Value Wine Friday: Two Under $12

There's a general air in NYC today that could be roughly summed up as, "Thank God. Spring. Finally!" The sun is out, it's breezy, and if I weren't sitting here in an office typing these words, I'd be sitting out in a park somewhere—and if the world were truly ideal, I'd be eating one of the crisp Niçoise chickpea pancakes called socca, and drinking a glass of one of these two rosés:

2006 Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Rosé ($10) Fresh, delicate and full of flavor, this blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre and unspecified "other varietals" is exactly what rosé should be. A little watermelon; a little frais de bois; a whole lot of charm.

2006 Bieler Père et Fils Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Rosé ($10) A blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, this is unsurprisingly a bit richer and lustier than the Houchart, with the scent and taste of ripe strawberries and a touch of anise on the finish. More of a cold roast chicken rosé, in other words—which also sounds like a mighty fine thing. (no website as yet)

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