DRINK It’s a new year, try a new wine

The Herald Magazine - - etc BRIAN MAULE CHEF -

Taste the Dif­fer­ence Cotes Du Ven­toux, Rhone Val­ley 2016, France (£8.50, Sains­bury’s)

AS the new year be­gins, Sam Wylie-Har­ris rounds up her top wine-rack picks.

A lovely sur­prise, this is a gen­er­ous red that wraps its arms around you and brings a smile from the very first sip. A rhap­sody of rasp­berry and spice, the pep­pery bou­quet tick­les the senses and the vel­vety smooth palate is sat­u­rated with lush berry fruits, with a spike of earthy liquorice on the sweetly ripe fin­ish.

The He­donist Shi­raz 2016, McLaren Vale, Australia (£14.49, new vin­tage avail­able late Jan­uary, Waitrose)

This IWC gold medal win­ner is an inky black beauty from the flour­ish­ing, ver­dant vine­yards of McLaren Vale. Made from bio­dy­namic grapes (pro­cessed or­gan­i­cally and sus­tain­ably), this vel­vety smooth shi­raz is marked by a deep bou­quet of dark berry fruits, with a core of in­tense black fruit pre­serves laced with pep­per and spice. To add to its ku­dos, it’s made by Wal­ter Clap­pis, one of Australia’s most ta­lented wine­mak­ers.

Marks & Spencer Grillo 2017, Italy (£7, Marks & Spencer stores)

With an “R” in the month for the fore­see­able fu­ture, the New Year still sig­nals shell­fish for seafood lovers – and what could be nicer than a su­per Si­cil­ian that’s not only de­li­ciously re­fresh­ing but brings a drop of Mediter­ranean sun­shine to the ta­ble? The grillo grape gives this wine hon­eyed aro­mas of lemon, lime and dried herbs, which gather mo­men­tum as they glide along on the smooth, creamy palate, with well bal­anced acid­ity and a de­light­ful, spicy note to fin­ish.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: ALAN DON­ALD­SON

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