The $5 California White Wine We’re Buying at Aldi All Summer Long

published May 17, 2024
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A shot of an Aldi food market sign that's bright and colorful with a blue sky in Hutchinson Kansas USA that was on 9-13-2020.
Credit: Robert D Brozek/Shutterstock

The debate over the song of the summer is just heating up (are you team “Espresso“?). The sip of the summer, however, is already chilling and ready for cheersing. 

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

You see, earlier this year Aldi, America’s new favorite grocery retailer, quietly launched a new line of undeniably budget-friendly California wines. The lofty/aspirationally named, California Heritage, features a variety of the most popular grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

We’re no strangers to Aldi’s rapidly expanding wine collection and firmly believe you can score a perfectly decent bottle for less than $10. Naturally, we were curious how these sub-$5 wines would fare once we twisted off their California-stamped caps and gave them a swirl. Because of state laws, Aldi does not sell alcohol in any New York locations (a travesty, we know!), so the team at Aldi graciously sent us all nine bottles to sample.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

Keeping on trend, we gathered a bunch of people who work at The Kitchn (and Apartment Therapy Media, our parent company) and hosted an impromptu happy hour on a Thursday in May. After a lot of sipping, but not, you know, too much, this bottle of bubbly was the runaway fave.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

What You Should Know About the California Heritage Brut Sparkling

Like the other eight reds and whites in the line, this California Heritage Brut Sparkling is produced by industry giant E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto, CA. (Barefoot, a favorite of Mama Kelce; Dark Horse; and Apothic are just a very small sampling of the wines coming out of this corner of California). The sparkling wine comes in a champagne-green bottle (which Gallo also makes) with a twist-off top that screws back on. 

It’s $4.95 and available year-round at Aldi locations where beer and wine are sold.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

Our Honest Review of California Heritage Brut Sparkling

You know people really enjoy something when it’s the first thing to disappear. That’s exactly what went down here (pun intended). This Brut has serious “signature wine” of the season, which, as our wine expert suggests, classifies it as a no-brainer for neighborhood parties, solo porch hangs, and pretty much anything in between. Mimosas, anyone?

It’s very drinkable and has prominent bubbles, reminiscent of the Member’s Mark Brut Champagne at Sam’s Club. In fact, Sarah, our assistant editor, found it comparable to many other Bruts she’s had in the past — and at just $5, “this one is fire,” adds Ola, our culinary assistant, who also likes the fruitiness of the wine. “It smells like stone fruit.”

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

It is on the sweet side for a Brut, which some people found to be a little too much or not enough. It’s all about personal preference! There’s also an even sweeter Extra Dry Sparkling in the collection, which is Andrea, our social media manager’s favorite (and the second bottle we polished off).

Find it in stores: California Heritage Brut Sparkling, $4.95 for 750 mL at Aldi

Have you tried the new California Heritage wines? Tell us about it in the comments below.