By Andrew Hanna for John Hanna & Sons Ltd, a certified “Good Food Fighter

What is my favourite wine?

As a known professional wine geek in my social circles, this is one of the most common (sometimes challenging) questions I’m asked by friends. As a result, it’s a question I’ve thought about quite carefully over time. I have finally come around to the realization that, as with most things in life, context is king.

What am I eating?

Who am I with?

What is the weather like?

What sort of mood am I in?

The list of questions I ask myself when trying to determine a “favourite wine” is virtually endless. I end up coming back to the same basic conclusion each time I try to choose my B-F-F of wines – I prefer to drink wines of character, that tell a bit of a story about the place where they were grown and people who cultivated them. Otherwise, I can find a perfect occasion to enjoy just about any style of wine…

All of this said, I am hard pressed to think of a bottle of wine as perfectly matched to summer as the new release we are launching across Ontario later this week. When I think of summer, I think of hot days, long warm evenings, dining al fresco, spending time with friends, the amazing array of local in-season produce and the sublime comfort that comes from mixing all of these pleasures together.

Enter the 2010 Domaine Lafage ”Parfum de Vignes” Rosé – think of this wine as a “secret ingredient” in your recipe for summer bliss.

This wine is refreshing, fruity and clean, yet has the structure and flavours to stand up to robust food pairings – and at less than $14 per bottle, you’ll be hard pressed to find a less expensive way to spice up your next summer party. This is a lively, lovely Rosé with aromas of garrigue (the smell of fresh herbs on the air in the Midi), candied orange rind and spring flowers. A dry, fresh wine for grilled chorizo sausage, cajun chicken, stuffed red peppers or a three-bean salad.

While Roussillon is both technically and politically part of France, there is something about this place – separated only by the Pyrenees Mountains from Spain – that makes one feel like they are standing in the heart of Catalonia. Roussillon includes vineyards to the west and to the south of Perpignan in the foothills of the Pyrenees. These higher elevation vineyards provide a cooler microclimate, perfect for growing clean and refreshing roses and white wines.

The 2010 Domaine Lafage ”Parfum de Vignes” Rosé will be released at LCBO Vintages shops right across Ontario this coming Saturday June 25th. Having had the good fortune to try a couple of bottles of this dynamo in advance of its release, I can assure you that the limited stock that made its way across the Atlantic to our shores will not last long.



Andrew Hanna is a third generation wine importer and Director of Sales & Marketing at John Hanna & Sons Ltd., one of Canada’s oldest independent wine merchants. He spends his days scouring the earth for handcrafted wines that tell a story about the people and places in each bottle, while sharing these delicious discoveries with wine lovers across Canada. Connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.