I’m always partial to a nice glass of red, especially as the evening rolls around. The choices below will not only work really nicely by themselves but are the perfect accompaniment to an array of meat or fish dishes. They especially hit the spot when you’ve spent most of the day on the rosé and white.
From Australia to the USA and Spain to Italy, pop a cork and sit beneath the stars with something that will keep the evening chill at bay.
Champagne picks here, white here, rosé here and sweet wines here.
PENFOLDS GRANGE 2013 (SOUTH AUSTRALIA)
Average Price €590
Big, deep, bold and textured. Grange is often referred to as the greatest wine in Australia. Blackberries, blueberries and an assortment of dark brambles linger on both the nose and palate with layer upon layer of complexity. Rustic baked spices, a variety of herbs and a slight menthol give this Australian Shiraz/Cab blend its unique twist. A wine you won’t forget.
STAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS ARTEMIS 2014 (NAPA, USA)
Average Price €89
Creamy milk chocolate and raspberry yogurt on the nose with a kiss of smoky white pepper. Lighter than your usual ‘big cab’ on the palate with a distinct sweet candied cherry and raw dark cocoa tannins. There’s a slight umami which leads into a tannin-rich finish and texture across the mouth.
TERMANTHIA 2012 (TORO, SPAIN)
Average Price €170
A deep, rich hue of sticky blackberries and brambles with a wonderful glazing of thick plum jam and brown sugar. There's a light tobacco and cocoa dusting that graces the nose, continuously evolving with every minute that passes. The palate gives you a plethora of deliciously ripe brambles, black cherry and blackberries enhanced by subtle white pepper and a dash of vanilla before developing into a climatic finale once the tannins come into play. Sweet, sophisticated and stunningly complex.
CARDINALE 2013 (NAPA, USA)
Average Price €180
True elegance. This hefty Bordeaux blend (largely Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot) showcases rich flavours of cassis, mint and raspberry with a moreish earthiness thanks to its incredible terroir.
CHEVAL DES ANDES 2013 (MENDOZA, ARGENTINA)
Average Price €95
This bold Argentinian red blend is what happens when you combine Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot with the skill of an exceptional winemaker and leave it to age for 18 months in French oak. The result? Leather, cedar wood and deep, dark purple fruits such as plums, blackcurrants and blackberries. A white pepper, tobacco and espresso make their presence known alongside fantastic tannins and a really long dark-cherry finish.
CONT’UGO TENUTA GUADO AL TASSO ANTINORI 2011 (BOLGHERI, ITALY)
Average Price €47
Great wine at great value, what’s not to love? This Italian wonder is comprised of Merlot and offers exuberant dark fruits. Juicy black plum sits beside charred oaky vanilla and a sweet 80% dark cocoa. Throw in some cloves and spices a great hit of acidity alongside rounded tannins and I’ll have another glass, thank you!
JOSEPH PHELPS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 (NAPA, USA)
Average Price €80
There’s a vibrant rhubarb that shines through on the nose, intermingled with raspberry compote and a generous portion of 60% dark chocolate brownie. There’s a red-fruit vibrancy with a little dark fruit thrown into the mix. The palate gives you candied blackberries with a generous tannin structure that wraps around the tongue. The finish offers candied almonds and blueberry jelly.