From the Blog

Our Top Ten Summer Wines

New Pioneer Food Co-op June 21

Our wine buyers taste every single wine, bringing only the  finest bottles to our shelves – no matter the price.

Our tasting group rounds up the cream of the crop for a Top Ten every other month, writing thoughtful descriptions of each so you're sure to take home a winner for your unique palate.

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Valdelacasa Toro 2017, Spain

Dry-farmed, hand-harvested, and vinified with native yeasts, 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo). Spends 8 months in French Oak. On the nose, black and red berry fruit and tobacco. Shows great concentration and texture with mature tannins. 

– Mercedes, New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead


Tsiakkas Xynisteri Pelendri Village, Lemesos, Cyprus

The pronunciation of this crisp white, Xynisteri is “sin ehs steer eh”, but you can just call it “The Bunny Wine” (we do!). Born in the land of wild weather and volcanoes, the Xynisteri grape produces wines with pronounced notes of mineral thanks to the limestone terrior, with lemony acidity and a hint of nuttiness. Plenty of fruit (apricot, peach) balance out the citrus notes, making this a great pre-dinner sipper on the patio. If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc or Gruner Veltliner, you’ll love The Bunny Wine! 

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese


Christina Rosé 2020, Austria

Welcome to the “natural wine” world of Austria. Winemaker Christina fell in love with wine production at a young age growing up on her parents' mixed farm. After attending enology school and working for an importer in England for several years she returned home and switched the farm to 100% organic agriculture in 2013.  Her Rosé, like all her wines, is handcrafted, unrefined, and unfiltered. The palate is rich, weighty and very rounded.  Absolutely gulpable with an unmistakable Austrian character (think Grüner Veltliner).

– Mercedes, New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead


Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a perpetual best seller at New Pi. Nautilus is an exciting addition to our shelves.  Full of lime zest, passionfruit, and elderflower, it’s big on flavor and texture. It’s crunchy (minerality) and creamy (kept on the lees for five months) all at the same time, making it a mouthwatering choice for grilled fish, pesto pasta, fried goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms-anything that you’d squeeze a lemon on.

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese


Thymiopoulos Vineyards Terra Petra, Rapsani, Greece

Grown biodynamically on the slopes of Mt. Olympus, this blend of Xinomavro, Krassato, and Stavroto is harvested and co-fermented resulting in this uniquely savory wine.  Deep in color and flavor, with a pronounced earthiness, the red fruit shines through and is lifted by floral notes in the nose. Terra Petra has a super long finish, making it a wonderful choice when serving richer dishes, spicy sauces, and aged cheeses.

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese

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McPrice Meyers Right Hand Man Syrah.  Paso Robles CA

Not many people look for or buy Syrah, compared to other varietals. Why? No idea. This Syrah is a bursting with plum, roasted meat, coffee, violets, and chocolate, with velvety tannins. It’s absolutely stunning and deserves a place in red wine lover’s hearts. No joke.

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese


Willful Pinot Blanc 2020, Oregon

Pam Walden, winemaker and owner of Willfull Wines, gets raving reviews from the press all the time. Her winemaking skills consistently produce exciting wines that express the best Oregon has to offer. Her elegant 2020 Pinot Blanc offers a mouthful of stone fruit flavors, great acidity and a dry, long, lingering finish.

– Mercedes, New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead


Benton Lane Pinot Noir 2017, Oregon

This is a great Pinot Noir with some years in the bottle. It opens with aromas of smoky cedar and flowers. The palate is rich with black cherry flavors, a slight hint of black licorice and candied fruit sweetness. Benton Lane combines biodynamic, organic and sustainable agriculture to care for their vineyards and their surroundings including tilling cover crops into the ground and avoiding any use of harsh chemicals that may harm the agricultural environment.

– Mercedes, New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead

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The Pale Rose by Sacha Lichine Provence France

From the creator of the iconic “Whispering Angel” Rosé comes this stylish bottle from Provence. The label, meant to resemble art from The New Yorker in the 1920’s, and the name, taken from the English term of endearment for rose (“Anyone for a glass of the Pale”?) evoke romance and sophistication. 

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese


Pillars of Hercules Red Blend Dunnigan Hills, CA

Strong. Muscular. Massive. If something lathered in tangy sweet BBQ sauce is on the menu, reach for this brute.  From Matchbook Cellars, this blend of Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot, and Teroldego is bursting at the seams with blue fruit, chocolate, spice, sweet oak, and plenty of tannin. If you’re a fan of in-your-face-reds, don’t miss this one!

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese

New Pioneer Food Co-op About the Author

New Pioneer Food Co-op

New Pi is a food co-operative, owned by over 35,000 members, home-grown in Iowa. We welcome everyone to our store, regardless of membership, and focus on local and sustainable food solutions. New Pi has strong roots in Iowa City’s local food community, and continues to partner with local growers, food, and sustainability organizations to enrich Linn and Johnson County communities.