Columnist, Food

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Here are two flights of wines for your Thanksgiving consideration. Each flight consists of a sparkling wine, a white and a red. The difference is price. I’ve listed alternative selections as well. On Sunday, I’ll offer an all-American selection, with some local gems suitable for the holiday feast.


Loredan Gasparini Casa Bianca Prosecco

1 / 2

Veneto, Italy, $11

This cheerful bubbly from northern Italy says, “Relax; it’s going to be okay.” And with a few sips, you might even believe it. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent. Alternative: Segura Viudas Cava.

Dionysus: Available in the District at D’Vines, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Whole Foods Market (P Street); on the list at Acacia, GBD, Jack Rose, Kapnos, Kellari, Puro Cafe. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Bin 604 Wine Sellers and Eddie’s of Roland Park in Baltimore, Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Snider’s Super Foods and Woodmont Market in Silver Spring; on the list at Level Restaurant in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Fern Street Gourmet in Alexandria, Whole Foods Market (Richmond, Vienna).

Red Newt Riesling 2012

1 / 2

Finger Lakes, N.Y., $14

This introductory Riesling from a top producer is often called the Circle Riesling because of the large circle on the label. It displays the lively citrus character of many Rieslings from Seneca Lake, with a moderate level of sweetness that will pair well with the sweet flavors of a Thanksgiving dinner. ABV: 11 percent. Alternatives: Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling and Dry Riesling.

Potomac Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage; on the list at Proof. Available in Maryland at Decanter Fine Wines and Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Grand Cru and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, Wishing Well Liquors in Easton. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria); on the list at Heritage Restaurant in Richmond, Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna.

Veni Vidi Vici Vini Pinot Noir 2010

1 / 2

Danube River Plains, Bulgaria, $10

Decent pinot noir is almost impossible to find at $10, but this little stunner from Bulgaria hits the mark. ABV: 13 percent. Alternatives: Mark West (California), Cono Sur (Chile).

Constantine: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine and Liquor, De Vino’s, Dupont Market, Rodman’s, Rosebud Liquor, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Tenley Wine & Liquor. Available in Maryland at 29 Convenience Mart in Silver Spring, Annebeth’s and Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Montgomery County Liquor Store in Darnestown, Wishing Well Liquors in Easton. On the list at Coal Fire (various locations); Food, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Carrol’s Creek Cafe and Sam’s on the Waterfront in Annapolis.


Simonnet-Febvre Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne

★ ★

Burgundy, France, $20

This producer, based in Chablis in northern Burgundy, is one of my favorites for value-oriented chardonnay and sparkling wines. The Brut Rosé shines with cherry and strawberry flavors and a razor-sharp balance that both complements food and leaves you thirsting for more. ABV: 12 percent. Alternatives: Gloria Ferrer Brut (California), Scharffenberger Brut (California).

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cathedral Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Magruder’s, Pan-Mar Liquor, Rodman’s, Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, U Street Mini Mart, Wine Specialist, Yes! Organic Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Bethesda Co-op in Cabin John; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Rodman’s in White Flint; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington. On the list at Bistro Provence in Bethesda.

La Cana Albariño 2012

★ ★

Rias Baixas, Spain, $17

This albarino is fruity, with ambrosial citrus and tropical aromas and flavors. ABV: 12.5 percent. Alternative: Legado Albariño (Spain) or Steininger Gruner Veltliner (Austria).

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Lee-Irving Liquor, Modern Liquors, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s; on the list at Jaleo. Available in Maryland at in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; on the list at Jaleo in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview); various locations of Total Wine & More, Wegmans and Whole Foods Market.

Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2008

★ ★ ★

Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia, $35

These wines (new to the Washington area) are marketed with characteristic Australian humor as being designed to pair with game. Whatever you pair them with, they are delicious. Don’t think of syrupy-sweet Aussie shiraz here: This is nimble on the palate, with hints of mint and eucalyptus, but with a core of wild berry fruit. ABV: 15 percent. Alternatives: Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel (California), Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant (California).

Select: Available in Virginia at Oakton Wine Shop, Unwined (Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Vienna).