There’s nothing cheap at Whole Foods, right?  In fact, Whole Foods’ wine prices (motto: “Why pay less?”) are notoriously higher than anywhere else.  That being said, I do a lot of my food shopping there even if I tend to forgo the wines.

However, yesterday while moseying through WF and spending way more than I planned – my $6.00 budget turned into a $50.00 spree – I happened upon the fridge section that was near the cheese display.  This is the Whole Foods on Charleston Avenue, by the way.  I looked at the wines there and was very surprised to see that on the shelf was a Rosé for only $7.99.  From France.  Vin du Pays D’Oc.  Okay, so it’s more or less winter and way past Rosé season, but what could I do?  I couldn’t just leave it!

Since I had already spent too much money, I figured it was worth the gamble.

2011 Madame Fleur Rosé wine is a wine under the Whole Foods 365 label.  It only makes sense, considering their size.  After all, Costco and Trader Joe’s both have their own wine labels; Costco’s wine label is Kirkland, and Trader Joe’s is, well, Trader Joe’s!  Both labels offer good – sometimes excellent – quality wine at economical prices.  Indeed, sometimes the quality really surprises me.

Well, I’m spoiled when it comes to Rosé.  I have a Curran Grenache Rosé, a Terry Hoage Rosé, and a Hug Cellars XOXO Rosé.  All high end, all delicious.  I also have a Martin Ray Rosé, as well.  All of my Rosés are of good quality and easy drinkers.

In a bottle vaguely reminiscent of Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Rosés, the Whole Foods wine is a nice drinker, and at 12% alcohol, is also an easy drinker if you have plans for the evening.  I had a couple of glasses with some bagged Spring Mix salad, and it made for a yummy dinner reminiscent of the summer.

Its fragrance is what you’d expect from a Rosé, a bit of mineral, watermelon, and fresh cherry.  On the palate, it’s pretty much a one-note wine. It has a few characteristics of an American Sauvignon Blanc with a little watermelon and white pepper thrown in.  As one would expect from an Old World wine, it does have a minerally finish.  All in all it’s not a bad wine, and for $7.99, it would be a great summer drinker.  In fact, I may pick up a few more bottles just because it’s not bad and drinks easily without any ill effects due to the low alcohol content (i.e., drink Paso Robles Zin, hold on to the floor to keep from falling off).

So next time you happen to be in Whole Foods, mosey past the refrigerated wine section and check out the Rosé.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

Oh, by the way.  This is a wine that must be drunk cold.  When it warms up, it loses its character and becomes a little flabby.  So keep it cold and crisp, drink it with some wonderful white fish or seafood, and enjoy it for its simplicity.

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