Food & Wine

Exotic Wine Tasting Room at…Whole Foods?

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Several years ago the folks at my favorite Virginia winery told me about a Whole Foods in Fairfax with a tasting room where you could try 1 oz pours of high end stuff because they had the enomatic wine dispensers.

It was on “my list” for years, and yesterday I finally made it out there.
Whole Foods Fairlakes Enoteca tasting room
I’ve heard it can get packed with people, but 2PM on a Sunday afternoon we only had to share the room with two other people.
It’s located on the second floor at the back of the Fair Lakes Whole Foods in Fairfax, VA.You purchase your card at the register, and then walk around, tasting any of the 80 selections at will.
Whole Foods Fairlakes Enoteca Keri dispensing
Tastings start at $1.50 and can be as high as $30 depending out the pour and the quality.
Whole Foods Fairlakes Enoteca Keri Card Rose
I started with 2 oz pours ($1.50 ea) of some interesting roses priced at $14.99-$20.99 a bottle, then some Rieslings and Chardonnay ($2.50-$4 per 2 oz) before moving to the “Cellar Selections.”
Whole Foods Fairlakes Enoteca Cellar Selections
I tried a 2011 Chateneauf du Pape ($89.99) and a 2008 Bandol ($79.99) for $5 per 1 oz pour.
Then broke my heart that the slot for the 2003 Château d’Yquem, the dessert wine that made me love dessert wines, was empty. Priced at $200 per half bottle, I shudder to think how expensive a 1 oz pour would be, but still wanted to try it!
The empty slots in several of the cases was a downside. When I was given the initial orientation, the attendant told me that any bottles that displayed “Off” would take an hour or more to replace, and while we were there, 3 more bottles went off.
But this inconvenience was offset by the food options. I LOVED that you can bring your own food — whether you purchased it at the store or brought it from home. You can also order off a fairly extensive menu in the tasting room. Pretty cool!
Whole Foods Fairlakes Enoteca Cheese menu Whole Foods Fairlakes Enoteca Food menu
One of the most affordable high end wine tastings I’ve done, especially when you factor in the food options. Looks like Bar225 at the Whole Foods in Venice, CA also offers enomatic tastings, would love to know if there are other locations too!

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3 Comments

  1. antignos

    September 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I’m a bi wine drinking with a big cellar. You should never be buying wine from Whole foods. It’s over priced by at least 20% on every bottle. You can buy it at a wine store or regular grocery store for less every time.

    • Keri Anderson

      September 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I agree — I rarely if ever buy bottles of wine from Whole Foods. I love the chance to get to try pricey bottles by the glass though!

  2. ptahcha

    September 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    There’s a smaller setup inside the Whole Foods in Napa, with a live bartender instead of Enomatics. It’s also probably the only supermarket that has the cult wine Screaming Eagle in its wine selections for purchase (not for tasting).

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