- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Marques de Caceres, Dry Rose, Rioja, 2005, $12

Roja in northern Spain is best known for earthy, winter-weight reds, not refreshing summer roses.

The world of wine, though, is full of surprises these days, and this value-priced offering from the large Marques de Caceres winery in Rioja proves an unexpected delight.

Bursting with bright berry flavors, it is simultaneously substantial and invigorating — just the right combination when temperatures soar.

Some people distrust pink wines, fearing that they will taste sappy or sweet. Dry wines made in this color, though, are not at all sugary.

They taste fresh and fruity, but also exhibit a crisp, almost bracing character. Particularly on hot, humid summer days, when sipping an oaky red wine would feel like drinking a 2-by-4, they offer pure pleasure.

Made from a blend of tempranillo and grenache grapes, this wine is weighty enough to satisfy when paired with fairly hearty fare, but at the same time can complement summer salads or chilled gazpacho.

Versatile at the table, this wine is fashioned for near-term drinking. Enjoy it all summer long.

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