Sure, you can drink rosés any time you want, but they are at their most refreshing when the weather is still hot and when the lunchtime fare is still lighter. After all, rosés and summer salads were meant for each other.
Here are a half-dozen to sample; four from France’s Rhône Valley and two from the eastern United States, an area that today is producing some of America’s best pink wines.
2013 Domaine de la Morderée Tavel ($25)
A substantial pink, full in body with juicy strawberries, well-structured with nice balancing acidity in the finish.
2013 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel ($18)
Dark and very fruity with lots of peaches and red fruits — not at all delicate — and a nice pungency in the finish.
2013 Domaine les Hautes Cances Cairanne rosé ($15)
Delightful sipper from the Côtes du Rhône, rich and tangy with pleasant notes of orange peel and apricot skins. (My Pick of the Litter)
2013 Domaine de la Bastide Côtes du Rhône rosé ($12)
Dominant flavors of peach nectar, very pale, and not a lot of structure; but then it doesn’t need much.
2013 Macari North Fork of Long Island rosé ($15)
Refreshing with all sorts of elements angling for attention: a light prickliness, gamey notes, ripe strawberries, white pepper.
2013 Stinson Virginia rosé ($18)
From 100-percent mourvèdre, the wine has appealing gaminess and meatiness typical of the variety, but it could stand a little more backbone.