Joelle Thomson's Amazing Value Picks: Slow cooked dinner mix
by Abby Jones
If you’re as surprised as I am about the switch from one stinking hot summer to the sharp chill of autumn, it’s time to consider dusting off the decanter for a long, slow aeration of a great red and putting the oven on low for a slow cooked meal to go with it.
Here are my wine recommendations for cool nights and the rewarding aromas and flavours of long, slow cooked food.
Star wine of the week - 2012 Calle Real Reserva Valdepenas DOP
17.5/20, 4 stars
This is a tasty Tempranillo from Valdepenas in Castilla la Mancha, a large region south east of Madrid and home to over 50 per cent of Spain’s grapes. Tempranillo is the most popular grape in the country and is the key ingredient in this smooth, spicy, seven year old red with its ripe red fruity flavours.
Dark, spicy and delicious. This New Zealand Syrah is dry, full bodied and big on personality too with its weighty fruit aromas leading into earthy, spicy flavours. It’s a complex and multi faceted wine. Lovely drinking now and for the next two to three years.
Here’s a juicy little number from Omaha Beach north of Auckland. Malbec’s dry, dark and fruity flavours put forward big spicy flavours while Merlot’s softness rounds out the palate, adding flesh and a smooth finish.
Mendoza is the world HQ for the black grape of Cahors, also known as Cot in south west France where Malbec originally comes from.
This wine is bold crimson in colour with a youthful brightness and, likewise, lovely fresh flavours of dark berries, which put Malbec’s fruitiest foot forward and allow this grape’s naturally spicy tones to shine. Big bold and smooth. Sealed with a screwcap.
2017 Il Sarone Vino Rosso
17/20, 4 stars
How do they do it? The Italians are masters at making juicy, full bodied dry red wines that are fantastically good value for money and here’s a great example. Il Sarone (“Eel sah-rone-ee”) is a big, dry, fruity red with savoury spice notes and is a vino de tavola style (made from grapes grown all over Italy). It’s good quality and great drinking, without a crazy price tag to match.
2017 BelColle Barbera d’Alba DOC
17.5/20, 4 stars
Barbera is one of Italy’s five most planted grape varieties and one of the 15 most planted grapes in the world, so it’s a wonder we don’t see more of it here. Its signature flavours are freshness and vibrant zingy red berry appeal.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com.
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!