From late spring through the end of the summer (and even into the fall) we drink a fair mouth of rose in our house. Good rose is extremely versatile. You can enjoy it on it’s own as an aperitif, of course, but it’s also great with salads, fish, light meats and I even like it with sweet-spicy barbecue.

Styles vary of course. Some of my favorite local pinks are blends of both red and white grapes. Most tend to be heavy on chardonnay (which is the most-grown white grape in these parts) and it shows. They are light, super-refreshing and can stand in for wines like steel-fermented chardonnay and sauvignon blanc at the table.

Bouke’s 2007 Rose Table Wine ($15), however, is made from 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot. And, rather than tasting very much like a white wine, this is truly a light red wine.

It’s a bright cherry-pink in the glass and the nose is both fruity, with red cherry and strawberry coming through, and earthy, with dried leaves and hay aromas. It is medium bodied and offers straight forward, satisfying flavors that mimic the nose.

It is well balance and damn near ideal for BBQ chicken. I really like that you can tell this was made with North Fork red grapes — it’s that earthy character that gives it away. In that sense, I guess it captures Long Island’s terroir, not something that many roses do.

It’s available both on and at the co-op The Tasting Room, on Peconic Lane.

Grape(s): 60% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot
Bouke Wines
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $15
Rating: 25

(2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Recommended) 

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