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.
The BBC Good Food Wine Club offers discounts on exclusively curated cases of wine, chosen by wine experts and the BBC Good Food team, for you to subscribe to or buy as a gift. Our specialist, Henry Jeffreys, provides professional tasting notes on each wine to help you match them with your favourite bbcgoodfood.com recipes. Want to know more? Visit our guide to the BBC Good Food Wine Club.
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Red wine food matches
Two of the wines in the summer red case highlight the adaptability of Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape originally from Bordeaux that has conquered the world. It thrives almost anywhere with enough sunshine but it always tastes different. There is the ripe Chevalier de Caylus from the Languedoc, and then in the Pueblo Gaucho from Argentina the Cabernet plays a supporting role to Malbec. And then three wines that are completely different: the crowd-pleasing Dinastía Manzanos Rioja, the Burebista from Romania which combines Shiraz with a native grape, and finally from the Douro valley in Portugal the utterly irresistible Castelo do Vinteiro.
Affogato Rosso 2015
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 and Montepulciano from Puglia in the heel of Italy, this is a red that knows no fear. Serve with spaghetti with anchovies, fennel & currants.
This is a very clever blend of the indigenous and the international. The Romanian grape Fetească Neagră, meaning Black Maiden, provides crunchy fruit (think damsons and blueberries), freshness and spice, and that great traveller, Shiraz, brings meat and structure. With its bracing acidity, it’s a food wine par excellence – pork cooked with apples & fennel would suit it perfectly. Serve with slow-cooker pulled pork with apple & fennel slaw.
Chevalier de Caylus Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Smell this and you might think you’re in the Médoc. There’s cassis and leafy notes, but on the palate there’s a ripeness and generosity that’s distinctly southern. No surprise, then, that it’s produced near Béziers in the Languedoc by Montpellier wine college graduate Guillaume Bonzoms. It would be lovely with that classic slow-cooked Provençal dish, daube de boeuf. Serve with daube of beef with spiced beetroot.
Dinastía Manzanos have been making wine for 120 years, but this is not a traditional Rioja. Although 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 a wine of structure, full-bodied, rich and ripe, that’s crying out for some rare roast beef. Serve with rare roast sirloin platter with chilli & pine nut dressing.
Pueblo Gaucho Malbec Cabernet 2016
This is made by Pascual Toso, which won Winery of the Year in the 2016 International Wine and Spirits Competition. They've taken Argentina’s signature grape, Malbec – with its violets and plummy fruit – and combined it with a little Cabernet Sauvignon to give it more freshness. So yes, a nice juicy steak is the obvious choice, but it would be equally happy with more delicate meats. Serve with veal saltimbocca.
Castelo do Vinteiro Douro Doc 2015
The Douro valley is a treasure trove of grape varieties. In the past they would have been made into port, but now they make stunning table wines like this one. It’s silky and perfumed with fresh raspberries and thyme, with just a little oak in a supporting role. It would be particularly fine with lamb cooked Turkish-style over hot coals. Serve with lamb shashlik kebabs with rosemary & garlic.
White wine food matches
This season’s white case (with one rosé) contains grape varieties that deserve to be better known. If you think German Rieslings are sugary, you're in for a pleasant surprise with the bone-dry, lime-scented Von Reben. Then there’s a Marsanne, a speciality of Victoria in Australia. Next come two blends, the heady Collezione di Paolo Bianco from Italy combining Trebbiano with Chardonnay and Malvasia, and a mixture of southern French grapes from a legendary producer, Mas de Daumas Gassac. Finally, a delicate rosado from Portugal made from local varieties combined with a grape that needs no introduction – Cabernet Sauvignon.
La Roccaccia Verdicchio di Matelica 2017
Verdicchio is a white grape native to central Italy. The distinctive bottle recalls the amphora of the ancient world – happily, it tastes a bit more modern. It really is the most moreish wine, initially quite lemony, simple and fresh, but with another sip there’s almonds and an almost salty tang. One can imagine drinking it with bream baked in sea salt. Serve with whole roast bream with potatoes & olives.
Collezione di Paolo Bianco Vergine 2016
This Italian beauty hails from a part of the country better known for its red wine, Tuscany. It’s a blend of local grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia, with international star Chardonnay. Together they produce a heady concoction: floral, with honey, oranges, and satsumas. Its rich flavours would suit similarly bold food such as a Moroccan sweet potato tagine. Serve with vegetable tagine.
Marsanne is originally from the northern Rhône in France, but it’s been a local speciality in Australia since the 19th century. The state of Victoria has some of the oldest Marsanne vines in the world. This example has the most remarkable texture, like cooked nuts, combined with herbs and peaches – it would really shine with a roast chicken cooked with lots of butter. Serve with quick chicken & chips with Kiev butter.
Von Reben Riesling 2016
This comes from one of the warmer parts of Germany, the Rheinhessen, where the grapes become very ripe. Limes are the first thing that jump out of the glass, then when you taste it there’s apple blossom, peaches and just a little honey, all balanced by an electric charge of acidity. Those vivid flavours would be a great match for Vietnamese food. Serve with Vietnamese chicken noodle soup.
This wine is very much France meets Portugal. The grapes, a blend of Cabernet with two Portuguese varieties, Castelão and Camarate, are grown near Lisbon – but the colour, achieved by very gently pressing the grapes, is pure Provence. The resulting wine is delicious, floral and herby, with ripe strawberry fruit and enough heft to stand up to grilled sardines. Serve with BBQ sardines with chermoula sauce.
Grande Reserve de Gassac Blanc 2016
Mas de Daumas Gassac is known as the First Growth of the Languedoc, but they also produce more affordable wines. Like its big brother white, this is a blend of Viognier with a multitude of other varieties. The result is deliciously fresh, with apricots, lemons and an elegant nutty note. It’s a great all-rounder – try it with a green bean salad. Serve with one of our top green bean salad recipes.
How do I sign up to BBC Good Food Wine Club?
To subscribe, visit bbcgoodfoodwineclub.com to choose one of the three cases, create an account and place your order. You’ll then receive your first case within three working days.
Offer ends 19 October 2018.
Alternatively, call 03300 242 855 quoting X5C1A