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You may celebrate National Rosé Day on June 8, or celebrate rosé every day like many of us do. Either way, variety is key. From pale, ethereal pink to a deep rose color, these wines provide refreshment and bring smiles to our lips.
This week’s greatest value is the Usoa de Bagordi Rosado 2018, a delightful garnacha rosé from Spain’s Rioja region. If you can splurge a little, don’t miss Pico Maccario’s amazing Lavignone 2018 from Italy’s Piemonte, or Early Mountain’s from Virginia. And to turn your patio gathering into a celebration, try the Bueyes sparkling malbec from Argentina.
Rioja, Spain, $12
Bright berry and cherry flavors fly from the glass with this delightful Spanish rosé, made from organically grown garnacha grapes. The price makes this especially attractive — enjoy it as a warm-weather aperitif, or with spicy and garlicky foods before and during dinner. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Dionysos: Available in the District at Mom’s Organic Market, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Mom’s Organic Market in Rockville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean, Reston), Mom’s Organic Market (various locations), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Piemonte, Italy, $18
Though Italy's Piemonte isn't famous for its rosé, don't let that deter you from enjoying this amazingly delicious wine made from barbera. This is the most exciting rosé I've tasted in many years. Pale pink, it beguiles with aromas and flavors of strawberries, melon, wild herbs and springtime. I can almost sense a hummingbird feeding on the petunias, and hear bees buzzing in the rosebush. Don't drink it too cold — let the flavors develop as the wine loses its chill from the fridge. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cork Market, Grand Cata, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Old Town Market in Kensington, the Perfect Pour in Elkridge. Available in Virginia at the Italian Store (Westover) in Arlington, Unwined in Alexandria.
Last year, when I wrote about Early Mountain’s 2017 rosé, I said this was a winery “riding a rocket.” Early Mountain continues to reach for the stars, not just with this 2018 rosé, which sets a statement of quality for a difficult, rainy vintage, but with all its wines over the past few years. You’ll find it on the list at many restaurants in the District and Virginia. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Williams Corner: Available in the District at Glen’s Garden Market, Wardman Wines. Available in Virginia at La Fromagerie in Alexandria, Organic Butcher in McLean, Unwined in Belleview.
Costieres de Nimes, Rhone Valley, France, $15
As a second-year rosé, this wine has lost a bit of its freshness, but it has gained complexity and a savory, sappy quality. This may not be the wine to sip on a hot summer’s day as soon as you get home from work — keep this in reserve for dinner as the sun sets, especially if the meal features olives, garlic or herb-scented meats from the grill. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at Cork & Fork. Available in Virginia at Tastings of Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, $19
How do you make your rosé stand out in a crowd as pink wine becomes a worldwide craze? Add bubbles! This sparkling, organic malbec from Argentina is delightful, fun and delicious. It isn’t trying to mimic rosé champagne and shouldn’t be evaluated that way. Try this with barbecue or steak. ABV: 12 percent.
Imported by Copa Fina, distributed by Dionysos: Available in the District at Broad Branch Market, Mom’s Organic Market, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Mom’s Organic Market in Rockville. Available in Virginia at Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.