Wine Time

Wine of the Week: Sally Swiss of Whole Foods Market

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration. Who are we kidding? It's a time for long grocery lines, crazed holiday drivers, and indigestion. With the help of Sally Swiss of Whole Foods on Kirby, at least buying the wine can be easy.

Swiss has been with Whole Foods for 16 years, and three of those have been in the wine department. Wine isn't only her job -- it's her passion, and she knows a lot about it. Swiss is currently studying for a sommelier accreditation from the International Sommelier Guild. On Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m., she holds wine tastings at Whole Foods to help you learn about wine, too.

Yesterday, all we wanted to know was what to do about Thanksgiving. With so many different dishes and desserts, you need an expert like Swiss to help you find a good wine. Swiss's favorites right now are the Cotes du Rhone wines for both red and white. "You need a sweeter wine for Thanksgiving to pair with all the rich food." She suggests the Rasteau Cotes du Rhone for red and the Belleruche Cotes du Rhone for white. At $11.99 a bottle, you can buy plenty to get you through the Thanksgiving nightmare. I mean holiday.

Swiss's other favorite is the King Estate Pinot Gris from Oregon. Don't confuse this with a Pinot Grigio. The Pinot Gris has more fruit than the more acidic Pinot Grigio. Even if you aren't a wine drinker, Swiss has some recommendations that may change your mind.

If you have the patience to attack Whole Foods the day before Thanksgiving, Swiss will help you with your last-minute wine needs, too. And don't worry: Whole Foods has plenty of wine tastings to keep you from having a nervous breakdown.

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Jane Catherine Collins