Five lip-smacking reds to pair with autumn dinners


Now’s the time to snuggle up with a rich, food-friendly drop of red.

With the leaves changing colour and a chill in the air, this time of year always brings to mind bold berry aromas and cosy reds blanketed with smooth tannins.

Whether you’re coming home to a fireside snack or tucking into a hearty autumnal dish after a bracing walk, pairing your wine with the weight of the food is the perfect way to step into fall and feed your imagination with soul-warming recipes.

To encourage you to branch out, we’ve picked five deliciously fruity wines all ideal for your harvest basket

Tesco Finest Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2016, Italy (Tesco £8)

It’s hard to think of a better accompaniment to a traditional spag bol or rich tomato sauces than this moreish Montepulciano from the Abruzzo region in Southern Italy. Rich and full-bodied, with a juicy blackberry character and enough brambly fruit to remind you of a dense forest floor, flourishes of herby, savoury spice will make you want to round off the meal with a chunky corner of Parmesan cheese. Deliciously easy to drink.

McGuigan & John Torode Tempranillo 2017, Adelaide Hills, Australia (circa. £59.94 for case of 6, Amazon)

Available by the case at just shy of £8 a bottle, this Spanish grape has been given a tasty makeover Down Under and speaks with a warm, friendly Australian accent. A collaboration between award-winning winemaker Neil McGuigan and TV presenter and chef John Torode, to bring home their shared love of food and wine, it’s bursting with just-crushed goodness.

Marked by vibrant red berry fruits, sweet spice and a savoury, bushy earthiness, as if by culinary magic, it’s versatile enough to serve with miso steak as well as spaghetti with clams.

Gabriel Meffre Organic Côtes du Rhône, France (£9.99, Waitrose)

Showcasing the classic warmth, body and elegant structure of a Rhône Valley red, this customary blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault and mouvedre comes into its own this time of year, with daylight hours gently slipping away and thoughts turning to rustic soups, boeuf bourguignon or saucissons aux pommes. Generously fruity, with wafts of ripe plums and cherries, its plush black fruits are punctuated with peppery notes and sweet spice, ending with soft tannins on the long finish.

Somontes Colheita Tinto 2015, Casa Da Passarella, Serra da Estrela, Dão, Portugal (£11.95, davywine.co.uk)

The Dão region in Northern Portugal is famous for its red wines, which are often underrated and shouldn’t be overlooked. “We’re impressed with the quality, diversity and value that Portuguese wines represent and we’ve increased our range,” says James Davy of Davy’s Wines. “Perfect for autumn and early winter, the reds particularly are ripe and juicy but with good acidity and tannins, so the overall impression is not big and weighty. They suit this season and the transitional sort of foods we enjoy before true winter kicks in.”

Try this modern style made from touriga nacional and other local grapes. Delicious from the word go, a beguiling red-fruited bouquet leads to deep plum and blackberry fruit flavours, with earthy notes taking a back seat.

Charles Back Fairview Shiraz 2015, Western Cape, South Africa (£12.49, Laithwaites.co.uk)

A wine with excellent credentials, Charles Back is one of South Africa’s most influential winemakers and his Fairview shiraz is a showstopper. Concentrated, with bags of dark brambly spicy fruit that cushions the palate, sweet spice and cassis glide along elegantly in unison, with velvety smooth tannins on the powerful finish to seal the deal. Worth forking out for to relish with a Sunday roast.

Next article