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Saumur rouge Les Nivières Waitrose £8.49 & Chocalan Cabernet Franc, 13.50 Vino Wines
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Light reds are a bit of a thing right now. That's not to say the blockbuster Aussie Shiraz or Argentinian Malbecs have disappeared, nor that you'll never drink a rich, smooth Rioja but they can just be a bit too much. Every now and then wine trends have a bit of a shake up and 'new' styles come into the spotlight and that's what happened with these light reds. Except they're not necessarily new, more they've been sat in the wings whilst Malbec and co have been having their fun.

A lot of lighter style reds are traditional grapes and styles you find across Europe, perfect for drinking a couple of glasses with dinner (or lunch), and now we see more popping up from the Southern Hemisphere as we look for lighter, fresher flavours. In France the lesser-known Cabernet Franc, mostly known as Chinon or Bourgeuil. are perfect examples, almost like eating blackberries or redcurrants straight from the bush, balancing sweet fruit, refreshing tartness and a tingle of dryness from the skin. The South Americans are now doing a great job of producing a new style of riper cabernet francs, just as they have with Malbec, merlot and Carménère.

Other light reds include Beaujolais, Valpolicella and the raspberry jam laden pinot noirs of New Zealand and Chile. 

Old School

Saumur rouge Les Nivières Waitrose £8.49 - Refreshing and red aren't words that necessarily go together but this is both. There's a subtle layer of summer fruit flavours and then a pleasing dry finish. Not necessarily a glass on its own, more an accompaniment to fish and white meat dishes, especially cured meats. On that refreshing note, also fabulous chilled.

New School

Chocalan Cabernet Franc, 13.50 Vino Wines - Same grape but richer with a bit of oak to give it a bit more body and some sweeter overtones. Suddenly those summer fruits are in a baked pudding with some vanilla cream. This would be excellent with slow cooked pork or lamb dishes. 

Light reds can be found on the Red Central Line of the WineTubeMap, the easy way to navigate wine, wherever you are. Find out more about the Red Central Line throughout April on winetubemap.co.uk and buy tickets to our themed monthly Thirsty Thursday events. If you get lost use our #wineGPS  hashtag and we'll answer any (wine related) question.

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