★★★Exceptional ★★Excellent ★Very Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Here are some fascinating and delicious white wines from the islands of the Mediterranean. Maybe they’re not a fantasy cruise, but they offer a few hours of escape from the summer heat.
Santorini, Greece, $22
It’s enticing: ripe orchard fruit of peaches, apricots and plums with a whiff of sea air. The only thing I can say against this wine is that it’s so good, I didn’t want food to interfere with the flavors.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Rodman’s; on the list at Policy, Zaytinya. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville, Total Wine & More in Fairfax, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview; on the list at Fireside Grill in Lorton.
Sicily, Italy, $15
The hint of citrus blossom and a talclike minerality speak at once of mountain and sea. Its zesty acidity makes it a nice partner to seafood salads and lighter grilled dishes.
Winebow: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Safeway on L Street and in Georgetown, Whole Foods Market in Glover Park; on the list at La Tomate, Proof, Windows Cafe & Market. Available in Maryland at Belby Discount Beer & Wine and Rodman’s in Rockville, the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Calvert Discount Liquors in Cockeysville, Eastport Liquors and Wine Cellars of Annapolis; on the list at Amici Miei in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market in Alexandria; on the list at Del Ray Pizzeria in Alexandria, Toscana Grill in Arlington, Espositos in Fairfax, Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg.
Sardinia, Italy, $16
This is a classic vermentino, with citrus, herbs and sea air. It’s an excellent aperitif wine to carry through the first course of salads, sushi or lighter seafood, such as grilled calamari.
Winebow: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Ace Beverage, Calvert Woodley, Cowgirl Creamery, D’Vines, Hayden’s Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Magruder’s, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Pearson’s, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Sav-On Liquors, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, various Whole Foods Market locations; on the list at Bibiana, Cafe Milano, Coppi’s Organic, Fiola, the Gibson, La Tomate, District Kitchen, the Source. Available in Maryland at Belby Discount Beer & Wine and Rodman’s in Rockville, Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Eastport Liquors, Wine Cellars of Annapolis, Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at Amici Miei in Potomac, Young’s Place in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s and Total Wine & More in McLean, One More Page in Arlington, Vienna Vintner, various Wegmans locations, Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at Assaggi Osteria in McLean, Il Fornaio in Reston, Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg.
Sicily, Italy, $17
The crispness of the grillo matches nicely with the voluptuous viognier to produce a wine that is fine and long on the finish. Don’t drink it too fast; you’ll want to savor it.
Vias/Country Vintner: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Whole Foods Market Tenleytown. Available in Maryland at King Farm Beer & Wine in Rockville; on the list at Il Pizzico in Rockville.
★1 / 2
Ikaria, Greece, $25
Challenging and fascinating, this wine is an unusual copper color and quite tart with flavors of not-quite-ripe apricots and kumquat, juicy peach on the finish and a nice saline minerality. Only 500 cases were produced, with 150 sent to the United States.
LAN Wines: Available in the District at Cork & Fork, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Zaytinya.