Just as fresh foods have their seasons, wines seem to have theirs, too. The steamy summers of our climate call for something cool. A great alternative to white wine is the dry style European ros. Ros has become very popular in the American market, and it is the fastest growing segment of American wine consumption. Sales of ros have increased 100% over the last year.

Dry ros is also a nice alternative to the much sweeter California-made white zinfandels. Even so, it still has delightful fruit aromas. The aroma of fresh strawberries is a common theme among ros wines. It should be consumed at the same temperature as white wine, about 45-50 degrees, so it is best to chill ros for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator before serving it. Ros is also best while still young.

Ros is a good match for several summertime food favorites. Th ese include stronger fi sh such as salmon or tuna; also recommended is non-spicy barbecue and hearty salads, such as tomato and mozzarella.

Here are several ross available in old Town:

Zwiegelt 2007 Tegernseerhof
This Austrian Ros is salmon in color. According to the winery,it has aromas of fresh ripe strawberries and red cherries, although it reminded me of fresh peaches. Th is one is a great value at $11.99, and is by far my favorite at this price range. (Balduccis)

Domaine de la Morderee,2007, Rhone Valley
For serious wine drinkers, this one is at a higher price point than the others ($20). There are also reds and whites under this label. The ros is a beautiful deep pink color, with aromas of raspberry and sweet herbs, a truly outstanding wine. (Balduccis)

Domaine de la Petite Cassagne, 2007:
This is from Costures de Nimes,south of the Rhone Valley. This is still a dry wine, but the sweetest of the group listed here. It is a deep salmon color with aromas playfully reminiscent of maraschino cherries, without the cloying sweetness. ($12.99 at Balduccis.) Humor me, please: I will serve this to friends with white cheddar popcorn on a stay-at-home movie night. It is worthy of much better foods than that, though, too.

La Ferme Julien, 2007,Cotes du Ventoux, Rhone Valley:
This deep golden pink colored ros has strawberry aromas in addition to afloral, honeysuckle bouquet. It is a quite feminine blend of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah varietals. For the truly thrifty at Trader Joes for $5.99.

Remy Pannier Ros dAnjou, 2007:
This peach-colored ros has typical strawberry aromas and to my palate is semi-dry, so it will appeal to those who prefer a sweeter style. Try using it to make pink sangria. Also for the thrift y at TJs for $7.99.


Kiki Obadal writes from Old Town and is online at

Do you have a secret recipe for sangria? Whisper it to Kiki and she promises not to tell a soul, except all the readers.