Autumnal equinox

With summer’s expiration date on September 22, is it time to ditch those bright, light, delicious wines you enjoyed when fish were jumpin’ and cotton was high?

Short answer: no. There is no reason to forgo patio, pool, and picnic pours now, or any time for that matter. In the first place, if you live in the southern half of the country, plenty of summer-like days remain—in Texas there will be summer-like days in winter. No need to eschew wines because of some silly equinox.

Plus, most homes today are 72-75 degrees all year long, no matter the season. There will come the time when outdoor imbibing days are problematic, but “summer” wines will taste just as good inside your home, especially as aperitifs or paired with lighter foods.

Rosé wine—both still and sparkling—in particular is a year-around pour. Its lovely color livens the start of any event, and the red fruit flavors, acidity, and lower alcohol of dry rosés make them extremely versatile wines to pair with food.

It is true that many white and rosé wines are made to be consumed young, which means you likely will be able to find bargains as merchants clear their shelves in anticipation of the next vintage. Which seems all the more reason to include them in your wine drinking agenda until the vernal equinox six months hence signals the start of another round of vino adventure in the constantly revolving world we are privileged to enjoy.

Tasting notes:

• Rotari Rosé Trento DOC 2013: Works wonderfully as an aperitif with its pleasing color, lively bubbles, and delicious, delicate fruit flavors. $14 Link to my tasting notes

• Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals Paso Robles 2017: Surprising rosé over-delivers for the price. Juicy watermelon and cantaloupe play with the acidity and strawberry in this rich, fruity effort. $15 Link to my tasting notes

• Lucas & Lewellen Rosé of Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyards Santa Barbara 2017: Admirably complex; brings depth and surprise to a rosé—superb exemplar of what rosé can be. $16 Link to my tasting notes

• Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé NV: Great color, lively bubbles can be sweet aperitif to begin an elegant party, especially appreciated by those who enjoy sweeter wines. Also serves very well as romantic gift or celebratory pour for wedding, university graduation, birthday, retirement. $44-66 Link to my tasting notes

Last round: Just to reassure everyone, it is perfectly okay to drink white wine after Labor Day. White pants and shoes? We can debate that.