★ ★ ★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 Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Stores are playing holiday music, so it must be time to include a sparkling wine in this week’s recommendations.
★ ★ ★
Champagne, France, $54
This beautiful blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier makes a delightful rosé, crisp and refreshing with loads of fruit and champagne intensity. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
M Touton: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Harvest in Potomac. Available in Virginia at the Vineyard in McLean.
★ ★ ★
Stellenbosch, South Africa, $40
This is an unabashed fruit bomb, with low acid and high alcohol — a style I usually disparage. But this wine works, with velvety blackberry fruit that hides the alcohol well. I would not recommend aging this, but it is lovely now. ABV: 15.5 percent.
Kysela: Available in the District at Magruder’s. Available in Maryland at Bacchus Wine and Spirits in Hagerstown, Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More in McLean.
★ ★ ★
Adelaide Hills, Australia, $21
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at State Line Liquors in Elkton. Available in Virginia at the Christmas Attic in Alexandria, Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; on the list at Cassatt’s Kiwi Cafe in Arlington.
★ ★ ★
Rhone Valley, France, $16
Dionysus: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Deli, Whole Foods Market (P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Tysons Corner, Vienna).
Cotes de Bordeaux, France, $20
This merlot-based blend offers plum and black currant flavors with a robe of cedar and wood smoke. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Bacchus: Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Boulevard Fine Wine and Spirits in Owings Mills, Eddie’s Liquor and Graul’s Wine & Spirits in Baltimore.