What to drink: Best red wine for chilly autumn nights
The leaves are changing and the nights are getting cooler - perfect then, for cosying up in front of a fire with are good drop of red. Here are nine great wines that are great for autumn drinking.
THE EXPERT: Nik Darlington at Pip of Manor Farm, Seale
Tempo al Vino Alese Negroamaro 2018
From an organic coastal vineyard in Salento comes this rich, ripe, aromatic Negroamaro by Sylvia Formigli. Negroamaro is an old Puglian grape variety that means “black and bitter”, but the wines are actually typically very sweetly fruited (NB: not sweet wines!). Bitterness can refer to the strong tannins that come from the grape’s thick skins but the Alese here is very soft, velvety even, and easy drinking.
Convento da Vila Tinto 201
Portugal is a treasure trove of fascinating native grape varieties and this Alentejano red has them in abundance: Trincadeira, Castelão, Touriga Franca and Aragonez (aka Tempranillo). This traditional red blend by the Adega de Borba is robust in flavour and smooth in profile, perfect for those autumn evenings as the cold sets in.
Domaine du Vieux Pressoir Saumur “Les Silices” 2019
A real stunner of a Cabernet Franc from this top Saumur producer and from the good 2019 vintage. In these warmer years, Loire Valley Cabernet Franc gives you rich red fruits along with refreshing acidity, spice and herbal aromas. This is a willing foil for those autumnal stews and game dishes.
THE EXPERT: Rupert Pritchett at Taurus Wines, Bramley
Chateau Mayne-Vieil Fronsac 2016
A cracking wine from Fronsac. Château Mayne Vieil is rustic and warm with great earthy aromas and a satisfying finish. A pretty ruby red this wine is a nice, clean relatively gentle style of claret with a leafy red currant character and just a whistle of underlying richness and earthiness. It’s worth a try if you fancy a good Bordeaux at a very good price.
Zuccardi Los Olivos Malbec 2019
In 2020, Zuccardi was voted best winery and vineyard in the world for the second consecutive year, which explains their multiple inclusions on the shelves at Taurus Wines. One of many Malbecs in their stable, Los Olivos showcases the more mineral style that the cool Uco Valley produces: ample plum and blackberry notes are given complexity by a savoury, peppery finish. Enjoy with stuffed red peppers.
Magpie The Scoundrel Grenache/Shiraz 2019
Any wine called The Scoundrel gets our vote! And this red from The Magpie Estate – a joint venture of Barossa Valley winemaker Rolf Binder and Cambridge wine merchant Noel Young – is the sort that’s just as drinkable on a hot, summer’s day as it is beside a roaring fire in winter.
The Magpie Estate is a joint venture between Barossa Valley winemaker Rolf Binder and Cambridge wine merchant Noel Young. Sweet, jammy fruit and soothing vanilla oak is accented by notes of ground black pepper. It’s great with barbecue marinades.
Alpha Zeta Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG
This age-old style of wine is made from air dried and concentrated grapes and is the top wine of the Valpolicella region in Italy, often high in alcohol with concentration and a hint of sweetness. The wine has an aroma of dried cherries, spiced Autumn compote and a slightly savoury cherry note on the palate.
From the Piemont region of Italy, this wine has a complex nose of ripe black fruits, cloves, and floral notes. It’s rich, powerful and beautifully balanced – and pairs well with game and duck. It’s recommend you decant one hour before serving.
Château de Vaudieu Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge
The Château de Vaudieu is an 18th-century estate in the Southern Rhone in France that’s been in the Brechet family for 50 years, consisting of 70 hectares of vines aged between 40-70 years. This wine is dark ruby red in colour and has an intense nose of raspberries and cherries with herbal notes of liquorice and black pepper. The palate is loaded with dark red fruits and supple fine grained tannin with hints of graphite.