We’ve reached that time of year between Bonfire Night and the start of Advent. In the US, there is always Thanksgiving to keep everyone going, but in the UK, we need a little extra help to bridge the gap between now and festive celebrations. If you’re finding the need for a late autumn treat, then here are a few red wines that will boost your evenings in front of the fire.
Choose a wine packed with chocolate and coffee notes, gentle spices and autumnal fruity flavours. Ideally, you want something with a mellowness that matches the misty mornings and bright, autumn colours outside.
South African red wine
A lovely choice from the Western Cape of South Africa is the Releaf Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz. It’s made from organic grapes and tastes rather like a blend from the south of France. There is also a hint of spice in the cassis and tobacco flavours, giving a harmoniously comforting finish. This is an ideal choice for a dinner party with friends or just relaxing in front of the fire.
South Australia has plenty of great choices. Try the Robert Oatley McLaren Vale Signature Shiraz 2015, which is subtler than the usual Antipodean red. It’s still rich, but not too rich and has a balance of mocha and dark fruit flavours. It’s great with a Mediterranean style dish or just swirled by itself after dinner.
Perfect autumn grape
A grape that suits autumn perfectly is the carmenere. This produces wines packed full of velvety smooth, subtle but present, hints of coffee, berries, plum and chocolate. The best examples hail from Chile, such as the Seleccion Privado Zapallares Gran Reserva, 2016. This has some oaky ageing flavour, some spice and is ideal for the dinner table.
Heading back to Europe, the primitivo grape from Apulia in southern Italy is a good bet. Il Pumo Primitivo Salento San Marzano 2017 is a lovely choice, with its profile of peppery baked fruits. The western and southern regions of France also offer good choices at decent prices. Try the Domaine de Serame Merlot Pays D’oc 2016 from the Languedoc region, with its juicy red fruity profile.
Whichever you decide to try, enjoy the peaceful autumn evenings before you need to start shopping for more expensive, festive wines for the Christmas period!