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Drinking in the pink

If any of us admit to having enjoyed that sweet pink wine in our youth, it’s usually with a smile and a shake of the head. Unfortunately, that was often the first introduction to pink wine in America.

Let’s start again and reintroduce ourselves to the more elegant pink wine, rosé.

June is the month of the Strawberry Moon, and there are two rosé days to celebrate — National Rosé Day is June 13, and International Rosé Day is June 25. So, this feels like the perfect time to raise a glass to new beginnings for the pink-hued wine of summertime.

Sometime in the sixth century BCE, vines from Greece were brought to the area of Provence in southeast France. These vines, both red and white grapes, were planted side by side, crushed together — Lucy and Ethel style — then fermented in large amphora-like jars. The wine was then exported throughout the Mediterranean region, setting up Provence as an ancient bastion of winemaking, and as the original influencer of our modern rosé.

Today, rosé can be made from almost any varietal, without the red/white blend. Iconic varietals, such as grenache, syrah and mourvèdre can be found in Southern Oregon, along with others, including primitivo, pinot noir, malbec, counoise, cinsault and zinfandel. The four top rosé producers are France (rosé), Spain (rosado), U.S. (rosé) and Italy (rosato), and each carries the taste of the vineyards from bottle to glass.

I love rosé. It’s beautiful. The color is playful, it has a refreshing taste, and is incredibly versatile. Rosé offers a vivifying palette of a pale, delicate style that is soft as a butterfly flutter, to the medium brights with their tutti-frutti tropical notes, and on to the darker, richer pinks that are more fruit forward and pair beautifully with food.

Rosé is meant to be chilled, so serve between 50 and 60 degrees. Most rosé is not meant to be aged, uncanny in the world of wine, so enjoy in the present — think of it as your sprightly fountain of youth.

And speaking of uncanny, rosé is available in charming little cans. Perfect for woodland sauntering, baseball games and outdoor summer concerts. Add a little mineral fizz and a mint or rosemary sprig over ice and it’s perfect for poolside or seaside. Bubbly rosé in cans are a perfect accompaniment to a starry night, or a summer afternoon of porch sitting and watching the world go by.

A great way to begin is with a summertime rosé safari, be it a slow drive through the winelands of southern Oregon or a gathering of worldly bottles for a tasting among friends, and finding out just how good rosé can be.

It’s always nice to look at the world through rosé-filled glasses.

Viva la pink! Cheers!

Reach Paula Bandy at pbthegrapevine@gmail.com and connect with her on Instagram at @pbthroughthegrapevine.