Growing grapes is a risky business. Different grape varieties ripen at different times so blends emerged in part as an insurance policy for winegrowers against periods of inclement weather – with the handy bonus that blends often taste greater than the sum of their parts. Europe has a long history of making the best of blends and, as harvest time approaches, I’m raising my glass to their superstar status.
OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH
Fitou 2019 (14%), £7, Marks & Spencer. Easy, sleek and fulsome, this is a steal for the final few barbecues of the year.
Paul Mas White Réserve Languedoc 2019 (13%), £9.39, Waitrose Cellar. Peachy and pure with a rich gingery kick, this is perfect with prawns.
The Best Amarone della Valpolicella 2016 (14.5%), £16, Morrisons. Star quality for a full yet bright red. Top billing for serving with beef.
Howard’s Folly Sonhador Branco 2019 (13.5%), £120 for a case of six, howardsfollywine.co.uk. This lemony white blend with its subtle toasty twist is fab with fish.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Le Temps est Venu Côtes du Rhône 2019, Domaine Michel et Stéphane Ogier (14.5%), £14.68, laywheeler.com. Silky, classy and gently spicy, this hits the bull’s-eye.