Nero d’avola is one of those fun Italian grape varieties that can seem like a discovery every time you find a good one (which is more often than not, thanks to the work of importers finding the better examples to bring over). This week we feature a lighter, aromatic version of nero d’avola that serves as a liquid passport to a Sicilian sojourn. We also have two more kosher wines for Passover — a rich, spicy red from Israel and a refreshing fizz from South Africa. Finally, a peachy, aromatic viognier from the Rhône Valley and an affordable, tasty sauvignon blanc from Argentina.

La Citadelle de Diamant Givat Titora Reserve 2017


Israel, $31

Rich, plush and a bit spicy in flavor, this lovely blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon has the intensity of a hot climate with just enough freshness to keep it together. Kosher for Passover. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.

Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Moti’s Market in Rockville, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Petite Cellars in Ellicott City, Wine Source in Baltimore.


Cantine Madaudo Camporè Nero d'Avola 2016


Sicily, Italy, $19

Nero d’avola, Sicily’s main red grape, is a bit of a chameleon. Richer versions mimic syrah, while lighter renditions, such as this beautifully perfumed Camporè, resemble pinot noir, at least in body and texture. Drink this and imagine yourself at a trattoria in Palermo or some small coastal town, breathing in the aromas of the Mediterranean and the wild herbs and scruff of the hillsides. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Bravo Wine Imports: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Batch 13, MacArthur Beverages, Radici. Available in Virginia at Classic Wines in Great Falls; Crystal City Wine Shop and the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover) in Arlington; Foods of All Nations, Mona Lisa Pasta and Rio Hill Wine & Beer in Charlottesville; J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese, Once Upon a Vine and Oxford Cellars in Richmond; Murphy Beverage and Wine Mill in Winchester; Pickford’s Fresh Seafood in Harrisonburg; Planet Wine & Gourmet and Wine Gallery 108 in Alexandria; Sfizi Cafe in Falls Church; the Town Duck in Warrenton; Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Vino Bistro in Leesburg; Washington Street Purveyors in Lexington; the Whole Ox in Marshall; Wine Cabinet in Reston; WineStyles (Chantilly, Montclair); Yelping Dog Wine in Staunton.

Maison Les Alexandrins Viognier 2018


France, $18

Fans of Virginia viognier may want to check out this tasty version for a stylistic comparison. Maison Les Alexandrins is a northern Rhône producer, but this wine carries a modest Vin de France appellation and therefore a fairly modest price. It’s riper and fleshier than most Virginia viogniers, with more juicy peach flavors than the jasmine and honeysuckle our local wines showcase. Unfortunately, the viognier is new in the market and not available in Virginia, but fans of Rhône reds may be able to find the same producer’s Crozes-Hermitage and syrah. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported by Vineyard Brands, distributed in the District and Maryland by Bacchus, in Virginia by Winebow: Available in the District at Pappe. Available in Maryland at Eddie’s Liquors in Baltimore, Rodman’s in Wheaton.

Backsberg Kosher Brut 2018


South Africa, $25

Méthode cap classique is South Africa’s official term for the traditional champagne method of production, in which the second (bubbly) fermentation takes place in the bottle. The blend is pinot noir and chardonnay, and the result is a lively sparkler with fine bubbles and a little yeasty, toasty lees character from the bottle aging. Sustainably farmed, certified carbon neutral, and Mevushal Kosher for Passover. ABV: 12 percent.

Imported by Marquee Selections, distributed in the District and Maryland by DMV, in Virginia by Well Crafted Wine & Beverage Co.: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Accents Liquor and Pratt Liquors in Baltimore, Beer Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Bella’s and Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Castle’s Liquors in Williamsport, Downtown Wine and Beer 3 in Rockville, Dugans Discount Liquors in Pikesville, Shalom Kosher in Wheaton, Total Discount Liquors in Eldersburg, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park, Vintage 414 in Cambridge. Available in Virginia at Beer Run in Charlottesville, Fin & Tonic and Uncork’d in Suffolk, Fin Seafood in Newport News, Pagan River Wine Merchants in Smithfield, Vienna Vintner in Vienna.


Las Perdices Sauvignon Blanc 2020


Mendoza, Argentina, $14

This tasty, affordable sauvignon blanc has the best of both worlds, in terms of the grape’s style. It combines ripe, fleshy fruit with a touch of racy, grassy acidity familiar to fans of New Zealand’s savvies. It has the added bonus of wide availability. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at 7th and L Street Market, 13th Street Market, Ace Beverage, Brookland Market, Little Italy, Mimi’s Convenience Mart, Rodman’s, Streets Market (various locations), Wardman Wines, Whole Foods Market (Florida Avenue), Yes! Organic Market (Eighth Street). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s in Bethesda, Mayo Liquors in Edgewater, Ronnie’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Forest Hill, Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park, Wine Underground in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Alexandria, Libbie Market and Once Upon a Vine in Richmond, Lokl Gourmet in McLean, Streets Market in Arlington, Stop in Food Stores in Williamsburg, Towers Foods in Arlington, Whole Foods Market (Charlottesville, Tysons, Vienna).

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 to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

More from Food: