Solo turn

New music from Mindset X leader

As a performer, Steven Scott has some distinct personas. He’s the leader of Mindset X, a band with which he’s created ambitious progressive rock, most recently the 2015 concept album Oceans. More than a few fans know him for playing cover songs as The Deviant at area restaurants and bars.

There’s another side to the singer, songwriter and guitarist that’s not as familiar to his followers, but it will be soon as he prepares to release a spare, acoustic solo EP called Albino Road. A preview single, “Anywhere But Here,” came out late last month.

In a recent phone interview, he said he was tapping his inner Cat Stevens or Roy Harper for the new disc, which he hopes to release in full later this fall.

“The solo stuff came out of the need to express myself on the softer side of things,” he said. “Mindset X leans toward a rocking, electric sound, while this is kind of indie folkish.”

There’s a lot of reflection on the record, and a few painful truths about human nature. The title cut recalls a historical event in Andover, Massachusetts, toward the end of the 19th century. According to folklore, a pair of albino children living there were killed by fearful neighbors, who also burned down the family’s home.

The song reflects the racism of today, Scott said.

“They killed the kids just for being different,” he said. “We’ve been through this crap before, why are we still doing it? We’re still in the same position, just with better technology. It’s a weird road we’ve taken as a species. It confused me, made me a little angry and I tried to put that in the song.”

The EP’s other two tracks provide brighter bookends. “Anywhere But Here” is a carpe diem for the downtrodden, with lines like “cheers to the ones who ignore their fears … don’t be silent, ever scared, ’cause this is your life,” while “Sunshine On Me” is a call to action that echoes the Youngbloods’ ’60s chestnut, “Get Together.”

He hopes to finish and release Albino Road by the end of August, and is currently contemplating how to unveil it live.

“I’m figuring out if I want to present it in a solo fashion, or try some looping, or have some people on stage,” he said. “I may drop a song into my covers set, as my plan is to peel away from that at some point and do all originals.”

The project has changed shape on the way to completion. “Originally … it was just going to be me and my acoustic guitar,” Scott said, “but any time I try to do that I end up thinking, ‘I wonder what a piano would sound like, or a flute.’”

He recruited local producer and musician Jay Frigoletto to add some layers to “Anywhere But Here,” which revved up the once-austere track.

“Instead of a down to earth folk song,” Scott said, “it turned out to be more folk rock.”

Mindset X was working on a new album with plans to hit the studio in April, “but Covid threw a wrench in all of that,” Scott said. “We didn’t jam for a couple of months because we weren’t supposed to.”

With his solo record basically done, MSX is targeting the next month or two to record tracks for release early next year.

“There’s a lot of questions still to be answered, but we’re ready to go and I’m proud of the stuff we’ve written,” Scott said. “It’s definitely us all the way.”

For now, Scott performs covers to audiences, who seem to appreciate him more.

“You look back six months ago and people are posting about three friends who showed up to see them play, but now people are really hungry for it,” he said. “They seem more enthusiastic, and more willing to accept an original song thrown in now and then. I try to move to the light and away from the darkness; Covid exists — we know that — but you gotta look for some good in all of this.”

Featured Photo: Steven Scott. Courtesy photo.

Steven Scott – The Deviant
Friday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m.
Where: Jocelyn’s Mediterranean Restaurant, 355 South Broadway, Salem

The Music Roundup 20/08/20

Singer: A recent guest on NH Chronicle Summer Songfest, Justin Cohn performs covers with some tasty originals — some from his upcoming album. Cohn is ubiquitous in the regional scene, memorably providing lead vocals for Rocking Horse Music Club’s debut single “Everywhere Is Home” and appearing on the group’s tribute album to Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips. Thursday, Aug. 20, 5:30 p.m., Murphy’s Taproom Carriage House, 393 Route 101, Bedford,

Rocker: With co-lead vocalist Neeley Luna now in the band, The FAR host a mask-mandatory show to honor first responders and frontline workers battling the Covid-19 crisis, who will be admitted free. The Dracut, Mass., group covers rock and pop across the decades, from Fleetwood Mac to Snoop Dogg, with a soft spot for ’70s acts like Boston, Journey and Eddie Money. Friday, Aug 21, 8 p.m., Jewel Music Venue, 61 Canal St., Manchester,

