The Languedoc region in the south of France has a reputation for producing heavy, rich red wines. But some winemakers favour a more medium-bodied style as is the tradition elsewhere in France. The wines below illustrate this diversity, and might also help you discover ““ if you don’t already know, where your taste lies.

Here’s a suggestion for really getting to know wines ““ buy and open these reds at the beginning of the weekend, and keep revisiting them. You’ll discover that your favourite may change depending on time and mood, and by Sunday evening the wines will be your new best friends, or not. All weekend guests cannot be perfect!

There’s a cherry-cheerfulness to Jeff Carrel’s medium-bodied wine. I love the brightness of flavor and vitality. And absence of sweetness or smoothness. I’m buying lots of this good old-fashioned red as I cannot imagine an evening when it won’t please.

Brightness of flavor and liveliness are the hall-mark of all Gerard Bertrand wines, and his Saint Chinian also delivers a gutsy tang for a rustic feeling. Shades of Chianti. Wine to get the taste buds going, and create the bistro supper feeling.

Paul Mass delivers heft, and big concentrated flavours. He-man stuff in the style of big, New World wines. I’d not want this with dinner, BUT what a great late-night companion with hard cheese and mellow company. Should hold up for another 2-3 years.

JEFF CARREL 17 Languedoc “˜Les Darons’, France 448464 Vintages $16.95

GERARD BERTRAND 16 Saint Chinian, Languedoc, France 370247 Vintages $17.95

PAUL MAS 17 Languedoc “˜Clos des Mures’, France 286393 Vintages $19.95

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