Even at its current price, Cos is one of the most affordable of Bordeaux’s top wines. Darker, more muscular and austere than Margaux, this is wine-making perfection. If you have a celebration in 15 years or so, this claret will make it an epic event. Keep the menu simple and classic.
Durfort Vivens is known for lots of blackcurrant-scented Cabernet Sauvignon, and you certainly witness it in this bottle. Wrapped in silky tannins, this is from the stunning 2009 vintage. It’ll live on for a decade or more or drink it now with simple roasts and grills.
A great introduction to Margaux, this is a claret with all the charm and allure of its more illustrious (and expensive) neighbours. It’s made beautifully too. With a grouse (if you’re like Joe) or Peking Duck (if you’re like Amelia) it’s utterly delicious.
This is the perfect introduction to the refinement of Margaux. The estate is to the north of Château Margaux. Gloria blends the traditional cedar box aroma of ‘luncheon claret’ at a Gentlemen’s Club with ripe currant and berry fruit. Roast lamb and decent glasses a must. Tweed suits optional.
You’ll have to look up how this wine got its name! But then you’ll see why it has such crisp, fresh apple and nectarine flavours. The whiff of butterscotch oakiness makes this a versatile white. Lovely with fish in sauce, roast chicken or just a night in.
Winemaker Chester Osborne won thousands of fans of Austalian wines with his ‘ageing surfer’ looks, mad shirts and fun wine names. They come back because his ripe, fruity, generous reds are so delicious. Like this ripsnorting, curranty and peppery Shiraz.
The ‘Voodoo’ name here is no accident. It’s a brooding, mysterious wine with aromas of mulberry and even old-fashioned ink pots. It’s a beefy, hearty wine and that alone tells you what to eat with it.
‘Margaret River’ is a magical place. It’s in Western Australia which makes five per cent of Australia’s wine and wins eighty five per cent of its wine medals! That’s because of the precise, pure, Cabernet fruit and integrated vanilla oak in delicious wines like this. Match it with everything from spiced chicken to rich pasta dishes.
If you like the sound (and look) of Some Young Punks, try this. The Lemon-lime fruit, sea-shore tang and vivacious character make this wine as fun as its label. Bored of work-a-day Sauvignon or Pinot Grigio? This is the wine to funk up your evening’s drinking. Brilliant with Asian-fusion dishes and aromatic spice.
This shares the more cherryish aromas of Montepulciano’s neighbour (and rival) Chianti Classico. It’s a more fruity introduction to Vino Nobile, delicious with the braised beef and wild boar dishes that are common to this part of Italy.
This wine shows the Burgundian, Pinot Noir-like side to Vino Nobile. Mulberry fruit and savoury walnuts with a beguiling earthiness. The structure tells you it’s long-lived; the fragrance tells you to match it with braised ox-cheek or brisket.
Rosso di Montepulciano is a lighter, more accessible sibling to Vino Nobile. That makes it easier to drink younger and, with less oak ageing, it can be more fruity and juicy. This wine is named after Sabatino Lulli, ‘Sabazio’. He was the monk in the middle ages who first described how to ferment wine here. The Dom Perignon of Montepulciano.
This is one of the new wave of affordable ‘Super Tuscans’ – a modern take on a noble style. Succulent red fruit, over a heart of cherry and currant. The complex aromas of cedar spice make it a perfect wine for pheasant or, even better, guinea fowl.
Dora’s Sanguinetto has a unique charm. But enjoy the refined tannins and rich, bitter-cherry fruit of Sienna’s ‘Noble Wine’ in this delicious wine. With its distinguished leather and oak spice aroma, this is perfect with rich beef dishes.
Buy this wine now, whilst you still can. David may be unassuming in person. But he is the rising star of Nuits St Georges, thanks to his relentless drive to make rich, captivating wines. This is quite possibly one of the best wines you’ve never had.
Legend says Les Damodes (‘the ladies’) were fairies, living in the rocky outcrops above this vineyard. They had good taste. This floods your palate with raspberry and currants. Then it evolves into cloves, earthiness and a mocha spice. This wants a rich stew.
Here’s a clever wine-expert ploy. Buy humble wines like Hautes-Cotes de Nuits. But from outstanding producers like Jean Mongeard, long-time president of the Burgundy Growers’ Association. Lighter and simpler than Nuits St George. But so elegant.
It’s easy to see why this wine is so acclaimed among wine lovers. Rich sweetness balances perfectly with uplifting freshness. There’s the tang of grapefruit and a spring-like, floral aroma. Stylish puds made with allspice and cinnamon love this wine.
This turns Tarte Tatin from a pudding into a magical experience. Spicy Chenin Blanc and exotic Viognier are dried on straw mats. This concentrates their sweetness whilst keeping an apricot-fresh flavour.
An homage to the great sweet wines of Bordeaux. The vanilla-cream richness comes from fermentation in barrels. This is a fuller, richer style of pudding wine, and one for fans of something sticky. I drink it with baked apples stuffed with raisins and Muscovado sugar.