One of my favorite summer weekend lunches combines good, crusty bread and cheese, tomatoes, olives and a glass of chilled dry rosé, preferably not too fruity. For that, I often look to the Bordeaux and Provence regions of France. Dry rosés from Bordeaux are made from the same red grapes found in the region’s famous reds, which are dominated by cabernet, merlot and cabernet franc. In Provence, the key grape varieties used to make rosé wines are mourvèdre, grenache, syrah and cinsaut. The following pale salmon-pink wines would make fine aperitifs and would also go well with light cuisine.
Axel des Vignes 2018 Rosé Bordeaux, FranceBought • Straub’s, 211 West Lockwood Avenue, in June for $9.99
Description • Named a Best Buy by Wine Enthusiast, this is a dry, crisp rosé that’s distinctively spicy. A blend of 60 percent merlot, 30 percent cabernet sauvignon and 10 percent cabernet franc, this is a well-balanced wine that’s light and elegant. It has subdued flavors of strawberries and cherries, but the taste is mild and certainly not in your face. It also has a relatively low 12 percent level of alcohol.
Domaine Harmonie des Arpents 2018 Côteaux Varois en Provence, FranceBought • Straub’s, 211 West Lockwood Avenue, in June for $13.99
Description • This dry rosé received 90 points from Wine & Spirits, which also named it a Best Buy. It comes from Côteaux Varois en Provence, a key appellation within the Provence region. An aromatic rosé, it’s slightly bigger than the Bordeaux and has a higher alcohol level of 13.5 percent. This is an earthy, light- to medium-bodied wine that tastes of peaches and apricots with some peppery spice.