Five rockin' rosés that transition from summer to fall..and beyond

Categories: Booze

Congratulations, wine lovers: In 2010, the good ol' U. S. of A. officially consumed more wine than France for the first time ever. And as we predicted earlier this year, America's love affair with pink wine just keeps getting hotter -- evidenced by the fact that exports of rosé (and red) wines to the U.S. from Provence jumped 132 percent by value and 85 percent by volume from 2009 to 2010. And that last statistic doesn't even consider the increased quantities of rosés we sucked down from any other region outside the south of France. So let's make it official, shall we? Pink wines rock.

But lest you think that the waning days of summer serve as your signal to let up on your newly-cultivated rosé swilling habit, think again. In fact, there's hardly a better beverage to complement the heartier fare sure to turn up on your dinner (or coffee) table in the coming months as you settle into football and basketball viewing season, plan your harvest celebration meals, and prepare for that quintessential dinner party of them all: Thanksgiving. Wondering why it makes sense for you to continue to drink pink? Rosé wines are practically unmatched in terms of their versatility, especially when it comes to pairing them with food. Key attributes, including refreshing acidity, low tannins, and easy drinking berry fruit make rosé work like a champ with foods ranging from game day chicken wings to Turkey Day turkey. The trick to extending the drinkable life of pink wines is to look for those made with more muscular varietals, or at the very minimum, produced in a more manly style. Here are five fall-worthy rosé wines to get you through the season.

Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé 2010 ($16): Here's a classic, Provençal rosé made from a blend of the usual [varietal] suspects of the region -- grenache, cinsault, and syrah. Ridiculously fresh, yet possessed of a lingering, red berry-dominant finish, we tasted plenty of ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit. What you'll also notice immediately after your first sip of this particular rosé is an undeniable mouthwatering sensation that wants to be satisfied by a simple, seafood-y snack. Peel-and-eat shrimp, anyone?

Allendorf 'Festival' Spätburgunder Rosé Secco NV ($8): Well, well, well. Just when we thought we'd sussed out every available glass of bubbly pink wine available within our rather limited financial means, we stumbled upon this charming little number. If the varietal name "spätburgunder" has you flummoxed, take heart in the knowledge that it is none other than pinot noir, going by its German moniker. And while this wine is technically more of a perlwein (which is to say, only semi-sparkling), it was fully delightful. We're already plotting its perfect fall pairing: a platter of salty-sweet, bacon-wrapped, goat cheese-stuffed dates.

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