Oh summer, let us count the ways we love you. We can rock festival style every weekend. We can have no-heat beach waves without even trying. And it’s boho bridal shower and wedding season. What do all these things have in common? They’re better with friends. Oh, and food. And, yes, you guessed it: wine. Here are our favorite warm-weather picks for under $30. Eat, drink and cheers!
1. Dreaming Tree Sauvignon Blanc ($15): This wine is the project of musician David Mathews (who also does the label work) and celebrated Sonoma winemaker Sean McKenzie. The brand represents something we can get behind: approachable and affordable wine with the intention of bringing people together. Vibrant and juicy, this wine is refreshing and balanced. Another cool note? Dreaming Tree Wines shows their commitment to sustainability with totally eco-friendly materials in the bottle, cork and label. Plus a portion of proceeds from every bottle sold goes to environmental organizations.
2. SIMI Sonoma County Dry Rosé ($18): This blush pink vintage, which features a gorgeous rosy hue, tastes better than some $50 bottles of vino. Wine connoisseurs will swoon over the delicate aromas of strawberry, tart cherry, fresh tarragon and a hint of white pepper, while newbies will enjoy how incredibly drinkable it is. The wine’s versatility pairs well with just about anything.
3. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon ($14): Some people say you shouldn’t drink red in summer but this wine may prove them wrong. Aged in bourbon barrels, you’ll be enamored by its serious fruit-forward flavors like black cherry and blackberry. Those barrels are made of 100% American oak that has been charred to impart deep toasty flavors and hints of vanilla and brown sugar. This vintage is a thoughtful housewarming gift for the folks next door or a great accompaniment for your next barbecue!
4. Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Chardonnay ($8): You had us at chardonnay. And then you REALLY had us at $8. No bargain basement-quality flavor here though. This wine is fruit-forward and elegantly balanced, boasting robust aromas (think green apple muddled with flowers) before diving into a rich oaky finish.
5. SIMI Sonoma County 2014 Sauvignon Blanc ($15): Classic never tasted better. Smooth? Check. Crisp? Check. This signature SIMI Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc doles out a beautiful tango of tropical mango notes and refined hints of pear and stone fruit. Porch chairs and patio vibes are optional.