasper Hill, steak and Guinness pie, twice baked potatoes, buttery pastry crusts and Home-Style Meatloaf
Gaston Chiquet Champagne – This Champagne lover’s Champagne makes a truly special holiday gift. Rose gold in color with persistent foamy bubbles, delicate peach and golden delicious apple notes lead to a lovely lengthy finish.
Pairings: Hervé Mons St. Nuage cheese, oysters, brunch, croissants, caramelized sugar and Raw Oysters with Sweet Pear Mignonette
Wine enthusiasts age 21 and older can taste these wines at Whole Foods Market’s in-store tasting events or can learn and share thoughts on this year’s holiday wines by joining two Twitter Tastings using hashtag #WFMwine. Dates, times and wines featured include:
Thursday, November 13, 7-8 p.m. CT:
• Pizzolato Pinot Grigio
• Sea Pines Russian River Chardonnay
• Bodegas Belgrano Malbec
• Leyenda del Castillo Rioja
Thursday, December 4, 7-8 p.m. CT:
• Globerati Sauvignon Blanc
• Bubo Cabernet Sauvignon
• Charles and Charles Merlot
• H&G Priorat
For more information and images about these wines and the Twitter Tastings, go to wholefoodsmarket.com/wine.