Think South of France, Rhone Valley. Inky dark, with the taste of sun-baked blackberries, brambles, something wild and woolly. This is a Côtes de Ventoux from the hills just below the famous Mt. Ventoux, one of the stages in the Tour de France bicycle race.
The current vintage, 2010, is perfect for a burger bash or to wash down a rack of baby back ribs. Too intense for sipping on its own, this is a wine that needs food, and food with big, bold flavors. It's inexpensive enough that you can by it by the case to have on hand for summer's barbecues.
Region: Côtes de Ventoux, Rhone Valley
Price: About $9
Style: Full-bodied and intense
Burgers and barbecue
Where to find it: Silverlake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, http://www.silverlakewine.com; the Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, http://www.thewineclub.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com.