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Dear Dr. Vinny,

A friend gave me a bottle of a rosé of Merlot for Christmas. What the heck is it? It was rather nice, but a bit complicated for me. I opened it, enjoyed it, but didn't know what food to pair it with?

—Paul M., Cherry Hill, N.J.

Dear Paul,

A rosé of Merlot (or just "Merlot rosé") is typically a dry wine made from Merlot grapes, but with limited exposure to the skins, so the color stays pale. Without knowing exactly which wine it is, I can't say for sure if it's completely dry or if it has a hint of sweetness, but most rosés these days are made in a dry style.

I tend to think of rosés as spring and summer wines because they're tasty well chilled and are refreshing quaffers. They usually have a food-friendly acidity that pairs well with anything from meats to salads, so it's hard to go too far wrong. You'll surely like some matches better than others depending on your own tastes, so the best advice I can give you is to experiment for yourself.

—Dr. Vinny

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