Linda Field spent 18 years working for JP Morgan in London by day, while, by night, she studied for her WSET Wine Diploma and taught wine appreciation to City bankers. In a fortuitous act of timing, she left London in July 2008--before the global banking crisis--to realize her dream of running a wine school from her Provençal farmhouse near Carpentras. Today, her Auberge du Vin offers rooms, courses (such as “Le Wine Weekend” and the “Rhone Ranger Adventure") and private guided tasting visits to top Rhone Valley châteaux. I asked Linda to suggest a few restaurants for wine lovers and she was delighted to share five of her favorites. Linda made her selections based not on who has the largest or most-expensive wine list but focused instead on "small, welcoming places where the wine enhances the experience of the food and ambiance." All the restaurants mentioned here serve three courses for less than 39€ at both lunch and dinner. Linda says: "At any of these places, do ring ahead, check opening times and make a reservation. Bon appetit et Salut!"
Domaine de la Camarette , a vineyard and farm just outside of Perne les Fontaines (04 90 61 60 78, domaine-camarette.com), is my insiders tip for a real local experience. Their set-price menu of 30€ includes a feast of their own organic-farm produce, paired with unlimited glasses of their locally grown wines. Nancy Gontier is the family's welcoming front of house, while her partner Hugo Maurrec is in the kitchen.For a more stylish occasion, Dolium ( 04 90 12 80 00, dolium-restaurant.com), next door to the Beaumes de Venise wine co-op, offers modern French cuisine and the opportunity to try both the Cave's sweet muscats as an aperitif and their powerful reds with seasonal fare of venison, lamb or truffles. Chef Pascal Poulain has already been recognised with a fourchette from the Michelin guide, and his Monday night cookery courses in winter are de rigeur for local residents looking to recreate his brilliance in their own kitchens.