2008 La Bastide Blanche rosé Quick swirl

What can I say? The kind of weather we've been having the last few weeks cries out for rose, well chilled and lots of it. Though I will always love Domaine Tempier's Bandol rose, I just can't justify buying it anymore at close to $40 a bottle. But here's another favorite from the Bandol region from the excellent producer La Bastide Blanche with an equally charming rose at about half the price. Made from Mourvedre, it's bone-dry, with a hint of rose petals and lavender.

I wish I were sitting in the little port at Bandol right now enjoying a bottle of rose and some soupe de poissons with croutons and a fiery rouille. But I'm not. So I'll open this bottle for an aperitif with olives and toasted almonds, or croutons spread with homemade tapenade. It's great with salade nicoise or any other composed salad, a sandwich, simple pasta, grilled fish, whatever. And it's certainly my go-to wine for an impromptu visit.


S. Irene Virbila --

Region: Provence

Price: About $20

Style: Dry and fragrant

What it goes with: Fish soup, nicoise salad, tapenade, sandwiches, grilled fish

Where to find it: Twenty Twenty Wine Merchants in West Los Angeles (310) 447-2020, www.2020wines .com; K&L; Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, www .klwines.com; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, www.missionwines .com; Palate Food + Wine in Glendale, (818) 662-9463; www.palatefood wine.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, www.winex.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse .com; and Woodland Hills Wine Company in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, www.whwc.com.

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