Well, going out is more or less over, isn’t it? Just a hint of a chill and we’re retreating back to our cosy sofas until next May.
To many people, September screams ’back to school’, a time to change up our dress sense, and maybe refresh our stationary sets. And the wine lovers among us will know that the change of season also offers a chance to mix up your vino of choice.
Best paired with a dinner of divine comfort food, a good friend to enjoy them with or just your favourite new Netflix series, here are ten of our favourite reds to enjoy this autumn, with prices starting at just £5.
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First Press Cabernet Sauvignon
California is very good at making these rich, hearty Cabernet Sauvignons, and the Napa Valley is the best place to find them. This red wine is full of fruity blackcurrent flavour, making it a great match for rich food, or just to enjoy alone.
Pair with: roast meats, or steak
Carmenere Elqui Valley
Chile's reputation for its red wines is burgeoning, and its best known versions are usually found in the country's Central Valley. But this northern wine from the Elqui Valley (famous for making the country's national spirit, pisco) gives it a rich flavour and hints of spice thanks to a cooler climate.
Pair with: curries, or mushroom based dishes like stroganoff or risotto
Banyuls Del Mas '11 Galateo
£25, Harvey Nichols
This wine is made from 'old vines' in the South of France, which benefit from aging in the same way a resulting wine does. It has notes of cherry, vanilla and dark chocolate, meaning it pairs well with desserts, particularly those containing chocolate. Not that we've ever heard of wine and chocolate going well together...
Pair with: chocolate desserts
Castillo de Albai Tempranillo 2014
This is a 'joven' or young Rioja, and has a fresh fruity taste on account of that youth. With red berry aromas and a hint of spice, it can stand up to stronger tastes, such as that cheese board you definitely aren't planning to treat yourself to nightly now that autumn's here.
Pair with: cheese
M Signature Malbec
Argentinian Malbec is known as the classic pairing for steak, and this bottle, with its blueberry, plum and chocolate notes, is no different. But thanks to its full flavour, it works just as well with any richly cooked food from fajitas to spaghetti bolognese, or on its own.
Pair with: any rich dish, from steak to stew
Wairarapa Pinot Noir
While a lot of us might hear the words Pinot Noir and automatically get That Song From Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in our heads, it's also one of the most versatile wines around, with a lighter mouth-feel and low tannins but full taste of plum and cherry. It will pair with most foods, so ideal for a dinner party.
Pair with: French-style dishes with rich sauces, cold meats
Ebenezer & Seppeltsfield Shiraz 2013
£15, Marks and Spencer
This wine is sold in cases of six, but there's no rush to drink it all soon because it's one that ages well. From Australia's famous Barossa Valley, it has complex dark fruit flavours, mixed in with spicy aromas and a hint of coconut and vanilla, which will continue to develop for up to five years if you wanted to keep it on the rack.
Pair with: grilled meats, or drink on its own
This wine is grown in the very south of Italy, benefitting from sunshine and heat which helps it to develop rich raspberry, redcurrent and blackcurrent flavours for a full-bodied but still-light profile, ideal for pairing with a midweek dinner.
Pair with: pizza, or tomato-based pasta dishes
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages
Beaujolais wines are best known for their 'new wine' festival held every year, where producers race to create a wine from the grapes grown that summer by November, characterising the fresh fruity tastes of the wine. This is a lighter red with strawberry notes and a light mouth-feel. Ideal for transitioning from summer whites and roses to autumn reds.
Pair with: grilled vegetables and salads
Taste the Difference Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a classic red for impressing at dinner parties thanks to a host of traditions applied to how it is made in its Provence commune of wineries (not to mention the impressive-sounding name). This Sainsburys option is typically rich with blackberry and plum flavours and a hint of oak but won't overwhelm those who aren't used to it.
Pair with: roast dinners