Zola Wine & Kitchen: Five Wines Under $20

Elli Benchimol at Zola Wine and Kitchen
Photos by Fredde Lieberman

Elli Benchimol, director of wine and spirits for Penn Quarter's new Zola Wine and Kitchen, believes there's a wine out there for everyone, for every celebration and — perhaps most importantly in times like these — in every price range. "You just need to be resourceful, open-minded and enthusiastic,” she says.

With that in mind, Benchimol shared with Metrocurean five of her favorite wines under $20, all available at the sleek new wine shop and test kitchen, located at 505 Ninth St. NW.

1. 2007 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny, Loire Valley, France. "This smaller region from the Loire is less well-known than Pouilly-Fumé or Sancerre, but still produces amazingly refreshing Sauvignon Blancs of a similar style, but more delicate and light. Awesome Loire valley minerality and grassy notes, but without the big price tag." $15

2. 2007 Porrais, Douro Valley, Portugal. "This blend packs a punch of bright citrus flavors and white peach. It has a nice weight to it, but is still very delicate. It's also not a very well-known region, which keeps the price low, at $16."

3. 2005 Flavium Crianza, Bierzo, Spain. "Bierzo is a region in Spain known for the grape Mencia. It’s becoming more popular, not only for its ripe juicy berry fruit, but for the value. It’s medium bodied with some delicate oak and bright red plum and bramble berry fruit." $12

4. 2005 Vina Falernia Reserve Syrah, Elqui Valley, Chile. "I love this wine! I probably drink more of this wine than any others. It’s only $13.50. [It has] full-bodied jammy blackberry fruit with lots of black pepper spice, characteristic to a Northern Rhone classic style, but with hedonistic New World-style fruit."

5. 2005 Finca & Bodega VistAlba, “Corte C,” Mendoza, Argentina. "This Malbec, Cabernet blend is full-bodied, lush and juicy. The addition of a small amount of Bonarda gives it a food-friendly acidity and balances out the soft jammy tannins." $17.99