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Photo by Susie Geissler.

Anytime I walk into a Whole Foods, I know I’ll end up saying this aloud to a display of items, “What sort of hipster bullshit is this?” Whether it’s smoked jalapeño and artisan pickle-flavored ale or hot wings marinated in cold brew and coated with nutritional yeast, somehow all manner of these monstrous concoctions make it to the shelf. Also, because I’m both repelled and compelled by the stuff I mock, these questionable products usually land in my cart. The most recent venture into this category came in the form of twist-off metal-capped bottles filled, not with malt liquor, but with a rosé produced by a hilariously named brand, Forty Ounce Wines. 

Granted, I shouldn’t be all that surprised. The only way a person could have missed the return of rosé’s popularity over the last few years is if she had been drinking alone in her closet away from all women in the 21-39-year-old age bracket. It makes sense that younger men and women are embracing this red wine varietal so strongly. Its taste is accessible and price economical. But if you hear the word “rosé” and have a flashback to mid-’90s suburban moms plowing through barrels of Sutter Home White Zinfandel, take heart. There are other, far better options than that liquid travesty to try this summer.

Much the same way I don’t suggest giving yourself a haircut when you’re sad, testing a new wine you previously suspected was detestable is best left to the professionals. I’d recommend hanging out with the staff and owners of Grand Cru Wine Bar & Boutique (1257 W Magnolia Av, 817-923-1717) and trying one of the three different options for guests in the rosé sector: glass, bottle, or flight. 

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If it’s your first pink-wine rodeo, the “A Rosé by Any Other Name” flight includes two-ounce pours of Chateau la Liquiere (Languedoc, France), Les Amandiers Montagu, Bacigalupi Vineyard (Russian River Valley, California), and Torres Sangre de Casta Penedes (Spain), and will set you back just $12. Given that the terroir of those three countries determines the taste profile, it’s eye-opening to compare the three side-by-side. They are all available in regular five-ounce glass pours and reasonably priced bottles as well.

Personally, when the mercury rises, I crave bubbles. For just $7.75 at Grand Cru, I’ll snag a glass of the fruity-but-not-cloying Veuve Du Vernay. There are many other full-bottle options of dry rosé to choose from at the Magnolia Avenue storefront, but a crowd-pleaser is the bright, fruity, and slightly tannic Charles Sparr Cremant d’Alsace, made from 100-percent pinot noir grapes.

This hip pink drink may not be for everyone. Still, Grand Cru is worth a visit for drinkers of wine and beer alike. It has a wine club that represents some of the best value in Fort Worth, and the place offers curated bottles for monthly pick-up – plus discounts on food, drink, and merchandise. The overall feel of the bar is warm and relaxed, which provides a pleasant contrast to the sterile plastic surgeon’s office-vibe of many a-place to sip vino around town.

Of course, you can choose to go it alone and test rosé straight off the shelf. In a plot twist, the 2017 Forty Ounce Rosé from Whole Foods (3720 Vision Dr, 682-316-8040) isn’t a bad option, despite the odd packaging. The slightly sweet French varietal is composed of gamay, merlot, cabernet franc, and pineau d’aunis grapes from the Loire Valley and checks in under $20. The requisite brown bag to wrap around the bottle? Purely optional. 

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