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.
Made from the same grape as Rioja, Tempranillo, but further south in Valencia. It’s aged for nearly three years in oak and then four years in bottle until it’s perfectly mature. The result is treat for the senses with flavours of pine, espresso coffee and ripe dark fruit. It gains from decanting and serving with some suitably hearty food such as slow roast pork shoulder.
Serve with… slow roast pork shoulder
Château Le Coin 14
The world’s bestselling wine writer, Hugh Johnson, wrote ‘freshness is the touchstone of any great Bordeaux.’ And it’s not just in the famous names, you can taste it in more everyday wines such as this Château Le Coin. Try it with a leg of spring lamb and you’ll taste plums and that refreshing quality that only a proper Claret can provide.
Serve with… herb-crusted leg of lamb with red wine gravy
This multi-award winning wine is made by Diogo Sepulveda who has worked in Pomerol and Napa and yet has come up with something so distinctively Portuguese. On sniff, the heady fragrance of rosemary and fennel will transport you to southern Portugal. Take a sip and the dark fruit and earthy savoury edge will have you hungering after a rich stew of chorizo and beans.
Serve with… chorizo, pork belly & chickpea casserole
Kelly Country Shiraz 16
There’s something of the Rhone meets the Southern Hemisphere about the Kelly Country Shiraz. There’s all the bold spicy flavours you’d hope for in an Australian shiraz but combined with a violet-tinged fragrance from the south of France. A wine with grace and power, it would be a great barbecue wine but only if you’re not going to burn the meat.
Serve with… barbecue lamb & courgette salad
A sip of this is like a swim in a cold river on a hot day. That invigorating bitter cherry fruit and fresh acidity will cut through anything: pizza, spicy sausages, pasta, even pasta with anchovies. It’s the ultimate food wine. Made from a blend of Primitivo, Aglianico, Montepulciano from Puglia in the heel of Italy, this is a red that knows no fear.
Serve with… sausage, kale & chilli pasta
1842 Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
The Barossa valley in South Australia is best known for its Shiraz but it also can do marvelous things with Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1842 is a uniquely Australian take on this classic French variety. It has the most amazing aroma of menthol, cedar and tobacco, and then the palate is all mellow warm spices and blackcurrants. This would be lovely with steak or any red meat.
Serve with… steak panzanella salad
Nowadays we class wines by grape variety but in the past most wines would have been made from a hodgepodge of grapes. Containing a myriad of different varieties, this white from New South Wales pays tribute to the old ways. There’s a tiny bit of oak but it’s mainly all about zingy fresh fruit and only 12% alcohol making it the perfect picnic wine.
Serve with… one of our picnic recipes
Riversong Riesling 2016
Germany’s greatest grape does magical things when transported to Chile. This is made by one of the country’s most prestigious wineries, Luis Felipe Edwards, in a cool part of the Maule valley not far from Santiago. It is intense and concentrated, tangy and smoky with zingy limes and honey. Those bright flavours would work beautifully with some spicy but not too spicy Vietnamese food.
Serve with… Vietnamese caramel trout
Torrontes, a grape native to Argentina, is a real crowd-pleaser and you can see why from tasting this example. It’s packed with flavour: ripe stone fruit combine with floral notes and a smoky bone dry finish. It’s a white that gets better with each sip and is that rare thing, a wine that goes really well with creamy curries.
Serve with… Keralan chicken coconut ishtu
Saveur du Soleil Blanc 2015
A classic Languedoc blend where the three grapes work together in perfect harmony. The Viognier provides peachy fruit, the Vermentino (also known in this part of the world as ‘Rolle’) brings lemons and thyme and the Grenache blanc gives it weight and a nuttiness on the finish. It is the south of France in a glass and would be great with shellfish or a simple tomato salad.
Serve with… Fish stew with roast garlic & saffron
This is very much not your average Chardonnay. It’s made in Sicily and a small percentage of the grapes are dried before fermentation, which when combined with oak ageing gives this wine an amazing depth of flavour. It’s all about honey, tropical fruit and creamy vanilla. You’ll need to drink this with bold food such as Moroccan chicken with dried apricots and preserved lemons.
Serve with… Moroccan chicken stew
This comes from near Venice in the north of Italy not far from the border with Slovenia and there’s an Alpine freshness about it. It’s a blend of the local variety Friulano with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. It’s packed with floral spicy flavours with peachy fruit. It would be good with old-fashioned cheese fondue when the weather lets you down.
Serve with… easy cheese fondue
Ca' Bolani Prosecco Frizzante NV 2015
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.
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