It’s decidedly chilly. And it gets dark before the day has properly begun. Which means we now have to turn the light on when admiring the colour of that pre-supper glass of red wine. Shorter periods of daylight send a signal to our brain to reject the lighter hues of summer and seek out dark reds and browns of winter. So leave the light-green Sauvignon Blancs unopened and pick up a bottle of its red cousin Cabernet Sauvignon instead.
This blood-red coloured wine not only matches the autumn foliage but also the heartier foods we’ll be eating once the weather gets cooler.
Pies, pizzas and roast meats all match the blackberry smell and taste of Cabernet Sauvignon wines. This grape variety, though fruity, can be rather one dimensional so winemakers often blend in other grape varieties to add complexity.
Tastes of blackcurrants and aromas of Bovril all add complexity when Shiraz is added and Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon wines reach their zenith with South African wine producers. Extra aromas of damp leaves and flavours of burnt toast are made by the hot South African sunshine – the results are robust wines best enjoyed with a large chunk of meat.
For lighter flavours stick to Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends. You’ll find this classic twinning in French Bordeaux reds. Expect less Bovril and more cherry and plum flavours.
PG Wine Reviews
Tesco Finest Chilean Las Lomas Estate Shiraz 2016
Flavours of plums and astringent cherry with some chocolate and spice. Lighter than the fully-flavoured and sweeter Australian Shiraz, this Chilean version matches many foods.
Corney and Barrow French Rouge 2016
£7.50 Corney and Barrow
A good match to pizza with its flavours of creamy damson, cocoa and coffee.
Tesco Finest New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016
Lots and lots of cherry with a black pepper kick.
Lote ‘d’ Chilean Syrah 2013
Flavours of blackcurrant and liqueur chocs with some burnt bits. Unfiltered so watch out for the sediment in the bottom of the last glass.
Tedeschi Maternigo Italian Valpolicella Superiore 2014
£22.49 The Wine Library
Loads of flavours so don’t be in too much of a hurry to finish this off: tastes like black coffee with cherry chocolates and prunes.