In part two of this consideration of early winter wine, we can move into more familiar territory: reds.
I say more familiar, because red wine is typically what most jump to after the first jacket-worthy day. If you think you have abandoned white wine for this season, read the last post to see how you can keep white wine in your life as the nights get longer.
So! It’s chilly, it’s gloomy, and we start to lean on our room temperature offerings to warm us up and keep up with the heavier foods we start indulging in this season. Winter is coming here. But! We’re not in the thick of it quite yet. We need to save our heaviest hitters for the icy tundra of January and February. In the interim, we need something with a little more heft than we had when we could still expose our arms at night.
Here are some red wines from our range, for when we all start to wish we had fireplaces in our little London homes:
Bodega Cecchin, 2015 - Mendoza, Argentina
This Cab is herbal and lean, with slightly smoky aromas. It has a leathery, earthy flavours, making it an excellent pair for your steak and mushroom creations, or for plates littered with roasted root vegetables. This is not a particularly fruity Cabernet, so anything with some decent umami flavours or sweet/savoury earthy qualities is what we’re after with this wine.
Joan d’Anguera Planella, 2015 - Montsant, Spain
A nice complex blend from the east coast of Spain, this opens up with a fragrant, almost fruity liqueur scent. It has a very plush texture, with even more fruit and some spice on the finish. Nice and rich, but not too heavy. This would be lovely with those extra savoury, meaty dishes. Another option would be to pair it after dinner with some punchy, funky cheese to finish off the night.
Rosso di Caparsa, Azienda Agricola Caparsa, 2016 - Tuscany, Italy
An excellent medium bodied red, reminiscent of a Chianti Classico. It is fairly fresh and silky, for when it’s approaching frosty, but not totally frigid outside. It has a gorgeous balance of dark red fruit with spice, making it a nice food wine, but not so overbearing that it couldn’t be a pre-dinner option. Scents are more leathery, woody, and floral. This Sangiovese is a nice partner for meaty pasta dishes, charcuterie, essentially anything meaty but not too heavy. Pre-hibernation wine.
Adelina, Shiraz Mataro, 2015 - Clare Valley, Australia
Do not be deceived by the grape varieties in this Aussie red: it is decently light for a Shiraz. In this 100% hand-picked wine, the bright red fruits (cherries, raspberries, etc.) balance the time it has spent in old oak. The tannins are subtle but present, and this red can keep us in denial of the decreasing numbers on the thermostat. Close the blinds and pretend it’s still early autumn with this one. Some nice grilled or roasted mushrooms and sausages would go very nicely with this Shiraz, as would a beef stew or pie. Let it lift up your savoury food and your seasonal affective disorder.
Ou Treffer, 2016 - Stellenbosch, South Africa
Cinsaut is a South African classic when it comes to wine, and this one comes in strong. Nice crunchy fruit brighten up this very structured red. It’s been fermented whole-bunch, with all the stems and skins and leaves bringing that spice and tannin. A very versatile food wine, you could even lightly chill this red. If you do, try it with some spicy seafood for dinner. If you’re keeping it room temperature, it would be excellent with richer meats, like duck or lamb. This will be a nice one to treat the family to when you’re showing off your culinary skills (or your ability to navigate Deliveroo extremely well).
These reds, plus the whites we already discussed (Did you read it? Get on it!), should be a nice starter kit for this turning weather. As it gets colder, these wines should help warm you up — but won’t jump the gun for when you need something even bigger for the new year. If you need more inspiration, come say hey and chat in the shop. Enjoy, friends.