Nothing tastes like your own, super ripe tomatoes on baguettes rubbed with home-grown garlic, Tim Pawsey photo

The Hired Belly recently harvested his garlic—a sure sign that summer is slowly but surely on the wane. However, all is not yet lost. Besides, we’ve long been long convinced summer actually extends well beyond the Labour Day weekend. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it…

It’s no coincidence that two of late summer’s great rewards—home-grown garlic and ripe tomatoes—are also the prime ingredients that, often as not, form the foundation for many a stellar Mediterranean or south of France dish.

One easy to make recipe we particularly enjoy is toasted small baguette slices, rubbed (top and bottom) with a garlic clove, drizzled with olive or avocado oil, and topped with mayonnaise, chopped parsley, a slice of ripe tomato and diced fresh chive. *


Even better with a glass of (not too chilled) rosé.

Gassier Sables d’Azur 2010, Tim Pawsey photo

Here’s a few from Provence (which is, after all, rosé’s ancestral home) that you can sip along with your cured garlic and super ripe, nothing-tastes-like-home-grown-tomatoes, all through September!

• Gassier Sables d’Azur 2010

Excellent value in a traditional, skittle shaped bottle, with up-front strawberry notes and, even if not hugely complex, a good balance of fruit and acidity with a juicy middle and clean, zesty end. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut. Think pan-seared albacore with couscous and fresh bean salad. BCLS $15.99. The deal.

• Les Quatre Tours Signature (Coteaux d’Aix en Provence) 2010

Still under $20, Grenache-Syrah-Cabernet blend yields some surprisingly complex layers of vibrant floral and ripe strawberry notes with a luscious middle and touch of zest. More juicy with a touch of mineral to close. Pour a glass and pretend you’re back under the plane trees at the 2Gs, in Aix. $19.99 BCLS

• Domaine Houchart Rosé Cotes de Provence 2010

Another ‘skittle’ bottle, the long running workhorse of the rosé section still delivers good value for money. Medium salmon coloured, with wild berry and citrus hints, well balanced palate with enough acidity to carry the fruit to a gently spicy end. $16.95 BCLS.

• Chateau Miraval Pink Floyd Rosé 2010

Quite subtle and delicate up front with more definite mineral notes on a more complex palate: hints of pear and citrus underpinned by firm acidity, with a long, slightly herbal and zesty close. Definitely up a notch, from one of the region’s more celebrated estates.  The rock icon name relates to the storied chateau’s built-in recording studio, where many a legend (including Pink Floyd in 1979) has laid down tracks, presumably between sips. As to whether this Cinsaut-Grenache is worth the full $29.99 (in BC) tag… guess that depends on how much value’s added by tasting a wine from the now Brangelina-leased chateau.

*You can find the recipe in the vibrantly seasonal Canal House Cookbook, volume 1.