W hole Foods Market has given us another venue in which to enjoy good wine while visiting with friends. Last weekend they had a fire pit jazz night around the fire pit on the side of their new store.
While singer Bill Karp performed with his high-end karaoke machine, a couple dozen of us sat around enjoying the music, the wine and the beautiful evening. It was a great combination.
There was a little confusion at first because no one was quite sure where to get the wine for the “wine and jazz” evening. It turns out you could buy a bottle of wine inside the store and someone would open it for you and provide plastic cups for drinking.
So we went in and found an incredible bargain: $10.99 for an unoaked Chardonnay from Chile. We combined that with a couple of packages of nuts and snack sticks and had a feast.
If I had planned ahead better I would have just had dinner there. You can select from all the offerings inside, from pizza to deli sandwiches to salads. Or you can get a hamburger, fries and beer from Whole Foods’ mini-grill kitchen set up by the fire pit. They call it At The Turn, I guess because it’s also near the putting green.
While we were sitting there I really wanted to get a hamburger and fries because I kept smelling the mouth-watering food they were cooking right next to us. There are several tables set up for eating, or you can eat and drink while sitting around the fire pit.
I loved the music. Bill Karp has a silky smooth voice that makes you think you’re sitting in an elegant New York bar. His sound machine is loaded with great arrangements for many classic American jazz songs. It sounds like he is surrounded by a 20-piece orchestra.
From smooth and seductive to foot-stomping high voltage, Karp sang all the music with great skill. A few times I had to look up to make sure Frank Sinatra wasn’t behind the microphone.
The wine we picked was a winner. It was Natura Chardonnay from Emiliana Organic Vineyards. The blend is 95% Chardonnay, 5% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Marsanne from vineyards in the Casablanca Valley. The wine is aged three months, 95% in stainless steel and 5% in French oak.
The result is a delightful, refreshing wine. It is a pale yellow in the glass, with citrus and tropical fruit aromas. On the palate it is bright and lively, with a velvet smooth texture with fresh citrus and pineapple flavors. The finish is long and crisp. You could serve this wine with fish, shrimp, pasta with cream sauce, many kinds of cheese, or as an aperitif, which is how we enjoyed it.
It is perfect for a picnic or an informal event like Fire Pit Jazz because the bottle has a twist off cap.
I hope Whole Foods does this again. It’s an inexpensive evening with a lot of enjoyment. Check out their online calendar to find out when the next wine tasting event will be.
Author Dennis Sodomka