Fiddler: For the finale in a series of open air concerts, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki performs with his trio. The versatile fiddle player offers plenty of Irish and Celtic music but will take a vocal now and again and venture into a jazzier place. The show is presented by Bank of NH Stage, which hopes to host live music soon, though Root Shock, originally set for Aug. 28, is now canceled. Saturday, Aug. 22, 6 p.m., Fletcher-Murphy Park, 28 Fayette St., Concord. Tickets $10 at

Rouser: An outdoor show rescheduled from early July, Whiskey Horse offers a high-energy sound that mirrors today’s Nashville. Waylon Jennings coined its name, “outlaw country,” a genre owing more to Lynyrd Skynyrd than Hank Williams Jr. Billed as “rocked up and rowdy,” the band plays covers, featuring twin electric guitars and layered harmonies. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 6 p.m., Abbie Griffin Park, 6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack,

Project Power (PG-13)

Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dominique Fishback fight a chaos-bringing drug in Project Power, a promising but under-baked action movie from Netflix.

It is a chocolate chip pancake with a raw-batter center — potentially satisfying but frustrating for its not-quite-there-ness.

Art (Foxx) is on the hunt for the source of Power, a new street drug that comes in a glowy pill and, when ingested, gives the user five minutes of some kind of superhuman power. Most of the time. Sometimes it kills the user — is I think the implication of a scene where a person takes it and immediately explodes. And it doesn’t appear that you know or have any choice in what power it gives you. And that power could kill or maim you, in the moment or over time. Feels like a lot of medication side effects but I guess the chance that you can be briefly bullet-proof, as New Orleans police detective Frank (Gordon-Levitt) is when he takes Power, or chameleon-like, as with an “invisible” bank robber we see him chase, is enough for some users.

Robin (Fishback, this movie’s real star) is an enterprising high school student who sells Power to help raise money for her mom, who is sick and needs medical treatment. Robin sells to Frank sometimes, who buys because it helps him and other cops level the playing field with the Powered-up criminals they chase. Frank likes and roots for Robin and is genuinely concerned when she texts him for help.

Trying to work his way through the Power supply chain in New Orleans, Art kidnaps Robin to get information about the person distributing Power to dealers. Though initially he gets her assistance through threats, Robin seems to come around to Art’s mission. A former military officer and an early test subject for the Power drug, Art later had a daughter with naturally occurring superhuman abilities. She was kidnapped by Power’s manufacturers and now Art is desperate to get her back.

The movie brings Art, Robin and Frank together at what feels like a late point — actually, everything feels like it happens later than it should in this movie. At an hour and 53 minutes, this movie feels about 20 minutes too long but also off in its pacing. Within individual scenes, there is good momentum and good chemistry between Fishback, Foxx and Gordon-Levitt, who are fun individually and fun together. But the movie itself doesn’t quite keep the energy level where it needs to be.

All three of the leads — but Fishback, in particular — are solid at the action and the comedy (which isn’t big and quippy but more smart and to the point) this movie requires. But Project Power often feels like it turns down the volume on them or crowds them out with a lot of visual “here’s what the drug is doing” business.

The movie also makes mention of Henrietta Lacks (the woman whose cells are fundamental to the last 60-plus years of medical research) and the fact that Power’s makers are testing the drug on the people of New Orleans. This feels like heavy stuff to just sort of sprinkle into a movie without doing anything with those elements. As with the movie’s overall pacing and runtime, I feel like this aspect of the story could have been more significant and given the movie more weight had somebody (some studio exec, in ye olden days when this movie would have been theater-bound?) asked for another draft of the screenplay and another round of edits on the finished film.

While the movie can be filed under “meh,” Fishback — and to a lesser degree Foxx and Gordon-Levitt — pushes the movie a notch above. Her Robin is an engaging character, the movie is always at least 30 percent more interesting when she’s on screen. A natural C, Project Power gets a boost from Fishback into B- territory.

Rated R for violence, bloody images, drug content and some language, according to the MPA on Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (and if you’re thinking “hey, that sounds familiar but from where,” they are the directors of some mid-series Paranormal Activity entries and of the documentary Catfish) with a screenplay by Mattson Tomlin, Project Power is an hour and 53 minutes long and is available on Netflix.

Book Review 20/08/20

Let Them Eat Tweets, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 217 pages)

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson are not amused, no matter what their book title says.

