Exceptional Excellent Very Good
I’ve recommended several rosés over the past few months and there will be more to come. But here are five to get you in the right frame of mind in case hot weather actually does come to stay awhile. For wine lovers with a bit of a sweet tooth or those who just love ruby reds, I’m including a grapefruit-infused rosé that is surprisingly good.
Veneto, Italy, $16
The grapes that typically go into Valpolicella (corvina, rondinella and molinara) are also in this zesty, juicy rosé, which is super year after year. It’s great by itself, but excels with salty or garlicky foods such as olives or hummus. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Bacchus: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Ace Beverage, Calvert Woodley, Cork Market, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s; on the list at Alta Strada, Compass Rose, RPM Italian. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Edgewater Liquors, Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon, John Brown General and Butchery in Cockeysville, Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick, Port of Call Liquors in Solomons, Piazza Italian Market and Wishing Well Liquors in Easton, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park, Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at the Crossing at Casey Jones in La Plata, Limoncello in St. Michaels.
Zweigelt is Austria’s main red grape and gives this rosé its vibrant and peppery profile with loads of cherry and raspberry flavors. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Eye Street Cellars, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, Magruder’s, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and the Italian Market in Annapolis; Chestnut Ridge Gas & Liquors in Grantsville, Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits; Eddie’s Liquors, Quarry Wine & Spirits and V-No Wine Bar & Shop in Baltimore; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon; Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer and Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville; Midway Discount Liquors in Joppa; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; on the list at Marie Louise Bistro in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at All Things Virginia in Woodstock, Crystal City Wine Shop, Culpeper Cheese Company, Ellwood Thompson’s Natural Market, Metzger Bar & Butchery and Once Upon a Vine (both locations) in Richmond, Ivy Provisions in Charlottesville, Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington, Unwined in Alexandria; on the list at Ashby Inn in Paris, Grandale Vinter’s Table in Purcellville.
Sonoma County, Calif., $15
A perennial favorite of mine, this delicious rosé offers watermelon and strawberry flavors, with a whiff of wild herbs carried on a sea breeze. ABV: 13.2 percent.
Distributed by Bacchus in the District and Maryland, Select in Virginia: Widely available.
Sable de Camargue, France, $11
Listel is a popular rosé in France, and it’s easy to see why: It’s cheap and delicious. It goes down easy, so have another bottle on hand. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Chinatown Liquor, Eye Street Cellars, Open Door Market, Rodman’s, Tenley Wine & Liquor, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at 108 Deli & Liquor in Clarksville; Big Mouth Liquor in Waldorf; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Cherryvale Liquors in Reisterstown; Cork ’n Bottle Liquor and Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits and Bistro in Laurel; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Gateway Market & Liquors in Thurmont; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Landover Liquor in Cheverly; Old Farm Liquors and Village Mart Beer & Wine in Frederick; Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata, Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac); on the list at Citron and Mussel Bar & Grille in Baltimore, La Ferme in Chevy Chase.
My inner wine purist screams “No!” at the thought of adulterating a nice rosé with fruit juice. Aren’t wine coolers a thing of the past? But this is delicious and refreshing, with a strong finish of ruby red grapefruit and just enough sweetness without being cloying. Chill it really cold and maybe even add a bit of sparkling water to give it an extra edge. ABV: 9 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Oasis Gourmet Deli, Open Door Market, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Angelo’s Beer Wine Liquor, the Liquor Store, Plaza Liquors and the Wine Shoppe in Waldorf; Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Meridian Market Beer and Wine in North Bethesda; Old Farm Liquors and Westview Liquors in Frederick; Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata, Town Center Wine & Spirits in Hyattsville.
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.