Follow-Your-Taste-Big-Smoothie

‘No wimpy wines’ was the famous mantra of one Californian Zinfandel producer. These are full-bodied reds with tons of flavour. Think Cabernet Sauvignon and wines from its heartlands in Bordeaux, Napa, Chile and Australia. Or Shiraz, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Carmenere, Ribera del Duero, Barolo, Malbec – the list is long and distinguished.

What to drink them with? A flaming BBQ or a wintery day – these wines warm the cockles whatever. Dark meat like lamb, beef and venison are classic matches. Slow cooking, oven roasting and barbecuing give intense flavours to match the wines.

Find out more about matching food to these wines and the key wine styles in this category. Meanwhile, below are our top tips in the Big Smoothie category.

Sadie Family Wines Treinspoor 2016

Sadie Family Wines Treinspoor 2016, Swartland, South Africa (c. £35, Lay & Wheeler, Noel Young, Uncorked, Hedonism, Handford, Philglass & Swiggot & more via WineSearcher) First things first: this is a wildebeest of a wine. It's wild - no domesticated decorum here. It has almost animalistic tendencies...

Tapa Roja Old Vines Monastrell 2015

Tapa Roja Old Vines Monastrell 2015, Spain (£9, Marks & Spencer) When you've got a chef who looks remarkably like Wolverine - then you need to pull a wine out of the bag that will put hairs on your chest. So to speak. Tomer Amedi was cooking a beautifully heart-warming...

Pietradolce Archineri Etna Rosso 2014

Pietradolce Archineri Etna Rosso 2014, Italy (from £27.55, Armit Wines, Oxford Wine Company or via Wine Searcher) I first came across the rugged, uncompromising wines of Sicilian producer Pietradolce at our wine festival and have followed them with interest since. I tried the full range at the recent Italian tasting...

Château Angélus 2012

Château Angélus 2012, 14%, Saint-Émilion, France (c £270+ per bottle in bond, BI and other sellers, see Wine Searcher) Angélus is not a wine to shy from the limelight. It commands superstar prices. It features in James Bond movies. Its grandly renovated chateau in Saint-Émilion boasts a...

Château Pontet-Canet 2007

Château Pontet-Canet 2007, 13%, France (c. £600 per case of 12 in bond, BI – but widely available, see also Wine Searcher) The 2007 vintage in Bordeaux wasn’t particularly memorable. As we noted when we last tasted the vintage in November 2011 (Bordeaux 2007 in stereo), the challenging...

Lava Beneventano Aglianico 2012

Lava Beneventano Aglianico 2012, Italy (£8, Tesco or via Wine Searcher)  I recommended this hearty, seductive Beneventano Aglianico to partner a delightfully hedonistic beef fillet with cabbage and truffled mash by chef Fernando Stovell on Saturday Kitchen. The dish itself is like a deconstructed beef wellington - and...

Rioja Reserva 2010 Cepa Alegro

Taste the Difference Rioja Reserva 2010 Cepa Alegro, Spain, 13.5% (£7, Sainsbury's)  We're big fans of Ben Tish in this household and his Saturday Kitchen dish this weekend made his stock rise even further. I mean, who couldn't love roasted partridge with caramelised chicory, orange, honey and...

A fine Barbera for grouse

Taste the Difference Barbera d'Asti 2014, Italy, 13.5% (£7, Sainsbury's) This own-label Barbera from Sainsbury's is really good value - and very autumnal in feel, with a heart-warming touch of spice to an otherwise silky dark-fruited style. It made a fantastic Saturday Kitchen match for a very autumnal dish...

Villa Borghetti Valpolicella Ripasso 2013

Villa Borghetti Valpolicella Ripasso 2013, 13.5% (£10.99 when you buy 6, Majestic or via Wine Searcher) So what to choose with a classic bolognese ragu with focaccia by the delightful Italian maestro Gennaro Contaldo? There are plenty of options, from Bardolino (in a lighter style) to Chianti (in a...

Domaine de la Grange des Pères Rouge 2013

Domaine de la Grange des Pères Rouge 2013 IGP Hérault, France (£45 Yapp Brothers or use Wine Searcher) An extraordinarily delicious blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Counoise that will blow you away this autumn. Domaine de la Grange des Pères has achieved iconic status. This red...

Sesti Monteleccio 2014 – cultured red

Sesti Monteleccio 2014, Italy (£15.99 per bottle for case of 12, Armit Wines - or use Wine Searcher) This Monteleccio is a fabulous value wine from one of Montalcino’s most celebrated wine estates, Sesti. We visited not too long ago and were captivated by the stunning scenery...

Heartwarming Rioja

The Exquisite Collection Rioja Reserva 2009, 14% (£8.99, Aldi online) Pretty spot on Rioja Reserva at a fair price. It's very classic and there's plenty of wine for the price here. It's a dense, creamy and juicy red with hints of coconut and orange rind to complement the...