★ ★ ★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.
Summer always has the dreamer in me thinking of the Mediterranean. When the weather warms, I gravitate to crisp white wines from Greece and Italy, especially their islands. This week’s selections include four lovely whites from Greece and a beautiful bargain from Sicily.
★ ★ ★
Cyclades, Greece, $24
Ripe and opulent, this organic wine bursts with peach and apricot flavors, some jasmine and other white flowers. There is enough acidity to keep it in balance, but this wine aims for hedonism more than intellectual interest. Lean back, relax and enjoy. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Rodman’s; on the list at Coppi’s Organic, Kapnos, Kellari Taverna. Available in Maryland at Prima Foods in Baltimore; on the list at Ayse Meze Lounge in Frederick, Ouzo Bay in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Clifton Wine Shop, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Santorini, Greece, $22
The Greek island of Santorini is known for its blue-and-white buildings pictured against the deep-blue Mediterranean waters. Its wines are white and crisp, with racy acidity and apricot and guava flavors tinged with a saline element that seems to have been magically plucked from the sea. The Virginia distributor is already selling the 2014. Both vintages are good. ABV: 13.3 percent.
Constantine in the District and Maryland; Dionysus in Virginia: On the list in the District at Barcelona, Central Michel Richard, Iron Gate, Zaytinya. Available in Maryland at Total Wine & More (Laurel), Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore; on the list at Inn at the Black Olive and Ouzo Bay in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More (Chantilly), Unwined (Alexandria and Belleview); on the list at Giorgio’s Family Restaurant in Dumfries, Nostos in Vienna.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; JP’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Jessup; Spirit of Mount Vernon in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at C’est le Vin in Richmond, Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Vienna Vintners; on the list at Giorgio’s in Dumfries.
Macedonia, Greece, $15
Muscat is best known for sweet wines, such as Moscato or Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. This dry version features the floral, jasmine and peach blossom aromas and mango and star fruit flavors, only without the sweetness. It’s a lovely aperitif wine for a patio party. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Cava Mezze. Available in Maryland at Prima Foods in Baltimore; on the list at Ikaros in Baltimore, Trapezaria in Rockville. Available in Virginia at Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview); on the list at Athena Pallas and Cava Mezze in Arlington.
Stefano Selections: Available in the District at Potomac Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Adega Wine Cellars in Silver Spring; Bin 201 Wine Sellers and Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; Dawson’s Market in Rockville; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits; Jason’s Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City; Mt. Airy Liquors; Perfect Pour in Elkridge; State Line Liquors in Elkton.