Bar à vins Pépite (Lorgues)

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In the Var backcountry, where they tend to favor conventional Bordeaux reds over living wines, Isabelle Ronfaut and Hubert Dutheil de la Rochère are shaking things up with their wine bar / shop that boasts a 300-strong collection of natural beauties. Displayed on the big wooden shelves made by a Colombian friend of theirs, the ex-advertising duo brilliantly tackle their new profession, showcasing their gems which range from local vintages (Antidote, a carignan from the Domaine Les Terres Promises at €37 a bottle) to bottles from elsewhere (Abrupts, an Auvergne gamay produced by Henri Chauvet at €47, or Sole, a Loire chenin made by Fred Niger at €22), in addition to a selection of Bordeaux wines so as not to upset the locals – Château Cantermerle, Château Durfort-Vivens… All of which can be popped open immediately for a €9 corkage fee in addition to the bottle price, unless you’d rather opt for a glass of wine, chosen from roughly a dozen options. And if your belly is rumbling, there are croque-monsieurs (€13), pesto-topped focaccia (same price) and cheese or charcuterie plates (€25), available at lunch and a few nights each week. // Meriadec Chouchen

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