Ahh, summertime. Hot, hazy days where beads of sweat gather on your forehead and slowly trickle down your back while waiting for the subway. Steamy days where nothing sounds better than an iced coffee and air-conditioning. In the city, the unforgiving heat reverberates off buildings and pavement and reflects off windows, creating an urban sauna for those of us stuck in the concrete jungle.

But all this is forgotten at sunset, when the sinking sun streaks the sky with outlandish shades of crimson, mauve, and rosy pink, before slowly, suddenly dipping below the horizon. Those warm, breezy nights on our terrace, sipping chilled rosé in the flickering lantern-light, laughing and talking with friends or just cuddling up with my wonderful husband, make the summer truly magical. (This has also seriously cut into my blogging time, as evidenced by my lack of posts the past few weeks! But I'm OK with that.)

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows of my obsession with rosé wine. Perhaps it's all the time I've spent in France (it's practically all they drink in the summertime), or maybe it's the fact that the first wine I ever tasted was a fruity rosé in Portugal. But most likely it's just because it's the most refreshing drink on the planet. Regardless, I look forward to rosé season all year. I prefer pale, dry rosés, preferably from France, though I've tried some delicious ones from Austria, Spain, and South Africa. Closer to home, Wolffer Estate (Long Island, N.Y.) makes some nice pink wines, and I've tasted a few from Willamette Valley, Oregon that–were I blindfolded–I would swear came from France.

With no further ado, here are my favorite rosés of the summer–perfect for rooftop-sipping, poolside lounging, or packing for a picnic in the park. These are all delicious as an apératif or served with food. Best of all, these wines are all under $15 a bottle! Where to find them? New Yorkers, you're in luck – these can all be ordered with free delivery (!!) from Astor Wine & Spirits. Non-New Yorkers, you can order these too (for a fee) or else check your local wine stores to see if they have any of these labels.

Côtes de Provence Rosé "MiP" Domaine St. Lucie 2011

Super-pale, super-dry, with wonderful floral aromas, this is my all-time favorite rosé – Brandon and I loved it so much we served it at our wedding two years ago!

Ile de Beauté Rosé Domaine Fazi 2011

This pale, refreshing wine from Corsica is slightly herbal and is a total steal for $9.96. The screw top makes it a perfect choice for beach and picnic excursions. Try this with grilled seafood or hors d'oeuvres.

Markowitsch Rosé, Carnuntum 2011

This Austrian blend of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Cabernet Sauvignon is fresh, minerally, with rich fruit flavors. Perfect for a rooftop barbecue.

Wolffer Rosé 2011

Whether you're on Sunset Beach in the Hamptons or grilling out at home, this is a perfect, food-friendly rosé for all occasions.

Muga Rosé - Rioja 2011

Made from Tempranillo, this rhubarb-scented Spanish wine has more body than the other rosés, while still maintaining a delicate pale color. Great with charcuterie or grilled meats.