In fact, the political scientists, who live on opposite coasts, are convinced that America is becoming a plutocracy, governed not by its people but by its rich people. And they believe that Republicans are to blame.

Hacker and Pierson are established GOP-bashers; in three previous books, the pair skewered “the war on government,” the Republican revolution and “winner-take-all” politics (played, of course, by Republicans. They don’t come to the podium neutral. But hear them out. They’re not specifically out to tear down the Tweeter-in-Chief, but the system that enabled him, a system they say goes back more than 40 years.

The system results from what they call “the conservative’s dilemma,” which is this: Wealthy people have power that derives from their wealth, and they want policies that preserve it. But in a democracy, the poor and middle-class have votes that can take away that power. The wealthy conservative, then, is forced to court a constituency whose interests and needs are vastly different from her own to stay in power, and sometimes decides democracy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Their fear was wonderfully expressed in the mid-19th century by a British conservative, Lord Robert Cecil, who thought that under democracy “the whole country shall be governed by an ignorant multitude, the creature of a vast and powerful organization, of which a few half-taught and cunning agitators are the head … in short, that the rich shall pay all the taxes, and the poor shall make all the laws.”

Some factions in America today, particularly in the streets of Portland, would say, “You got a problem with that?” with no sense of irony.

But British conservatives did, over time, succeed; Hacker and Pierson note that Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher governed for nearly six decades, combined. And American conservatives have assumed and retained power in part by using a time-honored strategy: “addressing the material needs of the newly enfranchised.” (Did someone say stimulus checks?)

That alone, however, will not win elections, especially when the opponents offer bigger checks.

Which is why Hacker and Pierson believe that conservatives resort to stoking “cleavages,” or sectional loyalties, which “generate intensity sufficient to motivate potential voters and convince them to put their economic concerns to the side.” In other words, create divisions between people in terms of race, religion or ethnicity. As a policy, that’s plenty flammable, but it becomes downright explosive when combined with the sort of income and wealth inequality that America is seeing now, Hacker and Pierson say.

To make their case, Hacker, at Yale, and Pierson, at the University of California, Berkeley, scroll through a history of bad actors who, over the past 50 or so years, helped to create the political climate we live in now. They range from Richard Nixon to Lee Atwater, from New Gingrich (who they call “something of a founding father of our current political dysfunction,” to George W. Bush and his father. They, of course, save plenty of pages for Trump. But they argue that the plutocracy ball was already rolling back when he was on his first wife, and that most people clinging to it were Republican).

“The very rich invest most heavily in the Republican Party; its politicians, its party organizations, its allied groups, and its causes,” Hacker and Pierson write. Forbes says that of the 100 richest Americans, nearly two-thirds contribute mainly or exclusively to Republican or conservative causes, and they outspend Democrats in the top 100 by a ratio of three to one.

How, then, can they stay in power, since they require the votes of working-class Americans? According to the authors, conservative base-building relies on two “Rs” — resentment and racialization, which studies have shown isn’t difficult even among reasonable people. They cite a 2012 Harvard study in which researchers sent two “good-looking, cheery, and well-dressed” Hispanic-looking people to ride the commuter rail from a suburb of Boston into the city, chatting in Spanish the whole time. The researchers interviewed commuters before and after the experiment and found that after being exposed to the Spanish-speaking men, the commuters were more likely to say immigration should be reduced.

In other words, just two friendly people speaking Spanish created a backlash against immigration within a few days. “When outsiders breach the boundaries of established social groups, those within them often react with resentment, even revulsion,” Hacker and Pierson write.

Imagine, then, a political operative armed with that knowledge and determined to win at all costs, and it’s not hard to see why “dog whistles” are so much of the political conversation these days.

Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, Let Them Eat Tweets is an interesting synopsis of one side’s version of how we got to 2016, and where we may be headed in four months. The arguments weaken when Hacker and Pierson propose solutions, most of which involve not re-electing Trump; in fact, they believe the country, and our democracy, needs a “stinging” repudiation of Trump in November. From there, they offer benign and predictable hopes: that the country reform the economy so it’s not so accommodating for the wealthy; a development of a “more robust and inclusive democracy”; strengthening the middle class; and so forth.

