Exceptional Excellent Very Good
While I agree that rosé is worthy of drinking year-round, I do welcome warm spring weather as the unofficial start to the rosé season. So I celebrate spring this week with three pink wines that will get us started on the next few months (more rosé to come!), including our greatest value of the week. Le Petit Balthazar is one of my favorites, both for the flavor and the price. Rosé is getting expensive as it gets popular, but there are still some bargains. To round out the list, we also have a lovely, complex rosé from South Africa and a charmer from Austria.
And with Passover starting soon, here are two more kosher wines. The Galil Mountain ELA is an exceptional red blend worthy of drinking any day of the year. Lion & Dove is a new line of low-priced kosher wines just entering our market. The carmenère is my favorite.
Pays d'Oc, France, $9
This is one of my favorite rosés year in, year out. It packs juicy watermelon and cantaloupe flavors with refreshing acidity, plus simply a lot of fun in each sip. At this price, you can suck it down before dinner, or over lunch on the patio. Keep it in mind for spicy foods. Alcohol by volume: 11 percent.
Imported and distributed by Dionysos Imports: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (H Street, P Street). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington).
Upper Galilee, Israel, $20
A beautiful blend of barbera, syrah, petit verdot and grenache, this silky red seduces with blackberry and raspberry fruit flavors, a lovely texture in the mouth, and a savory, earthy finish. Kosher for Passover. ABV: 14 percent.
Imported by Yarden, distributed by Prestige-Ledroit: Available in the District at Cordial Craft Wine, Beer & Spirits (the Wharf), Potomac Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore, the Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac).
Western Cape, South Africa, $22
Bright, light in texture but racy in acidity, this lovely rosé captures strawberry and raspberry flavors in a refreshing wine that’s delicious by itself but really calls for food. Try this with grilled or sautéed salmon and spicy or garlicky dishes. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported by Red Wolf Imports, distributed by Global Wines: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Eye Street Cellars, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines, Watergate Vintner’s & Spirits; on the list at Dacha Beer Garden. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg.
Here’s a delightful rosé from Austria, more on the strawberry side of pink than the melon side. It isn’t particularly tart or racy, nor sweet and cloying. Comfortable on the palate, pretty much describes it. ABV: 12 percent.
Imported and distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Irving Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at 5 O’Clock Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills, Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Canton Crossing Wine + Spirits, Eddie’s Liquors, Roland Park Wines & Liquors, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore, Downtown Crown Beer and Wine in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon, Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, Midway Discount Liquors in Joppa, Old Town Market in Kensington, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring, Viniferous and Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick. Available in Virginia at the Caboose Market & Cafe in Ashland, German Gourmet in Falls Church, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), the Wine Outlet in Vienna.
Curico Valley, Chile, $12
A hint of smoke and tobacco leaf give interest to the black fruit flavors of this wine. It is simple and pleasant, the type of wine that will complement but not intrude upon your dinner. Lion & Dove is a new line of wines just appearing in our area market. Mevushal and kosher for Passover. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Yes! Organic Market (Georgia Avenue). Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits and Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Country Boy Market in Wheaton, Dawson’s Market in Rockville, Eastport Liquors and Italian Market in Annapolis, Frederick Wine House and Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Town Center Market in Riverdale, Village Pump Liquors in College Park.
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.