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For a beautiful pink color and lively sparkling taste, try Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose. Made of 100 percent pinot noir using the Champagne method, the sparkling wine is one of Martha's favorites; and at about $20 per bottle, it offers a great value for its quality. She keeps a stock in her cellar for celebrations.
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Best Value for a Rose
While rose wines are usually looked upon as mostly simple wines, Joseph Bastianich's Rosato, made from the refosco grape of northern Italy, has a complexity that belies its under-$15 price tag. It's also a terrific food-pairing rose, with great acidity, interesting herbal notes, and gorgeous aromas of plums and strawberries.
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Most Versatile Rose
Made from 100 percent pinot noir, that most food-friendly of red grapes, Adelsheim's 2008 rose ($19) can easily take you from savory first-course bites, with its undertones of thyme and earth, to main-course fare like fish, grilled fowl, and even roasted pork or herb-tossed pasta.
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Best Rose for Spice
If you've got spicy foods on your menu, an off-dry, gentle sparkler like Alain Rendardet's Bugey-Cerdon tames the heat of chiles but also stands up to richness and oil with its great acidity, letting the flavors in your food really sing.
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Best Splurge for a Rose
You might want to save this for toasting between you and your honey, but once you get a whiff of Pommery's Springtime Champagne Brut Rose ($50), your sense memory will be forever imprinted with its heady notes of raspberries and vanilla, and will feel the tingly tickle of its gorgeous mousse and creamy texture.
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Best Rose for Meat
Dishes like roast pork, with its juicy, slightly salty nature, are beautiful with an herby, cherry-accented rose sparkler such as Argyle's 2007 Dundee Hills Brut Rose ($45).
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Best Friend of Fowl
What is it about poultry that is so lovely with fruits? Whether it's a squeeze of a fresh orange on chicken or a roasted duck breast draped in rich raspberry sauce, you can't go wrong with a vivid rose sparkler like Domaine Carneros Cuvee de la Pompadour, with its notes of pink grapefruits, strawberries, and melons.
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Best with Seafood
It's a great pleasure to raise a glass of Sparkling Pointe's Topaz Imperial sparkler ($33). Dry and refreshing, with a lovely pale-pink hue, this wine has delicate berry notes and a lovely, biscuity nose that are certainly worth a "Cheers!" or two.
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Best Sparkling Rose for Toasting
When you're pouring for a crowd, you're looking for quality in the glass that won't burn a hole in your wallet. Go for Gloria Ferrer's creamy, palest-pink Blanc de Noirs ($18), with its crisp, dry nature and pretty cherry and raspberry notes.
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Best Rose to Convert the Dubious
You may have a guest or two who roll their eyes at the notion of anything pink in the glass. For those who boo at the blush, pour a vibrant, deep-ruby glass of Marilyn Remark's 2008 Rose de Saignee ($22), made from mostly grenache and spicy syrah. It's a red-lover's rose!
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Best Rose Bouquet
You wouldn't think your florist would have any competition, but when you smell the incredible aroma of fresh rose petals that comes from Chile's Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah ($17), you might think you've stepped into a rose garden. Coupled with its plum notes and sweet-tart flavors, this vibrant wine is never a wallflower.
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Best Rose for the Sweet Stuff
Remember, when pairing desserts with wine, don't go for contrast. Make sure what's in your glass is slightly sweeter than what's on your plate. We think Croft's Pink Port ($19) finishes things off on a blushingly good note!
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