I've noticed that Bellingham's Temple Bar has an ad proclaiming "It's Rosé Season."
Of course, we know that drinking a particular type of wine can't - and shouldn't - be restricted to a certain time of year, but rosés do seem to lend themselves to summertime sipping.
Rosés are colorful, flavorful, and best served slightly chilled. They also come in a wide variety of styles, from dry to off-dry to sweet. This makes them extremely flexible when pairing with food, such as pasta or potato salads, fried chicken, fresh fruit or just about anything else you might associate with a picnic.
I often find that I'm guilty of limiting my rosé purchases and consumption to warmer months. But with summer winding down, this a great time to explore ways to continue serving rosés year-round, instead of taking them off your shopping list until next July.
Here are a few Washington rosés that can be enjoyed any season:
Barnard Griffin Winey 2011 Rosé of Sangiovese (about $12) - No list of rosés would be complete without a nod to winemaker Rob Griffin. This is the seventh consecutive year he's won gold medal honors or better for this wine at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. I've yet to try this particular vintage, but the borderline ridiculously low price makes this a no-brainer to add to the shopping list.
Maryhill Winery 2010 Rosé of Sangiovese (about $14) - There's a gentle fragrance of strawberry to lead off, then more strawberry flavors in the glass along with touches of cherry tomato and pink grapefruit. The finish is crisp, lean and bone dry.
Robert Ramsay Cellars 2011 Rosé (about $19) - This pale salmon-hue wine was the group favorite at a recent dinner party I hosted ... and with good reason. It's a gorgeous blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah, with a splash of viognier that gives it a lovely floral note. Huge, stone fruit flavors are followed by a slightly earthy/meaty middle stage, and then accentuated with a finishing note of dazzling acidity.
Tempus Cellars 2011 Rosé of Grenache (about $21) - The eye-catching, shocking-pink color of this wine will almost certainly grab your attention; its flavors will entice you into enjoying a second glass. Mouthwatering kiwi, cranberry, strawberry and red currant predominate, with a splash of brisk acidity and a whisper of residual sugar. Next week I'll feature several more recommendations from this Walla Walla winery.
DAN RADIL is a wine enthusiast who lives in Bellingham. Reach him at danthewineguy.com.