Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

There are many reasons to hate white Zinfandel.  

For one, it almost always sucked. Not just sucked but inhaled through a screaming vortex hell-nozzle thousands of years of winemaking artistry only to spit them out as a sweet, insipid, pinkish turd, available cheap at your local giant-mega-super-dupermarket.  

For another, it stole grapes that could have been used in the production of real Zinfandel, stuff that can sometimes strip the enamel from your teeth but actually tastes like wine. And for a third, it gave all pink wines -- that's rosé to you, bub -- a really shitty name, sort of like elevating a scheming, Bible-thumping moron from Alaska... ah, that's too depressing to even think about. 

So this is as good a time as any to reclaim rosés from the cold, dead clutches of white Zinfandel. And there's no better (and better value) wine to begin that process with than the 2008 Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rosé. It's a pretty, pale-salmon color -- pink with a hint of gold -- with crisp, citrusy aromas, a bit of steely minerality, and faint strawberry-raspberry fruit. The aromas segue into flavors -- ripe berries with a stiff lemony backbone, not at all sweet, light and refreshing on the palate.  

It's a perfect summer wine; plays well with grilled fish, spicy seafood stews, roasted chicken or composed salad; and best of all, it's not white Zinfandel.