With rich flavours and sunshine bottled from less wintry climates,—

When the weather is belching invisible icy barnacles into your eyeballs, nothing beats a big fat red to turn up the heat. Wines from hot climes that trap sunshine into the flavour are primed and ready. I love Aussie Shiraz. It can be as bold and spicy as rolling a giant blackberry down Peppercorn Gorge. And the Tempranillo I’ve picked out typifies the Aussie knack of reinvigorating wine with fresh flavours. Around the New World there are grapes that have become synonymous with places, such as Zinfandel in the USA or Malbec across Argentina. But blending grapes, such as my South African selection, gives a chance to spice up the day.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

Montes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (14%) £9 Tesco. Full thrust Chilean fruit launches powerful richness and stellar quality.

Taste the Difference Zinfandel 2017 (14.5%) £11, Sainsbury’s. Voluptuous as a blueberry the size of a basketball, this is a slam dunk winner.

Hither & Yon Tempranillo 2018 (14.5%) £14.99 Waitrosecellar.com Aussie magic here, think Rioja with the energy of the whole sun in a single sip.

The Chocolate Block 2018  (14.5%) £22 Majestic. South Africa’s iconic red blend of perfume and power.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Viñalba Mendoza Malbec 2017 (14.5%) Morrisons £10. A mulberry depth charge with sparks of spice, this is the perfect winter red.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 16th February 2020

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