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Rosé

The French way to while away the afternoon

A good friend of mine took a trip to Antigua a while ago and came back with a term I took to quite quickly, "FLFL". It stands for f--king long French lunch, the idea being that you find yourself a nice little café, preferably with sidewalk tables, on a beautiful, sunny, mid-week afternoon and devote at least three hours to an indulgent meal. The most important aspects being very little regard for time, as much sun exposure as possible and a steady supply of rosé.

The next best thing, given that you may not have an unlimited amount of time or your favorite sidewalk café has an hour wait for the outside tables, is a do-it-yourself version. We live in a city abundant with parks, so grab a blanket, a favorite cheese or two, bread, fruit, plastic cups, and the necessary bottle or two of rosé. My two favorite finds of late are Storybook Mountain Zin Gris and Saisons des Vins Le Printemps.

Storybook Mountain Zin Gris ($15 @ William Cross Wine Merchants 2253 Polk), or "Blood of Zinfandel" as it is so rightly referred, is nothing like that abomination White Zinfandel. It's richly flavored with blackberries and plums and finishes with white pepper. It's a racy little brother to Red Zinfandel, not quite dark and sultry, but full of spice and character.

Le Printemps ($10 @ Amphora 384 Hayes) is from Copain Winery's second label, Saisons des Vins or Seasons of Wine. Le Printemps is the spring release and a perfect year round wine for San Francisco. Made from mostly Pinot Noir with a bit of Syrah you are hit with fresh, ripe strawberries both in the nose and on the palate. Tart cherry flavors give it a bit more depth. Crisp, clean and well balanced it's the perfect match to a proscuitto, mozzarella, and arugula sandwich.

So grab your picnic basket, stock it well, and plan for an uninterrupted afternoon of rosé and sun- you'll be saying FLFL as often as possible.

Vineyards Genevieve Robertson can be reached at by_the_glass@hotmail.com