With modernized, earth friendly wine production, South Africa has come into its own in the last decade, creating wines with high standards and a minimal impact on natural resources, which are a great fit for Whole Foods Market, company officials say. From now through October, the company will celebrate the wines of South Africa that offer fruit-forward styles with the restrained elegance of the Old World.
Every bottle of South African wine carries an integrity and sustainability seal, which guarantees place of origin and a commitment to measureable, sustainable practices by the country’s Wine and Spirit Board. The certification seal, an industry first providing traceability of the wine back to its specific vineyard and winery, combined with the biodiversity of the region and commitment of the winemakers has produced top notch wines at incredible values, officials add.
“South African wines are no longer the little brother of the wine world; these wines are first-class and offer incredible value,” says Doug Bell, global wine buyer for Whole Foods Market. “From bright, well-balanced chardonnays to deeply complex red blends, Whole Foods Market looks forward to turning our shoppers on to the breadth of what the country has to offer.”
Wine enthusiasts 21 and older can taste these wines at Whole Foods Market store tasting events or join two Twitter Tastings using hashtag #WFMwine. Dates, times and wines featured include:
Thursday, Sept. 12, 7-8 p.m. CT:
• Protea Chenin Blanc
• DMZ Chardonnay
• Robertson Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
• Flagstone Dragon Tree
Thursday, Oct. 10, 7-8 p.m. CT:
• Indaba Sauvignon Blanc
• The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier
• Bellingham Small Barrel S.M.V.
Win a trip to South African wine country
From Sept. 3-18, shoppers can enter to win a trip for two to South Africa that includes round-trip airfare and five-star lodging, six days visiting wineries, and four days in Cape Town. Sponsored by Wines of South Africa, the contest will award trips to three individuals who are selected by a two-round judging process for their entries describing which South African wine featured at Whole Foods Market they are most excited to try. Contest entrants must be 21 years or older to enter. Details available at wholefoodsmarket.com/southafrica.
Featured South African wines
The featured wines of South Africa with suggested fall pairings include:
Protea Chenin Blanc – “With fresh bursts of pear and vanilla on the nose, this light white greets the palate with lemon curd and jasmine. The striking floral design on the bottle speaks to Protea’s South African roots as the protea is the country’s national flower; the bottle is perfect for upcycling.”
Pairings: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, grilled lobster tail, tuna steaks, herb-roasted chicken, sushi
Indaba Sauvignon Blanc – “This white has zippy flavors of pineapple, lime and mango and a racy acidity; green fig shows in the grassy, mineral-tinged finish. A portion of the proceeds from sales goes to the Indaba scholarship, awarded to financially disadvantaged and academically deserving students to pursue wine-related studies.”
Pairings: Wellspring Creamery Goat Milk Brie, citrus-accented seafood, chicken burgers, mango salsa, grilled stone fruits
DMZ Chardonnay – “With aromas of citrus and tropical fruit, this clean and balanced white has nice minerals and a bright acidity with peach and honey flavors and a toasty caramel finish. Speakers placed throughout the vineyards pipe baroque music to the vines 24 hours a day; the winemaker feels this encourages healthier, more robust fruit.”
Pairings: Hervé Mons Camembert, roasted Brussels sprouts, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, crabcakes
The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier – “With pepper, blackberry and floral notes up front, this red blend is smooth, soft and approachable with a lovely dense, silky finish.”
Pairings: Borough Market Cheddar, pasta marinara, rack of ribs, roasted vegetables, pepper-crusted lamb
Robertson Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – “Rich with notes of ripe plum, mulberry and subtle cassis, this red has soft tannins that round out the smooth lingering finish.”
Pairings: Robusto cheese, roast beef, lamb stew, grilled portobellos, rosemary grilled tomatoes
Flagstone Dragon Tree – “This new-to-market, deeply complex cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and pinotage blend has a heavenly nose of rich dark fruit and cigar box. Well balanced on the palate, this red shows fresh, crisp acidity with a lingering finish of sweet and spicy undertones.”
Pairings: El Trigal Manchego, seared tuna, strawberry balsamic salad, grilled chicken with mint, butternut squash, beef carpaccio
Bellingham Small Barrel S.M.V. – “An alluring mosaic of berry, dark chocolate and violet notes, this red blend’s intense fruit shows in its long, graceful, velvety finish. This 2011 vintage is rated 92 points by The Tasting Panel. To experience its true character, open at least an hour before drinking or store for years to come.”
Pairings: Le Gruyère Reserve, rosemary roasted lamb, char-grilled steak, vegetable ragoût