The Bandol rose with which I celebrate birthdays and most major warm weather occasions now, Domaine Tempier, costs about $40 a bottle. I’ve still got a couple of bottles tucked away, but I’m on the hunt for alternatives. Previously, I’ve loved Pradeaux and Domaine Sorin.
Domaine Dupuy de Lôme (don’t let the difficult-to-remember name put you off) is a real find. The vineyard is sustainably farmed, which is expensive, yet Gerald Damidot is producing a beautiful Bandol rose for about $20. A blend of 70 percent Mourvedre with 20 percent Grenache and the balance Cinsault, the 2011 is dry and zesty with notes of apricot and rose petals and a complexity that makes it ideal for summer foods.
This is the wine for bouillabaisse, for steamed mussels, grilled fish — and le grand aïoli. I also like it with Thai food. Or just open a bottle for an aperitif with a bowl of dark, wrinkled olives and pretend you’re sitting on a terrace overlooking the vineyards and the little harbor at Bandol.