When I think of autumn, I think of slow-cooked casseroles and 'big' red wines - cosy family dinners on a Sunday afternoon, once the weekend's football commitments have finished! My taste in wine changes with the seasons and the Mediterranean region produces some wonderfully potent and fruity red wines, perfect for serving with your autumnal feasts.
Last weekend, a group of us visited a local tapas restaurant, where we enjoyed one or two bottles of Tarima Monastrell 2015 from Alicante. Spain's equivalent to the French Mourvedre grape, the Monastrell grape produces velvety smooth wines with powerful notes of dark berry fruits. The Tarima Monastrell worked very well with the rich tapas menu, but would go equally well with roast lamb or a beef casserole. Best of all though, it's stunning value at around £9 a bottle and available from Majestic Wine.
Primitivo di Manduria
The beautiful region of Puglia in southern Italy is home to the centuries-old Primitivo grape and Primitivo di Manduria is perhaps the best known example of wines made from 100% Primitivo. The result is a potent, tannic wine, but again with flavoursome dark fruit overtones. A perfect match for the ubiquitous spaghetti bolognese, but also for roast red meats and casseroles. The price tag for a Primitivo di Manduria can range from £10 to £40, but a decent example is available from Waitrose for just £11.
The Kotsifali grape is indigenous to the island of Crete and, particularly when blended with international varieties such as Syrah, produces well-balanced red wines with full, dark fruit flavours. It's food-friendly too, matching well with hearty roasts and rich meat casseroles. Kotsifali is not as prevalent in the UK as the previous two wines, but we've found a good blend at Maltby & Greek, which at around £11 per bottle represents excellent value.
And if you're planning a dinner party this autumn, why not serve your chosen wine in a spectacular new set of wine goblets? Check out our new arrivals in glassware and add some Mediterranean colour to your tabletop:
Salud! Salute! Yamas! Cheers!