A Rosé by any other name
Argentina is the home of some excellent Malbecs. The wine is usually made in a dark red Bordeaux style, but a few winemakers are making it into rosé. One of the best of those winemakers is Susana Balbo, whose Rosé Crios ($13) is a great introduction to the dry style of rosé. Her wine marries fruity aromas with tart flavors and a heady amount of alcohol. Poach a red snapper with a hit of Mexican mint marigold, and you'll get a good idea of what a good food wine this is.
We also have some first-rate examples closer to home. From California, Vin Gris de Cigare ($12) is a version of a Rhone rosé with lots of grapes blended into a delicious drink. Try it with a Pescado Veracruzano, heavy on the olives. Several Texas wineries are producing dry rosés, and two of my favorites are from right here in the Hill Country. Becker Vineyards' Provencal ($10) blends Cabernet Sauvignon with Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, while Spicewood Vineyards rosé ($12) is a straight Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines go great with fajitas.
The very best examples of rosé come from the southern part of France. A wine that is easy to find and nice to drink is the Chateau Routas Rosé ($11) from Provence, a perfect picnic wine. My favorite rosé is the version from Domaine Tempier in Bandol. It's a pricey treat, but if you feel like splurging, it's a great way to spend $35. Pair it up with chicken with 40 cloves of garlic or pommes frites with aioli, and you'll feel like you're sitting on a beach overlooking the Mediterranean.
Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter
If you want to submit a recipe, send it to email@example.com