Feature

Rosé: The ideal summer wine

Rosé has become the “It” wine, especially in the daytime during the summer.

At first it seemed like just an innocent flirtation, said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Americans began showing a certain affection, “if not passion,” for rosé. Then the arbiters of fashion declared rosé to be the “It” wine. A few years on, our fling with rosé has evolved into a serious relationship “that shows no signs of fading.”

As Mediterranean cultures have long known, a rosé is “the quint­essential daytime wine,” best drunk out-of-doors and preferably ­during summer. Our Times panel recently sampled 25 rosés. French rosés stood out, garnering seven of the top 10 spots. In order, here are the four best.

Robert Oatley, Australia Mudgee Rosé of Sangiovese, 2008 ($16) A lovely, balanced, bone-dry wine with “savory mineral flavors.”

Jean-Paul Brun, Terres Dorées Beaujolais Rosé d’Folie, 2008 ($15) A delicate and restrained French wine, with many nuanced fruit flavors.

Wild Rock, New Zealand Hawkes Bay Vin Gris Rosé, 2008 ($15) Crisp and tangy with dry, refreshing flavors.

Commanderie de Peyrassol, Côtes de Provence, 2008 ($15) A pink, dry, surprisingly rich rosé from near Aix; pleasing floral aromas.

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