WARMING REDS: 6 WEEKDAY WINES TO SPICE UP YOUR SUPPERS
Sam Wylie-Harris hand-picks some ideal partners for soothing winter dinners.
Chilly, wintry nights call for comfort food, and a berry-rich red is always warmly received.
Especially the wine-world’s equivalent to beefing up a hearty stew; half the pleasure of cooking a casserole is the chef’s perk – the red wine you sip while adding to the sauce.
Whether it’s crushed cherry fruit, or a gutsy style with layers of tannins, prime your mid-week supper with a good glug of red. Here are six of our favourites…
1. Extra Special Selection Valle De Colchagua Carmenere 2016, Chile (£6, Asda)
The abundance of reasonably priced, good quality, everyday wines is one of Chile’s charms, and for a fail-safe red, you can’t go wrong with this smooth, spicy offering that’s ripe and satisfying, with a beam of vivid black fruits backed by herbs, spice and oak.
2. Plaimont Producers Madiran, Reserve des Tuguets 2015, France (currently reduced to £6 from £6.50, Tesco)
The thickness of the casserole is a good indication of the weight of the wine you need, and this rustic red, with its firm tannins, can stand up to the heartiest dishes. A tannat-based blend from Gascony, its deep
fruited nose, structured fruit and hints of leather and spice carry through to the finish.
3. Te Rakau Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux Blend 2015, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand (£6.99, Aldi)
A New Zealand red with a French accent, there’s substance to this classic blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc that’s usually found in a fine claret. Impressive and well built, there’s a
fleshy core of cassis fruit with cedar, herbs and spice, and a savoury freshness on the finish.
4. KWV Big Bill Red 2015, Western Cape, South Africa (£8.99, Ocado)
The Cape in a glass, this wine is full of colour and contrast, with plummy, spiced aromas, punchy cherry and mulberry fruit that opens up quickly, with a dusting of sweet spice to enliven the finish. Bold with
a smoky edge, enjoy with a rich beef and wine casserole.
5. Domaine le Grand Destre 2016, Principaute d’Orange IGP, France (£8.99, Laithwaites.co.uk)
Love a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape but wince at the price? Try this smart buy from the very south of the southern Rhone – it may not share the same celebrity status as wines embossed with the papal crest, but you can still savour the warm and inviting blackberry fruit, inlaid with herbs and sweet spice.
6. Shenandoah Amador County Zinfandel 2015, California (£10.99, TheWineSociety.com)
An American food-friendly red that’s plush and easy-going, with sweet and sour cherry cola aromas, layered dark cherry fruit and a sensation of chocolate and kirsch on the finish. It pairs with practically any homely dish, especially casseroles, meatloaf or a bowl of chili. Cheers!