Probably the first red wine that you drank in an Italian restaurant, Barbera goes well with tomato-based dishes and those from the North of Italy.
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A global classic, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be medium or full bodied, and is a great match to hearty dishes such as roast lamb and beef, and more complex dishes such as coq au vin.
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Going to a barbie? Take along a bottle of Gamay. It’s ideal served alongside griddled veg, barbecued sardines or spicy sausages. Pop in the fridge for an hour before opening, and serve lightly chilled.
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The perfect partner to hearty and rustic dishes, game and cassoulet. Charter a couple of labradors, stalk across some windblown countryside, then come home to roast venison…
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The Argentinian favourite – Malbec is at its best as a match to grilled steak.
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Pair Merlot with your Christmas turkey or Sunday lunch of roast chicken. It also pairs well with roast duck and wintry casseroles.
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A young ‘Barbaresco’ will go well with a platter of cold meats, while ‘Barolo’ is best with richer dishes, such as braised beef.
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Right from the Southern heel of Italy, Negroamaro (literally ‘bitter black’) is a good match for pasta bakes and spicy sausage dishes.
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Medium bodied Pinot Noir will happily grace any Christmas dinner table – it’s ideal with roast turkey and roast lamb. It’s also works well with creamy, mild soft cheeses – try the cheese with rough oat cakes.
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Red Pinotage is a natural with barbecued steak and sausages – think beach parties and Southern African ‘braai’.
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This largely Italian red grape partners well with rich meat sauces on pasta – or try it with a pepperoni pizza, at home or in a restaurant.
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Syrah / Shiraz
This grape produces full bodied wines that go particularly well with grilled steaks and roasted vegetables. A winter warmer.
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The bright red juicy wines from the Tempranillo grape are a perfect match to roast lamb, roasted vegetables and mushrooms, especially vegetarian main courses.
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A medium to full bodied wine, Zin goes well with sautéed field mushrooms or heartier dishes such as roast venison.
More about Zinfandel
White wine is more your thing? Check our guide on matching white wine with food.