When thoughts turn in June to lounging by the pool or kicking back at a picnic, it's time for bubbles that feel just as relaxed as you are. Because, really, when you're in a bathing suit, shades on, do you really want to ponder the intricacies of a tête de cuvée Champagne? (Plus, pouring a $150 bottle into a plastic cup does feel a little weird.) Instead, head toward sparkling wines from California, from France's Loire Valley and Languedoc, and, of course, from Italy—particularly the latter, right now, if pink is your pleasure.
That's because Italy finally approved the sale of Prosecco rosé as of January 1. Formerly, Prosecco's Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status didn't allow for rosés. Wineries found a work-around by labeling pink fizz as spumante, but no longer. New regulations allow for actual Prosecco rosé, as long as it's made from Glera (the grape of Prosecco) plus 10% to 15% Pinot Noir (hence the color). The Prosecco consortium estimates that total production of Prosecco DOC rosé may climb to 30 million bottles per year; cue the cheering from rosé and Prosecco fans alike.
READ MORE: The 33 Best Rosés to Drink Right Now
Read on for my favorites from those I could get samples of before we went to press, plus enough excellent bargain bubbles from other regions to keep you lively till Labor Day, and even beyond.
Top Prosecco Doc Rosés
2019 Mionetto Prosecco Doc Rosé ($15)
Very pale pink, with a ripe citrus–red apple aroma, this bottle from one of Prosecco's best-known names is appealingly fruity without being overly sweet.
2020 Villa Sandi Prosecco Doc Rosé Brut Millesimato ($17)
This salmon-pink wine has a distinctly crisp, refreshing zestiness. Its strawberry and green apple flavors end on an appealing dry, saline note.
2020 Bisol Jeio Prosecco Doc Rosé Brut ($18)
Bisol's Jeio rosé upholds this top producer's high standards. With delicate bubbles and scents of toasted bread and cherries, it offers a lot of complexity for the price.
2019 Val D’oca Prosecco Doc Rosé ($15)
Founded in 1952 by 129 farmers, Val D'Oca is consistently high-quality, which is rare for co-op wines. Its lightly spicy rosé is lively and bright, with a faint toasty note.
2020 Tiamo Prosecco Doc Rosé ($16)
One of the few Proseccos made with organically grown grapes, this pale pink bottling recalls watermelon Jolly Rancher candies (but without the sweetness).
2020 Angelini Prosecco Doc Rosé ($12)
This effusively bubbly sparkler offers plenty of juicy watermelon and apple flavor and heads into a slight licorice note on the finish. Chill it and drink it all summer long.
Sparkling Wine Summer Bargains
NV Faire La Fête Brut ($19)
France's Limoux region made sparkling wines as early as 1531. A good crémant de Limoux like this one is delightful, with smooth bubbles, pear and apple fruit, and a lightly bready note.
NV Roche De Bellene Cuvée Bellenos Brut ($18)
Crémant de Bourgogne is the sparkling wine of Burgundy. This toasty, apple-scented one is a dead ringer for a brut nonvintage Champagne, except for the price.
NV Malvirà Rive Gauche White ($20)
Malvirà specializes in Piedmont's Arneis variety, making several excellent non-sparkling single-vineyard versions of it, as well as this vino spumante, with its earthy, toasty finish.
2018 François Chidaine Brut Tradition ($23)
This wine from Loire Valley star François Chidaine offers flamboyant quince and pepper aromas; on the palate, it's savory, intense, and completely dry.
NV Ferrari Trento Brut ($25)
Unlike Prosecco, this classic sparkler from Italy's Trento region is 100% Chardonnay, which gives it an elegance and crisp focus that's hard not to love—as is the lingering, creamy finish.
2017 Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée ($37)
This graceful, brioche-scented bottling from a top California producer isn't inexpensive—but it can easily go head-to-head with much pricier Champagnes.