With the weather finally warming, it’s time to fire up the grill. And that means malbec from Argentina, shiraz-based blends from Australia and a crisp Italian white for seafood.
An $18 Argentine malbec built to be savored throughout the week
Imported and distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at Dent Place Market, District Liquors, Michigan Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Bradley Food & Beverage, Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Dawson’s Market in Rockville; Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick; Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese, Le Cafe Market in Arlington; Bourbon Boulevard in Chantilly; Sisters Thai (Alexandria, Fairfax); Streets Market, Wine Gallery 108 in Alexandria; Yiannis in Virginia Beach.
Santa Julia Malbec Natural 2021
Mendoza, Argentina, $19
Vibrant, energetic and juicy, this malbec is part of winemaker Sebastián Zuccardi’s move toward natural wines. (The Zuccardi’s have always championed organic viticulture at Santa Julia winery and at their newer family winery in the Uco Valley.) Give this a slight chill and fire up the grill for your steaks, chops or burgers. Made with organic grapes. No added sulfites. Certified by Veg Argentina, Fair for Life, Organico Argentina and LETIS Organic. ABV: not listed. BW: 480 grams (Light).
Imported by Winesellers, distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Dupont Market, Grand Cata (Shaw, La Cosecha), Morris Miller Wine & Liquor. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Cork 57 Beer and Wine in Bethesda; Deli Club in Kensington; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; Red: Wine, Beer & Spirits in Clarksville; Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Wine Works in Baltimore; Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean).
Zonte’s Footstep Super Trooper Shiraz-Cabernet 2018
Fleurieu, Australia, $22
At first sip, this wine is like the guy who walks into the party, and glad-hands everyone in the room and spouts sound bites about the day’s news. You know the type. But if you listen and don’t tune out, you realize the guy has something to say. This wine does, too — once you emerge from the bramble and thistle into open ground, you taste blackberry, currant, mint, thyme and cherry. The wine gets even better for several days after twisting off the screw cap. ABV: 14 percent. BW: 600 grams (Average).
Imported and distributed by Artisans & Vines, distributed in Virginia by LK Wine Tours & Sales: Available in the District at Broad Branch Market, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Cheers & Spirits in Arnold; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Foundry Row Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills; the Hop & Vine, Old Farm Liquors, Riverside Liquors in Frederick; Pinehurst Wine Shoppe in Baltimore; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; the Winery in Chester. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler in Aldie; Murphy Beverage in Winchester; Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria.
Mesa Giunco Vermentino di Sardegna 2020
Sardinia, Italy, $22
Here’s a scintillating white that tastes of sea air, wildflowers and summer sunshine. It has a little extra verve and body than is typical for vermentino. Grilled fish should be on the menu beside this wine. ABV: 13.5 percent. BW: 500 grams (Average).
Imported by SM USA, distributed by Breakthru Beverages: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Classy Corks Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s, S&R Wine & Liquors, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at the Italian Market in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church, Leesburg Gourmet in Leesburg.
Powell & Son Riverside Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2018
Barossa, Australia, $24
Tight at first, a little funky when the screw cap is untwisted, this wine soon revels in its freedom and reveals juicy blackberry, boysenberry, cherry and raspberry flavors. Sage, rosemary and mint provide the accents. Soft, ripe tannins provide structure, but you may not notice them unless you’re looking for them — the wine is that good. ABV: 14.5 percent. BW: 620 grams (Average).
Imported by Powell & Son USA, distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at A. Litteri, D’Vines, Hop, Cask & Barrel, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines, Watergate Vintners & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers in Baltimore; Wine Merchant in Lutherville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s, Sonoma Cellar, Unwined (King Street) in Alexandria; the Caboose Market & Cafe in Ashland; Kroger (Eastridge, Willow Lawn), Libbie Market in Richmond; Pentagon City Wine Merchant in Arlington; Yiannis in Virginia Beach.
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 wine-searcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.