Photo by Flickr user agabarka

Even though it’s the largest wine region in France, the Languedoc-Rousillon (in the south of France) was plagued by a reputation for producing low-quality bulk wines until a recent crop of craft winemakers arrived on the scene. “Because of the exceptional climate and variety of soils, the region produces very diverse wines from a wide variety of grapes,” says Jean Guizard, owner of Montpellier’s oldest cellar, Aux Grands Vins de France. Here, his suggestions for what to drink now:

Sparkling: Domaine J. Laurens 2011 Le Clos des Demoiselles 

“Aromas of toast, honey and fresh fruits are perfectly balanced on the palate. This brut delicious throughout a meal—even with exotic dishes like sushi or tempura—and is equally at home alongside cheesecake and fruit pie.”

White: Pierre Talayrach’s 2013 Lumière de Pierre 

“A viognier that hits you in the heart. It’s woody with aromas of lime and apricot, and is great with fried chicken, cream and morels.”

Rosé: Domaine de Mas des Armes 2013 Cavalino

“The color is beautiful: mauve and crystal. The nose is intense, wild and strawberry-flavored with hints of red currant, anise and bergamot. It’s a fresh and slightly acidic grenache rosé, and is best served with seafood, grilled meats and fish, fresh goat cheese, and all salads—without vinegar, of course.”

Red: Château La Salade 2011 Aguirre

“Intense, deep purple and dark, this syrah-grenache-mourvèdre blend has complex aromas with notes of ripe fruit and sweet spices, with velvety tannins. An elegant wine with good ageing potential, it goes well with any red meat, grilled or simmered, even when accompanied by mushrooms.”

Explore Montpellier’s old-but-cool-again neighborhood here.