1. 2011 Meritage, $28.95
Give this red blend time to breathe and you’ll be rewarded with a fragrant nose of cherry, chocolate, and cedar. Light on tannins, the rich wine pairs best with smoked pork and game.
2. 2011 Albariño, $24
This zippy, fruity, juicy wine is irresistible—and as versatile as they come: a porch sipper, an aperitif, or the perfect partner for everything from seafood to takeout Thai.
3. 2010 Hodder Hill, $26
This wine won the Governor’s Cup, and it’s impressive—a silky, Cab-dominant red that will improve the taste of grilled lamb or steak but is lovely by itself, in front of a fire.
4. 2009 Octagon, $50
The winery bottles Octagon only when the grapes are worthy. The 2009 is such a year, evidenced by its Governor’s Cup award. Fans of Italian wines will love the complex, subtly spiced red blend.
5. 2010 Rendezvous $75
One of Virginia’s priciest bottles, this Bordeaux-style red has attracted national notice. Rendezvous is as big as it is soft, with a tight structure and long finish.