- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chateau d’Aqueria, Tavel, 2006, $17

It’s hot this summer. With searing temperatures out West, heat waves in the Midwest, and soaring humidity here in the East, relief can be hard to find. Try a glass of refreshing dry rose. Pink wines have been out of fashion for a long time, but they are enjoying a resurgence these days, in large part because they prove so revitalizing on sultry summer evenings.

Virtually any wine region that produces red wines also produces roses, as the only difference between the two types comes in how long the fermenting juice remains in contact with the color-bearing grape skins.

The finest place for roses, however, is Mediterranean France, and the finest rose appellation there is Tavel. The wines made there have a generosity of aroma and flavor that few roses equal elsewhere.

This particular Tavel is a blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault, and clairette grapes. It tastes of red berries and dark cherries, with echoes of dried herbs in its finish.

Very versatile at the supper table, it can take the place of a red wine on a hot day when virtually any red will feel too heavy. So serve it well-chilled alongside grilled chicken or pork, or even burgers and hot dogs at a cookout. It’s a versatile crowd-pleaser.

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