4 Really Great Red Wines Under £10
So, this Spring when I posted my 4 Really Great White Wines Under £10 I promised you a post featuring some of my favourite everyday red wines sometime soon. Okay, it has taken me until November, but as we’re all drinking reds with our dinner now, I think maybe the timing is actually perfect? This time around I’ve teamed up with the lovely people at Waitrose Cellar for their expertise introducing me to some new wines to mix in with my existing favourites. Stay tuned, as I’m going to try and get a Sparkling edition of this post online before New Year. (Maybe because I’m writing my deadline to myself here, I’ll actually be able to keep it?!)
Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2012, La Rioja Spain
First up we have an obvious favourite of mine, Campo Viejo’s standard Tempranillo. You can buy it practically anywhere, from the supermarket to the petrol station, and I promise you that you’re guaranteed to be turning up at a friends house with something good if you grab it last minute. For a red it is light and fruity, but with the depth you’d usually associate with a wine from La Rioja. In September I flew out with Campo Viejo to their winery and vineyards in La Rioja, so if you want a little behind the scenes of this wine, you can see my vineyard and grape harvest tour here, and my winery and micro winery tour here.
Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013, Rhone France
Having a house in Brittany, good French wines are basically my default setting. As well as coming in a really pretty bottle that looks lovely on the table (hey, these things are important!) this Cotes du Rhone is exactly what you’d expect from the region; again a fruity wine, but a bit smoother than the Campo Viejo with a hint of spice. It is a good wine for drinking by itself, but even better when paired with what you’d usually think to be drinking a good red wine with like steaks and other Winter warming beef dishes in general. I’ve have it both cooked into and served up with my Simple & Delicious Bolognese Sauce.
Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2013, Swartland South Africa
I’ve said it before, but I don’t really venture out of Europe (California at a push) for my wines, so this Porcupine Ridge Syrah from South Africa was one of the few Waitrose Cellar sent me to try where I had absolutely no idea if I’d be a fan or not. I really did not know what to expect from the bottle. Well, I can tell you that all three of us that shared it really, really enjoyed it on a very cold and rainy evening. It is spicy and deep, a real contrast to the first few I’ve just shared, and is one for those of you who really like tasting all the flavour elements in your wine.
Santa Julia Malbec 2013, Mendoza Argentina
Finally I want to draw your attention to another wine that all three of us were unsure about, but turned out to be our absolute favourite from the bunch. While I have no doubt had Argentinian wine before, I never really registered it, so I was looking at it here with a brand new perspective. It is smooth and deep, but still very drinkable. It fits both my statement from the Cote du Rhone that it pairs really well with hearty Winter foods (but it is also light in a way that I had a glass with some creamy kale pasta and it also worked perfectly), and from the Syrah that it is one for those of you who prefer a really complex wine. It adapts to the dishes you choose to pair it with, so I’d put this up there but slightly above the Campo Vieja Rioja on this list in terms of versatility.
I hope you find this list helpful when you’re next confronted with the supermarket shelves (all of these can also be purchased in Waitrose, as well as ordered from Waitrose Cellar) looking for a wine to take to a friends or to get to go with dinner, when you honestly don’t have a clue! Again, a big thanks to Waitrose Cellar for helping out with and providing some of the wine for this post.