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Criterion Collection Mendoza malbec Reserva 2012

Mendoza Malbec Reserva

Argentina’s Mendoza region has gained international acclaim for its fruit-forward malbecs. The Andes’ sunny dry conditions contribute to full-bodied malbecs with ripe tannins and a plush texture. Criterion collection offers a quintessential Argentine malbec. It’s bold, rich and silky with ripe berry, black pepper and licorice aromas and blackberry, cherry and cardamom flavors. Pair it with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

Tempered by the Adriatic Sea, protected by the foothills of the Alps and nurtured in the gravelly soil that gives Friuli Grave its name, this is an ideal example of pinot grigio. It’s fresh, juicy and crisp — showcasing all the characters that make pinot grigio one of the world's most widely enjoyed wines. Enjoy peach, almond and floral aromas paired with apple, stone fruit and nectar flavors. Serve with seafood, light pasta or risotto.

Criterion Collection Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

Rioja Reserva

From Rioja, Spain's most renowned wine region, the tempranillo grape was selected, then treated with patience. After 20 months in oak barrels and two years in the bottle, this quintessential Criterion Rioja will reward you with dark fruit flavors, velvety mouthfeel, and a long, elegant finish. Look for notes of black cherry, dusty earth and spicy oak. Pairs well with roasted meat, paella and hard cheeses.

Carménère Reserva

The southernmost region of Chile’s Colchagua Valley is famed for its rugged cowboys and full-bodied Reds. Here, Criterion collection presents a quintessential carménère, capturing Andean spirit with a generous balance of black and red berries, hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and a savory touch of dark chocolate. Cassis, plum and basil flavors in the wine pair nicely with steak, herb-roasted lamb and vegetable lasagna.

Coonawarra Reserve

A marriage of rich red clay soil, pure underground water and a long, cool ripening season made Australia’s tiny Coonawarra region perfect for crafting world-class cabernet sauvignon. This Criterion selection offers a quintessential incarnation, complex in character with an inky hue, flavors of cherry, eucalyptus and black plum. Serve with T-bone steak, short ribs and lamb chops.

Criterion Collection Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

Chianti Classico

Chianti is as old as winemaking itself, and this Classico comes from the famed Chianti region in central Tuscany — the very roots of its Italian birthplace. Reflecting the legendary terrain that surrounds it, this Criterion collection offering showcases ripe red fruit flavors and subtle floral bouquets to create a wine of profound beauty. Pair with pork chops, red sauce and mushroom risotto.


A formidable group of Team Members — think of them as your very own wine superheroes — scour the world's vineyards to bring you the fruits of the most talented winemakers' labors. They're always on the lookout for sustainable vineyard practices and organic and biodynamic wines, too.

So the next time you're in our wine department, stop one of our Team Members, many of whom are full-fledged sommeliers, and hit them up for answers. Are they snobbish about wine? No way! Whether you're a novice or a seasoned sipper, they'll love you just the same. In fact, every Whole Foods Market store that sells wine offers wine classes where grapes, tastings and pairings are discussed — over a glass of wine, of course.

If you're the kind that likes to forge your own path instead, that's cool. You know we respect a little personal exploration, so look for abundant signage in the aisles of the wine department to help you make a great selection on your own.

Criterion Collection Pinot Grigio Friuli GraveWine Trivia to Make You Thirsty

True or false? Tannins are uber-comfy tanning beds you can nap in. True — they're all the rage in Finland! OK, OK, it's false. Tannins actually refer to the bitter astringency that wine picks up from its contact with grapes' skins. (See Grapes 101 below for details on which wines have powerful tannins and what foods to pair them with.)

When playing pin-the-tail-on-the-wine, where would you find its nose? A wine's "nose" is in fact its smell. It just sounds fancier when you call it a "nose".

People swirl wine in their glasses before tasting it in order to:

A) tell the wine's fortune
B) demonstrate their wrist dexterity to a crowd
C) give themselves that dizzy, light-headed buzz
D) none of the above

The answer is D. Swirling wine in a glass introduces oxygen and broadens its aroma. (Though we'll admit that sometimes we do it because of C, too.)

The last time we checked, wine was wet. So why are so many wines called "dry"? Dry wines are the opposite of sweet wines; they have low levels of residual sugar and so are more pucker-inducing. For the record, both dry and sweet wines are very, very wet.

Grapes 101

On most wine labels you'll find the name of the grape used to make them or the district (also called the "appellation") in which they're produced. Head spinning? Don't panic!

To simplify things, here's a list of popular grapes along with their flavor descriptions and tasty pairings. And to make sure you never blush at a dinner party again, we've included a few tips on how to pronounce everything, too.


Chardonnay [shar-doh-NAY]: These dry wines are bold, ripe and rich. Their apple, fig, lemon and honey undertones are out-of-sight with cream sauces, shellfish, poultry, pork, veal, salmon and full-flavored cheeses.

Chenin Blanc [SHENIN BLAHNK]: Close your eyes and you'll think you're eating a slice of ripe melon. Peach, spice and citrus flavors also float through these wines, so serve them with Asian food, roasted chicken, shellfish (clams and mussels are a stellar match) or mild cheeses and you can't go wrong.

Gewürztraminer [geh-VOORTZ-trah-MEE-ner]: This one may be a tongue-twister, but trust us, you won't regret learning how to say it right. This grape makes for wines full of spicy peach and apricot notes. Sip them — no, wait, guzzle them — with Asian seafood or noodle dishes, pork, veal, poultry or even mild cheeses.

Pinot Grigio [PEE-no GREE-zho]: These wines, also called pinot gris (PEE-no GREE), are full of citrus, spice and toasted almond flavor. Pour them generously when you're serving rich cream or red sauces napped over pasta or veal and poultry dishes like grilled chicken. Full-flavored cheeses hold their own with these wines, too.

Criterion Collection Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave Criterion Collection Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

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