This time of year a Cotes du Rhone is a great pick — refreshing, and yet earthy, gamy, smoky — perfect for summer barbecues.

I’ve come across two standouts — The E. Guidal, 2006 Cotes du Rhone, France and the Coudoulet de Beaucastel, 2007 Cotes du Rhone, France. The E. Guidal is earthy with tart cherry and raspberry and roasted herb on the finish. Meanwhile the Beaucastel is bright with notes of cranberry and mineral , with a smoky finish.

Check them out. You still have half the summer to sip away.