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Poolside playthings in white and rose 

Quaffing and quenching those lusty summer thirsts

As a bead of sweat runs down my cleavage, I reach for the best thirst-quenching tool at the pool: a cool, dewy plastic glass of white or rose wine. There's nothing like it to satisfy quivering, lusty lips longing for the refreshing taste of crisp, clean wine. As I guzzle the wine, an errant stream trickles down my bronzed, steamy flesh, making its way to my navel. "Time for a white wine body shot ... ," I dreamily declare while my eyes peruse the surroundings for a turgid young man. I spy a young, willing candidate to rescue a poor, helpless winogirl...

Sigh. Those trashy, poolside romance novels are permeating my brain. But the idea is sound, especially at the pool. Wine is an eager alternative to beer, even employing the same accoutrements: a cooler filled with ice, an opener and a couple of plastic cups.

At the pool, you don't drink heavy reds because the red wine will make you sleepy, ruining the good time. There's an old European tale that white wine will stimulate your brain activity, but red will put you to sleep. Hmmm.

Light whites and roses help quench the thirst you build up under the sweltering sun. You don't need a wine that requires thought or discussion, or one that distracts you from your poolside activities, such as white wine body shots, "drink" Twister or strip poker.

Don't worry about using plastic cups, but avoid Styrofoam (all you'll taste is, well, Styrofoam). With quaffing and quenching wines, the cold liquid won't be around long enough to be swirled and swished in a regular glass anyway.

To maximize your outdoor summer experience, mix the following whites and roses in with a little romance, two trembling lips and loads of sunscreen, and you're in for sensual poolside bliss.

Erath 2000 Pinot Gris ($14) : Yummy ... wet-your-pants-good stuff. Slightly "off-dry" (geek speak for kinda sweet), this citrus-y white from Oregon has a veritable fruit salad of flavors going on: pineapple, peach and watermelon. Now that's a summer pool wine.

Miner Family 2000 Sangiovese Rose ($11) : Dry as a stiff bone, this rose aims to please the snobbiest of anti-pink-wine fanatics. One of these days, Americans will realize, as they have for centuries in France, that roses are truly refreshing and worthy of attention.

Folie a Deux 2000 Menage a Trois LaPetite Folie ($11) : A blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and a little-known grape called Muscat, this slightly sweet chiller goes down easy. Definitely the best selection for body shots.

Guigal 1999 Cote du Rhone Rose ($10) : From the Rhone Valley in Southern France comes an excellent value in a dry French rose. Hints of strawberry and other juicy berries.

Silverado 2000 Sauvignon Blanc ($14) : To get the goody out of this wine, don't serve it ice cold. When it warms up enough to no longer have dew on the outside of the glass, it's ready to go. Ultra dry, refreshing and sporting tropical flavors, this wine pairs well with the sun.

Burgans 2000 Albarino ($12) : Like a big wet kiss, the slightly fruity crisp, green apple flavors linger ever-so-slightly on the tongue after you swallow. Albarino is a deliciously acidic grape hailing from Spain, gaining in notoriety in recent years.

Chateau Benoit 2000 White Riesling ($15) : Like biting into a Red Delicious apple. Covers your palate with deep fruit, then finishes so clean it's like it was never there. Might distract you from the pool, but this Oregon cutie deserves your attention.

Taylor Eason is a regionally based wino who studied the juice in France and Italy. Comments? E-mail corkscrew@ creativeloafing.com.

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