I asked the wine guy at Richard's on Bissonnet at Wesleyan what he's recommending these days. He pointed at the end-cap display, which was stocked with several rosés from the Rhone, all selling for under $10. Makes sense -- it's cheap, you can serve it chilled, and your wine geek friends will be impressed.
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Which is funny, since nobody would touch rosés a couple of years ago. They were considered cheap wishy-washy wines for people who couldn't make up their mind between red and white. I guess that once we started drinking those fabulous rosé Champagnes and pricey rosés from Bandol, we forgot all that.
Tavel is a wine area in the Southern Rhone that has always produced great rosés in the $15-to-$20 price range. Now with the economic downtown, rosés are going down-market again. Other Rhone areas are turning their red grapes into inexpensive pink wines.
When I picked a bottle up at Richard's and carried it to the cash register, the guy behind the counter asked me if I was going right home. When I looked puzzled, he reminded me that if I drove around with the wine in the car all day, it was going to get cooked.
He lost a sale, but gained a fan.