Exceptional Excellent Very Good
Here’s an all-American lineup of five “great value” wines, all under $20, to enjoy during your July 4 cookouts. We have three stellar rosés from California’s Paso Robles, New York’s Finger Lakes and Oregon plus two rich, juicy reds to match with your burgers or ribs from the grill.
Daou Rosé 2019
Paso Robles, Calif., $18
Strawberries, cantaloupe and muskmelon aromas characterize this wine, which almost seems like a farmers market in a glass. Kudos, too, for an elegant bottle that seems to enhance the perception of the wine without elevating the price. Delicious. Alcohol by volume: 13.7 percent.
Distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley; Hop, Cask & Barrel; Michigan Liquors; Potomac Wine & Spirits; Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits; Yes! Organic Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Bacchus Wine and Spirits in Hagerstown, Festival Wine & Spirits and Wine Cellars of Annapolis in Annapolis, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, the Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church.
Spellbound Petite Sirah 2017
This is a luscious, sweet-ripe California red that combines in-your-face fruit with a bit of smoky tobacco complexity. When I say “sweet-ripe,” I mean the wine tastes of ripe, sweet fruit — in this case, blackberries and raspberries — not that the wine is sweet and treacly. On the contrary, this is a fine example of a California wine made in sufficient quantity to be widely available to proffer excellent quality for the price. Pair this with grilled beef or sausages. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton Selection: Widely available at independent wine stores in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot Number 69
Based on zinfandel, Marietta’s Old Vine Red is a consistent value from the Golden State. Grapes from different years are blended to maintain consistency, thus the lot number rather than a vintage date. Flavors are deep and savory, with cranberry, raisins and plums, as well as a hint of sage. It’s a great burger wine with good availability and can often be found cheaper than the list price. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed in the District by Bacchus, in Maryland by Winebow, in Virginia by Select:
Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Safeway (Wisconsin Avenue), Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Trader Joe’s (various locations), Whole Foods Market (H Street, P Street). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Lance’s Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Bel Pre Beer & Wine and Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis; Old Town Market in Kensington; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Old Town Market in Kensington; Rodman’s in White Flint; Safeway in Olney; Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s and Lost Dog Cafe in McLean, Daily Planet and Lee’s Market in Alexandria, Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church, Harris Teeter (various locations), Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Total Wine & More (various locations), Trader Joe’s (various locations), Wegmans (various locations), Whole Foods Market (various locations).
A to Z Rosé 2019
Delightful flavors of raspberries, strawberries and wild herbs characterize this lovely wine from Oregon. Try it with spicy foods, pre-meal noshes or just sip it on its own. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Hayden’s Liquor, Rodman’s, Sav On Liquors, Safeway (Georgetown). Available in Maryland at Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville; Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Wegmans (various locations).
Keuka Spring Dry Rosé 2019
Finger Lakes, N.Y., $17
This lovely wine is a blend of lemberger (also known as blaufrankisch), cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. So its flavor profile definitely speaks to the Finger Lakes of New York rather than the Mediterranean coast of France. Candied cherries, wild herbs and a hint of apricot tease the palate, with enough acidity to keep the wine refreshing. Savor this on its own, with light summer lunches or with pre-dinner appetizers. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by Georgian Wine House: Available in the District at Batch 13, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Old City Market and Oven, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Tyber Creek Wine Bar & Kitchen, Whole Foods Market (P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, Off the Rox Wine & Beer and Wine Source in Baltimore.
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.