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Summer: A Time to Blush

June 27th, 2012 by Alan A. Barone

It’s a warm summer evening in New England, after a sticky, sunny, near stifling day. Your mind begins to focus on a simple dinner, perhaps a salad or something simple on the grill. OK, first let’s take care of your wine choice:  something simple, light, cool and refreshing, perhaps low in alcohol, or even a richer, fuller flavored type and a wine that one can sip before, during and even after a summer meal. My go-to wine is Rosé.  In fact, Rosé can really be considered the official wine of summer.

The popularity of rosé wines, both in this country and overseas, continues to rise even with its somewhat checkered past. Today the blush or rosé category has resulted in increased production of some excellent rosé wines coming from areas in Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and the USA.   There are also plenty of styles from which to choose. They range from delicate, fruit-scented wines to richer, drier examples; the most noteworthy are produced from the Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Gamay and several other grape varieties like Carignane, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Go ahead and sip a chilled rosé, because summer is a time to blush…and these are ready to taste:

2011 Laurent Miquel, Languedoc

Sweet berry and herb fragrance leads to ripe strawberry fruit and a lingering hint of thyme and rosemary kept fresh on the palate with well-integrated acidity.

2011 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare, Central Coast

Beautifully made, fruit forward blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne delivers peach, raspberry and floral notes.

 2011 Falesco Vitiano, Umbria

Immediate scents of rose pedals open to bright cranberry and strawberry flavors then a soft, dry finish.  Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Aleatico.

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