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Wine for cold nights

Will Morrison recommends some Syrah/Shiraz to get you through November

As the nights begin to draw in and the temperatures start to plummet, I start to feel pleasantly happy. While many yearn for the sweltering heat and sunny days of summer, I love nothing more than nesting up through the winter with a host and a nice warming stew!

Generally a constant partner of mine throughout autumn and winter, Syrah is a classic Southern French grape variety that has spread worldwide and produces wines of fantastic and reliable quality.

From Chile’s largest family-run winemakers this LFE Signature Syrah is an absolute bargain from Majestic if you can catch it on offer at £6-7. The winery’s ethos is based around the word “bebibilidad” – or “drinkability”, which shows through in this tremendously gluggable wine. Deep blackberry and fruit characters, with a lightly perfumed smoky nose.

Although there are competing claims as to the exact origin of Syrah, it is almost certain that it is from Southern France. DNA profiling has found it to be the offspring of two obscure Southern French varieties, and as early as 77AD there are records of a description of a variety – at the time called Allobrogica – producing astounding quality wines that is believed to be describing Syrah. The Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Crozes-Hermitage is produced by famed Rhone winemaker Michel
Chapoutier, and comes in at under a tenner making it great value. Rich brambly blackberry and blackcurrant fruits, with notes of liquorice and soft velvety tannins.

Chilean Syrah is rapidly emerging as a keen competitor to Southern French wines – showing that they can really compete with their Rhone counterparts in style, quality and price. The Alta Tierra Syrah Reserva is available at £10-12 from Laithwaites and boasts a bold spiced liquorice nose, with distinctly Rhoneesque characters of game, leather and black olive. Perfect with richer meats like Venison!

For further information about wine selection, please contact Will Morrison at: