Red wines to pair with hearty, satisfying meals: Richard Esling, November 10
The beautiful gold and russet colours of autumn are finally giving way to the bare branches of winter, helped along the way by the odd gale and touch of frost.
Halloween and Guy Fawkes are over and Christmas is around the corner, with real or virtual shops full of tempting offers. Luckily the weather has been largely kind this autumn, with a good number of sunny days and mild temperatures. With real winter fast approaching, it is time for those satisfying, hearty meals to keep the cold at bay and brighten the spirit.
Slow-cooked beef casseroles made with tasty cuts such as shin or short ribs, chuck steak cooked in ale, pork osso-bucco with tomato, capers and black olives, a host of different mouth-watering dishes make winter just that little bit easier to bear. And naturally, all these great dishes need great wines to pair with them, either for a dinner party with friends or a cosy kitchen supper on a dark evening, leaving the troubles of the world firmly shut outside.
Chateau des Jacques Moulin-à-Vent 2018 from Louis Jadot, has delicious, succulent fruit from the Gamay grape, with underlying body, structure and gentle tannins from a little oak maturation. One of the Cru Beaujolais, it combines lightness with depth of flavour. Ripe red cherry and raspberry jam aromas and flavours, with a fresh, mellow finish. Purchased by the renowned Burgundian wine producer Louis Jadot in 1996, Château des Jacques was once a staging post on the pilgrim route of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. £16 to £18 Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Ocado.
Somewhat ‘bolder’ is the Zuccardi Valles Bonarda 2018 from Mendoza in Argentina. The Bonarda grape variety widely grown in Argentina and second only to Malbec, is in fact a synonym of the Douce Noire variety originating from Savoie in France. The grapes are grown in high altitude vineyards along the Andes Mountain range, preserving fruit aromas and freshness. Deep coloured red, with dark cherries, blackcurrant jam and blackberries. Mellow, full and fruity, just perfect with osso-bucco or spicy beef. £12 to £14 from specialist wine merchants such as The Wine Reserve.
Bring out the big guns with Les Meysonniers Crozes Hermitage 2019 from one of the Rhone Valley’s top producers – M Chapoutier. Made from 100 per cent Syrah grapes on vines which are between 20 and 40 years old, on the slopes of the northern Rhone valley. Aged for 12 months, the majority is in lined, concrete tanks, with about 15 per cent in oak to give added complexity. Intense, purple-red colour, with red berry fruit, bramble jelly and vanilla notes. Made from organically grown grapes, Maison Chapoutier is a firm advocate of bio-dynamic cultivation and sustainability. £18 to £20 per bottle from independent merchants.