Glasses of Wine

With countless varieties of wine and even more foods to pair with them, we know it can be an overwhelming task. We spoke with Patrick Maulfair, the Category Manager responsible for our wines, to get an inside look and explanation on his expert choices for this season.

Here is what Patrick had to say about our new Expert’s Choice wine program.Our Experts Choice

My biggest thing with Expert’s Choice wines is that wine should be fun! Wine should be enjoyed with whatever food that YOU feel it tastes good with. If you want to drink Cabernet Sauvignon with your shrimp cocktail, then get a good bottle of cab and go for it! I have tried to pick recipes and pairings that I believe will enhance all the flavors both in the food as well as the wines. Get out there and explore different wines and recipes as well, but most the most important thing is, have a blast and don’t stress!  You will learn more by exploring more, talking to others and discussing the flavors, scents and tastes that you observe in every wine that you enjoy. All the wines that I have chosen can be paired with food and/or enjoyed on their own.

La Crema ChardonnayLa Crema Wine

The 100% Chardonnay grapes, 2016 La Crema Monterey Chardonnay is a perfect wine for holiday gatherings. This wine pairs well with appetizers, salads, main courses and even dessert. The apple and citrus on the nose leads into apricot, vanilla, green apple and a little bit of butter on the palate. Finishing with mild oak and a slight creaminess, this Chardonnay can be enjoyed with or without food pairings. These Party Hors d’Oeuvres  provide your guests three appetizers to choose from that pair great with this wine. Your Thanksgiving Day feast will be complete with a bottle of La Crema Chardonnay as the lighter buttery, oaky flavor will not overpower any of your foods, and will only enhance all the work you put into your meal. A piece of warm Publix award-winning apple pie will enhance the apple, vanilla and buttery notes in the wine capping off a wonderful evening with family and friends.

Hess Allomi CabernetHess Wine

I chose the 2015 Hess Collection Allomi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for you to enjoy during your holiday gatherings. This single vineyard cabernet that pairs well with a spiced Cranberry Meatball or with a Fig and Brie on Asian Pear Crostini. The blackberry, raspberry, spice and milk chocolate on the nose lead to a fruit forward Cabernet finishing up with a hint of vanilla and smoke. The young, powerful tannins give this Cabernet structure to stand up to your Molasses and Black Pepper-Crusted Rib Roast for the main course. The “round, plush mouthfeel” as noted by the winemaker also pairs this perfectly with the Publix Chocolate Ganache Supreme Decadent Cake. We suggest decanting and allowing the bottle to breathe for at least an hour.

Imagery Pinot NoirImagery Wine

Having visited the Imagery Estate Winery and purchasing some of their winery exclusive wines, I was extremely excited when the father/daughter team of Joe and Jamie Benziger announced they were producing a wine that we could purchase at Publix. This entire line is amazing, but I chose the 2016 Imagery California Pinot Noir to feature. The rich red fruits notes of caramel lead to a smooth and balanced mouthfeel, making this a perfect pairing with Artichokes Casino. Jammy berries and cherry finished off with silky smooth tannins complete this Pinot Noir. Pairing Imagery with an Herb Salmon with Cherry Relish and Cherry Apple Salad will only accentuate the flavors in the wine and the salmon. You can’t beat this Pinot and your Thanksgiving dinner as well!

Santa Margherita Pinot GrigioSanta Margarita Wine

What better pairing can you make than a charcuterie tray featuring Publix Deli Imported Spanish Manchego Cheese, Mild Hoop Cheddar Cheese, Imported Dutch Aged Gouda Cheese, olives, meats and a glass of 2016 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio? With a floral note, hints of citrus and a crisp, dry finish, this Pinot Grigio will pair well with your appetizers, seafood meals and even desserts. The light herbal minerality of the wine allows this to be paired with most seafood dishes, such as our Cacio e Pepper Pasta with Sea Scallops as well as a an Italian favorite with a twist, Cannoli Cones.


Drink responsibly, Be 21.

We want to thank Patrick for sharing his expertise!

11_MB_WineBlogger_PatrickMaulfairAbout Patrick

Patrick has an extensive background in high-end fine dining, which is where he found his passion for wine. He started at Publix 14 years ago as a stock clerk and is now our Wine Category Manager. He has visited numerous wineries, gone through training from dirt to bottle and blended wines that rival some of the best. His love for wine continues to grow. California remains his go-to wine region. 


2 Comments on “Experts Choice Wine for the Holiday Season

  1. Thomas Anderson

    Very nice blog! Should provide your customers a great way to learn about new and different wines and provide them with great information on shopping wine at Publix. Keep them coming and look forward to the next addition!

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