Andy’s recommendations for red wines to enjoy this Festive Season.

20th November

Here’s a versatile selection of red wines that will take you through Christmas to New Year’s Eve, and anything in between!


Indaba Mosaic 2018, Indaba Wines  £8.60
South Africa / Western Cape
A great value red brimming with rich and ripe textured blackcurrant, plum, spice and dark chocolate flavours.  A good crowd-pleaser red.

78% Cabernet Sauvignon
12% Merlot
6% Cabernet Franc
4% Petit Verdot

Great with a juicy burger!

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Monastrell Organic 2018, Familia Castaño   £8.70
Spain / Murcia
Bursting with cherries, plums, wild herbs and spice. Juicy, fresh, smooth and easy drinking.

A pizza (Margherita!) night wine!

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Hancock & Hancock Shiraz Grenache 2017
Australia / South Australia
We are pleased to offer at this £10.50 Special Price
, normal RRP is circa £14.00/bt
A typically satisfying McLaren Vale red, yet with a lightness of touch and pleasing freshness. Worth noting that the alcohol level is a good percentage point below a typical Southern Rhone red – like Gigondas or Vacqueyras!!

Restrained and supple, with depths of ripe dark plum, pepper and spice notes from Shiraz, lifted by the rose petal aromas and red cherry flavours of Grenache. Lovely, light, bright finish.

73% Shiraz
27% Grenache

Perfect with a hearty stew.

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Côtes du Rhône Les Abeilles 2016, Jean Luc Colombo £10.60
France / Rhone
A well crafted Cotes du Rhone with excellent depth – juicy raspberry and cherry fruit with lots of spice and vineyard herby-ness.

Produced from older vines with a minimum age of 25 years – this is well priced for it’s overall quality.

60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mouvedre.

Food match – serve with pigs in blankets nibbles!

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Rolf Binder Hales Shiraz 2015  £12.50
Australia / South Australia

Plush, smooth and very drinkable – not too over the top. Good freshness with bags of plum, blackberry, spice and dark chocolate.

Very drinker friendly, but not one dimensional or boring.

A Christmas turkey and trimmings red!

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Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2016, Azienda Agricola Contesa  £12.50
Italy / Abruzzo

This is far removed from the supermarket ‘cheap and cheerful’ versions, and well worth the extra outlay.

Lots of rich black fruits, spicy oak and herby freshness. Good structured tannins with a level of refinement you don’t always find in wine from this region.

This would be a nice match with the Boxing Day ham.

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Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc 2016, Bodega Bressia  £15.90
Argentina / Mendoza
Yummy! Liquidised blueberries and soft ripe black cherries. Dry with classic Cabernet Franc dustiness (in a nice way!). Tons of minerally overtones and superfine tannins. This is all about harmony and balance. Stylish.

Food match – a fragrant (not too spicy) vegetable Biryani

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Robert Oatley The Pennant Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Australia / Western Australia
Special Offer Wine £33.85
, Normal RRP is circa £40.00

I’ve been privileged (and lucky!) to taste many ‘icon’ Western Australian reds this year, but I would have to say that for its price to quality ratio this example from Robert Oatley Vineyards is in a league of its own.

This is no new world fruit-bomb (with an alcohol level below many Bordeaux Classed Growths). It’s a concentrated complex yet ultimately refined, poised and elegant example. The tannin structure is fine and impeccable – with a supple and luxurious structure and finish.

Truly superb.

Food match –  The New Years Eve roast rib of beef with a mushroom cream sauce.

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