In the cold, grey months of 2016, now is the time to inject a little colour into our lives. And what better place to start than with the medicinal benefits of a glass of Rhone Valley Wine?
This key wine producing region in the South East of France stretches from Lyon to the Mediterranean, and produces some delightful full bodied, flavoursome winter warmers that will see you through the bleak month of January.
95% of Rhone wine emanates from the South - with its Mediterranean climate and mild winters, this region produces an easy going style thanks to the low tannin grape, Grenache. The North produces the noble Syrah grape (known as Shiraz in other parts of the world) and is often blended with one or more white varieties (Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne)
It is well documented that moderate wine consumption is good for our health and well being. Compounds within red wine keep blood vessels healthy, and a substance called resveratrol in the skin of red grapes is believed to arrest the aging process.
So now is the time to marry those full bodied, rich red wines with something more robust than a salad, despite those well intended New Years resolutions! Think strong flavoured game and stews with fluffy dumplings, beef chilli, pork chops and Seville Blood orange tart for dessert. Team these nutritious, hearty meals with some Rhone Valley sunshine courtesy of ND John Wine Merchants!
Some great examples, available from our store...
Cotes-du-Rhone, M. Chapoutier £8.75
A superb wine with rich aromas of dark fruit, earthy minerals and spice. Soft and round on the palate with smooth tannins, rich blackberry and cherry fruit, hints of liquorice and a substantial finish.
Rasteau Les Banquettes Escarpees on offer at £9.95
Smooth, rich and supple, a classic from the newest appellation in the southern Rhone. Brimming with red and black fruits, underpinned by spice and mocha and the tannins smoothed out by careful oak aging, this is powerful, rich and supple with a savoury and very characterful finish.
Chateauneuf du Pape, Les Galets Roules £15.95
A great youthful mouthful of Châteauneuf - Provencal garrigue aromas lead to a palate of sweet cherry flavours - Châteauneuf-du-Pape for the modern wine drinker. This wine derives its name from the large rounded pebbles (galets roulés) associated with the famous vineyards of the area. The stones cover the clay and chalk soils and naturally keep the vine yields low.