Recession busters: Portuguese edition

Lagoalva "Espirito" Red, Fuzelo Vinho Verde and Aveleda Charamba. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This month's recommended wines from Dave McIntyre, priced at $13 and under, are all from Portugal. The country continues to offer wines of high quality at prices that can only be called cheap. Vinho verde, the crisp, citrusy white wine from the north, is especially welcome at this time of year.

Aveleda Charamba, 2007
* 1/2
Douro, Portugal, $7
(Great Value)

This is a terrific red wine for the price, with rich fruit flavor seasoned with fun. It's worthy of buying by the case as a summer house red, ideal with burgers or sausages on the grill.

Republic National: Available in the District at Burka's Wine & Liquor, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Magruder's, Pearson's, Rodman's, Sheffield Wine & Liquor, SuperFresh, Target Liquors.

Fuzelo Vinho Verde, 2009
* 1/2
Portugal, $8
(Great Value)

Vinho verde is a refreshing, crisp style of white wine from northern Portugal, ideal for warm-weather sipping and for washing down light snacks or seafood. The Fuzelo combines the tart acidity of this style with an appealing, zesty citrus flavor. This also is a case-worthy selection.

Dionysus: Available in the District at Whole Foods Market P Street. Available in Maryland at in Gaithersburg; on the list at Tavira in Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Daily Planet in Alexandria, Downtown Wine and Gourmet in Harrisonburg, J. Emerson Fine Wines and Cheese in Richmond, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market Tysons Corner.

Lagoalva "Espirito" Red, 2007
* 1/2
Tejo, Portugal, $13

This 50-50 blend of touriga nacional and castelao, two Portuguese grape varieties, is a light-bodied yet serious red wine, with dark fruit and smoky, earthy notes. The white, also called Espirito, is also quite good.

Winebow: Available in the District at Chats Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Pearson's.

100 Marias, 2006
Alentejo, Portugal, $10

From Aragones (one of several Portuguese names for tempranillo) and trincadeira, this spicy red has some portlike flavors, yet it is dry and refreshing.

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