Have you ever walked into a grocery store to pick up a few things and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a wine tasting? Yep, that happens often, especially in Whole Foods. I remember one time I stopped in after the gym to get some fruit and all of a sudden I turn around and a woman offers me a taste of a yummy new champagne. Good morning! I never really purchase wine from Whole Foods since it can be a bit pricy, but every so often I’ll spot something out of the ordinary that I’ve never seen in Publix, Target, or Costco (I’m not including Total Wine here because that place is like Toys R Us for adults — they have EVERYTHING). When Whole Foods invited me to participate in their celebration of Italian wines, you know I jumped at the opportunity! What did that mean for me? Four bottles of wines from some of Italy’s most notable winemakers to taste and review during their #WFMwine Twitter Tasting with a bunch of other wine lovers all over the country. I looked over the list of wines I’d be receiving, and not one of them sounded familiar. Even better! I’m all for trying new wine! The best thing about these bottles is that they are all under $16, perfectly affordable for me if I ever want more!
I live with someone who really loves her wine and can pinpoint to a T what I will and won’t like. We’ve drunk enough wine together that by now, I trust her to pick up a bottle for me from the store and even order a glass for me when we’re out. Naturally, she was my right hand woman for this tasting! We were due for our monthly homemade pizza night with our friend Patti and thought it would be the perfect setting for a wine tasting to go down! We made two pizzas — one with tomatoes and garlic pureed and smeared all over, topped with more tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and creamy goat cheese (finished off with fresh arugula), and one with the same base but instead of goat cheese we mixed the mozzarella with spinach and feta. The goat cheese pizza is always on rotation during homemade pizza night, but this new spinach-feta combo is definitely getting added! Dessert was a medley of decadent little pastries: coconut cream pie balls, key lime pie tarts, lemon bars, fruit tarts, chocolate mousse, mini eclairs, and red velvet cake balls. Homemade pizza, yummy sweet treats, and four bottles of wine to go around, not to mention a table full of good friends — is that not the most perfect night?
The four of us (me, my roomies Amy and Foodie, and Patti) put on our wine-tasting hats and chimed in with our opinions about each wine.
So, what was the verdict?
You always need a good glass of wine while cooking, so during the pizza-making process we opened the Presto Prosecco. This $11 wine was the perfect amount of bubbly to get the night started. It has notes of orange blossom, honey, apples, and citrus. It made my taste buds burst. Tart and crisp, and not too dry at all. Patti described it as “sexy,” which is totally appropriate for this light and fresh sparkling wine.
Sticking with the whites, we moved on to the Caposaldo Pinot Grigrio, a $12 wine that I thought tasted much more expensive than it was. It has notes of honeydew and kiwi, and smells of white fruit and flowers. The smell is sweet, but the flavor isn’t. Instead, it’s smooth and spicy, but also a bit thick and heavy. Foodie found its initial taste to be sweeter than the rest of us had thought, but then he quickly changed his mind and said the sweet turned to bitter. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this wine even though I usually am not a fan of dryer white wines.
By now, the pizza was done and we were all at the table chowing down on our 2nd or 3rd piece. Time to open up the red! The Verrazzano Rosso is the most expensive of the bunch ($16), and turned out to be my favorite. It is a rich blend of flavors of fresh fruit, violet, Tuscan herbs, black currant, and pomegranate. We all agreed that this was the most “social” of the wines, something that everyone can enjoy. It’s a little peppery, but not too strong, and had a nice smooth finish.
The Monrosso Chianti was the last of the night, a $14 wine that is extremely easy to drink. It has aromas of lavender and cranberry and a beautifully balanced smooth taste. Chianti is a very light red wine, definitely suitable to my style, and I found this to be one of the most palate-pleasing red wines I’ve had in a while.
It was so much fun hosting a little wine tasting at home with my friends, and participating in the #WFMwine Twitter Tasting was great too! I was able to connect with some really knowledgeable people. There were lots of wordy descriptions and wine jargon that I wasn’t totally familiar with, but I loved learning new terminology! Most of us were in agreement that each of these wines were all very enjoyable. I would purchase each one of them again! My favorite, though? The Rosso. There was something about it that was so deep and yet so simple. I liked how it paired with the rich flavors of my pizza, and it just really hit my tastebuds in a good, strong way.
I suggested to Whole Foods that we do these Twitter Tastings more often and maybe even put together a wine club where someone picks a wine (from WF obviously) that we’ll all taste and Tweet about together! They seemed to love the idea — maybe it’ll get picked up! There’s a lot you could do with it… Talk about food pairings, the winery it comes from, maybe even feature the winemaker and get them to participate on Twitter! Oh, the wonderful world of social media… How did we ever survive without it?!
Thank you to Whole Foods, the Whole Foods Boca Raton Marketing Team Leader, Andrew, and especially Teresa Shum from Brustman Carrino Public Relations for inviting me to experience a taste of Italy in the best way possible — through wine!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post through Brustman Carrino Public Relations and Whole Foods. I received four complimentary bottles of wine from Whole Foods in Boca Raton in return for my participation in the #WFMwine Tweet-up and a blog post review. As always, all opinions are my own.