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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.
Choosing the right wine shouldn’t create stress, especially on Valentine’s Day. Here are five wines to help make any meal special, including a sweethearts’ dinner. They include a champagne for when the stakes are high and two fizzy rosés to help set a more relaxed but still romantic vibe. For good measure, there’s a serious red from Australia for the main course and an exotic and seductive Riesling to end the evening on a sweet note.
★ ★ ★
Champagne, France, $50
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Old Farm Liquors and Viniferous in Frederick, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars and the Vineyard in McLean.
★ ★ ★
Mosel, Germany, $18
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, Bloomingdale Liquor, Rodman’s, Virginia Market, Wagshal’s Deli; on the list at 701, Ankara, Prego Again, Slate Wine Bar & Bistro. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co., Georgetown Square Wine and Beer, and Geste Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Happy Grape in Baltimore; Silesia Liquors (2014 vintage) in Fort Washington; Mayo Liquors in Edgewater; Midway Discount Liquors in Joppa; Wine Bin in Ellicott City. On the list at Crush Wine House in Annapolis, Water for Chocolate in Baltimore, Mussel Bar and Grille in Bethesda, Vini Culture Wine Bar & Cafe in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Altura Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Locke Modern Country Store in Millwood; on the list at Vaso’s Kitchen and Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro in Alexandria.
Adelaide Hills, Australia, $35
This is a savory shiraz, not the overtly fruity, jammy style that came to characterize Australian wine a decade ago. Serve it with rich, hearty stews or roasts. ABV: 14 percent.
Distributed by Country Vintner: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cork & Fork, D’Vines, S&R Liquors. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis, Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac). Available in Virginia at Cork & Fork in Gainesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Provence, France, $15
The elegant bottle, the pale pink color and, well, just the thought of Provence suggest romance. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Bacchus Wine Cellar, Bell Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Eye Street Cellars, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Tenley Wine & Liquor; on the list at B Too. Available in Maryland at Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Total Discount Liquors in Eldersburg. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop, the Vineyard in McLean, Wegmans (various locations).
Finger Lakes, N.Y., $20
This fun, bubbly rosé is made from cabernet franc, then carbonated rather than undergoing a second fermentation in the champagne style. I was skeptical at first, because it seemed gimmicky, but it won me over with its charm. Think of this as a date wine without the added pressure of an expensive champagne. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Siema: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits; on the list at Eno Wine Bar. Available in Maryland at Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria.