One of the best things about rising temperatures is being able to cool down with a glass of refreshing rosé. To celebrate the season we rounded up 10 wines under $20, recommended by some of the best in the business. These warm weather wines are expert approved and ready for tasting (preferably on a rooftop or beach). From crisp whites to bubbly pinks—no need to pick just one, you’ve got all summer!
Bring Barcelona to your backyard with Restaurant Marc Forgione sommelier Matthew Conway’s pick: a 2009 Cava Reserva from Spain. “Can’t find better bubbles for the price! It’s the perfect midday pairing before the inevitable siesta!” Enjoy this cava with a casual spread of cheese and charcuterie.
Cave de Pomerols – Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 2012 (above, center; $13, wine.com)
Picpoul de Pinet is a fave of Proof on Main’s executive chef Levon Wallace who loves the “bright, crisp and tart flavors of lime, grapefruit, green tea and exotic fruit.” Pair it with grilled and chilled seafood for a waterfront feast. “It’s relatively low-alcohol so it’s great for hanging out with friends, having two (or three) glasses and relaxing,” says Wallace.
Adelsheim Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley, 2011 (above, right; $14, ultimatewineshop.com)
Mark Thomas of the Wynn Las Vegas chooses a 2011 Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley to relax with this summer: “Oregon Pinot Gris as a whole is a great value and fun to drink, especially during the hot months. It naturally pairs with so many summertime dishes due to its crisp acidity, floral nose, and light body that doesn’t overpower lighter fare." Pair it with salads with fruits and nuts, chilled seafood, or vegetables and sautéed fish with light sauces.
Skye LaTorre of the Meatball Shop calls this Banyan Gewurztraminer from Monterey County a “love at first sip kind of wine.” LaTorre describes “an abundance of charm and tropical fruit from the California sunshine. Off dry and crisp, so very food friendly. The price is so right, it looks like a mistake.” Spicy food is the perfect match for this invigorating white.
Bodega Berroja “Berroia” from Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain 2013 (above, center; $16, saratogawine.com)
King + Duke's beverage director Lara Creasy is a fan of Bodega Berroja “Berroia,” a Spanish white from Bizkaiko Txakolina, for summertime happy hours. "This wine is one of the most crazy refreshing wines I've had in such a long time,” says Creasy. “It starts out with aromas of crushed pineapple and sugar cane. It finishes almost like a margarita over crushed ice: agave/cactus, salt and lime.” Pair it with shrimp tacos for the perfect combo.
Jean-Paul Picard Sancerre, Loire, France 2013 (above, right; $19, garnetwine.com)
Joe Scalice of L’Ecole in New York City, recommends cooling down with this 2013 Sancerre, “a fabulous Sauvignon Blanc from the Rhone.” This crisp white wine goes great with shellfish and oysters, “the perfect match for a summer day or night!”
Beverage director Adam Binder of the Catbird Seat loves this 2013 Triennes Rosé from Provence for summertime get-togethers. “This is such a refreshing and elegant summer wine with a great texture on the palate. It tastes like it could be twice the amount that it actually costs. With notes of strawberry, white flowers and vanilla, this is an ideal wine to enjoy al fresco.” Heidi Turzyn of Gotham Bar & Grill is also a fan of this rosé and suggests pairing it with a picnic of grilled chicken, arugula salad, and fresh fruit.
Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rose 2013 (above, second from left; $10, wine-searcher.com)
French sommelier Fabien Suquet of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Soho has found a favorite in Les Vignes De Bila Haut 2013, a perfectly balanced rosé he describes as “sweet and delicate with tiny red fruit aromas and an exotic lychee note”. Enjoy a glass with grilled fish for a dish that will truly complement this wine.
Armas de Guerra Mencia Rosado from Bierzo, Spain 2013 (above, third from left; $12, spanishtablewines.com)
"Rosé is a year-round endeavor for me,” says Caitlin Doonan of Toro New York, “but many find themselves drawn to the pink in the warm months of summer.” She recommends a 2013 Armas de Guerra Mencia Rosado from Bierzo, Spain as “the perfect thing to bring to a barbecue. Whether you're manning the grill, or lounging poolside, this wine is the ideal sidekick.” The versatile vino goes great with anything from shellfish and salads to grilled meats.
Pierre Sparr Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose N.V Alsace (above, right; $18, flatiron-wines.com)
“Everyone loves bubbles, especially when they’re pink, right?” exclaims Marc Passer, wine director of General Assembly. His top pick is Pierre Sparr Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose N.V Alsace, a sparkling Pinot Noir “with a hint of cherry and strawberry sweetness that gets you ready for any meal or picnic.” Enjoy this effervescent refresher with almost any cocktail party hors d’ourve.