Note: So, as the new trend in naming swanky places in Chicago appears to involve shortening and juxtaposition (e.g. RiNo, NoMi, etc), I'm going to go ahead and call Whole Foods off of North Ave "WhoFoNo" so that I can type 7 letters instead of 17. Now onto the important stuff...
Last Thursday was a wonderful day. After a 7-week stint of not seeing each other (that is a really, really long time for us), my mom and I reunited for the afternoon. We originally had grand plans of making it to Lincoln Park Zoo and shopping on Armitage after a quick wine tasting at WhoFoNo, but somehow ended up lingering in the grandest of all grocery stores for just over 3 hours. If you've been to WhoFoNo then you can understand why passing several hours of time there is so easy; there's a sushi restaurant, wine and cheese tastings, a bar, a coffee shop -- the list goes on. If you haven't been to WhoFoNo, get yourself there.
After winding through the produce area and grabbing a few necessities, we strolled over to the wine and cheese counter and perused the offerings. My mom decided on one of the white wine flights, and I chose the sparkling flight. As wine + cheese = true happiness, we also ordered the Springtime Goat's Cheese plate.
The sparkling flight I chose consisted of Col Vetoraz Brut Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, and Bodegas Alma Negra Sparkling Rosé (yowsa, say that even 2 times fast and you'll impress people). Unfortunately, the Valdobbiadene's flavor did not live up to the length of its name; it had a rich, peachy-fruitiness up front, but fell short on its ability to linger and entice in the long run. The Veuve Clicquot was awesomely tasty, but that is to be expected. Last but not least, the sparkling rosé was dry, clean, and fruity; just the way I like a sparkling. Its affordable price ($16.99) combined with its refreshing fizz allowed the rosé to win my heart and surpass the other two wines with ease.
The Springtime Goat's Cheese plate consisted of a Humboldt Fog and an Old Kentucky Tomme goat's cheese, fig spread, a few slices of red apple, and tiny toast. These toasts were tiny enough to make you wonder if you might take a bite, shrink down Alice in Wonderland style, and end up hanging out with a large, slow-speaking caterpillar who's taken a few too many hits from the hookah. Okay, slight exaggeration, but the tiny toasts deserved a bit more than an honorable mention.
The Humboldt Fog, a cheese so happy and delicious it must have come from California goats, has ribbons of vegetable ash streaming throughout (similar to my dear friend, Sofia). Humboldt fog can be expertly paired with either sweet or savory foods (e.g. fruits, nuts, mushrooms, veggies, etc.) and a crisp white wine. The Old Kentucky Tomme -- don't let the name fool you, this little guy is from Indiana -- comes from the makers of Sofia (i.e. Capriole) and has a zippy sharpness that sets itself apart from your usual goat's cheese. Pair it with olive tapenades, grilled apples or onions, and a soft red wine, and you will be a happier person than you already are. Moral of this post: go to WhoFoNo to please your taste buds, relax your mind via wine flight, and pickup some of your favorite organic necessities.