The weather’s turning colder and darker here: so, despite the nominal tipping point of the shortest day having been reached, it’s not likely to turn into white wine weather any time soon…
So red it is! Here, drawn from Jane MacQuitty’s 50 top reds in the Times at the end of November, or, in the case of the winners, from other recommendations of hers, are the ones we’ve tracked down so far, and what we think of them:
2012 Cepa Lebrel Rioja Reserva, Spain, Lidl £5.49:
7/10. Damn fine Rioja. If you like it oaky, this one’s ok (see what I did there?)
2016 Taste the Difference Fairtrade Shiraz, South Africa, Sainsbury’s £6 till January 1:
5/10. Couldn’t taste the difference.
2016 Finca Las Moras Art Series Malbec, Argentina Sainsbury’s £7:
6/10. Not that artful.
2015 Extra Special Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, Asda, £6.98:
6/10. Not that extra special.
2015 Estevez Pinot Noir Reserva, Chile Aldi £4.79
No score yet ‘cos we’ve not tried it yet. We’ve a lot to get through! But MacQuitty’s star wine of the cheapos, so well worth a try.
Vignobles Roussellet Pinot Noir, Aldi, £4.49
9/10. I’ve recommended this before (as has MacQuitty) and I’m going to recommend it again. I’d pay twice the price for it. Honestly. but coming up on the rails:
Wine Atlas Corbieres 2014, Asda, £5.98
8/10. Terrible label for the traditionalists, great glug. Actually not that far away from the Aldi Pinot Noir geographically, as it’s also a Vin de Pays d’Oc, where the good news for non-traditionalists is that the French have relaxed their fussy wine regulations to allow winemakers to stick oak chips in their stainless steel vats. That goes against the romantic ideal of the wine laying down in hand-crafted, artisanal barrels of the stuff, but for a cheap glugger it does the same sort of job. Fill your boots with this easy-drinking, moreish, hefty yet sensitive red. It’s kind of the red wine equivalent of Bruce Springsteen.
Enjoy! More solstician blogging in a couple of days.
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Welcome to winter, Andrew. My wife is the wine drinker in the family, and I’m going to show this article to her. Thanks for the tips.
Thanks, Neil. The UK supermarket Asda is owned by Walmart, but I don’t suppose they’ll stock the same wine. But glad you enjoyed it!