A good dry rosé, served lightly chilled, combines the refreshing qualities of a white wine and the richness of a red. It will complement a vast range of foodseverything from sautéed sea bass to herb-roasted leg of lamband even the best tend to be great buys. Most of the wines here are $15 or less.
Rather than by simply blending red and white wines, most top rosés are made with the saignée method. After crushing red grapes, winemakers let them rest on their skins for a short time, then draw off the now pink (or salmon-orange, or fuschia, or the delicate pale red the French call oeil de perdrix, or "eye of the partridge") juice and allow it to ferment. In southern France, the Mediterranean stronghold of rosé, the grapes most often used are Grenache and Cinsaut. Today, winemakers around the world are using a host of varieties, including such obscure ones as Agiorgitiko, Bourboulenc, Bovale Sardo and Lagrein.
In an F&W tasting of some 57 rosésfrom France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.the 10 on the following page were standouts.