Since my first taste of Domaine Tempier's rosé years ago, I've been a fan of Bandol rosés. Tempier's prices are getting out of sight, though, and so I was happy to find this less expensive rosé from Alain Pascal. (He began making wine only in 1997; before that, his family sold the grapes.)
Made from Mourvèdre, the grape that gives Bandol reds such canny complexity and staying power, it is dry and has an appealing minerality and scent of peaches and earth.
Serve as an aperitif with crinkly black olives or tapenade. But this is a rosé that also shines at the table, with bouillabaisse, grilled sardines, whole grilled fish and steamed mussels or clams. It has enough character to work with roast chicken too.
Price: $25 to $28
Style: Dry and aromatic.
What it goes with: Bouillabaisse, grilled whole fish, steamed mussels or clams, soft-shell crabs.
Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, http://www.missionwines.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com.