grub guides

6 Bottles of Sparkling Wine for Summer Boozing

Summer bubbles. Photo: USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Whiskey is for winter. When it comes to boozing during the summer, it’s all about gin-and-tonics, everything frozen, spritzes, margaritas, and, of course, sparkling wine. Champagne might be most associated with New Years, but it’s at its best on a 90-degree day, preferably spent by the pool with some ice cream at bay. It can also be very expensive, and who has $100 to throw down on a bottle you’re only going to get a glass of anyway? New York sommelier Ariel Arce, for one, doesn’t want you to break the bank just for bubbles. Tomorrow, the former beverage director of Riddling Widow and Birds & Bubbles opens Air’s Champagne Parlor (127 Macdougal, near West 3rd), where the ethos is sparkling for as affordable as possible. ‘Tis the season for bubbles, so Grub asked Arce to recommend some bottles of affordably priced, widely available Champagne and other sparkling wines.

Filipa Pato Beira Extra Brut Rosé “3B”
Price: $14
“This Portuguese wine is definitely a total barbecue wine and, because of the price point, a total party wine. What’s so nice about it is that even though it’s an extra brut, it has a lot of fruit and tannic undertones, so it’s killer with meat and steak. It’s a little richer in style, but still very dry. Because it’s a little bit more stylistically like a sparkling red, I would definitely say that people who are not sparkling fanatics can get behind it.”

Scholium Project “Blowout” Sparkling Wine
Price: $19
“It’s a California sparkling wine that’s force-carbonated and made predominantly from Grüner Veltliner and Verdelho grapes at Brooklyn’s Red Hook Winery. The winemaker is a huge fan of Champagne and wanted to make a California sparkling, but with really unique varietals. He created something really refreshing, crisp, and clean that’s still got a little bit of the natural bite. If you’re hanging around in the backyard trying different stuff, it’s an affordable, friendly sparkling that’s going to be very different from any other California sparkling you’ve ever had.”

Clotilde Davenne Crémant de Bourgogne Extra Brut
Price: $24.96
“This is a pretty sophisticated but also very fun and quality-driven (and female-produced!) wine from Burgundy. A extended-age Chardonnay, it has a lot of depth and complexity, plus awesome minerality from the Chablis grapes. Because it’s extra brut, it’s quite dry. But there’s so much complexity from the grapes that you get so much more depth. Generally, with crémant they’re very young, very fresh — just easy, breezy drinking. Whereas this is a much more crafted, thoughtfully produced sparkling. If I’m poolside sitting with a bunch of ladies, this is what I want.”

J. Lassalle “Preference” Brut Premier Cru Chigny-les-Roses
Price: $36
“With a nice, crisp chill on it, this is to me total summer Champagne. It’s made by a third-generation female winemaker, super well-balanced, and one of those value Champagnes. The grapes are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier from the center of Champagne. It’s refreshing, has notes of soft currants and soft undertones of Fuji apple. But it has a little bit of body to it and some viscosity, so it can stand up to salty foods for when you’re grilling burgers and hot dogs, or eating fried chicken. All those fun things. Plus it’s a killer price.”

Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs
Price: $41
“This 100 percent Chardonnay wine is super classic for where it comes from: really minerally, chalky, dry, and fresh, like crisp green apples. It’s a Blanc de Blancs, and that style can get washed out with greasy, fattier foods. But for lighter meals, like when you’re getting friends together for a picnic at the park, or sitting on a roof with a cheese plate or a spread of whatever, it’s such a great value and a refreshing beverage.”

Camille Saves Grand Cru Rosé Brut
Price: $48
“If you want another dynamic, complex sparkling rosé that can stand up to food and can really satisfy any palate, but is still really high quality, go for this. It’s made from Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay by a very traditional winemaker trying to make expressive wine from his village, Bouzy. A little richer in color and style, it can stand up to smoke and spice. It’s one of my favorite rosé Champagnes on the market, and it’s really small quantity, so it’s amazing that it’s available.”

6 Bottles of Sparkling Wine for Summer Boozing