Tag Archives: United States

Whole Foods Market North Miami – The Day After the Day Before

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The Day After the Day Before.  An opening sentence that may need a little explaining.  The Day After: Yesterday was our stores PREVIEW day with sold out tours from noon to 8 PM. My unofficial estimate is about 400 guests [including me!] got to enjoy not only the visuals but many sample products to taste and take home in their goodie bags.  The Day Before: because tomorrow is GRAND OPENING! All kinds of sampling events are planned including free breakfast being served between 8-9 AM and even more goodie bags to the first 500 shoppers.  We have been told not to be surprised if the truly dedicated start lining up as early as 4 AM 🙂

Wisconsin Cheese

The Specialty Teams first week in the store was a lot of work and fun as we all got to know each other and continued to realize what a great team we have.  The  daily tastings of products we will be carrying didn’t hurt either YUM!  Pictured here was the unveiling of a Wisconsin cheese sculpture designed for us with our Art Deco store as its theme. Also pictured here is my wheel cracking training for Parmigiano Reggiano.  Thank you Erin for the great pics! We’ll also be doing this at the store and via a live web feed on Saturday. BTW that’s an 80 lb wheel!

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The wines started to arrive a little over a week ago and continue to do so daily leading up to tomorrows BIG day.

922975_10200985217335786_1753826288_n (1)Of course my favorite day was on a recent Friday. Not because of the usual reasons one would think on this particularly favored day of the week but because that was the day the wine started to arrive.  As we unloaded the palettes and cases I was like a kid in a candy shop in awe of all the names I recognized and even more so over the ones I did not and would soon be discovering.

I have to say our wine set is beautiful. Over 900 wines; Old World [France, Italy, Germany…] divided by countries and New World  Chile and Argentina along with domestic [USA!] divided by varietals [Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay …].  Also included in our set are; hundreds of beers, Port, Sauterne, Mead, Kosher wine, Saki, Kombucha, Eco-friendly and Biodynamic wines.

As mentioned earlier along with the excitement of having all these new wines to research and taste I was very happy to see many familiar wines I have written about here.  I did a little digging and found at least 20 such examples.  Below you’ll find links to these wines.

As I begin this new and exciting chapter with Whole Foods Market North Miami I found this to be the perfect opportunity to look back as I move forward.  A perfect segueway to ending The Day After the Day Before 🙂   ¡SALUD! 

The Prisoner Orin Swift blend.  Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Show Pinot Noir from Chile.   Joel Gott California Zinfandel.

Chateau Macard Bordeaux.    Four Vines Zinfandel.

Stags Leap  Artemis Blend.  Los Vascos Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

Innovacion  Torrontes blend.  The Dreaming Tree – Crush California Red Blend.

St Francis Multiple varieties.  Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling.

Dr Loosen Riesling.    Folie a Deux Chardonnay.

Chateau Bonnet white Bordeaux.    Spain’s EVODIA Old Vine Garnacha.

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon.    Hogue Cellars Genesis.

Lamadrid – Cabernet Sauvignon , Malbec Gran Reserva and Malbec Reserva.

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Grocery Store Wines: TWISTED 2011 Old Vine Zin / Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc

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Three generations of Indelicato family members have now run DFV Wines since 1924.  Their collection of wines produced include; Twisted, Gnarly Head, Bota Box, Noble, Handcraft, Brazin and others. From their web-site:

DFV Wines is a portfolio of premium wines from a selection of the most desirable vineyards  from notable California wine-growing regions. The winery harvests grapes from Napa, Lodi,  Monterey and Sonoma to craft wines that express the diversity of these appellations.

Although I recognize mostly all their namesake brands I must admit to only having imbibed and enjoyed their Gnarly Head Zinfandels in the past.  I was drawn to TWISTED because; [1] I had never come across this brand before [2] It fell into my grocery store/supermarket wine category although I have come to learn it is sold through many various outlets [3] The price! Usually $10.99 but on sale 2 for $10.00, worse case scenario a good cooking wine 🙂

From my notes: dark fruit aroma, low viscosity, a rich burgundy purple color, light wood on the nose which surprised me because I automatically expected heavier, a plum taste with coffee and strawberry on the finish.

