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Coming Up Rosés

Rosé champagne has never been more popular in this country. There's no greater indication of that than the overwhelming number of rosé samples that are stacking up at my house. And if you haven't seen the new Wine Spectator yet, dry rosé graces its cover--which I doubt has happened before. Not to mention that so many wine lists around town and press folk like I am are heavily promoting rosés of late.

As rosé has emerged as a fully accepted style of wine, even macho guys can drink it in outdoor cafés without feeling emasculated. And it is the perfect wine for leisurely lunches on sunny spring days and for sipping long into violet evenings as the sun goes down. Blowsy, complex enough to be interesting without taxing the brain, it's a lovely thirst-quenching wine.



Here are a few of my recent favorites that you might find at K&L Wine Merchants:

•    Bieler Pere et Fils from Provence, via our own Mira Bieler and her New York based brother, Charles. It's fairly juicy and loveable

•    Solo Rosa's, the rosé-only label by writer and educator Jeff Morgan--there are three: a syrah rosé, a California blend and a pinot rosé (my favorite of the favorites)

•    Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles has long made a rosé from the Rhone varieties Mourvedre, Grenache and Counoise--it's dark and strong and good for heavier foods like chicken liver paté or grilled hangar steak.

•    Calera's Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, with vin gris suggesting a light style of rosé made by draining off some of the barely-colored juice early in the fermentation process. This one's a beaut.

•    And it's not my favorite style, but if any of you out there like sweet rosé like white zinfandel-- this wine (Oops) made from the Carmenere grape of Chilé would be good to try. It's not saccharine sweet, but rather off dry with a luscious and long-lasting finish of ripe strawberries.