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Wine: Côtes du Rhônes

Côtes du Rhône reds “play well with food.”

Côtes du Rhône reds “want to be your dinner party pinch-hitters,” said Cathy Huyghe in Food52.com. The region’s primary grape varieties “play well with food,” and because the blends made from those grapes are created by winemakers who work “like cooks in a kitchen,” the results are reliably well-structured—even at modest prices.

2010 Domaine Les Aphillanthes Vieilles Vignes ($19). Think of this old-vine grenache/mourvèdre blend as a “wallet-friendlier” version of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It features flavors of “smoky herbs and figs.”

2010 Domaine Les Aphillanthes ($14). This “very savory” Côtes du Rhône pairs well with many foods but is especially nice with “assertive” cheeses.

2011 Saint Cosme ($14). “A spicy, racy, spitfire of a wine,” the Saint Cosme has gorgeous color and goes well with bold dishes like a garlicky roast lamb.

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