In researching for this post I came across many positive reviews dating back 4-5 years. They mostly correlated the low-cost with a non-low cost taste. To a slight degree I agree with this but at the same time I have to admit that this tasted like a five dollar wine to me.  Swill it is not, an old vine Zin in the reasonably priced Gnarly Head class it is not either. Is it worth $5-6.00 sure. Should you pay the retail of $10-11.00? I would say no. Can you do a lot better with a $9.00+ bottle of wine?  YES. A factor I must consider here is the youthfulness of this wine; it is a 2011 vintage. A couple of years may add to this wine but unfortunately it will most likely not keep me interested enough even at 2 for $10.00 for a revisit in the future.

Over the last 8 years this South Eastern Australian wine seems to have become available pretty much everywhere in the U.S. and falls perfectly into the grocery store/supermarket wine category. The name Yellow Tail comes from;  the yellow-footed rock wallaby, a smaller cousin of the kangaroo that has a golden tail.

While researching the winemaker I came across nutritional information for this varietal. A 5 oz. portion comes in at 119 calories. I find this very interesting and believe they should market this fact in the way other wine producers are doing such as Skinny Girl which comes in at the same caloric range, are priced at close to 3 times the YT price and quite honestly are what I would call swill. My Skinny Girl tirade over and back on topic 🙂

I was very pleasantly surprised with the Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc priced at $5.99.  I would consider it a perfect summer every day wine and comparable to higher priced competitors.  From my notes: pale straw color, crisp, green fruits [citrus/lemon] on the nose with tropical fruits on the palate [pineapple], along with honeysuckle, green apple and pear. I would classify the acidity and dryness levels as medium on this wine.

This is the second Yellow Tail product I try [so far one red blend and this white] and I have to say that in both cases I can see why they sell so well:  they are affordable and tasty. Quite honestly I found them better than many other similarly marketed mass-produced wines I have tasted. Now my usual fork in the road, would I buy this wine again? I guess the answer would be yes. Will I buy it again? Probably not. Unfortunately it doesn’t excite me enough to want to go buy more. That said I know I have plenty of friends who would swear this under $10 wine is just as good as higher priced wines.  Good for them. I also know that should the day come when all I have is 6 bucks in my pocket for wine I may just go the Yellow Tail route.  ¡SALUD!

From internet:

Who’s Behind the Roo

“People can’t be bothered by all the hype and nonsense of wine. They just want to drink it.” ~John Casella.

It all started in 1820, when the first Casellas planted some vines in the Italian countryside. Two things sprouted shortly thereafter: a cluster of grapes, and a family passion that would last 188 years and counting.

Fast forward to 1957. Filippo and Maria Casella were keeping the business alive in Italy, when they decided to pack up and move to Australia. However far away, they couldn’t escape their wine roots. Filippo began selling grapes to local wineries. Then in 1969, he decided it was time for a new generation of Casellas to put their winemaking skills to use.

Following the blueprint of other Australian winemakers, Casella sourced his fruit from other growing areas throughout South Eastern Australia, creating wines with incredible freshness and character year after year. Still, almost a third of the grapes used for [yellow tail] are grown right in the Casella family’s vineyards, nearly 540 acres in the Riverina region of Australia. In 1994, the Casellas built a new and improved winery, blending old world heritage with new world technology.

From humble beginnings, this family has come a long way. Today the company is run by Filippo’s three sons—John, Joe and Marcello—while Filippo’s grandchildren have become the sixth generation to join the family business.  In 2000, John Casella joined forces with another family-run company, W.J. Deutsch & Sons, to bring the goodness of [yellow tail] to the United States.

Year after year, the Casella family continues to create quality wine that’s fun, flavorful, and bursting with a personality all of its own.

May 25th – National Wine Day

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Friday May 25th 2012 – National Wine Day

As if I needed another excuse to imbibe! I came across this interesting article referencing the occasion. It also provides some history along with information on how “days” like these are officially classified.

I hereby nominate everyday to be Wine Day! ¡Salud!

From article;

In 2011, America became the largest wine consuming nation by volume. More Americans are drinking wine, but our per capita consumption is still relatively low in comparison to other countries.