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5 Red Wines to Try When the Weather Cools Down

5 Red Wines to Try When the Weather Cools Down

Now that the nights have grown chilly, it’s a nice opportunity to eat hearty meals and match them with rich red wine. But where to start?

If you want to learn more about this winter favourite, have a look at our starter guide to red wine. But if you’re just looking for some tips on navigating your local First Choice store this weekend, here are our recommendations of reds for the season.

Something fancy

When it comes to picking up a fancy bottle of wine, it’s hard to go past Penfolds. The heritage label has been around since 1844, well-known locally and internationally for their dedication to the craft (particularly in the case of the Grange).

We’d particularly recommend the Penfolds St Henri Shiraz which is often considered a counterpoint to the Grange. The wine is aged in old 1,460 litre vats which allows the wine to develop. Though it tastes delicious now, it’s also a great bottle to age.

Something foreign

The French are renowned for their legendary red wines – particularly from regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy. Our pick for a great value French wine is a bottle of Bonpas Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu which hails from the Rhône Valley.

The Rhône Valley is south of Lyon, France’s second largest city, and has been a hub of winemaking for centuries. In the Middle Ages, red wines from Rhône Valley were often blended into wines from the cooler parts of France to add body and character. The Bonpas tastes of blackcurrant and spices and can be aged for up to 7 years.

Something for great value

A delicious drop doesn’t have to involve you dropping fat stacks of cash. Sometimes you can find hidden gems – which turn into winter favourites – in the under $20 rack. A great value Australian wine to keep in mind is Parson’s Paddock, particularly their shiraz.

This is a rich, full flavoured wine from the McLaren Vale region, which is considered one of Australia's premium wine producing areas. You’ll taste spice, dark cherry plums, and a hint of vanilla and best of all, it’ll only cost you around $16.

Something rich

Prefer the kind of reds that are usually described as ‘robust’ and give you the similar sensation to eating a Christmas pudding? We’d pick up a bottle of Punters Corner Cabernet Sauvignon, which is made by trophy-winning winemaker Pete Bissell (in case your guests ask).

This wine is dark and dense, with French oak flavours. However, it also has notes of regional mint, which makes it more nuanced than other heavy wines.

Something on the lighter side

Just because you feel like a wintry red wine, doesn't necessarily mean that your only options are full-bodied. Red wine can also be fresh-tasting explosions of tangy red fruits, like cherry.

If you’re looking for a lighter touch that won’t overpower your meal, we’d recommend Jacob’s Creek Pinot Noir. This pinot will give you hints of wild strawberry and spices, pairing very well with light meat dishes. Given Jacob Creek’s vineyards have been around since 1847, it’s not hard to see how they have mastered the subtlety of the softer red wine.

If you’re looking for a new red this winter, pop into your local First Choice store and we’ll help you find a red to suit your tastes.