Snag the equivalent of four bottles of flavorful red wine in this $30 box
By Dave McIntyre,
The Washington Post
Here’s another huzzah for delicious, cheap wine in the environmentally friendly box format — in this case, a tasty barbera from Piedmont in northern Italy that wants to be your “house red.” We also have a savory syrah from the Pacific Northwest and two fun wines from California: an unusual and enticing gewurztraminer and a great value red blend. Top it off with an affordable, top-quality bubbly from the Loire.
Bergevin Lane Vineyards She-Devil Syrah 2016
Columbia Valley, $26
Rich, savory and plush in texture, this is ripe New World syrah with an earthy focus. Flavors of dark fruits yield to mushrooms and cocoa on a sweet-ripe finish with soft tannins. Alcohol by volume: 14.6 percent.
Distributed by Global Wines Maryland: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, D’Vines, Metro Wine & Spirits, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Streets Market (Connecticut Avenue), Union Kitchen Grocery (various locations), Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer Wine & Co. and Cork 57 Beer and Wine in Bethesda, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Silver Branch Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, Wine Bin in Ellicott City.
Union Sacré Belle de Nuit Gewurztraminer 2019
Arroyo Seco, Calif., $20
This is not your grandma’s gewurz. Winemaker Xavier Arnaudin harvests early to avoid the flabby, high-alcohol-style wine the grape can yield when too ripe, then he adds a little texture by fermenting the grapes on their skins. The result is a refreshing dry wine that resembles a pale rosé in color with restrained floral aromas of rose hips and litchis. ABV: 12.8 percent.
Distributed by Le Storie: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Ace Beverage, Flight Wine Bar, St. Vincent, Wardman Wines. Available in Virginia at Brut Champagne & Wine Bar, Grape + Bean, Planet Wine & Gourmet and Unwined (Belleview, Bradlee) in Alexandria; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Clarity, Norm’s Beer & Wine and Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Crystal City Wine Shop and Lyon Hall in Arlington; Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church; Belmont Food Shop, Blue Atlas, Brookland Park Market, Ellwood Thompson’s Natural Market, Grisette, Oxford Cellars, Second Bottle and Union Market in Richmond; Bottle House, Tilman’s and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville.
Langlois Brut Crémant de Loire
Loire Valley, France, $22
From the same owners as the famed Bollinger champagne house, the Langlois Chateau produces fine bubbly that approaches champagne quality. This is not the rich style Bolly fans might recognize, but it’s a crisp, refreshing bubbly with impressive depth. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Imported by Vintus, distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Cork & Fork, Cuba Libre, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Rumi’s Kitchen, Yes! Organic Market (Georgia Avenue). Available in Maryland at Citron in Baltimore, Hop & Grape in North Bethesda, O’Learys Seafood in Annapolis.
Paris Valley Road Founder’s Blend 2018
Paris Valley Road winery is in Paso Robles, and this wine has some of the rough-and-tumble frontier Paso character, even if the California designation suggests at least some of the wine comes from elsewhere in the state. Aromas and flavors of dark cherries, plums and black pepper linger through a strong finish. There is an appealing earthy element as well, though the wine remains oriented toward its fruit. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquor, Rodman’s, S&S Liquors, Yes! Organic Market (Brookland, Capitol Hill). Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Cana Beer & Wine in Germantown, Colonial Liquors in La Plata, Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Frederick Wine House in Frederick, Gilly’s Craft Beer & Fine Wine and Rockville Pike Craft Beer Wine & More in Rockville, Liberty Wine & Liquors in LaVale, Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring, Petite Cellars and Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Plaza Liquors in Pasadena, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park, Vintage 414 in Cambridge, Wine & Liquor Depot in Brandywine, the Winery in Chester, Wine Shoppe in Waldorf.
Piedmont, Italy, $30 for a three-liter box
Here’s another terrific value everyday wine in the box format. This is the equivalent of four bottles at $7.50. The wine is medium-bodied, with tart cherry fruit and an appealing floral aspect we don’t normally expect at this price. It is quite dry and refreshing, characteristic of the food-friendly barbera grape. Bravo! (Reminder: When you’ve finished the wine, tear the bag from inside the box, discard it in the trash and recycle the cardboard box. Then go buy some more.) ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported by USA Wine West, distributed by Bacchus: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Exotic Wine and Liquors, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s (New Mexico Avenue). Available in Maryland at Bay Wine & Spirits in North Beach; Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits, Eastport Liquors and Giolitti Delicatessen in Annapolis; Bradley’s Wine & Spirits in Phoenix; Canton Crossing Wine + Spirits, Charmed Kitchen, Chuck’s Trading Post, Di Pasquale’s Marketplace, Eddie’s of Roland Park, North Charles Fine Wine & Spirits, Off the Rox, Red Brick Station, Spirits of Mount Vernon and Wine Source in Baltimore; Cheers & Spirits in Arnold; College Square Liquors in Westminster; Colonial Liquors in La Plata; District East in Frederick; Hilltop Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Jason’s Wine & Spirits, Olde Tyme Liquors and Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Kent Towne Liquors in Chester; Liquor Pump in Parkville; Mt. Airy Liquors in Mt. Airy; Nick’s of Calvert in Prince Frederick; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Piazza Italian Market in Easton; Thompson Creek Liquors in Stevensville; Vintage 414 in Cambridge.
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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