★★★Exceptional ★★Excellent ★Very Good
Prices are approximate, and the wines listed below may be available at additional locations. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a wine store to order through a distributor.
Cotes du Roussillon Villages, France $11
This organic blend of grenache, syrah and carignan shows southern France at its finest: a value-priced red wine that tastes like it came from somewhere. In this case, somewhere is the Mediterranean coast of France, but not the glittery beaches of Provence; rather the wild, rough-and-tumble coast closer to Spain.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, D’Vines, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Market, Whole Foods Market (Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Wine Cellar in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at La Fromagerie in Alexandria, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Vienna).
Wagram, Austria, $11 (1 liter)
Paul Direder is only 23, but for the past few years he has produced this consistently good example of Austria’s signature white wine. It is crisp, citrusy and refreshing, and with the liter-size bottle (a third more than the standard 750 ml), a terrific value.
Prestige in the District and Maryland, Select in Virginia: Available in the District at Arrowine, Calvert Woodley, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market locations. Available in Maryland at DiWine Spirits in Pikesville; Eddie’s of Mount Vernon in Baltimore; North Ridge Wine & Spirits, Pine Orchard Wine and Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Market Basket in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Clifton Wine Shop, Leesburg Vintner, Oakton Wine Shop, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), and various locations of Wegmans and Whole Foods Market; on the list at Elephant Jumps in Falls Church, Euro Bistro in Herndon, Hooked Seafood & Sushi in Herndon, Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Falls Church and Vienna.
★ 1 / 2
Valencia, Spain, $13
Spain makes a boatload of garnacha, typically in a juicy, gulpable style. This one is a bit more refined, with enough acidity and structure to impress wine geeks who want even their inexpensive wines to be more than just tasty. From a new local distributor.
National Beverage Brokers: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda, Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Frederick Wine House, Kingsview Beer & Wine in Germantown, Roots Market in Olney.
★ 1 / 2
Rhone Valley, France, $9
Most French rosés now cost $10 to $15, if not higher. This little charmer is a perfect quaffer. Buy it by the case and don’t hesitate to open a second bottle. The first will disappear quickly.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer, and Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Glenwood Wine & Spirits; Old Farm Liquors and Village Mart Beer & Wine in Frederick; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Quench! Beer-Wine-Deli in Colesville; Rodman’s in White Flint; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Total Discount Liquors in Eldersburg; Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Cork & Fork in Gainesville; Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington; C’ville Market and Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville; D’Vine Wines in Winchester; the Vineyard in McLean; Vienna Vintner.
★ 1 / 2
Evia, Greece, $11
This unusual blend of viognier and assyrtiko, a traditional Greek white variety, should appeal to fans of Virginia viognier. It has the familiar character of peach blossom and jasmine, while the assyrtiko adds acidity and freshness, and a small percentage of muscat adds sweet fruitiness. The label says “dry white wine,” but I’d put this down as off-dry, nice for zestier dishes or Asian cuisines.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Zaytinya. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Wine Cellars of Annapolis, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Frenchman’s Cellar in Culpeper; Market Street Wineshop, Tastings, and Wine Guild in Charlottesville; Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).