5 wines that pair exceptionally well with food

Recommendations

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Here are five delicious wines to drink any way you like, though I especially recommend them with food.

VIENNA, VA, JANUARY 9, 2013: Winter salad of shaved cucumber, radish and endive with lemon vinaigrette. Dishware courtesy of Crate & Barrel. (Photo by ASTRID RIECKEN For The Washington Post)

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Mullineux 2012

★ ★ ★

Swartland, South Africa, $28

This rich, unctuous blend of chenin blanc, clairette blanche and viognier is fragrant with peach blossom and honeysuckle, followed by ripe tree fruit flavors over a mineral core that somehow keeps it in (soft) focus. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.

Kysela: Available in the District at Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, P&C Market, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown. Available in Virginia at Forlano’s Market in The Plains, Out of Site Wines in Vienna, Unwined (Alexandria).

A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2012/2013

★ ★ 1 / 2

Swartland, South Africa, $16

Chenin blanc, sometimes called steen, is South Africa’s main white wine grape. This example is racy and pure, with an energy that is almost as revitalizing as a shot of espresso. The 2013 is the current vintage, but some 2012 may still be on retail shelves; don’t hesitate to try the latter, as the time in bottle has allowed it to calm down somewhat. From the Broadbent Selections portfolio. (Secateurs are the shears used by vineyard workers to cut grape clusters from the vine.) ABV: 13 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, Cork & Fork, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, DCanter, Dean & DeLuca, Lion’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Georgetowne Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Wine Cabinet in Reston.

Calmel & JJoseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2012

★ ★

Languedoc, France, $13

This négociant label specializes in fine wines from the south of France at value prices. The chardonnay is rich with ripe apple and pear flavors and just a hint of funky oxidation to give it a Burgundy sensibility. ABV: 13 percent.

Margaux & Co.: Available in Virginia at the Clifton Wine Shop, Grape+Bean in Alexandria, Tastings and Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Wine Cabinet in Reston.

Concannon Select Vineyards Petite Sirah 2011

1 / 2

Central Coast, Calif., $8 to $10

Concannon, based in the Livermore Valley, is a consistently reliable producer of good, inexpensive California wine. Concannon produces a second petite sirah called Conservancy, which costs a few dollars more and is in wider distribution. ABV: 13.5 percent.

RNDC in the District: Available at Rodman’s and various locations of Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s. Select in Virginia: Available at various locations of Total Wine & More and Trader Joe’s; on the list at Paramount Cafe in Arlington.

Henry Fessy Château des Reyssiers Régnié 2011

1 / 2

Beaujolais, France, $13

I’m a big fan of Beaujolais for its fruity, fun style of red wine that lifts my spirits without demanding my attention. Here’s a great “house red” for sipping or dining. ABV: 13 percent.

M Touton: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Well’s Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; the Bottle Shop and Wine Harvest in Potomac; Edgewater Liquors; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick.

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