On the cusp of spring, it's time to pick rosés.
They just remind you of what's ahead, not behind. And they have colors to make you smile, even if you're just gingerly putting away the snow shovels.
The slightly floral, red fruit-driven 2014 Prieuré de Montézargues Tavel AOC ($25) should brighten any light meal. If you're inclined to whip up a brandade of salt cod, or just open a can of olive oil-packed sardines, it will be ideal company. The pale-pink 2014 La Petite Perrière Rosé ($12) offers a hint of raspberry, and is a fine sipper that's also a foil for cured meats, maybe with a slice of ripe melon on the side.
From Chile, the 2014 Los Vascos Rosé ($13) uncorks with a rush of berries and a little dried fruit, too. It's an easygoing, food-friendly wine that's right with light finfish and shellfish preparations, even a paella.
Turning to sparkling rosés, the dependably good, dry, nonvintage Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé ($22); and the vividly shaded, fruity Valdo Rosé Brut ($16) from Italy add some celebratory fizz as an aperitif, with traces of red berries. The bargain-priced Paul Cheneau Brut Rosé, from Spain ($14) is a pleasing partner for all kinds of tapas.
You can also skip rosés and go for an amber-colored, vin santo, a sweet match for all those sfingi and zeppole. Reliable producers include Avignonesi, Fontodi, Felsina, Capezzana, and Isola e Olena.