The 2013 Les Rastellains Cotes du Rhone Rosé seduces first with its color, a disarming tea rose pink. Then it gets even better. This charmer can be had at some local big-box wine retailers for about $10, putting it well within reach as a go-to summer sipper.
Here's how Colette described it: what summertime would taste like if there were a wild strawberry patch in the woods behind your grandmother's house. Indeed.
Strawberries are just barely there on this wine's super subtle nose. On the tongue, the wine is soft, fresh and bright, and it becomes obvious that the strawberries here are wild. Raspberries add their light and flirty grace note in second place. The finish is lingering and admirably dry, with mineral and floral undertones present in equal measure.
Enjoy this wine, a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah grapes, on its own or as an aperitif. Pair it with birthday cake or, as we did, with pasta tossed with shallots, asparagus and bacon.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.