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This week’s wines include two rosé sparklers to fit your Valentine’s Day budget: a champagne splurge and an Italian bargain. Then we have a white burgundy that performs much higher than its price, a delicious red from Washington state and, of course, an early 2016 rosé, a hint of many more to come.
Champagne, France, $68
For a romantic splurge, it’s hard to beat a rosé champagne. Bruno Paillard’s is top-notch, with a fine bead of bubbles that catch the light and enhance the mood. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
Distributed by Monument: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, the Bottle Shop, S&R Liquors; on the list at Le Diplomate, Matisse. Available in Maryland at Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park (including in half-bottles), Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Vino Volo in Bethesda; on the list at Voltaggio Brothers Steak House at MGM National Harbor.
Burgundy, France, $35
This Premier Cru white burgundy shows chardonnay at its best: rich and unctuous, channeling stone-fruit flavors through a mineral core. And because Montagny is less famous than pricier appellations such as Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault, it’s a relative bargain. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Cork & Fork, Rodman’s; on the list at Marcel’s. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis, the Italian Market in Annapolis.
Washington State, $17
Kiona Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Washington’s Columbia Valley. Cabernet-Merlot is a bit of a misnomer, in that the wine also includes lemberger, sangiovese, syrah and cabernet franc, with a dollop of carménère and petite sirah for spice. It’s a juicy, unpretentious red, ideal for burgers and casual meat dishes. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Cork & Fork, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Wine Specialist; on the list at Marvin. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers, Italian Market in Annapolis, Bin 604 Wine Sellers in Baltimore, Dawson’s Market, Beer and Wine Cellar, Gilly’s Craft Beer and Fine Wine in Rockville, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville, Red Wine, Beer and Spirits in Columbia, Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac); on the list at Barrel and Crow in Bethesda.
Côteaux Varois en Provence, France, $13
This early-arriving rosé with a bilingual mishmash of a name is spritzy and fresh, with nice watermelon and strawberry flavors. Drink it up: You might not want a “winter” wine in July! ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Sav-On Liquor, Whole Foods (various locations), Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop, Wine Harvest and World Gourmet Wine and Beer in Potomac; Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork 57 Beer and Wine in Bethesda; Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton; College Square Liquors in Westminster; Cranbrook Liquors in Cockeysville; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Frederick Wine House, Old Farm Liquors and Village Mart Beer & Wine in Frederick; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Nick’s of Calvert in Prince Frederick; Nick’s of Clinton in Waldorf; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; Rodman’s (White Flint); Total Discount Liquors in Eldersburg. Available in Virginia at the Vineyard in McLean, Wegmans (various locations).
A charming bubbly in the prosecco style, it has a lovely salmon color and bright fruit flavors. If you’ve spent a lot of money on a gift for your valentine, this bargain will still get the evening off to a great start. ABV: 11.5 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, MOM’s Organic Market (New York Avenue), Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Deli. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food and Beverage in Bethesda, MOM’s Organic Market and Village Beer & Fine Wine in Rockville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), MOM’s Organic Market (various locations), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
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.