This is the time of year when my samples bin is full of rosés and assorted sparkling wines — not that I’m complaining.
So here we are with a small assortment of four pinks and five bubblies, mainly from Italy, for your summer enjoyment.
2013 Los Vascos Colchagua Valley cabernet sauvignon rosé ($10). A nice food rosé with a touch of gaminess and lots of strawberries, it is big and bold with good acidity and a touch of spritz.
2013 Prieuré de Montézargues Tavel rosé ($20). A light, tart, dry pink with strawberry flavors and a burst of citrus.
2012 Banfi “Centine” Toscana rosé ($10). Creamy and smooth citrus and strawberry flavors, but the wine needs more structure and minerality.
2012 Va La “Zafferano” ($38). My Pick of the Litter. You could call this Pennsylvania blend of four clones of Pinot Grigio, Tocai, and Petit Manseng a white, a rosé, or an orange wine, but I’m happy to drink it no matter what you call it. Fermented for about a month in its skins (hence the color), it has great fruitiness of wild strawberries that grows in the glass, but its strength is in its minerality and its long, crisp finish. A very good wine.
NV Piccini “Memŏro” rosato d’Italia ($12). Off-dry with full, ripe strawberry flavors and a tart finish, this pink was a crowd favorite when we served it at a recent dinner.
NV Mionetto “Il Ugo” ($12). Not a traditional grape-based sparkler, but a combo of elderflower bitters with pear, peach and citrus. It seems to be an acquired taste that I haven’t yet acquired, but my wife loves it.
NV Bolla prosecco extra dry ($12). A pleasant, mild sparkler with lots of bubbles and light pear flavors.
NV Bolla rosé sparkling wine ($12). Also pleasant, with crisp light strawberries — a nice everyday sparkler.
NV Banfi “Rosa Regale” Brachetto d’Acqui ($20). A standard for the appellation, it is a big, assertive wine with concentrated, sweet strawberry flavors. It’s the kind of wine that people either love or hate.