Umbria, Italy, $18
This delightful blend of several grapes offers an orchard of ripe fruit flavors, with a hint of almonds on the finish. Don’t serve it cold enough to mask them. The distributor is moving to the 2012 vintage; if you can find the 2011, it benefits from the additional bottle age, while the 2012 is fresher and will reward waiting until spring. Alcohol content: 13.5 percent.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Pearl Dive. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at Assaggi Mozzarella Bar in Bethesda.
Nasiakos Moschofilero Mantinia 2012
Peloponnese, Greece, $19
Bright and flowery, it has ripe tree-fruit flavors that taste of the sun and a nice mineral core that roots it to the Earth. Every sip evokes a smile. Alcohol content: 12 percent.
Nickolas Imports in the District: On the list at Kellari, Zaytinya. Reliable Churchill in Maryland: Available at Total Wine & More (Laurel); on the list at Ikaros, Kali’s Court Mezze and Ouzo Bay in Baltimore, and Myconos in Rockville. Select Wines in Virginia: Available at various Total Wine & More locations; on the list at Nostos in Vienna, Taverna Cretekou in Alexandria.
Château Grande Cassagne Rosé 2012
Costières de Nimes, France, $11
What a delightful wine to sip away the final days of summer. This vibrant rosé offers strawberry and watermelon flavors, with a hint of Provencal herbs. At least I think it did; I sucked it down so fast, I almost forgot to take notes. Alcohol content: 13 percent.
Kacher/Charmer-Sunbelt: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Safeway (Georgetown), and Whole Foods Market (P Street). Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Cranberry Liquors in Westminster, Edgewater Liquors, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore.
Philippe Portier Quincy 2012
Loire Valley, France, $20
Quincy (CAN-see) is a minor appellation in the Loire Valley that specializes in sauvignon blanc. At its best, as here, it shows minerals, but with less intensity than the more famous Loire savvies from Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. Look for delicacy, not power, and serve this with simpler foods, such as a light lunch salad. Or by itself. Alcohol content: 13 percent.
Kacher/Charmer-Sunbelt: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Safeway (Georgetown), Whole Foods Market (P Street). Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Cranberry Liquors in Westminster, Edgewater Liquors, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore.
Cantina di Gambellara i Basalti Soave 2012
Veneto, Italy, $10
Here’s a delicious wine to start your evening: crisp, refreshing, delightful without being intrusive, and ideal for light appetizers and antipasti. The grape is garganega, if you’re keeping track. Alcohol content: 11.5 percent.
Kysela: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Fresh & Green’s, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler, Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Grapevine in Warrenton, Merry Moo Market in Flint Hill, Once Upon a Vine in Richmond, Virginia Wine Experience in Fredericksburg, Wine Made Simple in Charlottesville.