Nothing beats a glass of wine at the end of a long week. You’ve earned it, so don’t settle for anything other than the best. Red wine comes in many guises; from a full bodied Merlot to a lighter, fruitier Pinot Noir. But of course, when it comes to wine tasting, personal preference is a big factor, so while our research dictates that these red wines are, indeed, the best according to thousands of consumers out there, make sure you keep your own palate in mind.
- Drink your red the right way with our list of the best wine glasses
- Fancy something a bit different? How about a G&T to tantalise those taste buds?
Château Laroque Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé has earned a big thumbs up from us thanks to its full body and deep flavours loved by many. According to food match experts, it also pairs up magnificently well with a steak, and it doesn’t get much better than beautiful piece of beef and a glass of wonderful red on a Friday evening.
If you prefer a lighter wine, you may want to scroll through to the medium bodied Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, a red wine with hints of raspberry that pairs it with flavoursome meats including lamb, duck and tuna. And best of all, with an RRP of under £10 a bottle, you can certainly justify a weekly indulgence.
1. Château Laroque Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé
A beautiful blend of three french grape varieties, this Saint-Émilion provides bags of character
Alcohol: 13.5% | Region: Bordeaux, France | Grape: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
When it comes to medium bodied French wine, the blend of the Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties certainly pull together nicely, with the showpiece being this Saint-Émilion all the way from the lovely Bordeaux region. Tasters call this an earthy wine, with a deep flavour mingled with mellow spice, thus making it the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful piece of beef.
2. Rustenberg John X Merriman
A deep rich wine that can be enjoyed with a meal or on its own
Alcohol: 14.5% | Region: Stellenbosch, South Africa | Grape: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec
This Rustenberg blends full-bodied grape varieties to deliver a wine that on the palate, sings of plum, cassis, blackberry and black cherry. It’s earned itself heaps of 5 stars from tasters, with many of them commending its deep, refined flavours and versatility when it comes to accompanying food. Its finish is described as round and creamy, making it the perfect wine to drink solo, too.
3. Côtes du Rhône 2014 E. Guigal
If you like your red with a touch of spice, this Côtes du Rhône will certainly please your palate
Alcohol: 14% | Region: Rhône Valley, France | Grape: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
Revisiting the medium to full bodied wines, this Côtes du Rhône gives you the depth and boldness of a fuller body with a concentration on spice and dark fruits. Again, its flavours lend itself to rich, red meat such as beef or lamb, with tasters also commending its drinkability without an accompaniment. Lighter than the Rustenberg but still intense with flavour, this should be a fantastic choice to bring out on special occasions.
4. Yarra Valley Pinot Noir
A light, medium bodied red with a raspberry hint that makes it the perfect accompaniment to duck
Alcohol: 13% | Region: Yarra Valley, Australia | Grape: Pinot noir
If you’re looking for an accessible red wine, this Yarra Valley Pinot Noir will please the palate and the purse. Being a lighter red wine, its taste is slightly more acidic in nature to the full bodied wines, with the fruity elements being lighter, too. It’s medium body with raspberry undertones make it hugely versatile, with lamb, duck and tuna being the recommended food accompaniments.
5. Crozes Hermitage
A medium bodied wine that carefully balances fruitiness with a savoury touch
Alcohol: 12.5% | Region: Rhône Valley, France | Grape: Syrah
With similar characteristics to a classic Côtes du Rhône, this Crozes Hermitage blends dark fruits with savoury spices for a delightful palate pleaser. With a lighter alcohol percentage, it drinks like a medium bodied wine, which makes it a delight to drink on its own and with red meat and cheese. Tasters suggest that the 2014 vintage was a good year for the Syrah grape, so this wine should certainly deliver on all aspects.
6. Bouchard Père et Fils Fleurie 2015
A perfect summer red
Alcohol: 12.5% | Region: Beaujolais, France | Grape: Gamay
Red wines are renowned for their spicy, dark fruit flavours, which makes them a popular winter drink, but this Fleurie proves that red wines can be summery, too. Made from the Gamay grape, which is renowned for producing light wines, this Fleurie rewards the drinker with hints of strawberry and cherry and mild acidic flavour. With plenty of 5 star reviews this reasonably priced red is certainly worth stashing away for summer BBQs, with lighter meats such as gammon and turkey making it a good accompaniment.
7. The Chocolate Block
Rich, luxurious and chocolatey; the Chocolate Block is a must-try
Alcohol: 14.5% | Region: Western Cape, South Africa | Grape: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah
Indulgent in taste and in price, The Chocolate Block is an apparent ‘cult hit’ when it comes to wine tasting. And when you have had a hard week and your indecisiveness leads to you wanting both wine and a massive bar of chocolate, you can now indulge yourself with both. Tasters comment on its super-fine tannins and distinct chocolatey notes and with lots of 5 star reviews, we can only assume that this wine goes down extremely well indeed.
Not everyone's partial to a glass of wine, so treat the spirit-lovers with one of the best whiskeys from our list.