On The Coast's wine columnist, Barbara Philip, says great wines have a "sense of place" and the ability to reflect a specific area, culture and lifestyle.
"Wines from the south of France have unique characteristics that can transport you to the Mediterranean without leaving rainy Vancouver," she said.
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Here are her picks for southern French wine, and a few food pairings to go with them.
Paul Mas Viognier. Pays d'Oc. Languedoc/Roussillon. France. 2013. $12.29
"Some people refer to Viognier as a white red grape because of its power and full body. This is a wonderful example for the price showing honeysuckle and ripe peach aromas with a creamy palate. Try it with roast white meat."
Château de Caraguilhes 'Classique' Corbières. Languedoc/Roussillon. 2012. $19.49
"Like many high quality estates in the south, Château de Caraguilhes takes advantage of the warm Mediterranean climate to practice organic grape growing. It is a blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache and has wonderful raspberry aromas and silky tannins."
Domaine Lafage 'Tessellae' Côtes du Roussillon. Languedoc/Roussillon. 2013. $22.99
"Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre combine here to make a wine that is dense with ripe fruit but also balanced by fine acidity and tannins. If you use the grill in the wintertime, I recommend this with a lamb leg marinated in herbs de provence."
Domaine Cébène 'Les Bancels'. Faugères. Languedoc/Roussillon. France. 2013. $27.99
"This is actually the wine that inspired me to do the column. When I tasted it last week, the sweet herbs, ripe blackberry fruit and mineral notes made me think for a second I was in the south of France. The wine is made from organic Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache."