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Recession Busters for November

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Recession Busters r r rExceptional  r rExcellent rVery Good Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Here are my monthly Recession Busters recommendations of wines costing $15 or less that offer great value. There are some unusual wines here that should interest adventurous palates.

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Vignoble Poiron-Dabin Pinot Gris Tradition 2010

★★

Val de Loire, France, $12

This is an unusual wine: Pinot gris is rarely grown in the Loire Valley. It is also the reddest of the white grapes, and this wine evidently was left on its skins longer than usual, giving it a deep amber color. It resembles pinot gris from Alsace, at a fraction of the price. I recommend decanting the well-chilled wine 30 minutes before your Thanksgiving dinner to give the flavors a chance to develop.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Arundel Mills Wine & Spirits and Preserve Wine & Spirits in Hanover; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Chesapeake Wine Co., Mt. Washington Wine Co. and Wine Market in Baltimore; College Square Liquors and Cranberry Liquors in Westminster; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Midway Discount Liquors in Joppa; Quench! Beer-Wine-Deli in Colesville; State Line Liquors in Elkton. Available in Virginia at the Wine Cellar in Middleburg.

La Maia Lina Chianti 2008

Tuscany, Italy, $12

Rich and modern in style, this is a terrific little Chianti for the price. It is versatile with food: suitable for pasta, or burgers and sausages off the grill.

Bacchus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s, World Market; on the list at Ripple, Tryst. Available in Maryland at Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Roland Park Wine & Liquors, Spirits of Mt. Vernon and Trinacria Macaroni Works in Baltimore; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits; I.M. Wine in Fulton; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington.

Heredad Penalosa Verdejo 2010

★ 1/2

Rueda, Spain, $14

This crisp, intriguing white is from a year-old local import company, Spanish Wine Importers, with a small but well-selected portfolio of family owned wineries. This wine offers grassy, citrus flavors and a sleek, mineral texture. It is nice by itself or with casual appetizers and tapas.

Lanterna in the District and Maryland. Available in Maryland at Jim’s BottleWorks in Bel Air, the Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at Bistro Blanc in Glenelg. The Spanish Importers in Virginia: Available at Arrowine and Westover Market in Arlington; Ashburn Wine Shop; Cheesetique, Fern Street Gourmet and Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria; Cork & Fork in Gainesville; Leesburg Vintner; Maison du Vin in Great Falls; Red, White & Bleu in Falls Church; Vienna Vintner; the Wine House in Fairfax; WineStyles of Montclair in Woodbridge. On the list at Coyote Grill in Fairfax; Front Page, Northside Social and Restaurant Three in Arlington; Vermilion in Alexandria.

Chateau Saint Cosme Little James’ Basket Press

★ 1/2

Rhone, France, $13

Simple yet tasty, this red is produced by one of the best wineries in Gigondas, in the Rhone Valley. It is non-vintage, made entirely with grenache from young vines throughout the region. For this bottling, winemaker Louis Barruol mixed juice from 2010 with juice from a solera (blend) he began in 1999, topping it off each year. The result is a young, exuberant wine with a patina of age and complexity.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Wagshal’s Market; on the list at Cedar Crossing. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Beer & Wine in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Out of Site Wines in Vienna.

Falernia Pedro Ximenez 2010

★ 1/2

Elqui Valley, Chile, $10

Two native grapehis is another quirky wine, as Pedro Ximenez, or PX to its fans, is primarily used in sherry, and usually in sweet sherry. This dry version should appeal to lovers of chenin blanc, as it offers similar apple and pear flavors. Nice for casual sipping and light appetizers.

Bacchus in the District and Maryland: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork Market & Tasting Room, Marvelous Market on Capitol Hill, Rodman’s; on the list at Agora, Birch & Barley. Available in Maryland at Spirits of Mt. Vernon in Baltimore; on the list at Lemongrass and Lemongrass Too in Annapolis. Virginia Imports and Robins Cellars in Virginia: Available at Arrowine in Arlington, Oakton Wine Shop.

Skouras White Roditis-Moscofilero 2010

★ 1/2

Peleponnese, Greece, $12

Two native grapes of Greece make up this refreshing blend, with roditis contributing acidity and structure while the moscofilero adds an exotic fruit note. Nice on its own and ideal for lighter, slightly spicy seafood dishes.

Constantine in the District and Maryland: Available in the District at Broad Branch Market, Circle Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s; on the list at Mourayo. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Grand Cru, North Charles Fine Wine & Spirits, Wells Discount Liquors and the Wine Source in Baltimore; Decanter Fine Wines and Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Olney Beer & Fine Wine and Roots Market in Olney; Victoria’s Fancy Foods in Severna Park; Waugh Chapel Wine & Spirits in Gambrills. Dionysus in Virginia: Available at Au Domaine in Alexandria; Aphrodite Greek Market in Falls Church; Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Warrenton; Wegmans in Gainesville, Leesburg and Woodbridge.

Falernia Pedro Ximenez 2010

★ 1/2

Elqui Valley, Chile, $10

This is another quirky wine, as Pedro Ximenez, or PX to its fans, is primarily used in sherry, and usually in sweet sherry. This dry version should appeal to lovers of chenin blanc, as it offers similar apple and pear flavors. Nice for casual sipping and light appetizers. Bacchus in the District and Maryland: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork Market & Tasting Room, Marvelous Market on Capitol Hill, Rodman’s; on the list at Agora, Birch & Barley. Available in Maryland at Spirits of Mt. Vernon in Baltimore; on the list at Lemongrass and Lemongrass Too in Annapolis. Virginia Imports and Robins Cellars in Virginia: Available at Arrowine in Arlington, Oakton Wine Shop.

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