Summer wines should be as unfussy as the season itself, which is why we love hitting wallet-friendly Trader Joe's for our summer wine needs. Whether we need a bottle for a picnic or something to take to a friend's barbecue, we know the store will have something for $15 (or less!) that fits the bill.
Here are five bottles — including a sparkling, white, rosé, and red — we are currently crushing on, and plan to sip straight though Labor Day.
- Col Sassoso Lambrusco, $12: We love Prosecco and Cava and Champagne as much as everyone else, but this summer consider trying a Lambrusco. The dry, sparkling red wine is a nice departure from the usual. Serve it chilled like any other bubbly and embrace its juicy, dark fruit notes. Grilled pizza on the menu tonight? This is the wine to drink. It's also pretty great next to burgers, as well as cheese and cured meat.
- Espiral Vinho Verde, $4.50: Portuegese Vinho Verde is a light, slightly effervescent white wine that almost never breaks the bank. This one is in classic form: It's lower in alcohol than most wine — just 9 percent ABV — and is bright and refreshing, with notes of apple and melon. It's a go-to of ours when it comes to summer day-drinking, and it can hold its own next to grilled chicken or fish.
- Lois Grüner Veltliner, $13: Grüner Veltliner, Austria's most well-known white wine, is zesty and fun all year long, but we love it even more in the summer. It has citrus aromas, with a palate that is just a bit spicy and full of refreshing acidity. It's great alongside summer salads and picnic fare, as well as spicy cold noodles.
- Finca Wölffer Rosé, $12: This Argentinean rosé is a blend of seven different grapes, such as Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Syrah, which really makes it stand apart from all the other rosé bottles that line the shelves through the summer. It's as dry as can be, with great acidity and minerality, and carries notes of cherries and lime zest. Drink it with seafood or solo, by the pool.
- DueTorri Pinot Noir, $8: If you think it's too hot to be drinking red wine in the summer, then you haven't tried lightly chilling your red wine. Light-bodied red wine, like this Italian Pinot Noir, is pretty incredible served at around 55°F (that means about an hour in the fridge, or 15 minutes in the freezer before popping the cork). Your summer tomato pasta and grilled meats will thank you.
What Trader Joe's wines are you drinking this summer?