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.

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."