Location: Whole Foods
Recommended Meal: Hosting with Friends
Perfect Pair: Seaside English Cheddar and Malbec
There is finally a light at the end of this long hot summer and the best season is upon us…FALL! The pumpkins are out, the weather is cooling down, and fall clothes are hitting all the stores. Whether it is for a football watch party, the Grey’s Anatomy or This Is Us premiere, or just a Saturday night, fall is the perfect time of year for hosting. We love spending nights at home with friends gathered around the table. There is just something so comfortable about being at home on the couch without the chaos of a crowded restaurant. This week we are taking you on a trip to another grocery store: Whole Foods. Some of you may be thinking… Don’t you mean whole paycheck? While we have heard that before, the purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon has made a huge difference in their prices and their deals!
This week our shopping list included: crackers, cheese, meats, fruit, nuts, and of course, wine! First stop: The Cracker Aisle. Wow they had a lot to choose from, but we chose a classic Garlic Water Cracker and a new staple, Tuscan Peasant Crackers. To be honest we didn’t really know what we were getting into, but let the labels do the talking. We had just finished dreaming about our next adventure abroad to Tuscany, so we were drawn towards any mention of Italy. We were definitely satisfied with our choices and would highly recommend them both.
Next Up: The Cheese Department. Whole Foods has a huge selection of cheeses from all over. You may think it is overwhelming with all the options and unfamiliar names, but we find it helpful to stick with cheeses that sound like something you’ve had before. We know that we like cheddar, goat, gouda, manchego, and gruyere, so while we may try new things we know a variation of those are safe bets. This time we picked Seaside English Cheddar, Drunken Goat, Spring Fever Gouda, and a Mimolette Isigny. The last one was for sure venturing into new territory but it did not disappoint. A great thing about Whole Foods is they have a bin in the cheese section that is smaller portions of cheese all for under $5. This is great for trying new things and not breaking the bank for the off chance you don’t enjoy it. We had a blast going through this bucket and picking out new things with no clue what we were getting into.
Last Stop: The Wine Section. We could spend hours wandering through wine aisles looking at all the different labels and wines from around the world. That’s the cool thing about wine…it comes from all kinds of different places and ends up in your neighborhood grocery store. It’s like you get to experience a piece of the world from your own living room. We are certainly not experts or sommeliers, but we are starting to recognize parts of the world that do our favorite wines well. This is making our dream travel list quite long. To pair with our cheeses, we picked a Malbec and a Cab. You can’t typically go wrong with either of these and they are easy to find in all price ranges. We picked the Crios Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina and really enjoyed it! The Cab was Chasing Lions and was equally as tasty. Wine shopping can be overwhelming, but at Whole Foods they have members of their staff pick their favorites and those are labeled which makes the decisions a little easier. We were able to stay under $15 for both bottles of wine which is typically our rule of thumb when hosting friends, but if you’re looking to splurge there are lots of good options to meet every budget!
Our cheese board was complete with mixed berries and some marcona almonds, the perfect supplements to cheese and crackers! Marcona almonds are pretty costly, but the perfect accompaniment and you really don’t need that many on your board. All of our recommendations (including the 2 bottles of wine) came in at $73 which is a little on the pricier side for us, but we had 5 people enjoying the goodies and there was enough leftover to make another complete board.
We hope you enjoyed this grocery store trip and it makes your next shopping outing a little easier! Have some friends over this weekend and give your own pairs a shot, who knows you may find a new favorite!
Peace & Pinot,
The Perfectly Paired Pals