Friday, November 28, 2008

Wine For The Holidays: The Top 10 + 2

Gather 'round for a glass! The expert wine buyers at Whole Foods Market made a list and checked it twice.
They wrapped up their best selection yet of Reds, Whites and Sparklers with the perfect balance of quality and value, so you can wrap your mitts around the season and celebrate with ease. Plus, they added a couple of bonus bottles for giving or special occasions. Cheers to warm hearths and happy hearts.
Some products may not be available in all stores and are subject to availability and local alcohol regulations.

Sustainable White

From America's first carbon-neutral winery, a perfect appetizer party wine, crisp as a cool day with melon citrus flavors, a dry finish and medium acidity. Loves roasted chicken, baked or breaded mild seafood or Grafton Classic Reserve Cheddar from Vermont.

Cave de Lugny
Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay

Great value! An elegant, classic white Burgundy, balancing fruit and zesty acidity. Lemon meringue and a sprinkle of nutmeg complement the season's winter spices, apples, turkey and our cranberry cheddar, as well as other poultry and creamy pasta.

Mount Rey Central Coast Chardonnay

One of our wine specialists' tasting favorites. Tropical fruit, green apple and cool central coast growing conditions lend pleasant acidity that lifts the creaminess of risotto, seafood dishes and creamy cheeses such as Rond du Cher and our exclusive holiday French brie.

Brut Cava Made from Organically Grown Grapes

Best deal in the store—buy it by the case! A fun, easy-drinking, food-friendly Sparkler for celebrating from weekend brunch to New Year's Eve. Apple, spice and a licorice tickle are nice with duck, and just the thing with fried or spicy foods, brie and Truffle Tremor goat cheese.

Nicolas Feuillatte
Brut Extrem' Champagne

Very fine bubbles from a top-3 champagne house—and a real value! Crisply fresh with true purity of fruit, delicate toasty wood, spice, citrus and floral. Elevates your celebrations on its own or with seafood, creamy, buttery foods, French brie or Truffle Tremor.

Block No. 45
Pinot Noir

A rich, comforting Pinot, full-bodied and balanced with California-grown fruit. Oaky vanilla, dried cherry and a touch of peppery spice work wonders with turkey, salmon and a variety of cheeses, including creamy Amadeus from Austria.

Vinum Cellars
Reserve Petite Sirah

Supple, generous and juicy, yet complete with round tannins. We bought it all and a portion of the vintner's profits goes to a local animal shelter. Cuddles up friendly to herbed beef, lamb and earthy, garlicky foods, plus cheeses from well-aged to creamy brie.


From the home of paella and Spanish chorizo, this full-flavored Red is herby, rich and lean. It is ideal with blue cheeses, such as Rogue Anniversary Blue or the classic Stilton; amazing with fig cake; and a wonderful dinner wine with red-sauced pasta, beef or BBQ.

M. Chapoutier Belleruche
Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge

A real value from a great wine family also committed to eco-friendly farming. Good structure, dark fruit and a dash of pepper will warm you through the season with red pasta, lamb, beef, smoked fish, earthy vegetarian foods, Stilton and Rogue Anniversary Blue.

Bush Vine Grenache

Our tasters adored this richly textured Grenache from 70-year-old vines. Soft with lovely fruit and spice, it is great on its own when you're in a Red mood. Stands up to lamb, duck, game or beef, yet is just as fabulous with creamy pasta or Truffle Tremor cheese.

Sonoma County Merlot

Here's your holiday crowd pleaser from one of the oldest U.S. Merlot makers. Velvety cherry and blackberry with hints of cocoa and clove. A food pleaser, too, with meats, stews, dark or red sauces and flavorful cheeses, from cranberry cheddar and winter blues to brie.

Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon

Fortify your winter spirits with this easy-drinking, silky food wine named for its vine clone number. Dark fruit, cedar and cola with hints of its mineral-soil roots. Nice fireside sipper or with steak, roasts, red pasta, Stilton, Rogue Anniversary Blue or French brie.