The Fourth of July is here and we are feeling patriotic. It’s America’s birthday, after all, and we know that celebrations are more fun when you pop open a few bottles. Whether you are grilling up some hot dogs, hitting the beach or taking in a spectacular fireworks display, these budget-friendly, all-American sparklers are your go-to bottles this Fourth. Below, our tasting panel weighed in on their favorite pours, with hand-selected pairings for each bottle.
Campos Family Vineyards NV Sparkling Rosé (Lodi); $30, 88 points. This light-salmon colored wine has a good deal of red-wine flavor carried nicely by fine-beaded effervescence and good acidity. Plum and peach fill the aromas, while the flavor is plummy and just off dry. —Jim Gordon
Pair with: Coconut Almond Macaroons
Birichino 2016 Pétulant Naturel Malvasia Bianca (Monterey); $22, 89 points. Cloudy in the glass, Pétulant is redolent with yellow grapefruit aromas, as well as some cut pear. The foam is very aggressive upon sipping, with lots of creamy qualities that are soft rather than sharp. Flavors of sour grapefruit and lemon rind are fun rather than funky. —Matt Kettmann
Pair with: Charred Cauliflower Salad
Oro Bello 2017 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling (California); $5/187ml, 87 points. Floral, fruity aromas lead to tones of cherry and peach on the palate. The wine has generous mouthfilling bubbles, good acidity and a hint of sweetness that promotes a smooth texture. Best Buy. —J.G.
Pair with: North Carolina Pulled Pork
Left Bend 2016 Fiz Nat Rosé of Syrah (Santa Cruz Mountains); $28, 90 points. A good pét-nat combines funk, foam and fun with tart fruit and a full body, and this succeeds on all fronts. Cloudy in the glass, this shows aromas of watermelon soda, strawberry, cherry Jolly Rancher and yeast. Albeit focused on primary flavors, the palate is tart with raspberry candy and sour bubblegum, offering quite a voluptuous mouthfeel. Editors’ Choice. —M.K.
Pair with: Sweet Corn with White Miso
Kramer 2016 Celebrate Grüner Veltliner (Yamhill-Carlton); $28, 87 points. Kramer’s Celebrate series features non-traditional sparkling wine grapes that are carbonated in tank rather than re-fermented in the bottle. The Grüner Veltliner is the best of them; it captures the grape’s peppery character in a bracing, bone-dry sparkler, with cucumber, lime and melon highlights. —Paul Gregutt
Pair with: Crab Cakes
Korbel NV Blanc de Noirs Sparkling (California); $14, 90 points. Elegant and plush, this wine is both light and rich at the same time, as it combines a fine mousse of bubbles with good fruit and spice flavors and a creamy texture. Everything is well-blended and harmonious as well as concentrated enough to have a long and lightly ripe finish. Best Buy. —J.G.
Pair with: Smoked Salmon Mousse
Gruet 2012 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling (America); $25, 87 points. Brioche, white peach, marigold and butter aromas waft from the glass of this frothy sparkler made from Chardonnay. The palate feels oily, with flavors of almonds, lemon juice and more white peach, finishing on notes of bitter almond and dried apricot. —Fiona Adams
Pair with: Roasted Chicken
Argyle 2014 Grower Series Vintage Brut Sparkling (Willamette Valley); $28, 90 points. Production continues to climb on this widely available well-priced Oregon sparkling wine. A tawny straw color, it’s vibrant and fresh, with yeasty dough accents around pear fruit. The balance and concentration suggest it may be cellared for up to a decade, but it’s drinking quite well right now. Editors’ Choice. —P.G.
Pair with: Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
Eola Hills 2015 Rosé Methode Champenoise Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley); $30, 90 points. Vintage dated and made in the classic Champagne method, this tasty brut is a pretty shade of copper-hued rose. It has lovely cherry fruit and ample length. Overall, a very tasty effort. —P.G.
Pair with: Salad With Old Bay Dressing
Sofia NV Méthode Champenoise Sparkling (Monterey County); $23, 90 points. Clear hay yellow in color, this bottling shows fresh and supple aromas of nectarine and Asian pear. The palate combines citrus, stone fruit and Pink Lady apple flavors, all presented with a very consistent, persistent mousse. —M.K.
Pair with: Smoked Trout Dip