Categories
Virgin Bubbles

Miguel Torres Natureo 0.0

Bubbly’s take…

The Natureo is another, increasingly mainstream, de-alcoholised red wine. This one hails from Spain and is a blend produced from Garnacha and Syrah grapes. One thing we noticed is that the Natureo has a somewhat spicy and festival – think mulled wine – flavour. This sort of makes sense given the label mentions its matured in French oak (!).

We think the Miguel Torres winery has done a good job with this one. As virgin wines go, it is flavoursome, bringing a full spectrum of berry flavours to the palate. In other words and in contrast to other alcohol-free wines, it definitely does not greet you like a glass of bland grape juice. It has depth, with some smoky characteristics, likely a benefit of the combination of two grapes and barrel-based production.

Would go well with…

Red meats, pasta… lasagne anyone? Seriously though, we think the Natureo is suitable for most meals, particularly for mid-week evenings or a lighter weekend. It also pairs well with Netflix, Prime and Disney+, making for a great night in.

Where to buy…

Waitrose

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Dominic Hentall Primitivo (Italy)

Bubbly’s take…

This one comes out of the bottle with a fiery shade of burgundy. It has a bold and fierce flavour, making it perfectly enticing for heartier dishes. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t one of those pungent or “tannin-rich” red wines that leave a bitter after-taste. Instead, its fruity and deliciously reminiscent of Italian holidays.

Would go well with…

Cheese and lots of it!

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Fauno (Spain)

Bubbly’s take…

The Fauno is made by the Valencia-based Murviedro winery, which produces a range of red and white low alcohol, vegan and low calorie wines (amongst the usual strength brew!). This particular varietal is made from a blend of Garnacha, Shiraz and Monastrell grapes hence it evokes potent and fruity flavours. While the Fauno is a full-bodied wine, it is promoted for its lower calorie and sugar content. Don’t worry though – this red wine is full of flavour and character.

Would go well with…

We enjoyed this with dinner – tuna steaks for yours truly (being a pescatarian) and fillet steaks with peppercorn sauce for the others. We think the Fauno makes for a sublime pairing with heartier or meat-based dishes, which demand a robust wine to moderate heavier ingredients.

Where to buy…

Skinny Booze

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Galodoro (Portugal)

Bubbly’s take…

This delightful red wine is produced in the Lisbon region of Portugal and is bursting with all of the character you would expect from a capital city wine. Produced from four grape varieties, the Galodoro has a rich, fruity and colourful flavour. It’s not too intense however and we found it has a fairly light after-taste – this one is not like those “heavier” red wines that sometimes carry too much tannin. We think this is a wonderful pick, which offers a great flavour and superb value.

Would go well with…

It’s a robust Old World wine so we think this would make a good match for richer pasta- and risotto-based dishes. We enjoyed a glass of the Galodoro with our meat-free Vesuvius ragu – think chilli, tomato, red onion, smoked garlic, vegetarian pastrami, mushroom, courgette with some lovely fusilli and a solid topping of parmesan. Delicious!

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

DiMarco Primitivo (Italy)

Bubbly’s take

This lushious red wine is surprisingly fruity and refreshing for a primitivo. Hailing from Puglia, this delicious wine has a full and pleasing flavour, lacking the usual tannin aftertaste that is sometimes characteristic of this grape.

Would go well with

A good hearty dish. This primitivo would, naturally, pair with steak or a tomato-based Italian meal. That said, we think this wine would also suit a rich stir-fry and many other protein-heavy recipes.

Where to buy

Tesco

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Melini Chianti Riserva (Italy)

Bubbly’s take

This rather delicious Chianti hails from the lush Tuscan countryside. It is a fruity and quintessential Italian red. This Chianti is fairly full-bodied, with a thoughtful and thought-provoking taste. We enjoyed a good glass of this and also enjoyed cooking with it, adding another glass or so to our infamous “identity crisis” sausage hotpot:

undefined

Would go well with

Bold, meaty (…and?) or Italian dishes. We found the Melini Chianti to be both delicious and robust hence we think this would form an excellent pair with a steak-, ragu- or bolognese-based dish.

Where to buy

Waitrose Cellar

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Manz Contador de Estórias (Portugal)

Bubbly’s take

Now this is what we call a red wine! We found the Contador de Estorias to be a real “hidden gem” (or “hidden ruby”, given its burgundy finish). This is an Old World red that hails from a modern Portuguese winery. Contador de Estorias translates from Portuguese to the “storyteller” and this wholesome red has depths to character to tell. It is definitely one to have with good food amongst close friends and family. We first tried the extraordinary “storyteller” in its native Portugal back in 2018 at the Time-out Food Market in Lisbon, with dinner and the odd pastel de nada. And we haven’t forgotten it since then! We have no hesitation in recommending this enchanting red wine.

Would go well with

Food, ideally a main course with all of the trimmings! We think the Contador de Estorias would entertain best at a dinner party or with a significant other. It’s a romantic, engaging and thought-provoking wine.

Where to buy

This one can be a little trickier to find. Our understanding is that the Manz winery does like to emphasise quality (over quantity) hence supplies of this wonderful wine may be more limited than its peers. That said, it seems to be available from Oddbins.

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt (Austria)

Bubbly’s take

Austria is sometimes overlooked as one of the formative Old World wine-making countries. However, we were refreshed to discover a number of wholesome vineyards in easy reach of Vienna, including the Domaen Wachau winery. In the neighbourhood, you’ll also find Winzer Krems – producer of this wonderful Zweigelt. It has a pleasant and soothing flavour, flush with fruit, which goes done very well with good company and conversation. We think Winzer Krems have got this wine just right, producing a bold and wholesome red that does not overwhelm the palate.

Would go well with

This is versatile red. It was perfect as a solo wine but we think this one would go great with a steak or a meaty dish.

Where to buy