October 24, 2016

Bold Reds for Cosy Autumn Nights

It’s that time again. The cool, damp air of autumn has blanketed the earth outside your door in a deep, mossy dew. You and your closest friends are safely wrapped in merino wool by the fire; a Nina Simone record crackles in the background. What’s missing in this picture?

If you answered “my cat” you’re not totally wrong, but we were thinking a glass of rich, belly warming red wine — obviously.

Now, if you’re like most people, sweater season gets you overly pumped and you start hitting the leather boots and scarves hard before it even really gets cold out. We get it. So for those of you that want to jump right into the heavy, comforting, cozy winter wines, we’ve compiled a short list of fabulous, dark and rich reds for sharing and also for impressing your friends with your extensive wine knowledge. Stray from the common cabs and malbecs and try these rouge knockouts on for size.

Petite Sirah

One of the darkest, full-bodied, single varietal reds you can get your mitts on, Petite Sirah is one of the rarest grapes grown. But the predominantly California wine is well worth seeking out for the delectable blueberry, chocolate, sugar plum, black tea and black pepper tasting notes. Hello spicy richness in a glass.


Bordeaux wines are traditionally from the Bordeaux region of France but can be blended elsewhere with great results. Bordeaux’s are almost always a magic mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Medium to full-bodied, tasting notes include black currant, plum, graphite, cedar, and violet.

GSM - The Côtes du Rhône Blend

GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, the building blocks of a French Côtes du Rhône wine. Grenache adds bright raspberry, cinnamon and grapefruit flavours. Syrah adds the darker plum and black olive. Mourvèdre is deeply rich with blackberry, plum, black pepper and smoke. Basically, the 3 together make a perfect, smooth and sumptuous wine.

Amarone della Valpolicella

This Italian favourite is extremely rare but globally coveted. Tasting notes boast bold notes of cherry liqueur, carob, cinnamon, chocolate and crushed gravel dust. As the wine ages, flavours like brown sugar, molasses and fig will develop and coat your mouth and throat. Drool worthy.


Don’t think Pinot Noir. This South African under appreciated grape is nothing like the light noir grape but instead is a dark, almost black grape that yields a wine with notes of plum sauce, sweet tobacco, blackberry, tar and liquorice with high, rich tannins. It’s a gem that is a great break from the usual wine cellar suspects.

Note: For maximum pleasure, decant bold reds and drink from oversized glasses. Shag rug and record player optional.

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