Exceptional Excellent Very Good
Here are five affordably priced sparkling wines that will help you celebrate this holiday season, or turn any day festive throughout the year.
Limoux, in the southwest, is reputed to be the first French region where winemaking monks intentionally captured bubbles in their wine. While champagne commands the cachet, reputation and price of a luxury wine, the bubblies of Limoux often offer surprising value and quality. The Salasar bursts with ripe tropical fruit flavors that are carried by the bubbles to every taste bud in your mouth before slowly retreating, allowing you to appreciate the wine itself. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Chinatown Liquor, Eye Street Cellars, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Streets Market (14th Street); on the list at Addis Paris Cafe. Available in Maryland at Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Foundry Row Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills; Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon; Grand Cru and Mt. Washington Wine Co. in Baltimore; Honeygo Wine and Spirits in Perry Hall; Hop N Grape in North Bethesda; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; Rollins Beer-Wine-Deli in Rockville; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; on the list at Marie Louise Bistro in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Altura Wine & Gourmet, Department of Beer and Wine, Fern Street Gourmet, Streets Market and Grape + Bean (Old Town) in Alexandria; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Kelsick Specialty Market in Gloucester; on the list at Lyon Hall in Arlington.
Penedes, Spain, $16 for 750ml, $32 for 1.5 liters
This is a lovely cava with bright fruit flavors and a hint of chalky earth. It is also available in a 1.5-liter magnum (equivalent of two bottles) with a festive holiday package, so keep this in mind for adding some affordable pizazz to your holiday soiree. ABV: 12 percent.
Imported and distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Rodman’s (magnum only). Available in Maryland at Bob’s Sunoco in Callaway, the Breadery in Catonsville, Castle Liquors in Mount Airy, Village Liquors in Clarksville, Cork & Bottle Liquors in Laurel, Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Maryland Discount Beverage Center in Cumberland, Mel’s Liquors in Jessup, Old Farm Liquors and Plus Mart in Frederick, Roland’s in Chesapeake Beach, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; on the list at Harvest Thyme Tavern in Davidsonville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Alexandria, Bottleworks in Richmond, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Specials Wine Seller in Kilmarnock, the Town Duck in Warrenton, Vino Market in Midlothian; on the list at Longoven in Richmond.
Tart apples and ripe apricots come to mind when sipping this elegant, stylish cava. ABV: 12 percent.
Imported by Winebow, distributed in the District by Winebow, in Maryland and Virginia by Country Vintner: Available in the District at Batch 13, Central Liquors, Circle Wine & Liquor, Freedom Market, Georgetown Wine & Spirits, Imperial Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, U Street Wine & Beer, Yes! Organic Market (14th Street); on the list at Rosa Mexicano, Sushi Keiko. Available in Maryland at Belby Discount Beer & Wine in Rockville; Bel Pre Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; John Brown General and Butchery in Cockeysville; Laurel Beer, Wine & Spirits in Laurel; Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Old Town Market in Kensington; Wine Source and Gunther & Co. in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Oby Lee Winery in Arlington, Total Wine & More (McLean, Springfield), Unwined in Belleview; on the list at Barcelona in Reston, Lyon Hall in Arlington.
Grüner veltliner’s appealing notes of white flowers and talc come through on this soft sparkler, as does a noticeable amount of sweetness. Enjoy this with something salty or spicy, as in food or conversation. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Imported by Winebow, distributed in the District by Winebow, in Maryland and Virginia by Country Vintner. Available in the District at D’Vines, Grape Intentions (online sales), Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Chloe, Garrison. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Wine World Beer & Spirits in Abingdon. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in McLean; on the list at Trummer’s on Main in Clifton.
Treviso, Italy, $17
This prosecco steps above the paradigm of simply bubbles to add an appealing layer of red berries and other tart fruits. ABV: 11 percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Giant (various locations), Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits and Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Colonial Liquors in La Plata; Don Tonio’s in Chestertown; Eddie’s Liquors in Baltimore; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Frederick Wine House and Spin the Bottle Wine Co. in Frederick; Highland Wine & Spirits in Highland; Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville; the Italian Market in Annapolis; Marlin Market in Pocomoke City; McHenry Beverage Shoppe in McHenry; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Pour Vino n Hops in Rockville, Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park, Thompson Creek Liquors in Stevensville; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; the Winery in Chester. Available in Virginia at Giant (various locations) and Wegmans (various locations).
Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.