WineTrust is dedicated to bringing you a one-stop wine shop for the coming seasons (Christmas to follow shortly!). Whether its easy drinking, mid-week comfort wines; drinks to entertain friends and family; or it’s simply time to indulge in something special, consult our handy guide on what to drink over the autumn / winter months – we have it all covered!
There’s a definite chill in the air this week – a sure sign that autumn has set in. Perhaps an Indian Summer is on the cards; our fingers are crossed. Meanwhile, we can embrace those fresher, darker evenings with a warming glass of wine and hunker down with some hearty food and good company.
Our autumn / winter selection has been carefully chosen by the WineTrust team to cater for all your seasonal needs. From great everyday value to something more luxuriant, we have arranged a diverse selection of wines for you to enjoy and guide you through the coming months. Cheers!
Chilly nights are best tempered with a glass of hearty red, perfect with easy, wholesome and seasonal week day cooking. For simple rustic stews and roasted vegetables try the La Vendimia Rioja from Alvaro Palicios and co, or perhaps the lighter bodied Les Archères; for vegan and vegetarian recipes, the Aliança Bairrada and Willunga Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz provides excellent vegan-friendly options. For mid-week mainstays such as Spaghetti Bolognese, the Big Top Zinfandel or La Ferla Nero d’Avola come to mind; Farnese Sangiovese and the La Flor Malbec for good old bangers and mash.
Borsao is a firm favourite amongst the team and customers alike, as this the ever-popular Lirac if you are prepared to spend a little extra. Both are perfect with comforting casseroles, mildly spiced chilles or Moroccan dishes such as lamb tagine.
WineTrust is always impressed with Borsao’s outstanding value for money – do try the Selección Tinto and Tres Picos – and the same can definitely be said for Moulin de Chênes; enjoy classic flavours reminiscent of neighbouring Châteauneuf-du-Pape but at half the price!
A fantastic time of year for white wine lovers; if you are a fan of seafood then Autumn is ripe with seasonal produce, from shellfish such as Langoustines, clams – not least mussels – to popular white fish such as cod, dover sole and turbot. Whilst the UK is facing a shortage of sea bass at the moment, there’s certainly plenty of home grown, fresh produce to choose from.
Focus on unoaked and crisp white wine for plainly cooked fish, such as the fantastic value El Tesoro Verdejo, Alpha Zeta Garganega and for a few more quid the new outstanding Bergerie Blanc from Domaine de l’Hortus. The Bergerie will also work a treat with shellfish, as will the classic partner – Chablis from Domaine Collet. Fuller bodied, maybe oaked Chardonnay based wines work well with richer fish dishes with butter based sauce (beurre blanc/noir, hollandaise); try the Bourgogne Blanc Domaine Bachoy-Legros and the Lestrille Capmartin Bordeaux Blanc.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a comforting week day recipe, the Casas del Bosque Chardonnay or Maestro White from DeMorgenzon works perfectly with oven roasted chicken, done with garlic, lemon juice, thyme and pancetta. Otherwise, look no furthermore than the wonderfully versatile Albariño from Quinta de Couselo which works well with a number of white meats, including pork and chicken, as well as roasted vegetables.
What we’re drinking: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Grand Fief de Retail, Loire Valley – £9.50
Yes this may seem old hat, but it really is perfect with seasonal mussels. Really classic style – aromas and flavours of autumn apples with a touch of baked bread. Crisp, clean and zesty. Lip smackingly refreshing with a chalky, mineral note on the finish.
October marks the peak season for fresh mussels, and the crisp acidity and saline note of this Muscadet make it the perfect partner for classic Moules Marinère; add a splash of the wine to make the sauce/jus!
A few tips for entertaining friends and family, including some our most popular and crowd pleasing lines.
Party Wines: for the reds, the Calbuco Merlot is a perfect entry level and aperitif style, or the Saumur Champigny Le Page is a fantastic new offering that works well with cured meats and crudites. And don’t feel you have to pack away the rosé just yet – the superb value Pasquiers or more indulgent By.Ott rosé can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with a few light dips. As for white wine, the Waterford Estate Chenin Blanc is very versatile and great value as is the Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc which is proving as popular as ever. If you’re looking for a few bubbles, try the ever popular and quaffable Vallate Prosecco , or currently on offer is the Roederer Estate Quartet Brut for something a little different but immensely enjoyable.
As for the upcoming autumn festivities, here are a few suggestions that we think will rise to the occassion!
What we’re drinking for Halloween: Soave Classico Monteforte – £8.95
WineTrust is decided on an Italian theme; this award winning Soave not only represents excellent value for money, but is perfect partner with a classic sage and butternut squash risotto – perhaps substitute for pumpkin if you’re feeling particularly festive! Perfect for hassle free hosting, this wine is also vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Halloween and wine may not be natural bedfellows, but it does tend to favour those of us with a sweet tooth. Give our sumptuous, individualistic Orange Muscat from Andrew Quady a try – not only is it a great talking point it actually handles chocolate rather well! Otherwise, the sweet and sticky Pedro Ximénez from Lustau is fantastic with toffee puddings – perhaps with toffee apples or for sipping after a long night of trick or treating!
While many go down the mulled wine route, we are thinking full bodied red – something spicy and smoky to match the fireworks and smoldering wood. These two excellent examples from the ‘heel’ of Italy certainly fit the brief, showcasing two of Puglia’s leading grape varieties from one of our favourite producers, San Marzano.
Plenty of succulent dark fruit, beautiful richness and texture and savoury spice notes make these the ideal candidates. Excellent with char grilled meats and vegetables (both are vegan friendly).
Of course everyone has their favourites, but if you are looking for a bit of indulgence here are a few suggestions for some autumn treats – or if you are busy stocking up the wine supply for the winter months!
Recent additions to the WineTrust selection include one of Rioja’s leading estates, Marqués de Murrieta. From the 2010 Rioja Reserva through to their flagship Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva, these include some of our most revered and indulgent lines. With International Tempranillo Day coming up on the 10th November perhaps look no further – although don’t forget their fabulous single vineyard white Rioja!
Having suggested the Lirac as a fantastic alternative to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, why not go for the real thing with the Bosquet des Papes – perfect with flavourful and hearty autumn food, particularly roasted red meats, game and Goulash for something a little different. Otherwise, this generous Côtes du Rhone from Clos du Caillou – which happens to straddle the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation – is a lovely new addition to the WineTrust selection. From the New World, perhaps the Gran Cabernet Franc from Pulenta Estate, one of the best Argentinian reds we have come across and perfect with bold meat dishes and marinades.
We are absolutely delighted with these new listings from South Africa, from leading lights Newton Johnson. These producers really are at the top of their game, regularly receiving Platter 5 Star Awards – no less than 3 this year – and admiration from Tim Atkin MW, these wines receiving 96 points and 94 points respectively in his most recent South Africa Report.
This barrel fermented Chardonnay will work perfectly with seasonal white fish and a butter, lemon and caper sauce, whilst for the Pinot Noir we suggest Chinese style duck and plum sauce or, sticking with the seasonal theme, a delicious autumnal mushroom risotto.