To their credit, they insist they’re not out to stamp out conservatives or Republicans. “The hope is not that the GOP gets relegated to permanent minority status. Our institutions create very strong incentives to have just two major parties, and it is neither realistic nor desirable to expect only one of them to rule.” They also give examples of Republican governors that they seem to like, or at least not actively dislike: among them, Chris Sununu, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Phil Scott of Vermont.

And the answer to your most burning question: Hacker tweets, Pierson doesn’t.



Not being a follower of what used to be known as beauty pageants, now “scholarship pageants,” I just now learned that this year’s Miss America performed a science experiment as her talent.

The potential for chemical explosions onstage may not easily replace the swimsuit competition, insofar as ratings go, but that is certainly interesting. Is the evolution of the beauty pageant interesting enough for not just one book on the subject, but two? Publishers think so. There are two books out this month on pageant culture, strange for a year in which there won’t even be a Miss America pageant.

The first, and likely the best, is Hilary Levey Friedman’s Here She Is, The Complicated Reign of the Beauty Pageant in America (Beacon Press, 275 pages). Props to Friedman for bravely using the term ‘beauty pageant,’ which is no longer allowed in conversation. She is a sociologist with a Ph.D. who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is uniquely qualified to lead the discussion, being a state president of the National Organization for Women, daughter of Miss America 1970 and an occasional pageant judge. I am psyched to read this when it comes out this week.

Also out this month is Looking for Miss America: A Pageant’s 100-Year-Old Quest to Define Womanhood by Margot Mifflin (Counterpoint, 320 pages). The title gets to the heart of why there’s suddenly so much talk about pageants; the Miss America contest turns 100 years old next year, and I guess publishers want to get a jump on the predictable jokes about how well she has aged.

(I still don’t understand why we had two asteroid movies at the same time in the summer of 1998, but that’s a topic for Amy Diaz.)

Mifflin is a New York professor who has previously written about the history of women and tattoos (2013’s Bodies of Subversion, powerHouse Books, 160 pages). Her take on pageants looks more like a scholarly book; Friedman’s looks more fun.

Neither is to be confused with The American Pageant, the history book that has been a staple of high-school history classes since 1956. (I still have mine; do you?) — Jennifer Graham

Album Reviews 20/08/20

The Killers, Imploding the Mirage (Island Records)

Um, wow, I never would have dreamed that we critics at least the ones of us who just couldn’t quite place the wellspring from which Killers singer Brandon Flowers was drawing his hypnotic urgency would have ever pegged him as some sort of new-jack Bruce Springsteen, but there it is, scrawled in big font all over album opener “My Own Soul’s Warning.” I mean, this time Flowers really wants us to feel our plebeian angst in this decent-enough rocker, which has as much in common with Kenny Loggins’ ’80s-shlock classic “Danger Zone” as it does with Bruuuuce, but let’s not talk about that (let’s really not). “Fire In Bone” is a departure, but in a good way, a thrumming head-bopper that reminds me of Robert Plant’s David Byrne-worshipping solo albums from the early ’80s; it assuredly is epic, awash in feel-good desperation. “Caution” is the room-flattener, outfitted with one of those bold, swashbuckling singalongs that put these guys on the map forever. As always, wow. A+

Psychedelic Furs, Made of Rain (Cooking Vinyl Records)

It’s been 29 years, 29 since the Psychedelic Furs released World Outside, dropped the unabashedly Depeche Mode-like single “Until She Comes” upon our heads, then realized that the 1990s weren’t going to be their decade and sank back beneath the waves, more or less. Since then, the band-founding Butler Brothers have toured, released solo albums, and, well, I could swear there was something else, but the world’s been pretty much Furs-less for all these years, unless you count the time their 1984 tune “The Ghost in You” was playing in the background on an episode of Stranger Things. We can see here that they still have a gift for pretty much useless dissonant filler (“The Boy That Invented Rock & Roll”) (and yes, there’s sax), in other words they haven’t grown up and found a way to appeal to Generation iPhone by trying out captivating new recipes the way Pet Shop Boys did, but most of their fans probably don’t want the Psychedelic Furs to be awesome in the first place. “Don’t Believe” has super-cool drums and a mildly depressing, awkwardly compelling hook to it, if you’re looking for the barest reason to invest your time in this. B-

Retro Playlist

Eric W. Saeger recommends a few albums worth a second look.

