Home Life & Style Here’s a $16 Austrian white to sip at picnics and cookouts

Here’s a $16 Austrian white to sip at picnics and cookouts

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Exceptional   Excellent   Very Good

Cookout season is upon us, so here are some wines to wash down whatever you are grilling or smoking. A delightfully fun Austrian Gemischter Satz gets the party started with an aromatic, fruity blend of white grapes to sip while the fire heats up. Two savory Italian reds and two excellent, affordable California cabernets fill out this week’s flight.

GREAT VALUE

Casal Bordino Sinello Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2016

Abruzzo, Italy, $18

Here’s a rich wine to pair with braised or smoked meats, aged cheese and hefty pasta dishes. Montepulciano is one of those confusing Italian wine terms: It is the name of a hilltown in Tuscany that gives us Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, made from the sangiovese grape, and it is the name of the red grape that stars in the signature wine of Abruzzo, south of Tuscany. This example of the latter is aged in small oak barrels, giving it more tannic structure and spicy aromas. It is savory and luscious, with flavors of beef and mushrooms, accented by wild herbs. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.

Imported by Caput Mundi, distributed by Impero: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Batch 13, Cork & Fork, Imperial Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Salumeria 2703. Available in Maryland at Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton; 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; Giolitti Delicatessen in Annapolis; Old Farm Liquors and Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick; Old Town Market in Kensington; Rodman’s (White Flint). Available in Virginia at City Vino in Fredericksburg; Crystal Palate in Norfolk; Grapevine in Warrenton; the Italian Store (Lyons Village, Westover) in Arlington; Marchese Italian Market, Rigoletto Italian Bakery and Yiannis Wine Shop in Virginia Beach; Market 2 Market in Alexandria; Vienna Vintner in Vienna; the Wine Attic in Clifton; WineStyles (Chantilly, Montclair).

GREAT VALUE

Hugl Weine Gemischter Satz 2019

Austria, $16

This is a lovely, summery blend of grüner veltliner, gelber muskateller and riesling. It is in the style of Wiener Gemischter Satz, a field blend of white varieties grown in vineyards within the city limits of Vienna, although Hugl’s winery and vineyards are in the northwestern region of Austria. The grüner gives jasmine and white pepper, the gelber muskateller adds ripe orchard fruit flavor, and the riesling brings zip. Enjoy this cold, on the patio or at a picnic, with salads, cheeses or cured meats. Since it just arrived from Europe, availability should improve quickly. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Calvert Woodley, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean, Reston), Belmont Butchery in Richmond, City Vino in Fredericksburg, Locke Store in Millwood, Uncork’d in Suffolk, the Vine and Leaf in Front Royal, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville.

GREAT VALUE

Cantine Pellegrino Tareni Nero D’Avola 2018

Sicily, Italy, $14

Nero d’Avola is a red grape native to Sicily, traditionally used to add heft and color to blends but in recent decades increasingly bottled on its own. As you might expect given its origin, it pairs great with Mediterranean-style foods, including grilled meats and hearty, vegetable-forward salads. And, of course, pizza. I think of it as between sangiovese and syrah on the flavor spectrum: Less tart than the former, not as full-bodied as the latter. This beauty from Cantine Pellegrino delivers bright cherry and berry flavors on a frame that stands up to a meaty pasta sauce, yet is elegant enough to dance with grilled fish. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Imported by Caput Mundi, distributed by Impero: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Batch 13, Cork & Fork, Imperial Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Salumeria 2703. Available in Maryland at Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton; 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; Giolitti Delicatessen in Annapolis; Old Farm Liquors and Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick; Old Town Market in Kensington; Rodman’s (White Flint). Available in Virginia at City Vino in Fredericksburg; Crystal Palate in Norfolk; Grapevine in Warrenton; the Italian Store (Lyons Village, Westover) in Arlington; Marchese Italian Market, Rigoletto Italian Bakery and Yiannis Wine Shop in Virginia Beach; Market 2 Market in Alexandria; Vienna Vintner in Vienna; Wine Attic in Clifton; WineStyles (Chantilly, Montclair).

GREAT VALUE

Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

North Coast, Calif., $20

From the Stewart family that makes exclusive and expensive cabernets at Stewart Cellars in Napa Valley, this North Coast cab is affordably priced. It offers aromas of blackberry, currant, beef and mushroom, and has medium weight as well as good tension carrying it through to a firm finish. Delicious now, and should age well for a few years. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bethesda Market and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; King’s Craft Beer, Wine & Deli, On the Vine Craft Beer & Wine, and Rockville Pike Craft Beer and Wine in Rockville; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge, Pine Orchard Liquors and Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Rip’s Wine and Spirit Shop in Bowie, Rodman’s (White Flint), Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Unwined (Belleview) in Alexandria.

GREAT VALUE

One Stone Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Paso Robles, Calif., $20

This wine is produced by Ancient Peaks winery in Central California’s Paso Robles region, which donates some of the proceeds to a nonprofit organization that promotes women in the wine and spirits industries. Blackberry, sage and mint aromas waft from the glass. The wine itself is light and lithe, with bright fruit flavors and good acidity. The finish is extended — enjoy every second. ABV: 14.1 percent.

Distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bethesda Market and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; King’s Craft Beer, Wine & Deli, On the Vine Craft Beer & Wine and Rockville Pike Craft Beer and Wine in Rockville; Rodman’s (White Flint), Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese and Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington, Balducci’s (McLean), Cheesetique (Alexandria, Arlington), Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, the Wine Attic in Clifton, the Wine Cabinet in Reston.

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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