When it comes to finding your perfect match this season, there’re a wealth of reds out there flaunting masses of fruity charm – and one for every autumnal dish.
Of course, there’s no stopping a food-loving Chianti with a seasonal spaghetti bolognese – kicked up a notch with some harvest veggies. But how about a vegan nut roast enlivened by red pepper, herbs and green olives?
Whatever your preference – from ripe and berry rich, to muscular and spicy, or savoury cassis bolstered by attractive aromatics – there’s a lot to love about spot-on wine and food pairings to relish at home. Especially these days, with home dining the highlight of our weeks.
7 red wines to try this autumn
From sturdy combos to comfort food, here’s seven rich reds to savour this autumn…
1. Morrisons The Best Pinotage 2018, Swartland, South Africa, £5.50 (was £6.75), Morrisons
First pick from the grapevine, this plummy pinotage (South Africa’s signature red grape is a cross between pinot noir and cinsault) has a plush texture with sweet spice and smoky accents mingling among a forest floor of brambly fruits, with a smooth, satisfying, spicy finish. Autumn BBQ specialities, such as pulled pork, sticky plum sauce and herb-infused roast potatoes, immediately come to mind.
2. Oxford Landing Merlot 2018, South Australia, £6.50, Tesco
Fetching on the nose and deliciously uncomplicated, this is the kind of red you just want to snuggle up with. Offering a generous fruit basket of blackberries, cherry and juicy plums, it has a lovely fleshy texture with a faintest hint of milk chocolate on the finish. A stalwart with cottage pie, the soft, fruity notes play to the sweetness of honey glazed ham.
3. Les Nivières Saumur Loire, France, £7.49 (was £9.99), Waitrose
Famous for producing fantastic fizz, Saumur also sparks our interest with its food-friendly cabernet franc, where violets and summer berry aromas fashion a super stylish bouquet, with spicy, raspberry edged fruit, soft tannins and a long, balanced finish. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, think nut roast topped with parsnip crisps and vegan gravy drizzled on top, or creamy mushroom risotto.
4. Chateau Ksara Reserve du Couvent 2017, Bekka Valley, Lebanon, £10.95, The Wine Society
Tracing its history back 150 years, Chateau Ksara is Lebanon’s oldest winery and a go-to for dense, dark sumptuous reds. Syrah, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon are deftly blended and the unique microclimate (high altitude and warm sunshine) contribute to the character of the wine. Broad, ripe and brooding, with blackberry and plums on the nose and luscious dark fruit flavours entwined with earthy, exotic spice, it’s a cracker with roast leg of lamb studded with rosemary, garlic and cloves.
5. Cecchi Chianti DOCG Governo All’uso’ 2018, Tuscany, Italy, £11.99, Majestic
Italian through and through and a real treat, this sangiovese sings from the glass with its beautifully scented, dark cherry aromas that meld elegantly with savoury, herbs alongside floral and truffly notes. With deep morello fruit and more earthy characters on the palate, the wine delivers just what the aromas promise. A top drop with rich lasagne, veggie roasts, spag bol and mushroom pasta.
6. Château La Fleur Dallon Cuvée Arnaud Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux 2016, France, £12.75, Perfectcellar.com
Reasonably priced and a Bordeaux that’s immediately satisfying, the seductive nose of blackberries and cassis are joined by touches of violet, spice, pencil lead and tobacco. Brambly autumnal fruits glide along beautifully, given a subtle complexity by tobacco notes, finishing with silky tannins on the smooth, rounded finish. Proudly ripe from a classic vintage, a clever pairing would be duck breast with potato dauphinoise and root vegetables.
7. Quinta da Pedra Alta Reserva Tinto 2017, Douro, Portugal, £25, Winebuyers.com
A polished Portuguese that’s utterly gorgeous – and lives up to the promise of its beautifully perfumed, floral bouquet that mingles harmoniously over velvety smooth, fruits galore. The plush texture carries complex flavours of blackberry and black cherry built around earthy, spicy oak notes with impressive depth, without apparent weight. A joyous glass with roasted quail, filet steak or pumpkin pasta.
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