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Wonderful wines for all occasions – what to opt for

Fri 05 Mar 2010 11:56

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The subject of wine can be an interesting but confusing one, with many of us simply baffled by the massive array of tasty tipples on offer.

Tom Cannavan is a man in the know when it comes to this subject, and he visited wine warehouse Majestic to show how easy it is to select the best bottles to drink now, to save for special occasions, and to keep for a longer period in your wine cellar.

Here are his top three selections:

1. Drink now:
Yarra Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Australia, priced at £7.49 (or buy two bottles and save £5, making it £4.99 a bottle) from Majestic Wine Warehouse in Glasgow

A parcel of wines sourced by Majestic (the white Chardonnay partner is also delicious) this one is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, so will age a few years, but it is creamy, fruity and delicious right now.

With tasting cues of blackcurrant (or blackcurrant jam) and chocolate, this rich and delicious wine goes nicely with foods like Chile con carne and moussaka.

2. Special occasion
Château La Bouscade, Old Vine Carignan 2007, France, priced at £7.99 (or buy two bottles and save £2, making it work out at  £6.99 a bottle) from Majestic Wine Warehouse in Glasgow

In many ways this is a very classic French wine. Sixteen months in oak barrels has given it a cedary, herby edge to the fruit, making it very savoury stuff that really shines with the right food. However, lovely concentration from 60-year-old vines also helps it to age for a few years effortlessly.

With a mixture of flavours including herbs, cherries and chocolate, this selection goes nicely with stews using meats such as rabbit or wild boar.

3. Cellar wine – to keep
Boekenhoutskloof, Le Cap Maritime Shiraz 2008, South Africa    , priced at £12.99 (or buy any two South African wines and save 25 per cent, making it work at £9.74 a bottle) from Majestic Wine Warehouse in Glasgow

The name Boekenhoutskloof may be a mouthful in its own right, but it is almost a guarantee of quality from this top Cape estate.

This Shiraz (the same grape as France's Syrah) is big, powerful, full-throttle wine, but it comes from a cooler area of the Cape near the coast that also gives it a savoury character. Its fruit, tannins and acidity give it the balance to cellar very nicely for at least five years.

Tastes of pencil shavings, blackcurrants and plums give this wine a lovely flavour that matches up well with barbecued meats, steaks and dishes like sausages and mash.

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