Nutty, creamy, wheatmeal flavours with subtle, yet bright, fruit, a leafy freshness and creamy texture. Beautifully balanced, persuasive white burgundy. In fact, it’s always worth looking at any Saint-Romain because it can be such good value. I haven’t put the producer in the wine name above, because Saint-Romain and the vintage is all you see until you peer closely at the label, but it was made for M&S by Fabrice Lesne at Les Senteurs, with input from Nicolas Potel. 13% abv.
£10.99, Marks & Spencer
2007 Pedro Basta, Alentejano
Dark, dense, full-bodied, with ripe, spicy, red-berry and blackcurrant fruit and touches of licorice, chocolate and vanilla; fine chewy tannins. A red with southern Portuguese flavours, but Douro polish, from an estate – Quinta do Centro – belonging to UK wine writer Richard Mayson. You can drink it now, but it should be good for another four years. 13.5% abv.
£12.50, The Wine Society. For other stockists, go to the ‘Quinta do Centro and Sonho Lusitano’ page of www.richardmayson.com
2006 Castello di Rubbia Terrano, Venezia Giulia
A youthful purple colour with a fresh, minerally smell of wet-earth, damsons and licorice; fairly full-bodied with juicy damson and licorice flavours and acidity but almost no tannin. The terrano grape may or may not be refosco (depends who you read) but, either way, the wine is from Carso in Gorizia, close to the Slovenian border, and it coped manfully with bacon-wrapped roast pheasant and slow-cooked red cabbage with apple and juniper. Many a red would have been floored by the sweetness and sharpness of the cabbage. It would also go well with charcuterie, hams, sausages etc. 13% abv. Colasanti is a small, relatively new Italian specialist with some interesting wines.