The first rose of the season has been spotted, and it’s a treat — the Mulderbosch (about $11, purchased, available at Central Market) from South Africa. Best yet, it costs a couple of dollars less than it did at this time last year.

The rose preliminaries, for those of you who haven’t seen this before: rose may be pink, but it’s a dry wine and bears little resemblance to sweeter pink wines like white zinfandel. Roses are served chilled, and are ambidextrous — drink them on the porch on a hot summer afternoon (or this weekend if the weather forecast holds up) or with almost any kind of food (including beef). That Americans don’t drink more rose is one of the great mysteries of the wine business.

The Mulderbosch has always been one of my favorites, and this year it’s even more interesting. Would that all South African wines were this well done. This year’s vintage is bone dry, with a mineral finish and just enough berry fruitiness. It’s very well made and should get better over the next 10 or 12 months. And did I mention that it costs a couple of dollars less this year?

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