Long, hot summers like the one we’ve been “enjoying” are tough on wine lovers. A lot of the wines we savor all winter are just not that appealing when the temperature spikes and humidity becomes oppressive.

These are the times that call for something lighter, low in alcohol and refreshing. This is the time for rosé, which is all those things and also quite fashionable at the moment. The New York Times Style section recently named rose the new drink of choice of “club-hopping hipsters and taste-makers,” and restaurants and retailers across the country are reporting huge increases in sales of this pink drink.

Rosé can be made from any red grape variety. The most common varietal used typically depends on the country of production. In the U.S., Pinot Noir is popular, while in France, Rhone grapes like Grenache and Syrah are most common. The color of the resulting wine is determined by how long the juice is left in contact with the skins, so hues can vary from just a tinge of pink to nearly cherry-red.

And rosé wines are incredibly versatile: they pair well with even the trickiest cuisines (like Asian and Indian), can be served chilled or close to room temperature, do not require cellaring or decanting, and most are quite inexpensive. Rosés are juicy and refreshing, with a crisp acidity and flavors of strawberry and cherry. It’s like summer in a bottle.

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