AUSTIN, TX (Nov. 4, 2010) — ‘Tis the season to stock up on your favorite sparklers, winter whites and ripe reds to take the winter chill off without breaking the holiday budget. Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) has once again scoured the wine world to find some of the best wines for around $20 or less for its Top 10 Holiday Wines program.
Whole Foods Market invites shoppers and wine enthusiasts to taste and tweet some holiday cheer during its first-ever Twitter Tasting on Wednesday, November 17. Starting at 7 p.m. EST, national wine buyers Doug Bell and Geof Ryan will taste six wines from the Top 10 Holiday Wine list, providing tasting notes and insights about the wineries and winemakers. In addition, Whole Foods Market and Snooth.com are partnering to offer a contest to win a VIP trip to California wine country.
“Our holiday wine line-up is our best ever so far. There is something for every wine lover to enjoy with family and friends and what better way to jump start the season than tasting and learning about these wines together,” said Doug Bell, Whole Foods Market global co-wine buyer. “The holiday wine Twitter Tasting is designed to be a fun evening where friends can get together to taste wines and share their thoughts with other wine lovers. We hope this helps kick start the holiday season in a fun and engaging way.”
Here are Whole Foods Market’s Top 10 Holiday Wines, with suggested cheese and holiday food pairings:
De Chanceny Cré
mant de Loire
– Made for Whole Foods Market by a group of 30 families in France’s Loire Valley, this sparkler can be easily compared to Champagne costing two to three times the price. This fresh bubbly is best shared with friends or paired with our Isigny Ste. Mere Brie. Selected recipe pairing: Baked Apple and Brie Canapés
– Made by the Heinz Eifel family that has been producing wines in the heart of the Mosel Valley for more than 400 years, this gorgeous Riesling is true to terroir, with apple and pear notes and a crisp finish. Pair with Fourme D’Ambert blue cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Sage Butter Turkey with Rice Rapini Stuffing
Chalone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
– A perfect wine to share with friends over good conversation and appetizers, this wine offers mouthwatering tropical fruit notes, mingled with a hint of lemon zest and grapefruit. Pair with Whole Foods Market Organic Goat Cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Savory Fig and Goat Cheese Tart with Arugula
Simonnet-Febvre Saint-Bris – Splash this Sauvignon into shrimp scampi and then pour yourself a glass. Pair its minerality and citrus zest with Cypress Grove Lil’ Ziggy cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Easy Shrimp and Grits
– Sustainably grown by Rodney Strong, whose winery is Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery, this Chardonnay has a spicy vanilla touch and bright apple notes, perfect to enjoy with rotisserie chicken, roasted duck or Cowgirl Creamery Organic Buckaroo cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Roasted Duck with Pomegranate Glaze
Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse
– This scrumptious green-gold beauty is Whole Foods Market’s “Cellar Selection” for the holidays, offering seductive aromas and round, full herbal fruitiness on the palate that complements its crisp acidity. Enjoy with lobster tails, creamy Hervé Mons Camembert. Selected recipe pairing: Salmon Chowder
Dievole Dievolino Sangiovese di Toscana
– When Italian favorites like osso bucco and ragù are on the menu, tuck this one under your arm for the host. This centuries-old winery produces this lively, ruby red with a hint of juniper, ideal for Robusto cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Spaghetti Bolognese
Estancia Pinot Noir
– This estate-grown, handcrafted Pinot Noir offers soft, luscious aromas of dark berries and ripe blueberry, black cherry and plum flavor, balanced by creamy vanilla to provide a rich finish. Enjoy with Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor. Selected recipe pairing: Cranberry and Apple-Stuffed Roasted Pork
Bubo Old Vine Zinfandel
– Made from 30+-year-old vineyards, this Zinfandel has rich aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry, pepper and chocolate. Enjoy with steak, roast beef and piquant Fourme D’Ambert cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Vegetarian Chipotle Chili
Paso a Paso Tempranillo*
– Making its second appearance in our Top 10 Holiday Wines, this floral, deeply colored Tempranillo offers huge flavor that pairs perfectly with slices of chorizo and Le Gruyère cheese. Selected recipe pairing: Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Bodegas Castaño Hécula Monastrell*
– Like winter’s best comfort foods, this bold, elegant red wine takes off the chill. Made from Spain’s Monastrell grape, the pleasant tannins are vibrant with Manchego cheese while you warm by the fireplace. Selected recipe pairing: Classic Butternut Squash Soup
Valley of the Moon Syrah
– Enjoy this soft, silky California syrah with smoky pulled pork, roasted root vegetables or Rogue Anniversary Blue cheese. Made from Sonoma and Russian River Valley fruit, this Syrah features concentrated dark berry fruit with earth and spice notes. Selected recipe pairing: Roasted Ham with Maple and Orange Marmalade Glaze
*Produced by vineyards with organic and/or sustainable farming methods The featured wines for the November 17 Twitter Tasting include: De Chanceny Crémant de Loire, Römerhof Riesling, Simonnet-Febvre Saint-Bris, Dievole Dievolino Sangiovese di Toscana, Valley of the Moon Syrah, and Paso A Paso Organically Grown Tempranillo.
To join the Twitter Tasting, pick up one or more of the featured wines to open during the tasting. Sign up for a free Twitter account at Twitter.com. Go to the TweetChat room set up for this event (tweetchat.com/room/wfmwine) to tweet directly. Taste, tweet and follow along with Whole Foods Market wine buyers and other wine enthusiasts at @WFMWine and #WFMWine.
Shoppers can also enter to win a free trip to California wine country, which includes airfare and lodging for two and a behind-the-scenes, VIP tour of some of the region’s top wineries through a special promotion with Snooth.com, the largest wine site on the web and part of Snooth Media, a portfolio of epicurean lifestyle sites that also includes The Spir.it and What'sCook.in.
Note: Wine photos are available at