Wine

Sparkling Wines That Overdeliver for Under $20

Retailers recommend top bottles for everyday drinking

For many retailers, reasonably priced sparkling wines remain a year-round staple. Whether consumers are looking to enjoy sparkling wine as a weeknight aperitif or to serve in mimosas at brunch, they rely on their local purveyors to steer them toward affordable, go-to bottles for everyday drinking. SevenFifty Daily spoke with retailers around the country to discover which budget-friendly bubblies they regularly recommend to their customers. Here are nine of their picks, ranging from New Mexico to Portugalall for less than $20.

1. Gruet Brut Rosé NV, New Mexico; $17

Mats Weissenberg
Mats Weissenberg.

Recommended by Mats Weissenberg, wine sales associate at Argonaut Wine & Liquor; Denver

Weissenberg consistently recommends Gruet Brut Rosé. It’s made from 100 percent Pinot Noir and produced in the méthode Champenoise style. “The wine hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and represents the western United States beautifully,” he says. “It’s full bodied and elegant, [with notes of] strawberry mousse, watermelon puree, and a touch of vanilla, and has a dry, crisp, aromatic finish. Nicely priced at $17we can’t keep this on the shelf.”

2. Louis de Grenelle Corail Brut Rosé NV, Saumur, France; $19

Tanya Gentile
Tanya Gentile.

Recommended by Tanya Gentile, owner of Printer’s Row Wine Shop; Chicago

Gentile’s go-to drink is a glass of bubbles, so having something under $20 on hand is as good for her as it is for her customers. “My favorite bottle under $20 is the delicious Louis de Grenelle Corail Brut Rosé,” she says. The wine is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc and produced in the traditional Champagne method. It shows a deep pink hue in the glass and yields bright, crisp flavors of raspberry and wild strawberry. Says Gentile, “What I love most about Louis de Grenelle is that, like us at Printer’s Row Wine Shop, [the operation] is family owned.”

3. Mata i Coloma Cupada No. 18 Cava Brut Nature Reserva 2014, Penedès, Spain; $19

Recommended by Clara Dalzell, general manager of Flatiron Wines & Spirits; New York City

“It’s harder to find really delicious sparkling wines under $20 than wine in any other category,” says Dalzell. Mata i Coloma’s Cupada No. 18 is a great option that’s produced from organically farmed grapes. “It’s bursting with fresh, precise citrus and stone-fruit notes,” says Dalzell, who also praises this wine for its powerful minerality.

4. Jané Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé 2015, Tarragona, Spain; $17

Pat McCarthy
Pat McCarthy.

Recommended by Pat McCarthy, owner of DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine; Seattle

McCarthy says he can’t get enough of Jané Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé. “It’s pure, sparkling wine,” he says. “Nothing complicated.” Made from 100 percent Grenache, this sparkler is crisp and mineral forward, with notes of cherry and Granny Smith apple. This wine is “simply ideal,” McCarthy says, “for whatever you’re eating—it’s very often the first thing we open when we get home and start thinking of dinner.”  

5. Anne Amie Vineyards Cuvée A Amrita 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon; $16

Otto Han
Otto Han.

Recommended by Otto Han, program & category manager at New Seasons Market; Portland, Oregon

“I’m really loving the 2016 Anne Amie Amrita,” says Han. “It’s a blend of six less widely planted white varieties in the Willamette Valley”—35 percent Riesling, 28 percent Pinot Blanc, and smaller portions of Müller-Thurgau, Viognier, Gewürtztraminer, and Chardonnay. Han describes the wine as “aromatic and scintillatingly effervescent, with hints of elderflower and tropical fruits on the nose, leading to a tart palate highlighted with citrus notes.” The wine is also versatile, he says. When asked by customers what to pair it with, he says it goes just as well with a bowl of fresh berries or grilled Maryhill peaches with whipped cream as it does with a plate of Pad Kee Mao.

6. Bisol Crede Prosecco Superiore Brut 2016, Valdobbiadene, Italy; $19

Sean Gachter
Sean Gachter.

Recommended by Sean Gachter, wine buyer at Quality House Wines; New York City

Crede is one of Gachter’s favorite value-oriented sparkling wines on the market. “This top-line Prosecco from Bisol,” he says, “is a 100 percent estate-grown blend of 85 percent Glera, 10 percent Pinot Bianco, and 5 percent Verdiso from the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG.” It offers deep aromatic complexity, says Gachter, with compact fresh fruit and floral blossom on the nose and “tropical citrus and tangy apple flavors tangled together” on the palate. He also appreciates this Prosecco’s bright acidity, freshness, focus, and dry, lingering finish. “It’s as pleasurable,” he says, “as any Brut NV Champagne [but] at a fraction of the price.”

7. InterSekt Rosé Cuvée NV, Extra Dry, Rheingau, Germany; $16

Molly Brooks
Molly Brooks.

Recommended by Molly Brooks at Truly Fine Wine; San Diego

“InterSekt Rosé is one of our best-selling wines, hands down,” says Brooks, who notes that this blend of Pinot Noir and “a few other native German grapes” boasts bright, refreshing acidity that’s  balanced by a touch of sweetness. “Produced using the Charmat method,” she says, “this Sekt is all about fresh cherries and cream, with a rosy floral note and perky persistence.” Brooks says she enjoys the wine on its own but that it also makes a great base for cocktails. “The naturally bright acidity of cool-climate grapes works well with its slight sweetness to balance a mixture of ingredients,” she says. “It has just enough sugar to please Prosecco lovers but enough crispness to satisfy those with a palate for drier wines as well.”

8. Del Rio Vineyard Estate Rosé Jolee 2016, Southern Oregon; $12

 

Erin Palmer
Erin Palmer.

Recommended by Erin Palmer, owner of The Wine Cellar; Portland, Oregon  

“The Rosé Jolee from Del Rio is a fantastic Oregon [warm-weather] wine,” says Erin Palmer. It has a “subtle, cheerful sweetness with a wonderfully refreshing frizzante-style bubble,” she says, noting that Jolee is an atypical blend of Muscat, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc. “The Muscat and Riesling give the wine its vibrant burst of fruit, and the Cab Franc helps to keep it from seeming too sticky sweet.”

9. Aphros Pan Sparkling Rosé 2013, Minho, Portugal, $19

Paul Tilch
Paul Tilch.

Recommended by Paul Tilch, owner and wine buyer for Stockton Fine Wines & Spirits; Stockton, New Jersey  

“This summer,” says Tilch, “my recycle bin has seen its fair share of Aphros Pan Sparkling Rosé [bottles].” Aphros Pan is made from 100 percent Vinhão. The grapes are biodynamically farmed, and the wine is produced in the méthode Champenoise style. It has tart cherry and cranberry flavors, with “just the right amount of acidity,” says Tilch. “For such a great price point, this super-versatile sparkling wine works as a starter or pairs with grilled fish, shellfish, or BBQ.”

Vicki Denig is a New York-based wine and spirits journalist and wine educator, discovering the world through the lens of a glass, one sip at a time. When not tasting or traveling, she can most likely be found running through Astoria Park or sipping on Cabernet Franc.

Most Recent

Wine

Biodynamics Goes Big

How wine companies are scaling up an agricultural method thought to be hands-on and highly personal