Columnist, Food
Bargain Bottles

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

Here are my monthly recommendations of wines that overperform for the price. These selections cost between $9 and $15, and all are “Great Values.” Beginning today, my weekly list will specify the alcohol content of each wine.

Louis Latour Bourgogne Gamay 2011


Beaujolais, France, $15

Bourgogne Gamay is a new appellation controllee with the 2011 vintage. The grapes must be grown in the cru villages of Beaujolais, but they do not have to be entirely of the gamay variety. This wine is 15 percent pinot noir, which makes it a nice “bistro wine” for casual dining, with earthy qualities for extra interest. Alcohol content: 13 percent.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Capital City Wine & Spirits, Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Bay Wine & Spirits in North Beach; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork 57 Beer and Wine in Bethesda; Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Greenbelt Co-op; Hair o’ the Dog in Easton; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Port of Call Liquors in Solomons; Quench! Beer-Wine-Deli in Colesville; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Village Pump Liquors in College Park.

Branger Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sur Lie 2012


Loire Valley, France, $14

Citrusy and refreshing, this is a “food wine”: Don’t sip it by itself on the patio, but pair it with raw oysters, seafood salads or other light fare, and it won’t let you down. Alcohol content: 12 percent.

Vintage 59/Country Vintner: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at all Clyde’s locations, Old Ebbitt Grill, Ris, Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Available in Maryland at Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington.

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Parallèle 45 Rosé 2011/2012

1 / 2

Rhone, France, $12

This reliable Côtes du Rhône producer makes a nice rosé, too: a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. Pale in color and racy in acidity, it is an ideal summer aperitif or partner to lighter foods. The local distributors are transitioning from the 2011 to the 2012; either is a good bet. The younger offers extra freshness, the older a bit more complexity. Alcohol content: 13 percent.

Southern/F.P. Winner (Availability information unavailable for the District and Maryland, but this label often appears in supermarkets.) Virginia Imports: Available in Virginia at Harris Teeter (Arlington, Ashburn, Gainesville, Manassas, Reston, Warrenton), Metro Cafe & Gourmet in Arlington; on the list at La Creperie and Ristorante Murali in Arlington, Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro in Reston.

Honoro Vera Garnacha 2012

1 / 2

Calatayud, Spain, $10

The somewhat disturbing label art on the bottle introduces a brooding example of garnacha. The category has become known for cheap, fruity Spanish reds; this one is more subtle and serious, though still a tasty dram for the price. Alcohol content: 14 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at De Vino’s, D’Vines, Rodman’s, Yes! Organic Market. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, I.M. Wine in Fulton, Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville, Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint). Available in Virginia at all Wegmans and Total Wine & More locations.

Domaine Ferrer Ribière F Blanc 2012

1 / 2

Côtes Catalanes, France, $9

The Côtes Catalanes, along the southern coast of France near the border with Spain, produce lively, unpretentious white wines, including this sprightly bottling with accents of ginger and jasmine. Alcohol content: 13.5 percent.

Dionysus: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Chat’s Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Mom’s Organic Market (Rockville); on the list at Sushiko in Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at Culpeper Cheese Co., Mom’s Organic Market (Alexandria, Herndon, Merrifield), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Charlottesville).