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Celebrate National Red Wine Day in style

As the bank holiday weekend beckons for England, Northern Ireland and Wales, National Red Wine Day presents the perfect opportunity to open an exciting bottle or two – and The Winery Collection has some very special suggestions to suit every palate.

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There may be no guarantees that the sun will shine on a bank holiday, but a glass of red wine is a delicious way to conjure up some warmth and brightness, no matter what the British weather decides to do. Lighter and brighter red wines can rival a refreshing rosé or white on a summer’s day, while the more assertive tannins of richer and fuller-bodied reds make them great companions for barbecues.

 

Few reds capture the essence of summer like Chianti. Hot days under the Tuscan sunshine and cooler nights helped the 2016 Cavaliere d’Oro Chianti Classico (£15 a bottle) to retain its fresh acidity, providing balance alongside its classic red cherry flavours, spicier white pepper and nutmeg notes, and firm tannins. That combination of fruit and structure makes Chianti a delicious choice alongside pasta, cheese and game – and a delicious drop on its own too.

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As summer gives way to autumn, lighter red wines like Pinot Noir come into their own and nowhere is more famous for its Pinot than Burgundy. The Santenay area sits at the foot of the Côte de Beaune and its wines offer excellent value, including the 2017 Maison de Grand Esprit La Mystèriale Santenay Premier Cru (£39). Its beautifully complex nose – full of fruits of the forest, floral notes and toasty oak – leads into the silky texture on the palate, with truffle, white pepper and very fine tannins. Pinot is a classic option to serve with duck, and also shines with chicken or cheese.

 

Shiraz is another terrific option to bring a splash of sunshine to a celebration and the 2016 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Michael Shiraz (£80) elevates Australia’s flagship black grape to a whole new level. Senior winemaker Sue Hodder picked fruit from the best vineyards across the Coonawarra region to create “Michael”, a wine that’s named after founder David Wynn’s young son and which is only made in the best vintages. The 2016 has inviting floral aromas alongside its red fruit, with spicy oak notes on the palate underlining the crunchy fruit flavours. If there are steaks or gourmet burgers sliding onto the barbecue then Shiraz is a sure-fire winner.

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Winemaker Mark Beringer is the great-great-grandson of Jacob, one of the brothers who founded Beringer way back in 1876. Only the best grapes from his Napa Valley vineyards make it into the 2014 Beringer Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (£145), which combines black fruit, liquorice and spicy oak on the nose with soft and silky tannins on the palate.

When it comes to food, Private Reserve is incredibly versatile, with its tannins handling beef or lamb, while its ripeness complements char-grilled vegetables or even spicy couscous.