My mate Paul gave me a bottle of wine and told me that it is never wise to look a gift horse in the mouth. So let’s take a glance at its teeth then!
Sorry Paul, but the first taste was everything I don’t like about overcooked new world wines. More forward than the Irish scrum. Metallic tannins. Darker and fruitier than Graham Norton’s jacksie. Not one to drink on its own then.
But being consigned to the flat for the night, I had decided on one of my regular gourmet dishes of beans on toast. The match was perfect. I would strongly advise you to go for Branston baked beans, if you are an adult. Also, the discerning beans on fan always selects brown/granary bread toasted slightly on the burnt side of well done. Regarding the wine, I could refer you to the Wine At Right Temperature campaign, or you could read the back of the bottle which recommends serving at 16-18ºC. I wish more wine makers would put a recommended drinking temperature on the label. It would help my battle with restaurateurs who serve Chianti from the top of the pizza oven, and Gavi from the depths of the Blast Chiller. “You want an ice bucket sir? You DO realise it’s a red wine, sir?” Erm, yes, I am well aware of what I ordered, thanks. I just don’t like drinking it at 10º warmer than recommended.
So what of Dante’s inferno? If you chill it down to the right temp and eat with something rich like baked beans, I think you will love it. It is imported by Whittaker Wines of Macclesfield (doesn’t appear to have a website). I haven’t checked the price and can’t quickly find another supplier, but if it’s in the <£10 bracket it would be good value. If you live near Macc, you are fine of course.