(good) wine on a dime

There are many reasons why I love living in Montreal, but the Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW) restaurants fall pretty high up on the list. As far as I know, in no other city in the world can you sip on a bottle of homemade rosé while chowing down at your favourite neighbourhood bistro – without a corkage fee. Plus, there’s nothing more romantic that the dapper young men I see walking briskly throughout the Plateau Mont Royal on Friday evenings, wine bottle under arm. I always wonder who they’re rushing to meet.

So, whether you’re going to a  BYOW, to a friend’s place or just staying in for a cozy night with your honey this weekend, here’s one well-priced wine I highly recommend:

Boussac Coteaux du Languedoc 2010, $10.60. Hailing from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the South of France, this is my go-to red for all occasions because of the value and the fruity, spicy, full-bodied yet somehow supple flavour that goes down smooth with or without food. I discovered this one summer Saturday afternoon when my mom, brother and I ordered the house wine at the lively Parisian Marche de la Villette, bistro in Old Montreal.

It was one of the best house wines I’d ever tried and I decided right then and there it would be one of my staples. That was two and half years ago and after trying many other reds, this still tops my list and impresses whoever I share it with; even my discerning foodie/wine connoisseur friends who are shocked to learn how low the price is.

I personally think this wine goes with everything, but the experts recommend you have it with game, poultry and pasta. A la votre!

What is your go-to wine under $12?