Warming reds to take the chill out of autumn
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.