2016 Domaine Isle Saint Pierre Depuis 1927 Rouge, France, IGP Mediterranée

This carries the Euro label of IGP or what used to be called Vin De Pays (VdP).  It is grown in the Provence are of France on an Island in the Rhone River.  It is a Bordeaux blend of grapes though certainly has a unique personality that is quite different.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is dusty and earthy with some cherry fruit.  With air, some cloves emerge.  It is light bodied with tart cherries and cranberries.  Slight tannins.  A bit of anise on the finish.  At $9, this is a very nice value.  Food friendly for a wide variety of foods.  Very much a European styled wine but

Provence Rosés: A Summer Staple from Southern France.

Summertime is finally about here. Warm evenings on the front porch or perhaps the back deck are a great time of year for Rosé wine. Rose’s are made around the world, but, when I think Rosé, I think Provence, France. One-half of all rosé wine made in France comes from Provence. It is there that these wines are part of the lifestyle. The most enjoyable bottle of wine I ever had (not necessarily the best) was at an outdoor sidewalk café called La Piazza in Cannes France. The film festival was going on. There were beautiful people and incredible cars going by. The day was warm with great breezes coming in off the sea. The wine itself (Chateau Rasque Rosé) was technically average, but on that occasion it was perfect. Such are the Rosés from Provence.

Rosé du Loire? Mais oui! Cabernet Franc’s Lighter Shade

The Bay Area is experiencing an unseasonable hot spell. And here, like most places suffering under the unrelenting rays of our nearest star, rosé is king. But not just any rosé. Survey the bottles of blush pinch-hitting for rouge in wine enthusiasts’ lineups these days, and you’ll find a predominance of wine from Southern France . And rightly so – no region does rosé better than the appellations bordering the sun-lit Cote d’Azur. But Provence is not the only show in town. Other regions, not only in France but also in Spain, Germany, and Italy, produce delightful examples of warm weather’s red-substitute.

All Rosés Lead to Southern France

It’s hot. The Fourth of July witnessed blistering temperatures around California, and this time the Bay Area was no exception. In my last column , I bemoaned the cool temperatures that typically beset the San Francisco metropolitan area in June and July and used the unseasonable chill as an excuse to explore one of the heavier wine regions of France, the syrah-saturated Northern Rhône. But our recent string of 75-plus-and-sunny days shows my pessimism to be ill-advised.

Bandol: Provence’s Best Kept Secret

Challenge: Name what some have termed the five “noble wines” of France and Italy—those special regions whose depth, expression, tradition, and class have historically set the gold standard for distinguished wines and up-and-comers alike. Hint: They all begin with the letter “B.” If you have a basic knowledge of the world of wine, you’ll quickly come up with the first two answers: Bordeaux and Burgundy, the most famous of French appellations and perhaps the best known wine regions on earth.