Two racy white wines headline our lineup this week, including a budget-minded acid-freak’s dream from Spain and a crisp zero-alcohol sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. A winter-weight white from Alsace, a bistro beauty of a Beaujolais and a savory tempranillo from Spain round out the list.
Txakoli, a white wine from Spain’s Basque region, is a wine-geek favorite because of its intensely tart acidity. First sip is like a jolt of energy to your palate, dousing your taste buds with electric citrus flavors of lime zest and orange blossom, followed by kumquat and mango. Acidity this high screams for food. Anything pungent with olives or fermented flavors will help soften the wine’s texture and draw out the fruit. Alcohol by volume: 11.5 percent. Bottle weight: 405 grams (Light).
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed in the District and Maryland by DMV, in Virginia by Dionysos Imports: Available in the District at Classy Corks, Lee Towers Market, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquor, Rodman’s, S&S Liquor, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Yes Organic Market (Capitol Hill). Available in Maryland at A&A Wine & Spirits in Gambrills, ABD Liquor in Prince Frederick; Bay Wine & Spirits in North Beach; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer, FineWine.com in Gaithersburg; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater; Franklin’s Restaurant Brewery & General Store in Hyattsville; Harborview Liquors in Baltimore; Kenilworth Wine & Spirits in Towson; Kings Contrivance Liquor in Columbia; Liberty Wine & Liquors in LaVale; Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown; McHenry Beverage Shoppe in McHenry; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Pine Orchard Liquors, Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Port of Call Liquors in Solomons; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; the Winery in Chester; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; Vintage 414 in Cambridge; Wemyss Liquors in St. Leonard. Available in Virginia at Wegmans (various locations).
Giesen 0% Dealcoholized Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand, $17
A wine-geek’s way of politely dismissing a wine is to say, “It tastes like wine.” Well, this dealcoholized sauvignon blanc tastes like sauvignon blanc, and I mean that as sincere praise. Light-bodied, racy acidity with the characteristic grassy, gooseberry flavors of New Zealand savvie. It’s lighter and less pungent than Giesen’s regular sauvignon blanc, but it fills the bill for a white wine without the buzz. The addition of 6 percent sauvignon blanc grape juice helps with the body. ABV: 0. BW: 420 (Light).
Imported by Pacific Highway Wines, distributed in the District and Maryland by Opici, in Virginia by RNDC: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Classy Corks, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Whole Foods Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Total Wine & More (Laurel, Towson). Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More (various locations), Whole Foods Market (various locations). Available online at Proof No More.
Willm Pinot Gris Réserve 2019
Alsace, France, $17
Pinot gris from Alsace tends to be weightier than its Italian cousin, pinot grigio, despite being made from the same grape. This makes it an ideal cold-weather white. Look for notes of lilac, honeysuckle and peach. Drink on its own or with smoked fish or fowl, sausages and cheese. ABV: 13.5 percent. BW: 445 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at AB Liquors, the Bottle House, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Central Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Grand Liquor, H Street Fine Wines and Liquors, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Hayden’s Liquor, Hop, Cask & Barrel, Lion’s Fine Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, S&S Liquor, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Allview Liquors, Jason’s Wine & Spirits, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton; Cranberry Liquors in Westminster; Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Fulton Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Glenwood Wine & Spirits in Glenwood; Greenbelt Co-op in Greenbelt; Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville; Harrison’s Wines & Spirits, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis; Montgomery Plaza Liquors in Catonsville; Old Farm Liquors, Riverside Liquors, Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; Port of Call Liquors in Solomons; Rodman’s in White Flint; Roland Park Wines & Liquors, Wine Source in Baltimore; Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata; Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park; Total Discount Liquors in Eldersburg; Village Pump Liquors in College Park; the Winery in Chester; Woodmore Wine and Spirits in Lanham. Available in Virginia at Bistro L’Hermitage in Woodbridge, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna; Wegmans (various locations).
Domaine Chavrier Beaujolais-Villages A Chêne 2019
Beaujolais, France, $20
Bistro wine. The type of red that could be served in a carafe in a modest Paris hole-in-the-wall to wash down the inexpensive but delicious plât du jour. Unfortunately, it’s a little pricey for that once it gets over to this side of the Atlantic. It’s still delicious, and the type of wine I wish were available in 3-liter-box format for those occasions when just a glass or two are needed and we could stretch the joy over several weeks. ABV: 12.5 percent. BW: 405 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at Classy Corks, Congress Market, District Liquors, Grand Liquor, Irving Wine & Spirits, Mac Market, Old City Market and Oven, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, State Liquors, Uptown Market, Wagshal’s Deli, Wardman Wines, Wine & Butter, Yes Organic Market (Petworth). Available in Maryland at FineWine.com in Gaithersburg; Fleet Street Spirits, Quarry Wine & Spirits, Remington Bottle, Wine Source in Baltimore; Frederick Wine House in Frederick; Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Old Town Market in Kensington; Ronnie’s Beverage Warehouse in Forest Hill; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at the Cheese Shop in Williamsburg; Cheesetique (Del Ray), Department of Beer and Wine, Lost Dog Cafe, Slaters Market in Alexandria; City Vino in Fredericksburg; Front Royal Wines in Front Royal; Kroger in Henrico; Lombardy Market, McDonough Market, Oxford Cellars, Puck’s Market, Yellow Umbrella Provisions in Richmond; Towers Foods, Westover Market in Arlington; WineStyles in Montclair.
Altos de Aranda Tempranillo Crianza 2016
Ribera del Duero, Spain, $22
Grown at high altitudes (averaging 800 meters above sea level), this wine combines a laser focus with impressive depth and freshness. Look for the savory tobacco leaf and blueberry notes typical of tempranillo, with a spicy edge on the finish from spending a year in French and American oak barrels. Pair this with heartier, rib-sticking foods. ABV: 14 percent. BW: 405 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed in the District and Maryland by Artisans & Vines; distributed in Virginia by LK Wine Tours & Sales: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage, Capital Beer & Wine, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Dawson’s Liquors, Magothy Wine & Spirits in Severna Park; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer, FineWine.com in Gaithersburg; Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater; Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Potomac Grocer in Potomac; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; the Winery in Kent Island. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler in Aldie; Manolete’s Taqueria Gourmet, Murphy Beverage in Winchester; Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes in Woodstock.
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: