Welcome to National Rosé Month! Or so it seems, to scan the wine section of any newspaper in June. Wine writers treat rosés like Emily Post treats white shoes: dusted off for Memorial Day, retired on Labor Day, perfect for summer but verboten from September to May. Even as they tout the growing popularity of rosés among both consumers and winemakers, the once-a-year rosé roundups rarely appear in any month but this one, making drinking pink synonymous with the reappearance of Speedos on Dolores Beach and speedboats on Clear Lake: a drink for vacationland and summer shares, poured poolside, lakeside, out on the deckside.
And with good reason, frankly: while a good rosé is worth drinking any day of the year, there's no denying that their strawberry hues and Jolly Rancher bouquets are best enhanced by long, sunshiny afternoons that postpone the twilight until deep in the evening. Like a summer romance, these are wines of instant enchantment, capturing the bliss of a moment. There's just something kissable about a rosé, something that makes you want to pucker up, put the glass to your lips, and laugh.
Fresh, light, a little racy, with a jazzy red-fruit profile that dips from strawberries to cherries to thirst-quenching watermelon: that's your typical Mediterranean-ready rosé, and the type I like best for my summer sipping. For one like this, look no further than Domaine de la Fouquette's Cuvee Rosée d'Aurore ($16.50), made in Provence from a blend of 65% grenache, 35% cinsault, and 5% rolle grapes. Pale salmon in the glass, it balances its watermelon bounce with a smooth white-linen crispness that keeps it fresh and pleasing from sip to sip.
Jeff Diamond, owner of Farmstead Cheeses and Wines in Montclair and Alameda, drinks rosé at home all year round. "85% of the time, if I come home and my wife's got a glass in her hand, it's going to be a rosé," says Jeff, pointing out her particular favorite, the Domaine de la Mordorée Tavel ($28).