With winter well and truly here nothing keeps the cold at bay like a glass of full bodied red. They're the most tannin-rich, antioxidant-packed and alcoholic of all reds, butmake the right choice and you won’t be snoozing after your first sip. Boo Murphy from Wine Chap picks five of the very best
Casa del Rio Verde Las Lomas de Peralillo Merlot 2009
A velvety, luxurious and great value wine that proves there’s no need to be snobbish about Merlot. Astonishingly intense, with ripe plum-filled character, this bottle is packed with warming spice. Serve it up with a hearty stew or lamb curry to heighten the blackberry and strawberry flavours.
Primitivo Vini Del Sole 2009
You probably know Primitivo as the brassy Zinfandel from across the pond, but at 13.5% it is definitely not too alcoholic to enjoy. Full bodied with great character, it is best drunk with a rich meal, but is also definitely smooth enough to drink on its own. Delicious.
Negroamaro Vini Del Sole 2008
This hot little Italian number is super fruity and extremely well balanced for a wine under a tenner. It’s a bottle with personality, so pair it with some super mature cheese or a traditional Sunday lamb roast. Roaring fire – optional.
Gigondas Terrasses des Safres 2006
Marks & Spencer £15.00
Here’s a real crowd-pleaser from the Southern Rhône. Gigondas has a wine-making tradition dating back to the first century – and is one of the few villages here with the highly sought-after ‘cru’ status. The family behind this bottle has been making wine in the region for almost a century. A guaranteed winner at any dinner party, this powerful wine is elegant and deliciously peppery.
Château Gloria Saint-Julien 2006
Waitrose Wine Direct £23.75
Probably not Bordeaux’s best vintage ever, but bags of character and a delicious chocolatey finish make this a fantastically priced trophy red. Uncork it in the company of a beautifully char-grilled steak and enoy the mocha flavours and the tannin. Well worth a splurge.
Picture credit: Getty