Wine: 4 bargain bottles for summer sipping

Columnist August 29, 2014
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 sold at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Dave McIntyre is the wine columnist for The Washington Post. He also blogs at dmwineline.com. View Archive

As summer begins its transition to fall, here are some mid-weight wines to sustain you through twilight grilling sessions.


Verona Merlot & Corvina 2012. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Evolucio Furmint 2013. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
Verona Merlot & Corvina 2012

★ ★ 1 / 2

Veneto, Italy, $10

This might be the best $10 red wine I’ve tasted all year. It’s a blend of the familiar merlot with corvina, the Italian grape variety best known for Valpolicella and Amarone. Nothing complex or profound here, just well-made, savory juice ideal for the casual meals we have five or six nights a week. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Siema: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, on the list at Al Tiramisu. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Gemelli’s Italian Market and Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in Gaithersburg, Highland Wine & Spirits, I.M. Wine in Fulton, Mom’s Organic Market in Rockville, Roots Market in Olney, Spin the Bottle Wine Co. in Frederick, the Wine Bin in Ellicott City; on the list at Agrodolce in Germantown, Amici Miei in Potomac, Pistarro’s in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Grapevine and Town Duck in Warrenton, Planet Wine & Gourmet and Mom’s Organic Market in Alexandria, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market (Tyson’s Corner); on the list at Busboys and Poets in Arlington, Papa Tony’s Trattoria in Ashburn, Trattoria Villagio in Clifton.

Evolucio Furmint 2013

★ ★

Tokaj, Hungary, $13

Furmint is a high-acid white grape variety native to Hungary. In its dry versions, as here, it is citrusy and refreshing, with an exotic-fruit quality that sings with lighter seafood dishes or appetizers. Stock up on this one, and test its versatility. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Siema: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, DCanter, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits, Highland Wine & Spirits, I.M. Wine in Fulton, Old Town Market in Kensington, Rodman’s (White Flint), Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Altura Wine & Gourmet, Balducci’s and Unwined in Alexandria; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; D’Vine Wines in Winchester; Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond; Little Washington Winery Tasting Room; Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna; the Swiss Bakery (Springfield); Town Duck in Warrenton; Vinosity in Culpeper; Wine Cabinet in Reston. On the list at One Block West in Winchester.


Petit Clos by Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2013. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

De Meye Little River Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
Petit Clos by Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2013

★ ★

Marlborough, New Zealand, $17

Henri Bourgeois is a major producer of Sancerre in the Loire Valley, the spiritual home of sauvignon blanc. This is the winery’s effort to bring a French sensibility to New Zealand, which captured the world’s attention with its racy style of sauvignon blanc in the 1990s. One could try to parse the Old World-New World comparison, but why not just enjoy a well-made wine that reflects the character of the grape and the place where it’s grown? ABV: 14.1 percent.

M Touton: Available in the District at Barrel House Liquors, Batch 13, Bloomingdale Liquor, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Bin 1301, BlackSalt. Available in Maryland at Chesapeake Wine Co. and Red Fish Liquors in Baltimore, Jason’s Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg). Available in Virginia at Basic Necessities in Nellysford, Chain Bridge Cellars and the Vineyard in McLean, Merrifield Wine & Beer; on the list at 2941 in Falls Church, Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, Willow in Arlington.

De Meye Little River Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

★ ★

South Africa, $12

South Africa has always been strong with its white wines, but its reds have been uneven. This inexpensive cabernet is excellent for the price, with rich dark-fruit flavors and impeccable balance. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Boutique Vineyards: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville, Friendship Gourmet Market in Chevy Chase, Grand Cru and Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria), and Ashburn Wine Shop.

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