The five best rosés for mid-summer sipping

So many delicious rosés, so few languid, warm-weather days to enjoy them. This is simultaneously our favorite and most dreaded part of the summer; the temps are sizzling (which we love), but the days are getting shorter (which we hate). The sad fact of the matter is that there are only about sixty sultry afternoons and evenings left before the prime rosé-drinking season is officially behind us.

Given that grave reality, it's time to up your rosé consumption accordingly. Not sure where to start? Here are five of the yummiest pink wines we've tasted this year.

St. André de Figuière "Cuvée Magali" Côtes du Provence Rosé 2010 ($15): Seriously swoon-worthy. If you want to experience what a simple, elegant, textbook dry rosé tastes like, look to pink wines from Provence. The St. André gave us everything we were looking for and more: gorgeous, cotton candy-pink hues and gentle strawberry aromas gave way to a delightfully flirtatious wine with an endless finish. It paired brilliantly with our starters of king salmon crudo and salty-sweet beef carpaccio.

Guy Drew Cabernet Franc Rosé 2009 ($16): If after reading my post last week about which Colorado winemakers are getting it wrong (and right), you got the impression we had no love for local juice, you'd be totally mistaken. Because we not only loved this bright, juicy rosé from Guy Drew (the man responsible for the best gewürztraminer we've had in a very long time), we absolutely adored it. This is what our favorite rosé wines are all about -- in-your-face fruit flavors, silky-smooth mouthfeel and mouth-watering acidity. Given the full-bodied characteristics of the cab franc varietal, this is definitely the ideal rosé for those mid-summer evenings when you're desperate for a red, but it's just too damn hot outside to even consider drinking one.

Belle Glos 'Oeil de Perdrix' Pinot Noir Blanc 2010 ($18): Well, we've sung the praises of the this winery's "Meiomi" and "Las Altura" pinots in the past, so we can't say we were terribly surprised at how utterly delicious we found this pinot noir blanc (perhaps labeled as such in an attempt to distance themselves from the final few rosé haters out there still gasping for breath?) to be. "Sexy" was the word that instantly came to mind after our first sip; in fact, we were utterly seduced at the mere sight of this pale fuchsia, cherry-scented glass of loveliness. We officially dare any die-hard pinot fan to refute the charms of this stellar wine.

Bodegas Olivares Rosado 2010 ($10): Fans of the hearty, earthy reds from the Jumilla winemaking region in Spain will find themselves completely riveted by this particular pink. A blend of monastrell (aka mourvèdre) syrah and grenache, the Olivares serves up an highly addictive flavor combination of freshly-picked Bing cherry (including the pit) and Twizzlers...perfect for sipping at the pool, the park or any summertime party. Serve this one alongside an easy dinner of grilled lamb sliders topped with olive tapenade and herbed chèvre. Definitely a contender for our favorite rosé of 2011.

Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2010 ($11): We anxiously awaited the arrival of this year's batch of Crios malbec rosé ever since we sucked down easily half a dozen bottles of last summer's version. Trust us, you'll be equally obsessed with the mash-up of super-ripe strawberry alongside cherry cola flavors that practically leap from the glass. Not to get too carried away with movie-theater candy metaphors, but we got some licorice love from this wine, too, albeit more of the Good 'n' Plenty persuasion this time. All in all, another infinitely quaffable, ridiculously satisfying rosé to help us hold onto summer for as long as we possibly can.