This is a great little article on cheap great wines under $25. But! It isn’t nearly as extensive as I wished it had been. Why? It’s four whites and two reds. They’re probably great wines, yeah, but where are the rosés? And the sparkling wines? I want to see that list!
Since that shit is my jam and I am a wine lover who knows nothing about wines (other than I like them), I wanted to provide an alternative list of a few drinkables you should be on the lookout for. They’re a pleasant bunch that span from the common (i.e., find them at Whole Foods) to the obscure (i.e., find them at specialty wine retailers). All are good and all are under $25.
• Château de Peyrassol “Commanderie” Côtes de Provence Rosé, $20: This is as clean and as French as rosés can get. Where this Provence wine succeeds is that it really passes off easily with everything and doesn’t quite wear on your palette. A big beef I have with rosés is that they can end up being an acid attack or something you just don’t want to keep up with: this is a great starting wine, best served at an aggressive cold.
• Domaine Fontsainte “Gris de Gris” Corbières Rosé , $15: The most understated in terms of packaging in the bunch, this wine has a passive strawberry flavor that matches its passive strawberry coloration. It is also a “heavier” rosé too, as in it isn’t very airy or holding of a chill. Moreover, it can be a *bit* acidic but those berry notes really keep you going back for it. In fact, I’m literally drinking this understated wine as I write.
• J. Mourat Rosé, $15: You will remember this wine as “that one with the owl on it (not Drake’s)” and it’s distinguishable odd stout bottle with the lipped spout. What I found most surprising about this wine is that it had a strong melon, perhaps honeydew, quality to it, a flavor that I don’t really see in rosés. It’s a welcome reprieve from your typical berry and citrus drinks! And a dinner party favorite, thanks to that odd bottle.
• Le Petit Saint Vincent “Cab à Bulles” Sparkling Rosé, $20: This is one of the weirdest wines I’ve ever had. It’s a sparkling French rosé that has a mild bubble start, mild acid taste, a lack of sweetness, and a strong, finishing herbaceous note that is comparable to oregano. There is really nothing else like this one! And, for just $20, this is a great Sunday afternoon sipper or something to bring to a part to get people talking. Great looking bottle, too!
• Germant Gilabert Cava Brut Nature Reserva, $15: This handsome bottled Spanish cava is a clean treat. It’s refreshing and dry and lacks that certain limey finish I find so many cavas having. It’s probably the cleanest of the bunch (In my opinion!) which can go a long way if you’re switching up different sparkling wines with friends.
• Naveran Brut Cava Penedes, $15: This wine has a lovely drunk lady on the front of the bottle. How fun is that gal?! A hoot. While an enticing drinking partner, her offering is actually a great citrusy cava. It has a very forward apple flavor to it and is quite crisp, too. Some don’t admit to this—or simply don’t know the difference—but I prefer a Spanish cava over most French sparkling offerings. They’re just so much more fun! And cheaper.
Also, because there are more than just six special wines in my heart, I wanted to add two more that came up in my search that I forgot I love. They are special as well but didn’t make this list.
• Bonus #1—Bow & Arrow Air Guitar, $25: This bizarre red should play flat but is most interesting because it has an almost effervescent quality to it. It shifts from being tart and bubbly-but-not to a full feeling pinot noir, which it absolutely is not. The bottle looks great and its taste is absolutely intriguing. Who knew a wine from the Pacific Northwest could do that?! It’s a total winner.
• Bonus #2—Jo Landron “Atmosphéres”, $18: I honestly don’t remember what this wine tastes like (which is why it did not make it onto the list…) but this French sparkler is of note because it comes in just the cutest bottle. It has the best artwork of the bunch! If you’re going for the “I’m an aesthetics person, people.” vibe at a dinner part, grab this babe.
I could probably write ten thousand stories like this. Oh, so many cheap wines. So little time.