I’ve just lit my first log fire of the winter and there is nothing nicer at this time of year then to sit in front of the fire with a plate of cheese after Sunday lunch with a glass of warming red wine in hand.
So here are three that fit the bill nicely – Malabarista Tempranillo-Garnacha 2012, Navarra (thewinesociety.com £6.25) is fantastic value and almost as comfortable as my sofa. Soft, easy red fruit, a little spicy oak in the background. An easy-drinking Rioja taste-a-like.
Then, how about something completely different, a Moroccan red wine that’s a real surprise.
Bernard Magrez Kahina 2010, Vin du Maroc (slurp.co.uk, hawksheadwines.co.uk £15.29) is a blend of 60 per cent syrah and 40 per cent grenache. It’s rich, warming stuff with chocolate and black cherry and soft tannins, much more than just a conversation piece.
I’m just back from the Swartland region of South Africa and was blown away by some of the wines . More of those in a later column. Meanwhile, this is a brilliant wine you should seek out. It’s made by one of the area’s most exciting young winemakers, Donovan Rall. It has red fruits, spices, wild herbs and beautifully-balanced acidity. One of my favourite wines of the year so far.slurp.co.uk £13.95