Beaujolais, France, $15
From an exceptional vintage, this juicy cru Beaujolais is a delightful sipping wine for fall, with cherry flavors and a hint of autumn leaves. Or maybe that was because I was raking leaves just before tasting it. Serve slightly chilled to bring out the fruit.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Circle Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Watergate Wine & Beverage, Whole Foods Markets. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Columbia Palace Wine & Spirits in Columbia, Montgomery Plaza Liquors in Catonsville, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Wishing Well Liquors in Easton.
Luberon, France, $14
A collaboration of chef Anne-Sophie Pic and famed Rhone winemaker Michel Chapoutier, this lovely wine features lavender and violet aromas that wine lovers call “garrigue.”
Nice Legs: Available in the District at Cork & Fork, Kogod Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Bistro Bis, Ris. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Cork & Fork in Bethesda; Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville. Available in Virginia at Butcher’s Block, Planet Wine & Gourmet and Le Tastevin Fine Wines in Alexandria; Grateful Red Wine & Gift Shop in Arlington; Maison du Vin in McLean; Market Cellars and Wine Cabinet in Reston; Out of Site Wines in Vienna. On the list at Brabo in Alexandria.
Soave, Italy, $13
This terrific little white wine is ideal for sipping alone or with antipasti or light seafood dishes.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Wagshal’s Market. Available in Maryland at Baluducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Alexandria and McLean, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview.
★1 / 2
Gascony, France, $11
A spicy sauvignon blanc, it features bracing acidity and nerve, with a hint of grassiness that should appeal to New Zealand fans and earthiness for the francophiles.
Kacher: Available in the District at Chinatown Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Harris Teeter locations, Lion’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquors, Safeway locations. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage, Capital Beer & Wine, Cork 57 Beer and Wine and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Montgomery County liquor stores; Mt. Washington Wine Co. and Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; Shoppers Food Warehouse and Pharmacy in Germantown; Town & Country Liquors in Owings Mills.
★1 / 2
Mendoza, Argentina, $11
This malbec tends toward the meatier side of the grape, with dark-fruit flavors and an almost animal character (though not in a barnyard sense). It can be a bit reductive, meaning it needs air and will benefit from decanting.
Bacchus: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Capitol Fine Wines & Spirits, Circle Wine & Liquor, De Vinos, MacArthur Beverages, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Safeway locations, Silver Spork, Weygandt Wines, Wine Specialist. Widely available in Maryland.
★1 / 2
Mendoza, Argentina, $13
This wine is almost always on sale for considerably less than the retail price, and it is consistently good year after year. Not bad for a wine that is so widely available throughout the Washington region. It is also sold in party-friendly three-liter boxes.
Kysela: Widely available in the District, Maryland and Virginia.