A reminder that I am now including bottle weights. Under 500 grams = Light; 500-700 grams = Average; and over 700 grams = Heavy. I’m including the weights for the sparkling wine bottles for reference, but they, of course, need to be heavy to contain the pressure of the wine. Weights are measured on my kitchen scale.
Pence Ranch Pinot Noir 2019
Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County, Calif., $24
Pinot noir is a classic Thanksgiving recommendation because it is remarkably food friendly. Of course, that character makes it a favorite any time. The Pence Ranch offers classic pinot flavors of the Santa Rita Hills region, which stretches between Buellton and Lompoc in Santa Barbara County. Expect aromas of forest floor and baking spices, with flavors of dark plums, spice and maybe even a hint of root beer. I tasted the 2018, which has the benefit of an extra year in bottle, so I suggest decanting the 2019 for a few hours before dinner. Keep an eye out for this on a crowded table, because someone is likely to bogart it. Alcohol by volume: 13.3 percent. BW: 590 grams (Average).
Distributed by Salveto: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cafe Deluxe West End, Chat’s Liquors, Chef Geoff’s (M Street, New Mexico Avenue), Logan Tavern, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Annebeth’s, Preserve in Annapolis; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold. Available in Virginia at Buckhead’s in Richmond; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Norm’s Beer & Wine, Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Planet Wine & Gourmet, Unwined (Belleview, King Street) in Alexandria; Puck’s Market in Henrico; Tilman’s, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; Vino Bistro in Leesburg; Wine House in Fairfax; Winestyles in Montclair.
O'Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Marlborough, New Zealand, $19
I always chuckle about the Irish Kiwi kosher wine, but darn if this isn’t really good juice, with the classic Marlborough sauvignon blanc flavors of passion fruit and guava. A mild bite of jalapeño pepper on the very long finish is reined in by ripeness. Vegan. Kosher Mevushal. ABV: 12.5 percent. Bottle weight: 424 grams (Light).
Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Wagshal’s Deli, Zoo Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Accents Liquor, Quarry Wine & Spirits, Wine Source in Baltimore; Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia; Magothy Wine & Spirits in Severna Park; Moti’s Market in Rockville; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Shalom Strictly Kosher in Silver Spring; Vineyards Elite in Pikesville. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church.
La Fille du Boucher Côtes du Rhône Réserve 2019
Rhône Valley, France, $20
The Butcher’s Daughter (the name is in both languages on the label) is a line of kosher wines from various regions in France. The Côtes du Rhône is a good, solid Rhône-style red, with flavors of dark fruits, as well as a sense of weight that gives extra substance. Kosher. ABV: 14.5 percent. BW: 572 grams (Average).
Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Hop, Cask & Barrel, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Streets Market (14th Street, Adams Morgan). Available in Maryland at Accents Liquor, Quarry Wine & Spirits, Wine Source in Baltimore; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Choice Beer & Wine in Wheaton; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Moti’s Market in Rockville; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Rodman’s in White Flint; Shalom Strictly Kosher in Silver Spring; Vineyards Elite in Pikesville. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Slaters Market in Alexandria.
Scharffenberger Brut Excellence
Mendocino County, Calif., $25
Here’s California bubbly done in the traditional method of champagne and reaching stylistically toward that French benchmark as well. You’ll find hints of toasty brioche, orange zest and ginger on a rich mouthfeel. ABV: 12.5 percent. BW: 893 grams (Sparkling).
Distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Hop Cask & Barrel, Metro Wine & Spirits, Michigan Liquors, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Bazin’s on Church, Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Total Wine & More in McLean.
Sokol Blosser Bluebird Cuvée Brut Sparkling Wine 2019
Willamette Valley, Ore., $25
Wow! This lovely sparkler from an Oregon wine pioneer family bursts from the glass with flavors of ripe peaches and limes. Don’t look for the toasty complexity of champagne here — but be ready for effusive fruit and fine persistent bubbles to lift your spirits with the first sip. Certified B Corp. ABV: 11 percent. BW: 842 grams (Sparkling).
Distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Lady Bird, Michigan Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia. Available in Virginia at Evening Star Cafe, Planet Wine & Gourmet, Sonoma Cellar in Alexandria; Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg.
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.
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