It’s tempting to drink your comfort wine, but with spring coming in like a storm, we recommend tickling your taste buds with new wine varieties to start afresh. Or perhaps, trying your hand at making wine in an instant pot. Your call.
- Best Champagne: Krug Grand Cuvée 168ème Édition
- Best Pinot Gris: Acrobat 2019 Pinot Gris
- Best Chardonnay: Gary Farrell 2017 Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay
- Best Riesling: Empire Estate 2017 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling
- Best Albariño: Palacio de Fefinanes 2018 Albariño
- Best Sauvignon Blanc: Maori Moana 2019 Sauvignon Blanc
- Best Rosé: Tenuta di Fessina 2018 Erse Etna Rosato
- Best Orange Wine: Pheasant’s Tears Kakheti
- Best Traditional Pinot Noir: McCollum Heritage ’91 2018 Pinot Noir
- Best Alternative Pinot Noir: Root & Rubble 2018 Pinot Noir
- Best Syrah: Delmas SJR Vineyard 2018 Syrah
- Best GSM Blend: Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles 2017 Rogue
- Best Merlot: Nickel & Nickel Merlot 2016 Harris Vineyard Merlot
- Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Escudo Rojo 2018 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
- Best Chianti: Castello de Brolio 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
- Best Obscure Red: Ashbourne 2018 Pinotage-Cinsault
- Best Red Blend: Macari Vineyards 2015 Bergen Road
- Best Sparkling Rosé: Alma Negra Brut Nature
- Best Sherry: Gonzalez Byass Nectar Pedro Ximénez Sherry
But for this story, we’re focusing on narrowing down well-made, uplifting wines that simply won’t disappoint. Whatever 2022 is in store for us, we know it’ll pair with some good wine. Here’s a list of the best wines you should keep in your stockpile, panning the spectrum from white and pink to orange and red—plus a few outliers, just for good measure.
Best Champagne: Krug Grand Cuvée 168ème Édition
It’s not cheap but most good, authentic Champagne isn’t. This option still manages to over-deliver, offering great complexity and tidy biscuit and dried fruit notes.
Read more: The Best Champagne Under $100
Best Pinot Gris: Acrobat 2019 Pinot Gris
A reliable workhorse Pinot Gris from Oregon that’s extremely food-friendly, the Acrobat tends to overachieve at its modest price point. Take a look at our list of the best Pinot Gris for more options.
Best Chardonnay: Gary Farrell 2017 Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay
This Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley is all kinds of elegant, showing bright peach, wild honey, and firm acidity.
Best Riesling: Empire Estate 2017 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling
It’s tough not to trust a wine made by a sommelier, like this dry, bracing, and lasting offering from the Finger Lakes appellation of New York.
Best Albariño: Palacio de Fefinanes 2018 Albariño
A Spanish white, Albariño white wine is deserving of your attention, especially this take from its home country. Bright and playful and full of energy, it’s a downright enlivening wine.
Best Sauvignon Blanc: Maori Moana 2019 Sauvignon Blanc
Sure, there are great French and American Sauv Blancs. But New Zealand may be the new master of the varietal, especially where bargain wines like this one are concerned.
Best Rosé: Tenuta di Fessina 2018 Erse Etna Rosato
Made from grapes grown in the foothills of Mt. Etna, this volcano wine has much more depth than your typical pink wine, with a kiss of sea salt and pomegranate.
Read more: The Best Rosé Wines to Try Now
Best Orange Wine: Pheasant’s Tears Kakheti
You can’t go wrong with anything coming out of this esteemed producer in the republic of Georgia. Expect texture, tannin, and wonderful slightly oxidized flavors. If you’re going with orange wine, this is an excellent choice.
Best Traditional Pinot Noir: McCollum Heritage ’91 2018 Pinot Noir
Most celebrity-backed brands lack heart but this effort from pro hoops star CJ McCollum is both a bona fide side project and a damn good Pinot. Look for an increase in production of this small-batch wine in the vintages to come.
Read more: The Best Pinot Noir Wines to Try Now
Best Alternative Pinot Noir: Root & Rubble 2018 Pinot Noir
This wine is made via carbonic maceration and is expectedly fresh and resonant in the glass, showing plenty of fruit and lots of glimmering brightness.
Best Syrah: Delmas SJR Vineyard 2018 Syrah
You haven’t tasted Syrah wine until you’ve tried the vibrant offering from Delmas, who pulls exquisite fruit from the acclaimed SJR Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley.
Best GSM Blend: Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles 2017 Rogue
This wine behaves like something three to four times its price, with deceptive complexity, inviting approachability, and a clean balance of fruit flavors.
Read more: The Best GSM Blends to Try Now
Best Merlot: Nickel & Nickel Merlot 2016 Harris Vineyard Merlot
Merlot is back and it’s better than ever. This single-vineyard designated wine shows that a bigger red can also have loads of finesse and detail.
Read more: The Best Merlot Wines to Try Now
Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Escudo Rojo 2018 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
This Chilean wine backed by the famous Rothschild winemaking family is a little more soft-spoken than your traditional Cab, showing some herbaceous, green pepper qualities in addition to earth and a nice backing of acid.
Best Chianti: Castello de Brolio 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
There’s no shortage of great Chianti but this expression is in a league of its own. Decant it and enjoy the magical places it takes you, preferably with a side of Bolognese.
Read more: The Best Chianti Wines to Try Now
Best Obscure Red: Ashbourne 2018 Pinotage-Cinsault
This South African find is tasty and full of earth, with a detectable wildness that evokes a hike through a wet forest.
Best Red Blend: Macari Vineyards 2015 Bergen Road
There are some fantastic and relatively unheralded wines coming out of the North Fork region of New York, like this seamless red made of several Bordeaux varietals.
Best Sparkling Rosé: Alma Negra Brut Nature
This Argentinian sparkler is made of Pinot Noir and Malbec grown at high elevation, yielding a wine that’s zippy and extremely enjoyable.
Best Sherry: Gonzalez Byass Nectar Pedro Ximénez Sherry
A decadent offering perfect for the coming winter, this sherry is a smooth and layered creature, with raisin, malt, and roasted nut notes.
Read more: The Best Sherry Wines to Try Now
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