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CHANGING SEASONS 

September. The dog days of summer are mostly behind us, and the kids have gone back to school, taking most of our money with them. Now's the time for wines to match the cooler weather--and for wines that are easy on the wallet. Here's a mixed bag of both.

Budget Buy

If you're looking for a crisp, clean white to drink during the last few days of summer, look no further than the

2003 Colombelle Cotes de Gascogne

, $7.49. With floral apple blossom aromas, smooth melon and peach fruit flavors and a light citrus finish, it's an easy quaffer at a great price.

Pretty in Pink

The same 2003 rosés that helped usher in spring work just as well as we welcome fall--charming wines with forward fruit flavors and enough muscle to hold up to a variety of foods. From France, look for the

Domaine de la Petite Cassagne

, $9.99,

Chateau Guiot

, $9.99 or the

Domaine de Fondrèche

, $12.99.

Andrew Murray Sanglier

, $12.49,

Patton Valley Vineyard

, $10.99 and

Territorial Rosé of Pinot Noir

, $9.99, are all worthy wines from the States. And if you're looking for a real bargain, try the

Marquès de Caceres

, $6.49, or the

Quinta Hinojal

, $5.49, both from Spain.

Transition Reds

With its light tannins and soft fruit, Beaujolais is the perfect red to drink as we move into cooler fall weather. Georges du Boeuf, widely acclaimed as the "King of Beaujolais," proclaimed 2003 to be the best vintage of his lifetime. That year, an exceptionally hot summer produced super-ripe grapes, resulting in wines that are bigger, bolder and more age-worthy than usual. A few 2003s are starting to trickle into the market, but don't overlook the 2002s. They are classically structured wines more typical of Beaujolais, and they are drinking great now. Look for these three from master negociant du Boeuf:

Domaine de Combillaty Brouilly,

$10.99,

Domaine de la Tour du Bief Moulin-a-Vent

, $11.99 and

Clos des Quatre Vents Fleurie

, $12.99. :
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