Tony’s Top 5 Spring Reds

Tony’s Top 5 Spring Reds

Now I know we can’t say “staying in is the new going out” anymore, especially after all the time we’ve spent in lockdown over this past year. But there’s always going to be that special meal, dinner party, gift or simply a little time for yourself where you can enjoy a good bottle of wine without being bothered.

Spring is here and even though the sun is trying to push through, the weather still calls for heart-warming stews and dishes, so I’ve based my selection of 5 reds on wines that pair well with big flavoured dishes. Not to say that they can’t be enjoyed on their own or with a nice piece of dark chocolate, but they really do pair well with the dishes I’ve added to each one.

My first wine is the Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 at £12.50, from California, USA

They say: Intense fruit aromas of black cherry, plum accented by vanilla, caramel and rich toasted oak. Full on the palate with good concentration and considerable structure on the finish.

I say: Full on aromas of forest black fruit, lovely hit of oak with the vanilla and caramel coming through. Full in mouth with a great balance, lush and good length. A very good value for money Cabernet that will go well with bangers n mash, steak & kidney pie or a Sunday roast.


The second wine has now become one of the most popular at The Wine Shop as the go to red. Heresie by Gerard Bertrand at £17.50 from Corbieres, South of France, is a lovely little GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre)

They say: An elegant, well-balanced wine with silky tannins and notes of red fruits and spices.

I say: heart warming aromas of warm cherry pie with notes of licorice, spice and cedar wood . In mouth it is lush and moreish with soft tannins, the slight acidity is welcoming and the hints of coffee and licorice that make an appearance on the finish are very pleasing. I can really enjoy this wine with either some dark chocolate, chilli con carne, a spiced curry, diavola pizza or chorizo, papa y huevo!




The third wine is a new arrival at The Wine Shop, Claroscuro Bodega de Arte Gran Malbec 2017, £17.50 from Mendoza, Argentina. A great malbec from a bodega that is trying to promote Argentinean art and classic style Malbecs. This one has a small percentage of Pettit Verdot. They say: At the beginning, red fruit notes of cherry are perceived, then coffee and vanilla notes appear from the oak. Full bodied with fruity and notes of violets, on the mouth elegant tannins. The soft notes of the wood are perceived in the long finish.

I actually agree with them on this one, except I couldn’t get the violet notes, but maybe that’s just me. I would suggest you let it breath for 30/45 minutes before serving though. Grilled meat, beef stroganoff, peppered steak, spicy meat pie or even roast duck!


My fourth wine has grown in popularity not only here in Gib but also in some of the top restaurants and hotels in Spain. It’s the Nabal Reserva 2015, £35.50 from Ribera del Duero, Spain. I had the pleasure of having lunch with the owners only last week and they were telling me how much people have been loving this wine, where ever it is placed. I couldn’t agree more with them. A lovely Tempranillo aged for 20 months in barrel, picota cherries and mature dark fruit notes with soft vanilla and cinnamon notes, coffee and toast come through after a while. Fruit forward and full in mouth with nice amount of soft tannins and a lovely lengthy smooth finish.



My final wine is a bit of an indulgent, San Polino Brunello di Montalcino  “Helichrysum” 2013, £63.00 from the Montalcino region of Italy. One of the top Brunello di Montalcino Italy has to offer, according to some of the top masters of wines and prestigious wine magazines. A complex aromatic nose of picota cherries, wild mushrooms and cedar wood leading onto a full bodied with warm fruit coming forward with soft tannins and a lovely creaminess feal to the elegant long finish. Can keep for another 4 mor years but drinking perfectly now. If I was to add a dish for the San Polino I would say venison but could just as easy have it with some cold cuts and a nice cheese relaxing.


Well that’s my little selection for you, all these wines are available on the website together with a huge selection of others. If you’re not sure what wine to get just give me a call or pop into The Wine Shop on Tuckey’s Lane and I’ll be happy to help.


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