Domaine Tempier Rose: Sunday in the East Bay with Jonathan


Last weekend, Christie and I ventured to the East Bay for a dinner party at the house of Jonathan Waters, the wine director of Chez Panisse. As with any trip to a foreign land, we prepared by getting all the necessary shots and vaccines and loading up our vehicle with water, dried and canned goods, ammunition and flares. We hardly ever go to the East Bay, so you've got to prepare for the worst.

Luckily, none of the above would be necessary. Jonathan put out an unbelievable spread. The pièce de résistance was a huge, vegetarian paella that he expertly cooked over a roaring backyard fire.

Aïoli and the best harissa I ever tasted were offered up as garnishes. Wine-wise, it was only natural that a party featuring lots of current and ex Chez Panisse employees feature the wine most associated with the restaurant, Domaine Tempier from Bandol, France.

Many bottles of the 2007 Tempier rosé were floating around, and I was happy to taste it again, as the last time I drank it--a month ago at Zuni--I confidently declared it one of the best rosés I'd ever tasted. I thought so again--it has the freshness and verve you want in a rosé, but married to a depth of flavor and structure you hardly ever find in this style of wine. At $38, it's also the priciest rosé I've ever had (that doesn't come from Champagne), but I'd say it's worth it. You can find the wine at K&L. The great company, paella and delicious harissa you might find in the East Bay, if you dare to go.

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