I love Rosé. I love everything it stands for, everything it reminds me of. I love how it tastes. I love how it pairs. I love how uncomplicated it makes things.

So it was with great anticipation that my husband and I took a Sunday drive to Healdsburg for their first annual Pink Party. (OK, the anticipation obviously wasn’t that great because I never got the hint to dress in pink. However, I was sporting some spring pastels on this unseasonably warm day.)

The all-rosé event took place at the Paul Mahder Gallery, just south of the town square. Thirteen wineries were spread out among the gallery’s contemporary (read, eclectic) collection of art. Among them: Banshee, C. Donatiello, Copain, Hourglass, Idlewild, Limerick Lane, LIOCO, Petrichor, Red Car, Rootdown, Scribe, Unti, and Vaughn Duffy.

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Rosé has many styles. It runs the gamut from fruity to savory to sweet. You typically taste strawberry, raspberry, watermelon . . . maybe cherry and peach with an almond bite. I’ve even heard cotton candy and even banana used to describe it. Not so sure I want a glass of banana on a hot day.

Color is a reliable tip-off when it comes to rosé. If it’s pale and copper-colored, it’s probably had limited skin contact (maceration) and was probably made from Mourvedre or Grenache, as they are in Provence, rosé’s spiritual home. These tend to be my favorites. Probably because it takes me back to two of the most perfect days I spent in Provence and on the French Riviera.

While I enjoyed most everything I tasted, my favorites of the day were Unti for its mouth feel, Banshee for its aromatics, Red Car for its balance and Scribe for its finish. Other notables include Idelwild – a producer specializing in Piedmontese varietals (the rosé was a blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera) — and Vaughn Duffy for their fun label and backstory as told by the owner, Matt.

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Idlewild_table

When you have a glass of rosé in your hand this time of year, the poppies seem more orange, the sun feels warmer. You start thinking about what to plant in your garden, and what to throw on the grill. Next weekend we’ll tidy up the deck in anticipation of summer and lazy afternoons sipping rosé with our friends.