This week, I will begin listing bottle weight with my wine recommendations as part of an international effort by wine writers to encourage wineries to reduce their carbon footprint by using lighter bottles. Because the weight alone may not mean much to readers, I will use the following scale: Under 500 grams, or light. Between 500-700 grams, or average. Over 700 grams, or heavy. This scale may evolve as I gather more data. Bottle weight does not affect the quality of the wine, and while some marketers and winemakers may disagree, I would say it does not reflect quality either. My goal is to help you enjoy your wine to the fullest, but there are other factors that influence our purchasing decisions. That’s why I list alcohol content and point out wines that are sustainable, organic, biodynamic, vegan or kosher. For now, at least, I will not list bottle weight for sparkling wines, which are necessarily heavy to contain the pressure from carbonation, or for specially packaged wines such as one example this week. Weight, as measured on my kitchen scale, will be included for standard 750-milliliter bottles.
Cariñena, Spain, $12
This juicy red wine carries no vintage date on the label, though the importer says it is from 2020. The color is dark cherry, the nose suggests cherries and blueberry cobbler. It shows great texture for such an affordable wine, with a satisfying, savory finish. Enjoy this with predinner nibbles or a light meal. I give it extra points for the light, unpretentious bottle. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent. Bottle weight: 470 grams (light).
Imported by Artisans & Vines, distributed in the District and Maryland by Artisans & Vines, in Virginia by LK Wine Tours and Sales: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Ace Beverage, Classy Corks Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Dupont Market, D’Vines, Each Peach, King Street Oyster Bar, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Streets Market (Cleveland Park), Timber Pizza Company. Available in Maryland at 818 Market in Catonsville; All Set, Locavino in Silver Spring; Apple Greene Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage, Persimmon in Bethesda; Bella’s in Annapolis; Bethesda Co-Op, Wild Tomato in Cabin John; Burtons Grill & Bar in Riverdale Park; Cheers & Spirits in Arnold; Crescent Wine & Spirits, Rip’s Wine and Spirit Shop in Bowie; Decanter Fine Wines, Dorsey’s Search Wine & Spirits, Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia; Deli Club, Frankly Pizza, Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Fulton Wine & Spirits, Hudson Coastal, Ranazul in Fulton; Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Liquor Pump in Parkville; Market at the Charles in La Plata; Montpelier Liquors in Laurel; Off the Rox Wine & Beer, Wine Works in Baltimore; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; Pennyroyal Station in Mount Rainier; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Village Green Spirit Shop, Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Wishing Well Liquors in Easton.
Only You Alcohol-Free Sparkling Brut
This is the white version of an alcohol-free rosé I recommended in August. It would be a great option for holiday tables if someone is abstaining, or if you just want to stretch out the buzz from your celebration. ABV: 0 percent.
Imported by Schenk Wines USA, distributed by Banville: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Grand Cata (La Cosecha, Shaw), Mac Market, Magruder’s, Metro Wine & Spirits, Wagshal’s Deli. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Department of Beer and Wine in Alexandria; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Streets Market in Mount Vernon; Vienna Vintner in Vienna.
Château Fontjoncouse Prestige Vieilles Vignes 2016
Corbières, Languedoc, France, $15
This understated red grew on me. It was pleasant enough at first sip, but after about 30 minutes it began to show some bright fruit flavors over a stony, mineral core. Open this a few hours before dinner — or even decant it — and match it to some hearty grilled or stewed meat. ABV: 13.5 percent. BW: 586 grams (average).
Imported by Tri-Vin Imports, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Yes! Organic Market (14th Street NW, Cleveland Park). Available in Maryland at A&A Wine & Spirits in Gambrills; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Canton Crossing Wine + Spirits in Baltimore; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring; Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Wemyss Liquors in St. Leonard. Available in Virginia at Wegmans (various locations.)
Le Grand Verre Domaine Prataviera Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Gascony, France, $20 for four 187-milliliter bottles
Le Grand Verre is a new line of French wines released over the summer aimed at consumers who want single-serving packaging of wine. The slim bottles, made of recycled plastic, can fit easily into a picnic basket and — as the publicists are fond of pointing out — can make nice stocking stuffers for the holidays. That’s the gimmick, but there’s substance, too: The wines are good. The line features mostly female winemakers who use environmentally friendly farming practices and offers wine in various styles from across France. Sold in four-packs ranging from $20 to $30 for the same amount of wine as a standard bottle, they are not cheap. There are very few sauvignon blanc from Gascony that cost as much as $20. Quality is there, however, as well as the convenience. ABV: 11 percent.
Imported by Blason Louis USA, distributed by Baron Francois. According to the distributor, the following retail outlets have at least one of the Le Grand Verre line of wines: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, Chat’s Liquors, Cordial Craft Wine, Beer & Spirits, Cornercopia, Craft Beer Cellar, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Sav-On Liquor, Town & Country Market, U Street Wine & Beer, Wide World of Wines, Wine & Butter, Yes! Organic Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Beers & Cheers in Germantown; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Market on the Boulevard in Cabin John.
Le Marie Blanc de Lissart
This wine is made from malvasia moscata grown in northwestern Italy, near the French border. There is no official appellation, so it is not vintage labeled — the lot number on the back indicates it is from 2020. It’s a floral white, with aromas and flavors of jasmine and passion fruit. Don’t let the grape name fool you into thinking it’s a sweet wine — there are sweet, ripe, floral flavors, but the wine is dry and absolutely beguiling. ABV: 12.5 percent. BW: 558 grams (average).
Imported and distributed by Le Storie: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Each Peach Market, Wardman Wines. Available in Virginia at Barrel Thief Wine Shop & Cafe in Richmond; Bottle House in Charlottesville; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Grape + Bean in Alexandria; Locke Store in Millwood; Osteria da Nino in Arlington; Unwined (Belleview, King Street) in Alexandria.
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.
More from Food: