Planet of the Grapes: What corned beef sandwiches and malbec wine have in common

Carmenere grapes
Carmenere grapes

Are you one of those people who knows what they like and like what they know?

If the answer’s yes to that question, then isn’t there just a tiny bit of you curious to try something different this weekend?

Yet, bewildered by the vast array of pretty labels before you, your nerve falters and your hand falls upon the safe option; the nice bottle we had last week and the week before that, well you get the picture.

I once told my mam that I enjoyed the Corned beef sandwiches that she had put up for my bait. Corned Beef mixed with finely chopped raw onion and tomato sauce; we knew how to live! That was Monday.

By Friday, I had to confess enough was enough and tell her that you could have too much of a good thing.

The beauty of the world of wine is the variety of experiences that awaits the ever-so-slightly curious. Different grape varieties, different countries, different producers, different prices offer either a world of opportunity or a world of confusion depending upon your outlook.

In our wine classes, I find that just a little bit of knowledge gives the confidence to encourage a greater spirit of adventure in the wine aisle. So, for example, if your weekend wine of choice on these dark winter evenings is Argentinian Malbec, then my Sunday Roast recommendation is Asda’s Diversity of Terroir, Malbec, 2014 £6.98, all black fruit and pepper.

However, if you would like to try an alternative, then check out my Friday night quaffer recommendation from Asda’s The Wine Atlas range.

The Carmenere 2013, £4.75. The Carmenere grape was for a long time confused with its close relative Merlot. It is now becoming a signature variety for Chile, where almost perfect growing conditions produce clean, sweet, ripe fruit and spicy aromatic wines. Perfect with spaghetti bolognese or burgers, or even a corned beef sandwich!

Tweet David your favourite tipple, at @NCLWineSchool and he will recommend an alternative that you might like.

David Harker, proprieter of Newcastle Wine School