Refreshing rosés that pair well with summer eats

Rosés are perfectly refreshing for summer sipping.

As we enjoy the holiday weekend and the lion’s share of summer, rosés will be my go-to wines on many nights. For me, they’ve become the quintessential wines of summer, at once light and refreshing but also substantial. Some of them are highly versatile and capable of pairing with a wide range of foods, from fish and chicken to simply prepared meats, especially pork and lamb.

That versatility was on display at a quick late dinner with friends the other night at Boulud Sud, Daniel Boulud’s relaxed and elegant Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in New York. It was a crisp yet fruity rosé from the south of France, Chateau Riotor’s 2012 Côtes de Provence, which went beautiful with an assortment of small plates we shared.

They included two flatbreads, one with caramelized onion, anchovies and Nicoise olives, the other with ground lamb, eggplant and pine nuts; crispy artichokes with aioli and even a pasta dish with un-smoked Italian bacon, tomato and basil. The rosé, which sells at retail for about $15, held up to all of it. The wine is a blend of some of the region’s typical red varieties (cinsault, grenache and syrah) with a little white vermentino.

Another wine that stood out in my tastings is Domaine Begude’s 2012 Pinot Rosé, also from the south of France. This one is from Limoux in the Languedoc region and is made from pinot noir grown using organic methods. It’s an absolutely lovely wine, delicate and delicious when sipped on its own with notes of strawberry and subtle orange, a little spice and vibrant acidity. A real value at about $12, it’s among the best rosés I’ve found this season and would be wonderful with salmon. (Imported by Wine Selections, Wellesley Hills, Mass.)

Edward Deitch is a James Beard Award-winning wine critic. Find many more of his wine reviews and commentary on his blog,, and follow him on Twitter.