$15 or less
WHAT : Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut (sparkling) Rating: NNNN WHERE : Carneros, California
WHY : If "moderate" describes your imbibing patterns or income, half-bottles of bubbly will always be useful, and with the season of excess gathering steam, it's good to see this full, lush, very California-opulent Pinot Noir/Chardonnay combo arriving at Vintages.
PRICE : 375 ml/$11.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets (product #53504)
WHAT : Tawse Twenty Mile Bench 2006 Riesling (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Niagara Peninsula
WHY : Although Germany may be the spiritual home of Riesling, we have the good fortune to be able to turn left at Hamilton and find successful expressions of the other white grape. It's relatively free of baffling residual sugars and armed with the signature petroleum whiff, so be sure to pause for the Tawse.
PRICE : 750 ml/$20.20
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets (product #55103)
Sips and nips
WHAT : Fresita Rating: NNN
WHERE : Santiago, Chile
WHY : Beer is beer, and coolers are like alcoholic soda pop. What's a brew-aphobe to do when seeking a light, additive-free, tasty tipple? Try this all-natural Chilean sparkler that's been pinkified with Patagonian strawberries. It's fairly sweet, so it's a natural as an aperitif or in a cocktail.
PRICE : 750 ml/$13.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected liquor stores (product #56697)