Stockport Express - - Leisure - ANDY CRONSHAW

THE on­set of au­tum­nal con­di­tions al­ways has me eye­ing the for­ti­fied wine sec­tions as the al­lure of some­thing sweet and warm­ing to match pud­dings and cheeses be­comes too much to re­sist.

Fur­ther­more, next week is choco­late week (Oc­to­ber 9 to 15) which may beg the eter­nal ques­tion what wine for choco­late?

Sim­i­larly, reds are needed for hefty casse­role and fire­side du­ties and I have one that more than fills those re­quire­ments.

And, as I reach a stage in life where one eye must be fixed firmly on choles­terol lev­els, tuck­ing into meat dishes and red wine must be bal­anced against the need to eat plenty of fish and veg­eta­bles.

That’s where win­ter white wines come in and strangely enough rosé.

Rosé, a wine very much as­so­ci­ated with the sum­mer, can be great with Asian dishes and the best so­lu­tion for a toma­to­based pasta dish such as am­a­tri­ciana – very much a favourite in my house­hold.

Brin­disi Rosato Vigna Flaminio, Val­lone 2016 (£7.75 Wine So­ci­ety)

The Wine So­ci­ety has an ar­ray of lovely rosé from del­i­cate cream soda Provence styles to wine with a bit more punch such as this rosé from the Sa­lento penin­sula in Puglia. (Much of it is still on spe­cial of­fer as the so­ci­ety looks to clear the shelves ahead of win­ter.)

It had just

Pel­le­grino Pas­sito di Pan­tel­le­ria 2016

enough flavour and weight to deal with the pinch of red chilli and the smoked ba­con in my am­a­tri­ciana. The nose sug­gests or­ange zest and rose water while the palate is gen­er­ous with plenty of red fruits and acid­ity. I look for­ward to try­ing it with spaghetti and prawns in tomato sauce.

Gui­gal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2015 (£13.99 from Fen­wick Ltd, The Fram­ling­ham Wine Shop, Swift Wines, Ital­ian Con­ti­nen­tal Stores, Bub­bles And Wine Ltd, Di­rect Wines, Ama­zon)

Rhône whites can make the per­fect win­ter wines and this one made a su­perb match for a punchy Ibe­rian style dish of cod cheeks with spinach and chick­peas laced with fresh red chilli and saf­fron.

It’s a blend of six va­ri­eties, with Viog­nier mak­ing up 65pc and the rest taken up by a heady mix of marsanne, clairette, bour­boulenc and gre­nache blanc.

It makes for an ex­ot­i­cally spicy white but one that re­tains fresh­ness and acid­ity across its peach-laden palate. Sump­tu­ous and sat­is­fy­ing.

Alto Rouge 2014 (£9.50 Mor­risons)

A clas­sic New World red made in South Africa from Caber­net Franc, Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Shi­raz and Mer­lot. Spicy vanila and leather on the nose with plums and dam­sons in the mouth, this is not a hugely com­plex wine but is sat­is­fy­ing nev­er­the­less and a nice wine to crack open on a chilly night.

Pel­le­grino Pas­sito di Pan­tel­le­ria DOC 2016 RRP (£11.49 (37.5cl) from Ama­zon, Camp­bells of Ley­burn, D.Byrne & Co. 2015 vin­tage from Eton Vint­ners, Wine­man, South Downs Cel­lars)

My first taste of Pas­sito di Pan­tel­le­ria, (Pan­tel­le­ria be­ing an is­land off the south west coast of Si­cily) came in the form of Don­nafu­gato’s Ben Rye, and this is equally de­li­cious. Made from the Zibibbo grape, the wine is made by plac­ing the grapes in a dry­ing room much like Amarone or Valpo­li­cella ri­passo.

The grapes gain a sweet raisin char­ac­ter after be­ing dried for 30 days and make for a sticky dessert wine which you can match with choco­late pud­dings.

How­ever, you may find you’ll en­joy this pas­sito even more on its own or with Gor­gonzola and fruit.

“You may find you’ll en­joy this pas­sito even more with Gor­gonzola and fruit”

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