Wine expert Henry Jeffreys provides tasting notes on our exclusive BBC Good Food Wine Club cases. Read about flavour profiles and ideas for pairing food.
1) Hedone Rosso 2013
Some of the finest wines in Tuscany are a blend of Sangiovese, the Chianti grape, with the Bordeaux pairing of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They’re usually expensive but over the border in Umbria similar wines are more affordable. This example combines the bitter cherry bite of the Italian grape with a voluptuous texture. It’ll really sing with a meaty ragu.
Serve with... pappardelle with rabbit & chestnut ragu
2) Quarisa Shot in the Dark 2013
A Cabernet and Shiraz blend is an Australian classic. This one was made by John Quarisa who used to make award-winning wines for some of the country’s most prestigious companies. You can really taste the pedigree in the good ripe tannins and fragrance of pencil shavings and blackcurrant. One to drink with smoky meat cooked indoors or out.
Serve with... pulled firecracker brisket
3) Malbec Santa Julia 2015
The Zuccardi family behind this wine were originally from Italy. The grape, Malbec, comes originally from south west France where it makes some sturdy reds. Both family and grape are perfectly at home in Argentina. Here Malbec presents a more friendly face. It’s a ripe full-bodied wine, steak is the obvious companion but also great with pasta with tomato sauce.
Serve with... Melting meatball macaroni
4) Journey's End Pathfinder 2014
Made in the heart of South Africa’s most famous wine region, Stellenbosch, by one of the Cape’s best producers. It’s a classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. There’s a fresh nose of autumn fruits with a little smokiness. It’s elegant stuff and would be perfect Sunday lunch wine instead of claret.
Serve with... one of our classic Sunday lunch recipes
5) Dinastía Manzanos Rioja 2015
Dinastía Manzanos have been making wine for 120 years but this is not a traditional Rioja. Though it’s made from Tempranillo, the archetypal Rioja grape, it’s closer to Bordeaux in style with its dense dark fruit and spicy savoury oak. It’s wine of structure, full-bodied, rich and ripe, that’s just crying out for some rare roast beef.
Serve with... rare beef with mustard Yorkshires
6) Cuvée du Vatican Côtes du Rhône 2014
This is made by one of the most lauded producers in Chateauneuf-du-Pape from similar grapes, Grenache and Syrah. It screams Southern France with its smell of thyme and rosemary and ripe strawberry fruit. There’s leather and earth here too, plus a bit of tannic grip. Drink this alongside hearty Provencal stews such as daube of beef.
Serve with... daube of beef with spiced beetroot
7) 2015 Camino de Seda Jumilla Selección Especial
This part of southern Spain has an abundance of old vine of Monastrell better known by the French name, Mourvedre. The vines produce small quantities of intensely flavoured grapes. There’s a liquorice note here to match that amazing depth of fruit. It’s a great all rounder but would particularly suit pizza especially with some chorizo on it.
Serve with... chorizo pizza with peppers & Manchego
8) 2014 Château Vartely Cabernet Sauvignon
Moldova sandwiched between Romania and Russia deserves to be better known for its wine. It’s a paradise for vines and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular thrives here. This is an excellent example of the grape with characteristic flavours of blackcurrant and cedar but there’s also a heady spiciness that is utterly unique. Try with roast duck for the perfect partnership.
Serve with... roast duck & griddled plum salad
9) Flagstone Winery Lobster Shack Chardonnay Viognier 2015
You don’t often see these two varieties together but after trying this you’ll wonder why not. The apricot of the Viognier melds perfectly with the lemons and melons provided by the Chardonnay. It’s full-bodied and completely refreshing. As its name suggests lobster is a good partner as is crab, crayfish or any rich shellfish.
Serve with... one of our beautiful shellfish suppers
10) 2015 Split Rock Sauvignon Blanc
Most people are familiar with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but this from the neighbouring region of Nelson is every bit as good. It’s named after a strange geological feature, a stone sphere split clean in two. Wine like this is what New Zealand does best; it’s bone dry with tropical fruit that jumps out of the glass. It would be great with goats cheese salad or perhaps a Greek salad.
Serve with... classic Greek salad
11) The Huguenot Chenin Blanc 2015
Chenin Blanc is the most planted grape in South Africa and the country’s secret weapon when it comes to white wines. As a variety it over delivers on depth of flavour for the money. This is spicy with characteristic bruised apple notes and a long finish. This would be just the thing with roast pork, especially if apples were involved.
Serve with... slow-roast pork with apples & peppers
12) Alma Andina Torrontés 2015
This grape was a bit mysterious but recent research has shown that it’s indigenous to Argentina and not the same as the Torrontes from Spain. This example would appeal to those who love Viognier, there’s a similar stone fruit taste but combined with floral notes and smoky finish. It is the perfect aperitif wine. It would suit some spicy prawns or salt and pepper squid.
Serve with... buttery chilli prawns
13) Laithwaite's Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc 2015
This comes from Laithwaite’s own vineyards in France. Bordeaux does Sauvignon Blanc in a very different style to New Zealand. It’s elegant, fresh and grassy with tangy lemony fruit. There’s saline quality too: the bottle would disappear very quickly with a large plate of oysters but would also be good with some pungent goat’s cheese.
Serve with... oysters with soy dressing
14) Campanula Pinot Grigio 2015
If you’re used to similar wines from Northern Italy, you might not recognise this as Pinot Grigio. Weighty and full-fruited with ginger and cinnamon notes, it is much closer to a Pinot Gris from Alsace. That spicy quality and full texture makes it just the thing when you want to turn up the heat in the kitchen.
15) Tenuta Ca' Bolani Prosecco NV
One of the world’s most popular wines, this example is made in a frizzante rather than spumante style which means the bubbles are gentler. It’s refreshing and floral and nobody is going to refuse a glass of this on its own but it really comes into its own with a little peach juice to make that Venetian classic, the Bellini. Serve in... our classic Bellini recipeRead more about the wines and how to join the BBC Good Food Wine Club by visiting our FAQ page.
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