An inexpensive “poundable” sangiovese from Italy leads this week’s recommendations. We also have two challenging white wines from Spain’s Basque region to test your tolerance for acidity and your felicity with consonants. Finally, a new brand debuts from a partnership involving the James Beard Foundation with some affordable and delicious wines from the West Coast.
Salus Rosso Sangiovese NV
Terre di Chieti, Italy, $9
If you’ve ever wondered what wine to open with frozen pizza — and believe me, I have — ideally it should be cheap, tasty and (why not?) Italian. This nonvintage sangiovese fits the bill. If you’re inclined to white wine, there’s a pinot grigio, too, but the rosso is better. You’re welcome. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
Imported by Caput Mundi, distributed by Impero: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Batch 13, Imperial Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Salumeria 2703. Available in Maryland at Dawson’s Market in Rockville; Di Pasquale’s Marketplace in Baltimore; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer, Finewine.com and Gemelli’s Italian Market in Gaithersburg; Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Giolitti Delicatessen and the Italian Market in Annapolis; Old Farm Liquors and Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick; Rodman’s in White Flint; Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Cafe Torino Bakery in Warrenton; City Vino in Fredericksburg; Crystal Palate in Norfolk; the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover) in Arlington; Marchese Italian Market, Rigoletto Italian Bakery and Yiannis Wine & Food in Virginia Beach; Market 2 Market in Alexandria; Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Wine Attic in Clifton; WineStyles (Chantilly, Montclair).
Zudugarai Txakoli Malda Getariako Txakolina 2018
Txakoli (pronounced “chah-kuh-lee”) hails from the Basque region of northern Spain. Made from the hondarrabi zuri grape, these wines tend to be uncomfortably acidic, a surprise uppercut to the palate that can send you reeling. But they’re delicious and fascinating as long as you aren’t expecting a simple sip. Don’t drink them too cold — refrigerator temperature only emphasizes the acidity — and pair them with food, which softens the acidity and brings out fruit flavors of citrus and kiwi. What type of food? Anything vibrant or spicy. These wines can take it. The Txakoli Malda benefits from being a 2018 — the time in bottle softens the wine just a bit and gives it an appealing roundness on the palate. ABV: 11 percent.
Imported by Grapes of Spain, distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Uptown Market. Available in Maryland at Bo Brooks Lighthouse Liquors in Baltimore, Butchers Alley in Bethesda, Dawson’s Market and El Botanero in Rockville, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Kensington Station Wine & Co. in Kensington, Ronnie’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Forest Hill, Viniferous in Frederick.
Alleme Txakolina Getariako Txakolina 2019
This invigorating wine, a year younger than the Zudugarai, is a tad racier, more on the citrusy side of the flavor spectrum. It would take a few years in the bottle to tame this one. ABV: 14.1 percent.
Imported and distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at A-1 Wines & Liquors, Magruder’s. Available in Maryland at Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits in Columbia, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Petite Cellars and Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at City Vino in Fredericksburg, Farm Fresh and Kroger (Lombardy) in Richmond, Locke Store in Millwood, Unwined (King Street) in Alexandria.
Dough Pinot Noir 2019
Dough is a new line of wines from the James Beard Foundation and Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, a group that includes Argyle Winery in Oregon, MacRostie, Markham and Textbook in California, and Wither Hills in New Zealand. The wines are made by MacRostie winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen and aimed at restaurant by-the-glass programs. This Oregon pinot noir is my favorite of their lineup: It displays the dark cherry and leafy forest-floor character of Oregon pinot, with a lingering sassafras note that rings long and true. A plus for by-the-glass or at home — the wine stands fine and even improves over several days, simply sealed under its screw cap. ABV: 12.8 percent.
Distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Bel Pre Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Frederick Wine House in Frederick; Giolitti Delicatessen in Annapolis; Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Takoma Beverage Co. in Takoma Park. Available in Virginia at Wine House in Fairfax.
Dough Sauvignon Blanc 2019
North Coast, Calif., $19
Guava, quince and Asian pear flavors dominate this lovely sauvignon blanc in the California style. This wine will pair well with salads or vegetable-dominated dishes. The Dough line also includes a chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Bel Pre Beer & Wine and Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring, Beer Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Frederick Wine House and Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick, Giolitti Delicatessen in Annapolis, Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Hopkins Deli in Baltimore, Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington, Takoma Beverage Co. in Takoma Park.
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.