The dry rosés are arriving. You gotta love the way that the LCBO celebrates this season by adding a couple of dozen rosé wines to its regular selections. A rare moment of wildness in a usually staid operation. So let’s go get ’em, as a famous American recently said.

Rosé is never a WOW, but glasses of pink wine have a way of echoing the lighthearted feeling of summer. Something to put you in the mood.

Step one to enjoying rosé is not to give it too much thought. Just do it. It can be a lot of fun for $10. But you might want to distinguish between the bottles that are lighthearted refreshers and those that have richness to partner food.


The other thing to keep in mind is dry rosé is different from blush or white zinfandel (recently joined by white shiraz). There are sweet wines crafted to please people who would really prefer to be drinking fruit juice.

The full summer lineup of rosé is not yet in the stores but I found three really good wines to get cracking on for now. Overall, these are some of the best wine values to be had for summer drinking.

Let’s start with a great value refresher, Obikwa from South Africa. It’s fruity but also tart. Refresher meets sipper. It suggests lazy times, maybe with bold flavoured snacks.

La Vieille Ferme is a delicious South of France rosé — a huge hit of refreshment is followed by tasty, berry fruit flavours. A little later you start to feel the warming richness. Great stuff at a great price. For now, my pick for house rosé.

Ted the Mule, also from the South of France, is somewhat similar, but richer. It is a delicious mouthful too and much better than you might expect from a wine with such a fun name. You just never know. Enjoy this wine with barbecued salmon, chicken or the classic Mediterranean fish stew, Bouillabaise.

• SLOW FOOD TORONTO EVENT: July 12 from 6-9 p.m., $75. Big name chefs and fab food at Don Valley Brick Works. For tickets and more information, visit www.evergreen.caor

Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2005. Visit www.billysbestbottles.comfor information about his in-home wine-tasting seminar.

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