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Summer Wine Tasting with a Master Sommelier

Summer is for sipping great wine, and we've got something you won't find anywhere else: detailed tasting notes from a renowned expert on 6 totally-within-reach bottles.

I recently sat down with Devon Broglie, Master Sommelier and Associate Beverage Buyer for Whole Foods Market®, to sip, swirl and sample six of our Summer Top 10 wine picks.

While the oenological adjectives and wine region descriptors were fascinating, I also experienced something much more satisfying — stories, memories and a sense of connection. As Devon put it, “A good wine should have its own story, but it should evoke stories in you, too. The fun in tasting wines is the connection to memories.”

First was the Deccolio Prosecco — Devon likes to start with bubbles.

DB: Lively effervescence, tart, creamy. Juicy peaches. A great picnic wine. Take to a park or the little league game. Perfect for the twilight before a late dinner, for those in-between moments.

We moved on to El Perro Verde’s Rueda — this white wine grape is one of Devon’s favorites.

DB: Grapefruit, lemon-lime soda, intense floral/herbal component. Like a bite into a sprig of fresh thyme – eye-opening and aromatic. The fresh dew on a morning putting green or a grass tennis court as a kid. This takes me there.

Next was the Chenin-Chardonnay from Innovación, a luscious Argentine White.

DB: Mmm…this just calls out for food! Green apple, pear, a baked component from the Chenin Blanc. I love the fruit but this wine also displays great balance and a subtle, chalky minerality that adds depth and intrigue. Perhaps it’s the cool mountain water filtering down from the peaks of the nearby Andes that adds that extra special something.

Flor de Campo Pinot Noir from Sanford in Santa Barbara County.

DB: Ripe, juicy, creamy vanilla from the oak influence — this is a quintessential California pinot noir. When I was 23, choosing wines for my first restaurant, Sanford was one of my first solo picks for our wine list. They were making great wines well before I ever started drinking and they still are.

The Barbera from Montevina, a winery in California, was distinctly Old-World. Devon explains:

DB: It’s rare and exciting when we get such a lovely example of an Italian grape made in California. New World wines tend to accentuate fruit and Old World wines tend to accentuate spice and acid. Taste that ripe red cherry? Clove and black pepper? Also, notice the mouthwatering acidity and freshness? This wine is full and lush without being bitter and tannic. Italian-American. Like me!

The Mas Picosa, a Red from Capçanes Montsant in Spain, brought back memories.

DB: Nice structure and body here. The main grape, garnacha, will produce higher alcohol content but retain aromatics — it won’t get “hot.” I lived 10 miles away from the winery in Capçanes when I was younger and more adventurous. Still have a small house there in a town called Gratallops — Cátalan for “scratching wolves.” There’s an old statue of wolves in the town square.

We talked quite a bit more as we re-tried the wines, spurring more conversation, more memories and, for Devon, what it’s all about — more connections.

Don’t miss our Twitter tasting with Devon on June 26, 7-8 pm! Here’s how to participate in a Twitter wine tasting.

What stories have emanated from your wine glass lately? Connect with us in the comment section below.