"We talk regularly about Champagne and how it can define a moment, or even create one, but the same applies to most any sparkling wine," writes Richard Fadeley. Why not look at the "second stringers" of sparkling wine? "They are not too shabby in their own right." Here's his report.
Famille Perrin 2012 "Nature" Côtes du Rhône ($12.99)
Made from certified organically grown Grenache (95%) and Syrah grapes, this appealing red is dark garnet in color, with a clear edge. Good, if simple, Rhône character; raspberries and freshly ground pepper pop on the nose and palate, with subtle herbs as a back note. Good, crisp acidity, 13.5% alcohol and soft but persistent tannins make for a food-friendly structure, and it's robust enough to keep well in the open bottle at room temperature for a few days.
"Although rosé wines are quite tasty all year round, summer is high season for all things chilled and pink," writes Taylor. "Rosés are custom-made for thirst quenching. It only makes it better that they're affordable too." Taylor's been exploring the California dry rosé scene. Here's her report.