Here are some more wines for summer: An enjoyable sparkler to get the party started, two rosés to help set the patio mood, and a substantial red to wash down those hefty meats off your grill.
Le Clos des Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2013
Rhone Valley, France, $40
I’ve always liked this wine for its elegance and sophistication, in contrast to many Chateauneufs that are overpowering with alcohol at 15 percent or higher, and because it’s made from organic grapes. It has also been a consistently good value. This vintage is creeping up in price and maybe alcohol, but it retains its finesse. Decant it an hour ahead to let the fruit flavors emerge. Alcohol by volume: 14.5 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at Mom’s Organic Market, Rodman’s; on the list at Mirabelle, Marcel. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley’s Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Mom’s Organic Market (Rockville). Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Mom’s Organic Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Herndon, Woodbridge).
Domaine du Pas de L’Escalette “Ze Rosé” 2016
Languedoc, France, $20
One of my favorite producers from Languedoc produces this delicious rosé, with soft fruit and deceptive acidity that reveals itself only with food. This one shines with fruit, especially summer-ripe peaches and berries. ABV: 12.8 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Arrowine & Spirits, Cork & Fork, Cork Market, Schneiders of Capitol Hill, Streets Market; on the list at 701, Acadiana, Range. Available in Virginia at Arrowine & Cheese and Twisted Vines in Arlington, Bottle Stop in Occoquan, Cheesetique in Alexandria, Market Street Wine Shop (Uptown) in Charlottesville; on the list at Choices by Shawn in Fairfax, Pomme in Gordonsville, Saison in Richmond.
Famiglia Corsarini Rosato First Press 2016
**-1/2 GREAT VALUE
This is a delightful, zesty rosé with crisp strawberry flavors up front and watermelon and cantaloupe on the finish. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Capital City Wine & Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Meridian Market & Wine in North Bethesda, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick.
Nicosia Vulka Etna Bianco 2015
Sicily, Italy, $22
Mount Etna produces some intriguingly delicious wines, including this white, a blend of carricante and catarretto grapes. This needs food to show its best, don’t drink it as a cocktail. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Daily 14 Liquors, Grand Cata, Rodman’s; on the list at Dino’s Grotto, Floriana, Iron Gate.
Salasar Crémant de Limoux
This spritely sparkler is a delightful way to transition a hot summer’s day into twilight and evening. Don’t think champagne, just think fun. It’s fruity and crisp with just a hint of sweetness, more from the fruit flavor than any residual sugar. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Ace Beverages, Argonne Market, Eye Street Cellars, Quincy’s Liquor Store, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Streets Market; on the list at B Too, Ici Urban Bistro, Kingbird. Available in Maryland at Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Fenwick Beer & Wine and Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, the French Paradox Wines in Stevenson, Georgetown Square Wine & Beer in Bethesda, Petite Cellars in Ellicott City, Vintage Cellars in Clarksville, Wine Cellars of Annapolis; on the list at Dish & Dram in Kensington. Available in Virginia at Bottle Stop in Occoquan, Libbie Market in Richmond, Loki Gourmet in McLean, the Wine Guild in Charlottesville; on the list at Del Ray Café and La Porta’s in Alexandria, Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, Requin in Fairfax.
(Originally posted on washingtonpost.com on July 22, 2017.)