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 if that sounds delicious, it’s meant to. It disappeared pretty quickly off the plate when we cooked it at home, despite being pretty full-on.

I initially thought we needed to pair like with like, so tried a fair few big, bold New World reds. But actually this was a case of fighting fire with fire, and it was the more refreshing wines that worked best, cleansing the palate between mouthfuls.

Not to say this Aglianico is a shrinking violet – it’s anything but. It is rich and round, but plays that brilliant trick that the best southern Italian reds conjure of managing to be both bold but also balanced and moreish. Great value, too.

‘Delicious: 10/10!’ exclaimed Fernando. Result. (6.5/10, Susie, Jan 2017)