Bring some warmth to cooler nights
We can no longer deny it, the nights are closing in and the central heating is back on. We drank up those summer wines with the same sort of ritual we apply when we pack away our shorts, t-shirts and flip flops for next summer. It’s funny to say it but there is a comfort in digging out jumpers and coats as we look out at the dark evenings. Yes, summer has come to an end, as is inevitable in this country and before you know it autumn is here.
In the same way we rediscover our winter wardrobes we now move our wine tastes on accordingly. Now is the time to revisit and rediscover wines of greater complexity and depth, that accompany the soul satisfying foods we like to eat at this time of year. Cooking up a shepherd’s pie, lasagne or sausage and mash are the kind of comforting pleasures we deserve at this time of year. An evening ‘trick or treating’, or watching fireworks is perfect finished with one of the above and a hearty glass of wine. Curl up and enjoy.
2014 Viré Clessé, Cecile Gondard
Viré and Clessé are two villages in Burgundy that gained their own appellation in 1999, a definite step up from the generic Macon villages. The limestone soil and gentle climate gives us a wine with honeysuckle and hints of lemon, this wine is round and soft yet fresh – now with a little age we are finding notes of quince and pine are starting to appear. A perfect transitional season wine, this is perfect with a béchamel-based chicken pasta bake.
Velvety and round on the palate this white wine from the cooler Northern Rhône is a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne the two white grapes of this area. The light golden colour alerts us to the gentle richness that follows – apricot, preserved fruit and pepper with surprising elements of honey and mandarin. Serve with a fish or scallops in a butter or cream sauce served with rice.
2012 Dentelle, Domaine Rouge Bleu
Nestled between Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, these guys are inspired by bio-dynamics working in line with nature to produce wines with soul. This ruby red wine sings out with wild berries, spice and cassis with a sprinkling of nutmeg. What’s great about this wine is it matches well with summer and winter dishes so you can enjoy this with salad and charcuterie on a mild day or with pizza or pasta ragu when you need a winter warmer.
2011 Decenio Reserva, Las Orcas Rioja
I love this kind of wine when the weather gets cooler, autumnal fruits abound in particular dark cherries and plums. This is cloaked in soft vanilla and hints of tobacco and herbs adding just the right warmth and complexity. Classic Rioja with style, match this with Shepherd’s pie or Lancashire Hotpot as its perfect for lamb.