Big, Bold and Spicy Red Wines

Wine Basics / Grapes and Wine Styles

I like… big, bold and spicy red wines

Contents

Wine Basics Wine Basics

Popular grapes & styles

Cabernet Sauvignon
Zinfandel
Malbec
Syrah/Shiraz
Grenache
Rioja

Other grapes/styles: carignan, tannat, Valpolicella ripasso




Cabernet Sauvignon

Where you'll find it: Worldwide, but most famously Bordeaux, Australia, California and Chile

Flavours:


Old World:

Cassis
Cassis
Cedar
Cedar
Cigar box
Cigar box


New World:

Blackcurrant
Blackcurrant
v
Mint
Tobacco
Tobacco

Style: Serious, brooding and complex.

Food: Meaty, umami flavours like beef or mushrooms.

Drink it here: In classy surroundings with your favourite company.

View our cabernet sauvignon range




Zinfandel

Where you'll find it: California, USA, or Italy (where it is known as primitivo)

Flavours:

Cherry
Sweet/Sour Cherry
Cranberry
Cranberry
Blackberry
Blackberry
Chocolate
Chocolate

Style: Bold, rich and generous, and generally higher in alcohol.

Food: Red-meat curries or turkey and the trimmings.

Drink it here: To warm up on cold winter evenings by the fire.

View our zinfandel range




Malbec

Where you'll find it: Most famously Argentina, but also Cahors in South-West France and the Loire where it is called cot.

Flavours:

Brambly Fruit
Brambly Fruit
Spice
Spice
Leather
Leather

Style: Rustic, deeply coloured and rich.

Food: Game, or spicy grilled beef, sausages or vegetables.

Drink it here: At a summer barbecue, even if it rains!.

View our malbec range




Syrah / Shiraz

Where you'll find it: Widely grown, but especially Rhône (particularly north), Australia, South Africa and New Zealand

Flavours:

Black Pepper
Black Pepper
Plums
Plums
Blackcurrant
Blackcurrant
Spice
Spice

Style: Dark, elegant and concentrated

Food: Peppered steak, wild mushroom linguine, or venison

Drink it here: Friday night dinner with friends

View our syrah / shiraz range




Grenache / Garnacha

Where you'll find it: Southern Rhône, Languedoc-Roussillon, Spain, Australia

Flavours:

Raspberry
Raspberry
Sweet Spice
Sweet Spice
Herbs
Herbs

Style: Heartwarming, full-bodied and hot.

Food: Herby Mediterranean stews and comforting meat or vegetable pies.

Drink it here: When you're dreaming of your next sunny holiday.

View our grenache / garnacha range




Rioja
(made with the tempranillo grape, among others)

Where you'll find it: The Rioja region in northern Spain

Flavours:

Strawberry
Strawberry
Spice
Spice
Leather
Leather

Style: Traditional: Fragrant, silky and delicate
Modern: Rich, rounder and structured

Food: Roast lamb, Manchego cheese.

Drink it here: On summer Sundays with good company.

View our Rioja range


Other grapes and styles

Carignan/Cariñena: A dark, full-flavoured Spanish grape from the region of the same name, but also widely grown in southern France.

Tannat: Deeply dark and brooding southern French grape used to make Madiran, and also earning a reputation in Urguayan reds.

Valpolicella, ripasso-style: Made with the corvina grape in Italy's Veneto region in 'ripasso' styles of Valpolicella the wine is passed through barrels containing the skins and lees of recently made Amarone wine.



What makes a red wine full-bodied?

Alcohol

A wine's alcohol level contributes to its mouthfeel and weight. Grapes grown in hotter climates tend to have higher sugar levels and therefore make wines with higher alcohol.

Tannin

Tannins come from the skin, seed and grapes, as well as oak barrels, giving red wines grip and structure, and ageability.

Dark fruits

Fuller-bodied wines tend to have darker fruit flavours, like brambly blackberry, dark cherry and blackcurrant.

Positive health benefits?

Some studies have shown fuller-bodied reds contain antioxidants that might provide cardiovascular health benefits!



Food Matching

Rich Stews & Curries

Rich Stews & Curries: These full-blooded reds amp up the spice factor in chilli-heavy foods, so beware ? mildly spiced chillies and stews will love the bold tannins and fruitiness here though.

Hard Cheeses

Hard Cheeses: Manchego, Cheddar, Parmesan... these all have the power to take on the big tannnis and flavours of these brooding reds.

Sunday Roasts

Sunday Roasts: From lamb shanks to beef Wellington, these rich wines have the wow-factor needed for a special Sunday lunch.