Warm­ing reds to take the chill out of au­tumn

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FOOD -

Whether you’re com­ing home to a fire­side snack or tuck­ing into a hearty au­tum­nal dish af­ter a brac­ing walk, pair­ing your wine with the weight of the food is the per­fect way to step into au­tumn. We’ve picked seven de­li­ciously fruity wines all ideal for your har­vest bas­ket. 1. Tesco Finest Mon­tepul­ciano D’Abruzzo 2016, Italy (£7, Tesco) It’s hard to think of a bet­ter ac­com­pa­ni­ment to a tra­di­tional spag bol or rich tomato sauces than this mor­eish Mon­tepul­ciano from the Abruzzo re­gion in south­ern Italy. Rich and full-bod­ied, with a juicy black­berry char­ac­ter and enough bram­bly fruit to re­mind you of a dense for­est floor, flour­ishes of herby, savoury spice will make you want to round off the meal with a chunky cor­ner of Parme­san cheese. De­li­ciously easy to drink. 2. Slove­nian Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2013, Slove­nia (£7.99, Aldi) A regal-look­ing red that com­bines ripe black­berry, liquorice and plum flavours, it’s worth ven­tur­ing be­yond your usual ca­sual pour if you like a firm, fruity cab sav, with a leath­ery fin­ish to pair with a rib-eye steak, chips and pep­per­corn sauce. 3. McGuigan & John Torode Tem­pranillo 2017, Ade­laide Hills, Aus­tralia (circa. £46.96 for case of 6, Ama­zon) Avail­able by the case at just shy of £8 a bot­tle, this Span­ish grape has been Tesco Finest Mon­tepul­ciano D’Abruzzo 2016, Italy, £7 Charles Back Fairview Shiraz 2015, South Africa £12.49 given a tasty makeover Down Un­der, and speaks with a warm, friendly Aus­tralian ac­cent. Marked by vi­brant red berry fruits, sweet spice and a savoury, bushy earth­i­ness, as if by culi­nary magic, it’s ver­sa­tile enough to serve with miso steak as well as spaghetti with clams. 4. Gabriel Mef­fre Or­ganic Cotes du Rhone, France (£9.99, Waitrose) Show­cas­ing the clas­sic warmth, body and el­e­gant struc­ture of a Rhone Val­ley red, this cus­tom­ary blend of grenache, syrah, cin­sault and mou­ve­dre comes into its own this time of year, with day­light hours gen­tly slip­ping away and thoughts turn­ing to Somontes rus­tic soups, Col­heita Tinto boeuf bour­guignon 2015, Por­tu­gal, or saucis­sons £11.95 aux pommes. 5. Somontes Col­heita Tinto 2015, Casa Da Pas­sarella, Serra da Estrela, Dao, Por­tu­gal (£11.95, davy­wine.co.uk) The Dao re­gion in North­ern Por­tu­gal is fa­mous for its red wines, which are of­ten un­der­rated and shouldn’t be over­looked. Try this mod­ern style made from touriga na­cional and other lo­cal grapes. De­li­cious from the word go, a be­guil­ing red-fruited bou­quet leads to deep plum and black­berry fruit flavours, with earthy notes tak­ing a back seat. 6. Charles Back Fairview Shiraz 2015, Western Cape, South Africa (£12.49, Laith­waites.co.uk) A wine with ex­cel­lent cre­den­tials, Charles Back is one of South Africa’s most in­flu­en­tial wine­mak­ers, and his Fairview shiraz is a show­stop­per. Con­cen­trated, with bags of dark bram­bly spicy fruit that cush­ions the palate, sweet spice and cas­sis glide along el­e­gantly in uni­son, with vel­vety smooth tan­nins on the pow­er­ful fin­ish to seal the deal. Worth fork­ing out for to rel­ish with a Sun­day roast.

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