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.

Nero Oro Appassimento 2017

Nero Oro Appassimento 2017, 14%, Sicily, Italy (£8.99, Majestic) For those who like their reds a bit smoother and richer, this is for you. It makes a really versatile drinking partner for many dishes – partly because the appassimento (drying the grapes) gives a bit of richness and...

Naoussa Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016

Naoussa Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016, Apostolos Thymiopolous 13.5%, Greece (£15.50, The Wine Society) The Greek grape variety Xinomavro literally translates as ‘sour black’. So this gives you some idea of the kind of punch it can pack. (Susie describes it as, ‘like Nebbiolo on speed’.) This rendition is pretty...

Mas Martinet Bru 2016

Mas Martinet Bru 2016, 14.5%, Priorato, Spain ($39, €18-22, £18.68 Justerini & Brooks) Catalonia is one of our favourite wine regions on the planet. It’s such a beautiful part of the world. Amazing food and wine. Wonderful people. A Mediterranean coastline that veers from the tourisy to the...

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1976

Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1976, Oakville, California, 13% (Not commercially available) California’s Mondavi Winery is owned by Constellation Brands, a principal supporter of the Institute of Masters of Wine and sponsor of the IMW’s Robert Mondavi Winery Award. This award is given each year to...

Chateau de Bel Franc de Bel NV

Chateau de Bel Franc de Bel NV, Bordeaux, France £23.90-29, Jaded Palates, Queen's Park Wines or via Wine Searcher  This is Bordeaux, but not as we know it. Olivier Cazenave has a broad smile and big ambitions. He's going against the grain in Bordeaux, one of the most...

Pisano RPF Family Reserve Tannat 2013

Pisano RPF Tannat Family Reserve 2013, 13.5% (£19.50-22, The Wine Reserve or globally via WineSearcher) It was shortly before I headed out to Uruguay that I realised how little I really knew about it. The learning curve was fast and fascinating. After all, it was one of the...

Château La Conseillante 2005

Château La Conseillante 2005, Pomerol, Bordeaux, 13.5% (Peter, 8-8.5/10, March 2018) The 2005 vintage is one of our all-time Bordeaux favourites from the modern era. The 2009 and 2010 were labelled great but all too often the top wines are overblown, borderline egotistical. With the 2005s, there’s...

Changyu Noble Dragon Cabernet Gernischt 2013

Changyu Noble Dragon Cabernet Gernischt 2013, China, 12% (£8.50-£10, Sainsburys or via Wine Searcher) Susie writes: This Saturday Kitchen wine is a particularly significant one – because it’s a glimpse into the future. For a start, it’s from China. This vast nation now boasts the world’s second largest vineyard,...

Nero Oro Appassimento 2016

Nero Oro Appassimento 2016, Italy (from £8.99 on multibuy, Majestic or via WineSearcher)  I must admit I'm a huge fan of Vivek Singh's cooking - and when he's on festive form, it's a joy to partake. Witness his roast goose breast mappas with aloo podimas in this Christmas...

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...