The Grateful Dead are back on tour this summer causing some of us to think back to our days of youth. I had the pleasure of attending a few Grateful Dead concerts while Jerry Garcia was still alive and “the lot” was as important to the experience of a show as the show itself. Wine wasn't a part of the preparations for a Dead show, but it should have been. The Dead's romantic lyrics call out for a slug of wine. Time gone by and the Old South, hobos hopping trains, coal mines, the old west, misty mountains, women in long flowing skirts with flowers in their hair. “We can share the women, we can share the wine,” is, after all, one of the famous lines from their song, "Jack Straw." Unfortunately you were more likely to find someone selling Jagermeister shots for $1 before the shows than anyone selling wine by the glass. And most of us were too hopped up on the other stuff they were selling in the lot to worry about sipping vino. It's a shame really. Luckily we get older, our tastes change, and we learn to appreciate The Dead's music on a different level. We listen for the nostalgia it induces and the way it makes us feel, and a bottle of rosé couldn't be a more perfect match.

I've already talked a bit about rosé and how it is made, so I won't go into that. I will say that this rose if from the Languedoc region of France which still holds some of the best bargains in the wine world. Languedoc is located in Southwestern France where they grow a lot of the same grapes that they do in Provence and The Rhone, its neighbors to the east. There is a huge amount of wine made in this region and it tends to get a bad rap as a place for bulk- and mass-produced wines. There are some great producers though, and some great deals; you just have to do your research.

La Gravette is a Co-Op, which is a common practice in this part of France. Many farmers work together to grow the grapes and make the wine, all using one central winery or “Cave.” This is cheaper for the growers who may not make enough wine, or have enough revenue to sustain a winery on their own. Their rosé is made from Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, the latter adding a lot of depth and spice to the wine. This particular Rosé is a 2007, which is a little old for a rosé. Normally Rosés are best when drunk within a year of release, though some will age quite nicely. This one has a lovely floral nose, with some dank, mushroomy and spicy notes as well. On the palate it has soft strawberry fruit with some earthy flavors. The finish is long with a touch of white pepper. A lovely little rosé that's perfect to sip while reminiscing about the good old days.

LA GRAVETTE ROSÉ, 2007