★ ★ ★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. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Find your pairings — with your dinner, with your dining companion, with the moment. Here are five ways to start.
★ ★ ★
Burgundy, France, $35
“Basic” Bourgogne, pinot noir that doesn’t qualify for Burgundy’s more prestigious appellations, used to be tart and insipid, as a rule. It has gotten better, though the price has crept up. Mikulski’s version is exceptional, with bright cherry and berry flavors and an undercurrent of forest. It’s available primarily at restaurants. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
Elite: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages; on the list at the Capital Grille, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Fiola Mare, Le Diplomate, Poste Moderne Brasserie. Available in Virginia at Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville.
★ ★ 1
From the producers of Domaine de Chevalier, one of the best white Bordeaux, this is a great introduction to the category. It is 70 percent semillon, the rest sauvignon blanc, with just enough oak to tame the fruit. It’s a classy wine that will age well for five to six years but drinks beautifully now. ABV: 13 percent.
M. Touton: Available in the District at Circle Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, New H Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Chesapeake Market & Deli in North Beach; Frederick Wine House, Old Farm Liquors and Spin the Bottle Wine Co. in Frederick; Hair o’ the Dog and Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Mt. Airy Liquors. On the list at Tapas Adela in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars and the Vineyard in McLean, the Wine Outlet in Vienna.
Alentejo, Portugal, $10
Dionysus: Available in the District at Arrowine & Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Compass Rose. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint).
Rías Baixas, Spain, $15
Here’s a textbook albariño, with apricot and peach flavors over a firm mineral core. It’s delightful with seafood dishes or light, summery appetizers. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Bacchus in the District and Maryland, Nice Legs in Virginia: Available in the District at DCanter, Irving Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; North Charles Fine Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; the Wine Bin in Ellicott City.
What an interesting and unusual wine. Moschofilero, a native Greek grape variety, turns dark pink as it ripens, much like pinot gris. This is almost like an orange wine, but without the oxidation or richness from being fermented on its skins. It is aromatic and floral, ripe and tropical, and yet it somehow remains dry. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Dionysus: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s; on the list at Kapnos. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint). Available in Virginia at Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).