Sunday, February 28, 2010

Whole Foods Market and RAOs celebrates the launch of RAOs wines with a winemaker dinner

Whole Foods Market has changed the way many Americans live by providing fresh organic , sustainable food and many other products.

Founded in Austin Texas in 1980, Whole foods today can be found in 38 states and the UK with over 280 stores. In addition , Whole Foods has been named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America every year since the list’s inception 12 years ago, ranking number 22 in 2009.

Whole Foods is always "out in front " providing many different events for their customers. On any given day one can stroll through their local store and have the opportunity to sample , cheeses , salsa , beer , wine and many of the other products they provide. We have been to many winemaker dinners over the years but never have we attended a winemaker dinner in a "market " until now.

We have met Susan and Robert Summer from The Vineyard at Strawberry Ridge in the past. They have provided their wines to the famous Rao’s restaurants in New York and Las Vegas and on this occasion a launch of their wines in Whole Foods Market. Their wines are hand crafted and are sourced from prime estates in Napa and Sonoma County.
Frank Pellegrino Jr from the legendary Pellegrino family of RAOs was on hand as well to give the guests at this winemaker dinner a real exploration of these great wines.

The staff at Whole Foods market has always been very helpful but little did we know that many of them are so very talented. At this one of a kind dinner at the Whole Foods Market in Summerlin just outside of Las Vegas we discovered many hidden talents. Some of the team members are Chefs , Wine Experts and renowned Opera singers. The staff put all of their skills together to provide the guests with a wonderful evening.

Robert Summer explained how he and the Pellegrino family have worked very closely to provide high quality wines with the RAOs label to their very famous restaurants. He even surprised many of us with a barrel sample of his latest wine to take on the RAOs label , the 2009 Pinot Grigio.


Cesar Salad ,
crisp romaine with a creamy dressing topped with shaved Parmesano Reggiano

Artichoke Pesto Crostini ,
baby artichoke hearts , shallots , olive oil , Italian parsley and Parmesano Reggiano

RAOs 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay


Grilled Rosemary Lamb Italian Sausage
with tender asparagus


Parmesan Fettuccine
served two ways-choice of creamy alfredo with black pepper
RAOs signature Marinara

RAOs 2007 Napa Valley Merlot



Espresso chocolate covered almonds , shaved
chocolate and masscapone mousse

The wine parings were right on , with each wine paring nicely with each course. The last paring was the most interesting and provided a good contrast in flavors with the last course.

Robert Summer and Frank Pellegrino Jr were always gracious and provided the guests insight into the winemakeing and and an intimate look at RAOs and their own wine label. The team members of Whole Foods provided a real first class dining experience and for a few hours that evening got to show off many of their passions .

Join Elaine from VINO LAS VEGAS as she speaks with Whole Foods Market Speciality Manager Robert Davies about the RAOs wine and the Whole Food Market philosophy.

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott