No other holiday is better suited for a relaxing springtime brunch gathering than Easter. But day-long celebrations can take their toil come Monday morning. To avoid that, we’ve rounded up the best 90+ low-alcohol wines that are great for easy pairing throughout a day of feasting.
Sheldon 2016 Springloaded Monkey Paw Luc’s Vineyard Tempranillo (Sonoma County); $41, 94 points. And now for something completely different, this wine explodes in whole-cluster, carbonic freshness and surprise. It’s a light cerebral take on the variety that delights at every turn. Stainless-steel fermented and aged, it’s loaded in raspberry and cherry-jam flavors and dipped in black licorice. It’s fresh, fruity and entirely memorable. –Virginie Boone
N. Kendall Wines 2015 Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes); $37, 92 points. A bit of aeration brings out depth to bright cherry, violet and rose petal notes in this perfumed Pinot. Scintillating acidity lends a brisk tone to fresh raspberry and sour cherry flavors on the palate. It’s a crisp, exceptionally light-footed wine with a delicate, lingering tannic backbone. Editors’ Choice. –Anna Lee C. Iijima
Niepoort 2015 Lagar de Baixo Baga (Bairrada); $30, 91 points. Dirk Niepoort’s venture into the Bairrada region at Quinta de Baixo blossoms in this wine. Rich fruit gives the wine both firm tannins and a ripe, crisply textured character. It is balanced with acidity, full of juicy fruit and perfumed with mint. Drink this wine from 2019. Editors’ Choice. Martine’s Wines. –Roger Voss
Corte Sant’ Alda 2016 Fiui (Valpolicella); $23, 90 points. Made following the principles of biodynamic viticulture and with natural yeasts, this savory red opens with aromas of ripe strawberry, violet and chopped herb. The light-bodied, juicy palate doles out raspberry jam, clove and white pepper alongside fresh acidity and velvety tannins. Enjoy through 2019. Porto Vino Italiano. – Kerin O’Keefe
Paetra 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé (Eola-Amity Hills); $20, 91 points. This well-made wine offers cherry pie flavors, evoking fruit but also crust, with excellent concentration and length. Despite its modest alcohol, it’s a persistent, powerful rosé with enough concentration to stand up to entrées as rich as roast pork or chicken. Editors’ Choice. –Paul Gregutt
Le P’tit Paysan 2017 Pierre’s Pirouette Rosé (Central Coast); $19, 90 points. Light pink in the glass with a tiny bit of effervescence in its youth, this rosé of 48% Grenache, 43% Mourvèdre and 9% Cinsault shows tart tangerine, grapefruit pith, watermelon and strawberry water on the nose. There’s tremendous sizzle to the sip and plenty of textural depth, carrying flavors of watermelon rind and ripe flesh. –Matt Kettmann
Joseph Perrier 2008 Cuvée Josephine Brut (Champagne); $125, 94 points. This is the producer’s prestige cuvée, a fine perfumed blend with a great balance between the ripe fruitiness, the balanced dosage and a crisp edge of pink-grapefruit flavors. This impressive vintage with its hints of toasty maturity is ready to drink. Editors’ Choice. Baron Francois Ltd. –R.V.
Chapel Down NV Brut Sparkling (England); $40, 92 points. The purest notion of Golden Pearmain apples is beguiling on the nose, promising fruit and mellowness in equal measure. The palate with its superfine and creamy mousse does not disappoint. Creamy, rich autolysis and ripe yellow apple create an elegant, generous and bright midpalate that’s full of flavor and depth. It’s harmonious, hitting that intersection of freshness and richness perfectly and finishing long. ABCK Corp. –Anne Krebhiel
Domaine Vincent Carême 2014 Ancestrale Brut (Vouvray); $40, 92 points. Naturally sparkling rather than needing any addition of yeast or sugar, this fine bone-dry wine has great style, great character. Its honey, apple and slight oxidative flavor are all part of a wine that is impressively ripe and ready to drink. Cape Classics. –R.V.
