The wine of the week, which usually posts on Wednesday, runs today because of the July 4 holiday. The blog's schedule will return to normal next week.
The Wine Curmudgeon is criticized regularly because I have standards. Just because a wine is cheap does not mean it doesn't have to be well made and varietally correct. Or, as my pal Tim McNally put it the other day: "There are cheap wines, and they have a place. Then there are wines that are made cheaply, and they don't have a place at all."
The La Valentina ($7, purchased) is firmly and unequivically one of the former. In a perfect world, whenever someone sends me a tart email or leaves a snide comment on the blog about my insistence that a California appellation, cute label and too much fruit does not make a quality wine, I would pour them a glass of this.
This is a surprisingly complex rose made from the montepulciano grape in the Abruzzi region, east of Rome (and not to be confused with the Montepulciano region of Tuscany, home to many high-priced wines). It's not just refreshing, but offers some zip and crispness. Look for strawberry fruit and even a bit of citrus finish.
More about Fourth of July wine:
• Fourth of July wine 2012
• Wine of the week: Louis Tete Beaujolais-Villages 2010
• Wine of the week: Luc Pirlet Pinot Noir Barriques Reserve 2010