Finally! Summer's grip has begun to relax, which allows us to relax in the cool of the evening on the patio with a glass of undemanding wine before dinner.
A classic rosé suits the season: just sweet enough for a white zinfandel drinker looking to move up, dry enough to tease rather than coat the palate, and plenty of lively fruit for everyone.
One that pleases us, both for its easy drinkability and its gentle price, is Florent de Brie's Rosé d'Anjou, the 2007 going for about $9 retail. This supple youngster, which hails from France's Loire Valley, is a particular favorite among drinkers of pink wine in Belgium and the Netherlands. We don't know what that means, really, but we find it interesting enough to pass along.
The word Brie in the winemaker's name is suggestive. In fact, a Brie or other mild soft cheese would go beautifully with this wine at the cocktail hour. Add fresh seedless grapes, neutral water crackers just for the crunch and a handful of walnut halves and you have a splendid way to start a glorious Florida fall evening.
Next up: a value-priced Spanish sparkler guaranteed to please with your favorite pizza.
By Colette and John Bancroft. Colette Bancroft is the Times' book editor. John Bancroft is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.