Rose is a wine that is finally gaining the respect it rightfully deserves in this country. A dry, crisp, higher-acid rose is the ideal partner for summer entertaining, especially if you like to have guests over and offer a series of small plates, tapas-style. Rose surmounts the problem of different levels of meat, seasoning, spiciness, etc., since its acidity pairs well with all sorts of dishes. Equally important as the weather heats up is that rose's acidity refreshes your palate, especially while standing in the sun working the barbeque grill -- try that with a big California cab once and you'll know what I am talking about!
In this vein, the SF Chronicle's wine selections this week feature their favorite imported roses, and , although not technically rose, Eric Asimov posts about blaufränkisch from Austria and Germany. The other night we had a 2005 Cotes de Provence Rose Commanderie de Peyrassol (with an amazing history stretching back to the Knights Templar and the Crusades in case you are interested in true terroir!) which is made from a blend of syrah, grenache, cinsault and a local, ancient grape tibouren. We matched it with a pair of bruschettas from the excellent wine-pairing cookbook The Perfect Match, and the rose's acidity worked equally well with the flavors of both the traditional tuna-cannellini and the nouveau spicy avocado versions. Highly recommended.