Hermann J. Wiemer 2013 Cuvée Brut (Seneca Lake); $32, 92 points. Wiemer’s Cuvée Brut is fresher and more forward than the producer’s longer-aged blanc de blanc. Yet amidst the cutting green apple and lemon, there’s plenty of autolytic character, expressed as whispers of toast, rising dough and burnt sugar. It’s vibrantly balanced by tiny, penetrating bubbles and a lingering, fresh finish. –A.L.I.
Alta Alella 2014 Privat Laietà Gran Reserva Brut Nature Sparkling (Cava); $36, 91 points. A focused nose with purity, mineral notes and clean white-fruit aromas opens this fine brut nature. The palate is round enough to not be austere, while it carries flavors of white currant, apple and lime. On the finish it maintains its flavors, minerality and clarity. Avant Garde Wine & Spirits. –Michael Schachner
Arthur Metz NV Brut Prestige Sparkling (Crémant d’Alsace); $18, 91 points. A totally fresh nose of lemon, wet stone and greengage creates an enticing opening. These flavors also present themselves on the light palate, where they are dispersed by a fine, creamy mousse. The impression is one of light-bodied but fruity cleanness. This refreshing, brisk and enlivening sparkler is ready now, but will continue to develop through 2022. Advantage International. –A.K.
BiancaVigna 2015 Organic (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore); $23, 91 points. Enticing aromas of citrus, spring blossom and white stone fruit set the tone on this elegant sparkler. Bright and polished, the silky palate offers Bartlett pear and green apple alongside vibrant acidity and a silky perlage. Indigenous Selections. –K.O.
Medici Ermete 2016 Concerto Lambrusco Salamino (Reggiano); $23, 90 points. This refreshing, racy, frothy and focused red delivers raspberry, strawberry, orange zest, white pepper and dried black-cherry aromas and flavors. Made from 100% Lambrusco Salamino, it’s vibrant, with a crisp, dry finish. Kobrand. –K.O.
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt 2016 Scharzhofberger Kabinett Grosse Lage Riesling (Mosel); $33, 92 points. Hints of smoke and pencil shavings accent fragrant cherry blossom and pink grapefruit notes in this feather-light kabinett. It’s a juicy, unctuously fruity wine but structured keenly by laser-light acidity and earthy nuances that linger long on the finish. American B.D. –A.L.I
Véronique Günther-Chereau 2014 Château du Coing de Saint-Fiacre Comte de Saint-Hubert Vieilles Vignes Sur Lie (Muscadet Sèvre et Maine); $17, 91 points. Creamed apple aromas shine out of this intensely fruity wine. With its ripe pear and melon flavors and the concentration from the old vines, the wine is rich while keeping plenty of acidity in reserve. Its fruit is still young, still perfumed. The wine is ready to drink. Encore Wine Imports. –R.V.
Aveleda 2016 Quinta da Aveleda White (Vinho Verde); $10, 90 points. A blend of the two major grapes of the region, Alvarinho and Loureiro, and grown at the home estate of the producer, this is delicious Vinho Verde. It is dry, crisp, light and piercingly bright, perfect either as an apéritif or with seafood. Drink now. Best Buy. Avelada Inc. –R.V.
Columbia Crest 2016 Reserve Dry Riesling (Yakima Valley); $28, 90 points. The aromas are exuberant, with notes of lime, orange zest, ripe peach and flowers. The palate, as advertised, is bone dry with stone-fruit flavors that show crystalline clarity and linger on the finish that features plenty of lime accents. –Sean P. Sullivan
Karine 2013 Laurie’s Vineyard Malvasia Bianca (Madera); $19, 90 points. This is a tasty dry wine with effusive flower and honey aromas and mouth-filling mango and banana flavors, all supported by tangy acidity for good balance. It has interesting pairing options, from tapas to shellfish to cheese. –Jim Gordon