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Catena Cabernet Franc - 9.99 from Tesco Wines by the Case

One of the great things about eating and drinking 'seasonally' is that each month seems to bring with it a new set of ingredients.  Some months definitely win on the ingredients front and October has to be one of them. Gone are the garish greens, reds and yellows of summer and in comes an altogether more muted palate of burnished orange, brown and maroon perfect for providing a bridge between summer and hibernation.

It's a good time to restock your wine rack with some more suitable autumn/winter wines, a little like swapping your tee shirts and shorts for jumpers and scarves (although the jumpers appear to be an all year staple in Edinburgh and the tee shirts have little function on their own).  It's not yet necessary to get out the winter heavies, these should be saved for the long nights of November to January, instead revamp with a new selection of reds and whites that complement the harvest flavours of autumn. 

First on the list are medium bodied reds like this Catena Cabernet Franc, a halfway house between summery, chillable reds and blockbuster winter warmers. You don't often find Cabernet Franc from Argentina, it is best known in the Loire Valley where the wines tends to be light with a bit of bite, but both Argentina and Chile make super versions, with a layer of silkiness and fruit that you don't find in France. This has got a deep, cherry and bramble flavour and some spicy oak that give you that 'just in from a long, chilly walk' warmth combined with a freshness that  doesn't leave you lolling on the sofa but peps you up. 

Cabernet Franc has a unique leafy character (which sounds odd but is actually a great antidote to oversweet, fruity wines), and it is this leafiness that is perfect with the earthy flavours of autumn giving everything an extra umami nudge to remind you that summer is gone. Great with wild mushrooms on toast, roast duck, and anything with winter greens with it. 

The Catena Cabernet Franc is £9.99 from Tesco Wines by the Case (so it's worth waiting for 25% off 6 to stock up with); otherwise look out for other Cabernet Francs from Chile and Argentina.
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