With the Covid pandemic looking about ready to plunge the entire country into general lockdown again, many bands are on their last legs, or at least down to their last shreds of sanity. Many musicians are having to collaborate through Zoom and other online platforms, which I’m sure is nice and all, but trust me, nothing beats the throbbing, eardrum-busting insanity of feedback from a bassplayer’s amp, or a nerve-jangling impromptu drum solo when the drummer is feeling bored and wants to take it out on everyone in the room. Such deafening horrors are pleasures one can only experience at a rehearsal space.

Any musician will tell you that the hardest thing to find to round out a band is a decent-enough singer. In the Covid era, many bands are stuck at the same place they were months ago, looking for that last elusive piece to their artistic puzzles, someone who can carry a tune and not annoy the hell out of everyone else by never helping out with moving (much less buying) any equipment, stuff like that. I was one of those guys back in the 1980s, auditioning for basically every band in Boston, getting tons of offers just because I could do a passable Robert Plant imitation and a letter-perfect David Lee Roth, complete with all the Screaming Lord Sutch shrieking. I felt bad for all the bands I had to say no to, but that’s the breaks. Many deserving bands never get off the ground owing to an inability to find a singer, which should explain all the bad singing one typically encounters during a SoundCloud binge, from the drunken-sounding awfulness of King Krule to the unapologetic suckage of Versus.

Mind you, some bands nearly all of them heavy metal ones just throw up their hands and say, “Fine, no one we know can sing, so hey, we’ll be an instrumental band!” I’ve talked about a few Pelican albums here, including their last one, 2019’s Nighttime Stories. Their songs all sound the same to me; a few decent metal guitar riffs here and there, but just, you know, lacking, because no singer. I’ll stop picking on them only when their PR rep smartens up and stops sending me their music.

There are good instrumental bands out there, though. Everyone seems to worship Tortoise, and, if I recall correctly, I was nice to their 2016 album The Catastrophist, only because it’s pretty nuanced for a post-rock record (there was an unnecessary cover of David Essex’s ’70s hit “Rock On” that I probably dissed).

Some of those bands are quite awesome in their way. I’d be cool with reviewing the next Animals As Leaders album if I get sent an advance, and if your thing is utterly demented math metal, you’d probably like Behold The Arctopus. But if you’re in a metal band and want to know the key to it all, take my advice: don’t do it. Easiest: hire a girl, like, any girl, your little sister, the mail delivery lady. You’re guaranteed plenty of good reviews from nerdy writers; critics become hypnotized like possums at a square dance if there’s a girl in your band, even if she sings horribly. Just don’t start an instrumental metal band. Don’t.

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Email for fastest response.


A seriously abridged compendium of recent and future CD releases

• Great, the next mass CD-release date is Aug. 21, meaning the summer’s just about over, and all I’ve accomplished as far as beachgoing was one quick visit to York Beach, and we went so late in the day — a Friday — that the parking lane was completely full all the way to the end of “Long Sands,” in other words we may as well have been on the Tijuana border. I give up, I want a do-over, how awful it’s been. But you know what could brighten my spirits is a few snippets from decent albums that will be released on the 21st. Maybe Sugaregg, the fast-approaching new album from Bully, will fill my beachless soul with happiness, and I’ll forget the fact that the only decent fish and chips I’ve had all summer came from the hilariously crowded Goldenrod in Manchvegas. I just give up, where’s the fast-forward button on this crazy thing. So, according to some idiotic blog, Bully’s new single “Where To Start” was inspired by Chumbawamba, but that’s idiotic, because it’s actually ’90s riot-grrrl, sort of like Hole but with good meds. It’s awesome, don’t believe any stupid rock writer other than me, go check it out this instant.

• Oh lovely, time for me to pretend to know/care about Old 97’s again, because their new album, Twelfth, is about to be released. You know, if I want to hear middle-of-the-road albums made of boring country-tinged mystery meat occasionally interrupted by almost-cool punkabilly, I usually — well, actually, I never do, I just listen to, well, basically anything else. But I will endeavor to see if my stomach can handle this new Old 97’s single over here, titled “Turn Off The TV.” Nope, it can’t, please pass the barf bag, this song is, as usual, a tuneless lump of bingo-parlor-indie, like, the overall sound is epic, but the music is like Goo Goo Dolls played by Martians wearing people-suits, trying to trick us into accepting this ridiculous nonsense as decent music. Rhett is dancing enthusiastically, and one of the guys is dressed like a clown, yet it still sucks. OK, let’s go on to the next one, come along everyone, is that someone’s Judas Priest backpack someone’s forgetting?

