South Africa, $12
I raved about the 2018 version of this delightful blend, and the newer vintage is reminding me of how consistently good the wine can be. South Africa is justly famous for its chenin blanc, which makes up 78 percent of the blend. The addition of viognier (13 percent) and roussanne (9 percent) contribute body and floral notes to the mix. This is a food-friendly white, but I’m tempted to pair it with a sunny patio and some good conversation. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.
Imported by International Wine Imports, distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, New H Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines, Yes! Organic Markets (various locations). Available in Maryland at Antietam Spirits in Boonsboro; Bin 201 Wine Sellers and Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers; Canton Crossing Wine + Spirits, Cheese Galore & More, Chuck’s Trading Post, Quarry Wine & Spirits and Wine Source in Baltimore; the Breadery in Catonsville; College Square Liquors in Westminster; Crescent Beer & Wine in Bowie; Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater; Foundry Row Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills; Kenilworth Wine & Spirits in Towson; Magothy Wine & Spirits in Severna Park; Maple Beer & Wine in Bethesda; New Market Beer & Wine in New Market; One Eleven Main in Bel Air; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; Spin the Bottle Wine Co. in Frederick. Available in Virginia at the Brew Shop and Pentagon City Wine Merchant in Arlington, Department of Beer and Wine in Alexandria, Once Upon a Vine in Richmond, Streets Market in Ballston, Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Fairlakes, Short Pump, Springfield, Tysons), Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville.
Ben Marco Malbec 2017
Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina, $18
Here’s a sturdy (in a good way) wine, to stand up to hearty beef dishes, such as late-winter stews or early-spring grills. Malbec’s flavors of blueberries are here, along with a mouthwatering herbal spicy note. This wine is made by noted Argentine winemaker Susana Balbo. ABV: 13.9 percent.
Imported by Folio, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Bloomingdale Liquor, the Bottle Shop, Central Liquors, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Freedom Market, Imperial Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Modern Liquors, Riggs Wines, Riverside Liquors, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at 7 Summers Liquors in Upper Marlboro, Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Hop N Grape in North Bethesda, Jason’s Wine & Spirits and Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City, Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia, Laurel Beer, Wine and Spirits in Laurel, Queens Chapel Liquors in Hyattsville, Plaza Liquors in Pasadena, Rodman’s in White Flint, Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville, Staples Corner Liquors in Gambrills.
Tobia Graciano 2015
Rioja, Spain, $22
With bright, juicy cherry fruit and a hint of clove and pepper, here’s a delightful, light-bodied red ideal for sipping with your before-dinner nosh or a weekend lunch. Or you could pair it with your memories of a road trip through Spain. ABV: 14 percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Leonardtown Wine & Spirit in Leonardtown, Liquor Locker in Hagerstown, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park, Waugh Chapel Wine & Spirits in Gambrills.
Susana Balbo Crios Torrontés 2018
Another bottle from Balbo, this one is a dry, restrained expression of the flowery torrontés grape. Crisp, refreshing acidity makes the wine invigorating. Enjoy this by itself or with antipasti, such as ham and/or salami. ABV: 14 percent.
Imported by Folio, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Central Liquors, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Freedom Market, MacArthur Beverages, Riverside Liquors, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Bin 201 Wine Sellers and Festival Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; California Wine & Spirits in California; Chesapeake Market & Deli in Rose Haven; Choice Wine & Beer, Country Boy Market and Elbe’s Beer & Wine in Wheaton; Dawson’s Market and Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store and Yes! Organic Market in Hyattsville; Harbour Liquors in Curtis Bay, Hop N Grape in North Bethesda; Lance’s Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Pasadena Market Wine & Spirits in Pasadena; Roland Park Wines & Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore.
Patamar Red Blend Reserva 2015
Lisboa, Portugal, $12
Bright, juicy, well-structured and affordable red wine — let’s get this party started. Drink this with sausages, pasta with red sauce, burgers — you get the idea. Go get this. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Cambridge Farmers Market in Cambridge; Country Boy Market in Wheaton; District East, Frederick Wine House and Riverside Liquors in Frederick; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Foundry Row Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills; Glenwood Wine & Spirits in Glenwood; House of Liquors in Westminster; Landover Liquor in Cheverly; Magothy Wine & Spirits in Severna Park; Pigtown Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; Port of Call Liquors in Solomons; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; the Vine on Main in Sykesville; the Winery in Chester; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; Town Center Wine & Spirits in Hyattsville; Wheaton Winery in Wheaton; Winchester Liquors in Grasonville.
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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