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 (but not at all overly rich) oxtail stew, Persian style on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. So I paired it with a red that was every bit as hedonistic and full of flavour – but also one that matched the dish’s tangy acidity and didn’t make the overall flavour combination too much.

This Tapa Roja, from Yecla, is a great example of the brilliant value that Spanish reds can offer, especially when they’re made from grape varieties and regions that perhaps aren’t the best known. Monastrell isn’t generally a wall-flavour of a grape variety so you get plenty of concentration here, but it’s all very well balanced.

The wine was well received, even on a warm day in studio. The best reaction came from Tomer who virtually inhaled the wine with a satisfied ‘aaaaaah’ before adding: ‘Good wine, excellent match – I’m happy!’

(Peter, 6.5/10, May 2017)