• Blub blub blub, I’m drowning in horror and lack of beach-time. Oh look, the new Fruit Bats album, Siamese Dream, is on the docket, for imminent release, just like my friend at Merge Records told me (we aren’t actually friends, they honestly don’t care about me, but whatever). This is a covers album, of the same-titled Smashing Pumpkins album from the Triassic Age, let’s see if it’s any good. Nope, the version of “Today” doesn’t make me want to cruise around in the official Smashing Pumpkins ice cream truck, it makes me want to take a nap and pretend these hipsters aren’t ruining the song. Don’t you hate that?

• Last thing for your consideration is, oh no, a new Bright Eyes album, called Down In The Weeds Where The World Once Was. The single “Mariana Trench” has decent singing from Conor Oberst, a good verse part, and then it gets sloppy and stupid for no reason, then becomes good again. OK! — Eric W. Saeger

Local bands seeking album or EP reviews can message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).

Rosés to beat the heat

Make every day a rosé day

With this incessant heat, what can be more satisfying than a cool glass of rosé wine, either as an aperitif or with a salad or light meal?

Rosés should be served at about 50 to 55 degrees, and an opened bottle should be kept on ice after opening to keep the last glass as cool as the first. Rosé wine comes in countless styles — fruity and fun, or savory, dry and serious. Rosé is produced worldwide, and while southern France, Italy and Spain are well-known for producing rosés, California and New Zealand and other parts of France are entering into this growing market of wine styles. Rosé is made from red grapes, but with just a brief period of skin contact with the grapes in the making of the wine — usually just a few hours to a couple of days — and fermentation in cool stainless-steel containers, the wines are intended to be consumed while they remain quite young.

Our first wine is a bottle of Luna Rosé 2018 (originally priced at $17.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and reduced to $8.99) and hails from Napa, California. Luna Vineyards dates from 1995, when the current owners of the property brought along with them not only their generations of vineyard management but also some of Italy’s varietals. They were the first to plant pinot grigio in the valley, and this rosé is made from sangiovese grapes — yes, the same grapes that go into Classico Chianti! The color is a beautiful shade of pink. Both the nose and the taste are light and full of fruit. This wine is perfect for sipping or paired with chicken or pork. As a young, inexpensive wine, this is a great place to start an introduction to wine. It is neither too dry nor too sweet. As a young wine, it does not have a strong presence.

Our second and third bottles of wine come from “Down Under.” Kim Crawford 2019 Rosé (originally priced at $15.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and reduced to $11.45) hails from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. This region and especially Kim Crawford are known for world-class chardonnays and sauvignon blancs. Primarily made from merlot grapes and cool fermented, this wine has a beautiful pink color and a nose of strawberries and melons. The taste is crisp and dry and would pair well with summer salads. The merlot grape has a rich, robust flavor, and when turned into a red wine is paired with steak or other hearty fare. As a rosé, this wine is light and is a big departure from that full-mouth flavor of a merlot red wine.

The other New Zealand rosé is an Oyster Bay 2018 Rosé (originally priced at $14.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and reduced to $10.99) and also hails from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. This rosé is made from pinot noir grapes. It has a light pink color and has notes of cherry and strawberry to the nose. The berry and herb notes of pinot noir come through to the tongue, allowing it to be paired with appetizers as varied as lamb lollipops and grilled chicken. As with the Luna, this is a good wine for the newly initiated as the flavors are not challenging and there is a medium acidity to the tongue.

Our fourth rosé might be considered a French traditional rosé. The J Mourat Collection 2019 Rose Val de Loire (originally priced at $15.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and reduced to $12.99) does not come from Provencal, France, known for its diverse rosé winemaking styles, but as its name implies it comes from the Loire River valley. This vineyard is along the western reaches of the Loire, so the climate is treated to warm days and cool ocean breezes at night. The blend of pinot noir, cabernet franc, negrette and gamay grapes imparts a color that is a rich rose, along with aromas and flavors of raspberries and strawberries. With some citric acidity and minerality, and a dry finish, it is perfect for hot weather dining of chicken or salads.

So, beat the heat with any one or all four of these vastly different takes on what is becoming a popular style of wine, the rosé. You will be surprised with the diversity in this style of wine.

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