Terry Kirby selects three reds to warm you up in the winter months

As the cold, wet weather returned last week, I was reminded of one of the best things about winter. It’s the perfect time to crack open a big red wine from southern Europe to warm the body and mind.

From Italy

La Tirela Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013

Sun-dried grapes and oak ageing gives Valpolicella’s Amarone its massively concentrated power and rich complexity. Notes of chocolate, tar, figs, coffee all feature here and the flavours will only improve with age. For autumn casseroles or roast game.

£22.00 laithwaites.co.uk

From Spain

Bodegas Arráez Vivir Sin Dormir Organic Monastrell 2014

From sun-baked Jumilla in south-eastern Spain, Monastrell vines are organically grown at enough elevation to temper the heat, giving freshness to the brooding ripe, but very black, fruit flavours of the wine; oak ageing adds spice and complexity. For all robust Mediterranean foods.

£10.90 toscanaccio.co.uk; £11.99 thewinereserve.co.uk

From France

Calmel & Joseph Terrasses du Larzac 2014

North of Montpellier in Languedoc, the Terrasses du Larzac produce superb red wines from the atypical Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre combination, where, as above, elevation balances the heat. While still full bodied, this is the lightest and most balanced of the wines they offer: crunchy, juicy, brambly fruits, with a hint of black pepper and herbs.

£13.99 waitrosecellar.com (2011) £14.79 martinez.co.uk; £14.95 tomiansonwines.co.uk

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