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5 Douro reds to try

Columnist, Food

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Dave McIntyre writes about wine weekly. He also blogs at View Archive

Here are five wines showcasing the Douro Valley’s quality and value in red table wines. Think of them when planning on red meat on the grill or in the smoker.

Crasto 2012

★ ★ ★

Douro, Portugal, $16

From Quinta do Crasto, this entry-level red is juicy and vibrant, yet it has the earthy character of the Douro. It’s a terrific introduction to what this region and this winery can do. The Crasto Douro Superior ($24) is also top-notch, a bit more restrained. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Batch 13, Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street); on the list at All Souls. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint). Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria), Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church, Swirl & Sip in Fairfax, Whole Foods Market (Alexandria); on the list at Tallula in Arlington.

Muxagat Tinta Barroca 2011

★ ★ ★

Douro, Portugal, $20

Smoke. Night air. Mint-rosemary. Blood — at least, blood sausage. On the palate, a hint of nuts — cashews — along with black fruit and dark plums. Intriguing, fascinating wine. ABV: 13 percent.

Winebow: Available in the District at Home Food Store, Local Vine Cellar; on the list at BLT Steak, Del Campo, L’Enfant Cafe, Leopold’s Kafe & Konditorei, MXDC.

Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos 2012

★ ★ 1 / 2

Douro, Portugal, $17

Named for a migratory bird that visits the Douro during spring, this elegant wine displays red-fruit flavors with some of the leafy tobacco notes characteristic of Douro and its ports. ABV: 13 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Batch 13, Rodman’s; on the list at Old Ebbitt Grill. Available in Maryland at Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint), Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at Clementine in Baltimore. 

Passadouro Red 2011

★ ★

Douro, Portugal, $25

The image of the pig on the label suggests that this wine is ideal paired with Iberian ham. It also would fare well with any number of other pork products. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Winebow: Available in the District at Batch 13, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Poste.

Charamba 2011

1 / 2

Douro Valley, Portugal, $7

One of the best under-$10 wines each vintage, this doesn’t have the depth or flair that just a few dollars more can buy. But for burgers or hot dogs on the grill, it’s hard to beat. ABV: 14 percent.

Republic National: Available in the District at 14th Street Mini Market, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Continental Wine & Liquor, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, S&R Liquors, Target Liquor. 

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