The Cheap Summer Wine Guide
Who says budget is a bad thing? Turns out some of the season's hottest bottles cost less than $12—and taste delicious.
Frizzante wines
Ditch the Champagne
Try: 2011 Be. Flirty Pink Moscato ($8), 2011 Turning Leaf Refresh Red Moscato ($8), or IL Spr!z ($12)

"Frizzante" is the word for Italian sparkling wines, but if you're thinking "I don't want to drink Champagne all summer," hang on: These wines aren't as effervescent as their French counterparts, and their little bubbles help camouflage the wine's sweetness. Moscato d'Asti is one variety that's become popular (even Kanye West and other hip-hop artists are singing its praises). Gwendolyn Wilson Osborn, director of education and content for, loves Moscato's crisp taste and that it's low in alcohol (usually 6 to 7 percent), so you can have a glass during the day and not want to fall asleep at 2 in the afternoon. Osborn also says Lambrusco, a pink or red sparkling wine, is shaking off its '80s reputation (does "Riunite on ice...that's nice!" ring a bell?); try it with salty foods like popcorn or salt-and-vinegar chips. Additionally, we're loving the new bottled aperitivo IL Spr!z, which is just making its way to American shores this summer. It's made with semisparkling wine, fresh citrus and herbs.