Chilly Cabernet

Perez Cruz Cab SauvIt’s cold. And it gets dark before the day has properly begun. Which means we now have to turn the light on when admiring the colour of that pre-supper glass of red wine. Shorter periods of daylight send a signal to our brain to reject the lighter hues of summer and seek out dark reds and browns of winter. So leave the light-green Sauvignon Blancs unopened and pick up a bottle of its red cousin Cabernet Sauvignon instead.

This blood-red coloured wine not only matches the autumn foliage but also the heartier foods we'll be eating once the weather gets cooler.

Pies, pizzas and roast meats all match the blackberry smell and taste of Cabernet Sauvignon wines. This grape variety, though fruity, can be rather one dimensional so winemakers often blend in other grape varieties to add complexity.

burnt toastTastes of blackcurrants and aromas of Bovril all add complexity when Shiraz is added and Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon wines reach their zenith with South African wine producers. Extra aromas of damp leaves and flavours of burnt toast are made by the hot South African sunshine – the results are robust wines best enjoyed with a large chunk of meat.

For lighter flavours stick to Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends. You’ll find this classic twinning in French Bordeaux reds. Expect less Bovril and more cherry and plum flavours.

PG Wine Reviews

Aussie ShirazSpar Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

£5.49 Spar

This red improves immensely with opening – so much so that I’d recommend it as your regular stand-by house red. Light and spicy bramble flavours mixed with milk chocolate.

Cortebella Italian Chianti Riserva 2009

£8 Asda (in-store only and not online)

Cherry, coffee and choc - plus a bit sultanery too.

PicciniPiccini Italian Chianti Classico 2009

£8.99 Tesco

Light cherry and plum flavours with a cocoa edge.

Perez Cruz Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2009

£9.99 Virgin Wines

Fresh blackcurrant leaf aroma which moves into blackcurrant juice and coffee flavours. Good stuff.

Jour de Nuit 2011, French blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc

£9.99 Co-op

Meaty aromas of Marmite and liquorice, followed by flavours of damson, blackberry and cocoa.

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk