Columnist, Food
Recommendations

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be found at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Here are five wines to try this week.

— D.M.

Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2011

★ ★ ★

Marlborough, New Zealand, $30

Is the National Security Agency compiling meta-databases of wine tasting notes posted on Twitter? (If not, some marketing firm probably is.) The entry for this outstanding wine should note that it’s made from grapes handpicked from vineyards on the slopes of Marlborough’s southern valleys, whole-cluster-fermented with wild yeasts in open-top fermenters, foot-trodden, hand-plunged and aged in barrels for a year. If that doesn’t get your clandestine wine-geek adrenaline pumping, then the dark-fruit flavors singed with wood spice and delicately balanced on a mineral core will. From the Broadbent Selections portfolio. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Rodman’s; on the list at Baby Wale, Range. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint); on the list at Red Red Wine Bar in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Spirits in Arlington, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church, Total Wine & More (Alexandria); on the list at Salamander Resort in Middleburg.

Clos du Mont-Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011

★ ★ 1 / 2

Rhone Valley, France, $35

Most Chateauneuf-du-Papes taste as though the guys in tall white hats are still duking it out, but this example substitutes diplomacy for brute strength, harmony for discord. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Dionysus: Available in the District at Arrowine, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Deli. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), D’Vine Wines in Winchester, Tastings of Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Tysons Corner, Vienna).

Domaine Trois Frères Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2011

★ ★

Loire Valley, France, $15

This muscadet is a bit richer than most, with ripe tree fruit and an appealing minerality. An excellent partner to shellfish and seafood salads. ABV: 12 percent.

Kysela: Available in the District at Circle Wine & Liquor, Fresh & Green’s, Magruder’s, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Broadway Liquors, Eddie’s of Roland Park, the Old Vine and Wine Source in Baltimore; Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits; Highland Wine & Spirits; Montpelier Liquors in Laurel; the Wine Bin in Ellicott City. On the list at Bistro Blanc in Glenelg, Clementine in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Downtown Wine & Gourmet in Harrisonburg, Grapevine in Warrenton, Leesburg Vintner, Harris Teeter (Charlottesville), Vino Market in Midlothian, Wegmans (Fredericksburg, Lake Manassas).

Pedroncelli Friends Red 2011

1 / 2

Sonoma County, Calif. $11

Perhaps Sens. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) toasted their shutdown-ending agreement with a glass of Friends Red? Well, maybe not. But the various factions in this fun, juicy wine — merlot, zinfandel, petite sirah and syrah — get along just fine. ABV: 13.9 percent.

DOPS: Widely available in the District and Maryland. Virginia Imports in Virginia: Available at Ballston Place Gourmet.

Domaine de Vaufuget Vouvray 2012

1 / 2

Loire Valley, France, $13

This is a delicious dry chenin blanc, easily found, easily gulped and easily paired with all sorts of seafood and light dishes. ABV: 12 percent.

M Touton: Widely available in the District, Maryland and Virginia.