More and more wines are being made and labeled with no added sulfites. This is controversial, as sulfur is a natural preservative that prevents wine from spoiling in the bottle. No added sulfur has been a mantra of the natural wine movement, and more winemakers are experimenting — essentially, walking a tightrope without a net. From my unscientific observation, I find the better ones tend to have a little more energy on the palate. This week’s great value is a Côtes du Rhône with no added sulfur. We also have two bubblies, a prosecco from Italy and a cava rosé from Spain to add sparkle to your fall celebrations. And we round out the week’s list with two outstanding whites, from New York and Italy.


La Résistance Côtes du Rhône 2019


Rhône Valley, France, $15

There’s a little extra lift to the wine, a zip of freshness to the blend of syrah, grenache and mourvèdre. It’s lively and light-bodied, ideal for casual meals. Made with organic grapes. Alcohol by volume: 14.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Baron Francois: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Eye Street Cellars, Good Ole Reliable Liquors, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Hayden’s Liquor, Imperial Wine & Spirits (both locations), Rodman’s, Splash Liquor, Town & Country Market, U Street Wine & Beer, Van Ness Wines and Liquors, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Beers & Cheers, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Germantown; Colesville Beer & Wine in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli 2020


Finger Lakes, N.Y., $17

This bracing white wine is one of my perennial favorites from the Finger Lakes. Dr. Frank pioneered European vinifera grape varieties in the Eastern United States. Still family-owned, the winery is now in the hands of Dr. Frank’s grandson, Frederic, and great-granddaughter, Meaghan Frank. They specialize in sparkling wines and riesling. Rkatsiteli hails from Georgia and is one of the oldest-known grape varieties from the region where the oldest archaeological evidence of wine growing has been found. Flavors of mango, apricot and ginger highlight this beauty. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Distributed in the District and Maryland by Breakthru, in Virginia by Virginia Imports: Available in the District at A-1 Wines & Liquors, Calvert Woodley, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wines & Spirits, Michigan Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Rip’s Wine and Spirit Shop in Bowie; State Line Liquors in Elkton; Trout Liquors in Frederick; Wine World Beer & Spirits in Abingdon. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop, Green Pig Bistro in Arlington.

Conca d'Oro d'O Prosecco Extra Dry 2019


Treviso, Italy, $18

Gently fizzy and with a hint of sweetness, this lovely prosecco refreshes with flavors of Granny Smith apples and Asian pears. Drink this by itself or with light antipasti. ABV: 11.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at Bacchus Wine Cellar, the Bottle Shop, Capitol Supermarket, Cork & Fork, D’Vines, Little Italy, Mayfair Liquors, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Prego Again, Radici, Rodman’s, Streets Market (various locations), Young’s Deli and Market. Available in Maryland at Annebeth’s, the Italian Market in Annapolis; Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park; Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater; Mela Market, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Branch & Vine, Lombardy Market in Richmond; the Cheese Shop, Stop In Food in Williamsburg; Department of Beer and Wine, Sisters Thai, Unwined (Belleview), Wine Gallery 108 in Alexandria; Front Royal Wines in Front Royal; the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover), Le Cafe Market, Streets Market in Arlington; WineStyles in Dumfries.

Naveran Cava Rosé 2019


Penedes, Spain, $18

Strawberry and melon flavors feature in this juicy rosé, but of course, it’s the bubbles that make it sparkle. Made with organic grapes. ABV: 12 percent.

Imported by Ole & Obrigado, distributed in the District and Maryland by Bacchus, in Virginia by Salveto: Available in the District at Anju, Barcelona Wine Bar (14th Street NW, Cathedral Heights), the Bottle House, Calvert Woodley, Joselito, Grand Cata (La Cosecha, Shaw), Grape Intentions, Hop Cask & Barrel, Lyle, Mi Casa, Modern Liquors, MXDC, Oyamel, Pappe, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Toro Toro. Available in Maryland at Artisan Wine Co. in Westminster; Beards Hill Plaza Liquors in Aberdeen; Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers in Baltimore; Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Grapes & Grains Beverage Store in Lutherville-Timonium; Hop N Grape in North Bethesda; Kent Towne Liquors in Chester; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; Wine World Beer & Spirits in Abingdon. Available in Virginia at Barcelona Wine Bar in Reston; Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna; Cafe Frank in Charlottesville; Crystal City Wine Shop, Ragtime, SER in Arlington; Department of Beer and Wine, Planet Wine & Gourmet, Unwined (Belleview, King Street) in Alexandria; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Puck’s Market in Henrico; Union Market in Richmond; Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Wine Guild of Charlottesville in Charlottesville; the Wine Outlet (McLean, Vienna).

Roccolo Grassi Broia Soave 2017


Italy, $20

We value freshness in white wines, which leads us to drink them young — too young, as many whites do improve with a few years in bottle. Roccolo Grassi is a small winery near Verona in northern Italy that ages its wines so we don’t have to wait. The 2017 is the current release, and the time in the winery cellar has given it full body and a fleshy mouthfeel over flavors of green apples and pears. And freshness — it still has plenty. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Le Storie: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Primrose, Wardman Wines. Available in Virginia at Beer Run in Charlottesville; the Brew Shop, Osteria da Nino in Arlington; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Grape + Bean in Alexandria; Locke Store in Millwood; Vino Market in Midlothian.

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 to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

More from Food: