For the curious wine drinker—those of us who ask for a different bottle every time an order is placed—the unending list of regions, releases, vintages, distributors and prices can blanket the brain and inhibit decision-making. That’s part of wine’s allure, though: the magnitude of knowledge surrounding each varietal and how it corresponds to flavors. We’ve fallen for so many delectable wines recently—including all of those by Milan Nestarec and Antica Terra, the easy-drinking 2019 Succés Vinícola rosé ($24), and the ramato-style skin-contact Tenuta L’Armonia’s Ribelle 2018 ($29). The 11 we’ve selected below, however, represent a wide range to pair with all types of at-home experiences.
Bisol Crede Prosecco Superiore
We were among the first to try the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010 this year and while exemplary, its price removes it from the grasp of most. For those looking to celebrate the little victories of surviving every day at home, Bisol’s Crede Prosseco Superiore ($22) truly elevates an experience. The 2017 vintage, available now, is bright and zesty, at first, then grounded in a satisfying minerality with crisp fruitiness on the finish. A blend of Glera, Pinot Bianco and Verdiso grapes, Bisol’s Prosecco reveals the complexities of wine from Valdobbiadene in Italy.
Chêne Bleu Rosé
A gastronomic rosé from the Rhône region, Chêne Bleu’s Rosé ($30) can hold its own beside vibrant summer salads, lightly spiced dishes and even lamb. This organic Syrah-Grenache blend sings with fresh, finessed fruit notes that range from raspberry to citrus. A distinct skin-contact process, different from more common methods, lends the award-winning liquid such structure.
Domaine du Pelican Arbois Poulsard
Light, bright, with low tannins and a delectable ripeness, the 2015 Domaine du Pelican Arbois Poulsard ($99) is the winemaker’s first straight poulsard, made entirely from Jacques Puffeney’s former Arbois vineyards in the Jura region. While it’s 1.5-liters, the pricey wine—which also tastes great slightly chilled—certainly is a special occasion bottle. With a some tartness and acidity, and plenty of juicy fruit flavors, this one is ideal for those who enjoy a little surprise with the first sip.
JUSTIN 2017 Isosceles
Isoceles has been JUSTIN Vineyards’ flagship wine through 25 vintages. However, the style has not fallen out of favor—contrary, it has set the standard for Central Coast Californian wines. 2017’s vintage ($76) comprises 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Merlot, and it is aged for 21 months in 100% new French oak barrels before bottling. Though Isoceles is certainly a full-bodied offering, notes of dark cherry, pepper and allspice counter with lightness and zest—making this a match for grilled meals.
Las Jaras 2019 Rosé
Bursting with notes of barely ripe strawberry, pear, and wild honey, Las Jaras’ 2019 Rosé ($32) is a blend of wines made from 65% Carignan and 35% Zinfandel grapes. It’s dry, versatile, and offers the precise tartness of a fresh red yet the buttery mouthfeel of a Chardonnay. Las Jaras makes young wines with energy, and the 2019 vintage of their beloved rosé, which typically comprises Carignan grapes exclusively, is no exception.
Berger Grüner Veltliner
A delicious, light white wine, Berger’s Grüner Veltliner (in one-liter iterations that can be found at $13) hails from a father-son estate in Austria. The crisp Austrian grape, Veltliner—that defines its flavor profile of green apple, honeysuckle, white pepper, citrus and lychee—yields a refreshing, acidic liquid. The low cost is not an indicator of quality. Anyone seeking a playful white wine to drink immediately will find value here.
Florent Rouve Arbois Chardonnay 2018
From the French region Jura, Florent Rouve Arbois Chardonnay 2018 ($21) epitomizes the capabilities of Chardonnay. A recommendation from Brandon Brocoman (founder of VinDecision; former wine director and sommelier for Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones NYC), the wine balances the Burgundian sense of precision of its winemaker, Florent Rouve, but bears the dynamic funk of the lesser-known region. It’s a worthy introduction to Jura and pairs well with poultry.
Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses Rosé 2019
An icon in the wine shop, Gérard Bertrand’s Côte Des Roses Rosé (now in a 2019 vintage) stands out first for its inspired rose-petal bottle design and second for its accessible price (between $15-20). Inside, sippers will find a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault grapes from the Languedoc. Perfect for an aperitif, the fresh wine noses a bit floral but tastes full and fruity.
Scions of Sinai Atlantikas Pinotage 2019
From South Africa’s coastal Stellenbosch appellation, the Scions of Sinai Atlantikas Pinotage ($22), now out in a 2019 vintage, carries the organic, sustainable efforts of a seventh-generation wine farmer. The lush liquid—with notes of sour cherry, red currant and plum—handles heartier fare from beef to venison. Most familiar with the Pinotage varietal might not think it’s an ideal summer wine but the fact that it can hold its own at a BBQ lends it legs.
Cave Amadeu Rustico
The dual nature of Família Geisse‘s Cave Amadeu Rustico ($23) allows the Brazilian sparkling wine to be consumed in two ways: either immediately from the bottle, non-disgorged, which yields a style similar to a Pét-Nat, or after one week upside down, during which the lees (yeasts) settle into the bottle cap, allowing you to remove it all in one yank. This wine is the first to allow consumers to disgorge at home—a process that we tried and found quite enjoyable. Either way—as a creamy, cloudy natural wine or as a more citrus-forward sparkling wine that you, yourself disgorged—the 80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir liquid delivers a celebratory experience.
With summery melon and light peach flavors, Duncan Quinn’s Provence-made Quinn Rosé ($17) delivers a refreshing blend of Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache and Syrah grapes. Those behind the liquid have been producing rosé since 1922 and this wine benefits from their craft. For the hottest of summer days, this rosé will bring buoyancy. And don’t be afraid to drop an ice cube in, as they would in the South of France, making it a “Piscine.”
Hero image courtesy of Chêne Bleu