Columnist, Food

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WASHINGTON, DC - Arctic Char, Broccolini and Edamame With Soy-Ginger Sauce photographed in Washington, DC. (Photo by Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post).

Every now and then, I encounter a winery that excels with so many wines I don’t know where to start in telling people about them. So consider this a blanket recommendation for Fratelli Rabino, a winery in Italy’s Piemonte region, just a few miles west of Alba. That’s the home of white truffles and Barolo, two luxury-priced items, but the Rabino family has found a sweet spot where they can produce outstanding wines at moderate prices. They are not trying to be among the “kings” of Italian wine, just to make delicious vino — and they nail it. They are worth seeking out. I include two here, plus a fascinating skin-fermented Gewürztraminer from Oregon, a tasty New York Riesling and a flowery Viognier from Argentina.

GREAT VALUE
Fratelli Rabino Roero Arneis 2016

Piemonte, Italy, $20

This delicate, gossamer white wine is electrifying with lemon and lime flavors, plus scents of jasmine and ginger. I can’t tell whether it comes straight from the garden or from the earth’s soul. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.

Distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at A. Litteri, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Lupo Verde. Available in Maryland at Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Leesburg Vintner in Leesburg, Tastings of Charlottesville and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; on the list at Bizou in Charlottesville.

GREAT VALUE
Fratelli Rabino Nebbiolo d'Alba 2015

Piemonte, Italy, $20

Savory and lush, this lovely red wine wraps you in a blanket of comfort and reassures you that, if your day was hell, at least dinner will be delicious. The winery makes another nebbiolo from the Roero appellation and a Barbera d’Alba — both are equally worth seeking out. ABV: 14 percent.

Distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at A. Litteri, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Lupo Verde. Available in Maryland at Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Leesburg Vintner in Leesburg, Tastings of Charlottesville and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; on the list at Bizou in Charlottesville.

Biggio Hamina Andreas Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2016

Willamette Valley, Ore., $23

This is a delightfully oddball wine — a skin-fermented Gewürztraminer, which means a white wine made more like a red. The technique adds a salmon-pink color that looks sort of rose, sort of golden, plus some tannin astringency. The wine has some of the flowery, litchi character Gewurz is known for, but it’s sneaky — those qualities emerge only as the wine opens and warms. This is a good wine to enjoy by itself, and let it spur conversation, but it also pairs well with some heartier or spicier seafood and poultry dishes. I love it. ABV: 13 percent.

Distributed by Free Run: Available in the District at Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits (Union Market, the Wharf), Cork Wine Bar and Market, DCanter, Odd Provisions, Soapstone Market; on the list at Bad Saint, Beuchert’s Saloon, Dio, Komi, Maxwell Park, New Columbia Distillers, Red Hen, Rose’s Luxury. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Cranbrook Liquors and John Brown General and Butchery in Cockeysville, Grand Cru, North Charles Fine Wine & Spirits and Remington Wine Company in Baltimore, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, the French Paradox Wines in Stevenson, Whitey’s Liquors in Linthicum Heights, Wine Merchant in Lutherville; on the list at Clavel, Pen & Quill and Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.

GREAT VALUE
Influence Wines Riesling 2016

Finger Lakes, N.Y., $14

This wine grew on me. My first impression was, “Yeah, it’s Riesling.” But after it warmed a bit in my glass, it revealed lime zest and lemon curd flavors and a creamy texture that caught my attention and made me want another glass. ABV: 11.5 percent.

Distributed by Siema: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Wagshal’s (Deli, on New Mexico Avenue); on the menu at Aperto, Chaplin’s, Charlie Palmer Steak, Cusbah, Sakerum, Sax, Smith Commons, Tabard Inn, Tonic at Quigley’s. Available in Maryland at California Wine & Spirits in California, Cork 57 Beer and Wine in Bethesda, Crescent Beer & Wine in Bowie, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits, Frederick Wine House, Grand Cru in Baltimore, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville, Rodman’s in White Flint; on the list at Doner Bistro in Frederick, Founding Farmers in Potomac, Kapnos Taverna in College Park, Succotash in National Harbor, Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Department of Beer and Wine in Alexandria, Eli’s Provisions in Roanoke, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Tides Inn Market in Colonial Beach, the Vine and Leaf in Front Royal, Vintage Wines in Harrisonburg; on the list at Hula Girl Bar and Grill and Kapnos Taverna in Arlington.

GREAT VALUE
Las Perdices Viognier 2017

Mendoza, Argentina, $12

Honeysuckle, jasmine and perhaps a hint of passion fruit or mango characterize this ripe and tasty white wine from Argentina. Consider this for brunch, appetizers or light grazing. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Best One Liquor, Chinatown Liquor, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, P&C Market, Rodman’s, Streets Market (14th Street), Whole Foods Market (Tenleytown), Yes! Organic Market (Eighth Street). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Dawson’s Market and Gilly’s Craft Beer & Fine Wine in Rockville, Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, the Wine Bin in Ellicott City; on the list at Mussel Bar and Grille in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), La Tienda in Williamsburg, Libbie Market and Yellow Umbrella Provisions in Richmond, Old Towne Butcher & Market in Fredericksburg, Streets Market and Cafe in Alexandria, the Town Duck in Warrenton, the Wine Outlet in Great Falls, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Springfield); on the list at Mussel Bar and Grille in Alexandria.

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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