It seems like summertime is also a time when you're more likely to escape to the beach, or go camping. Or maybe you have the great opportunity to be the 'destination location' of your friends. Either way, it seems like your more likely to be going through a few bottles on a given night, rather than just the one - or more likely to be drinking more in general, night after night on your vacation, for example. So having a few delicious but affordable wines in your repertoire is kind of a necessity. Note: Cheap wine does not necessarily mean BAD wine. On the contrary, savvy wine shop's have a collection of wines they work even harder to find in the affordable price range. Because they won't compromise quality for price.

This summer there were two wines, roses no less, that came with me on vacation pretty regularly. Both were late-comers to Ball Square Fine Wine's rose collection. The first of the two, Les Trois Chenes, is a project of Chateau Moutete and is a crazy blend of Cinsault, Ugni blanc, Syrah, Merlot, Mourvèdre and even Rolle, for good measure. The result? A wine with surprising levity, authenticity (great minerality) and under-handed (in a good way) fruit. Possibly a perfect example of Provincial rose. For $8.99 especially, this was a no-brainer.

The second of the two is a curious wine from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. No joke. And no surprise, it has a little bit of spritz. A regular cork screw will do it. But those little bubbles go a long way to delight your taste buds on a hot day. (I mean, come on, why else do people put tonic water or club soda in their cocktails? Subtle bubbles rock.) This wine, Adegas de Moncao Murhalas rose, is made from Porguese varietals Alvarelhao, Pedral, and Vinhao, the last of which is a fleshy red grape. Almost sweet red berries and watermelon flavors are lifted by brisk acidity and that little bit of spritz I keep going on about. It's fruit-forward sweetness made it great with spicy foods, too - or as desert itself after a big meal.

Suffice to say: happiness! I'm drinking them still while supplies last.

Which under $9 bottles captured your enthusiasm last summer?