Ease yourself into autumn with these six tangy red wines

Not ready quite yet to snuggle up with a hearty winter red? Our resident wine expert Helena Nicklin (aka Winebird) picks her favourite light, autumnal red wines. 

Let’s gloss over an almost total lack of summer shall we? Instead, let’s move straight into autumn leaves gently falling, woolly jumpers and the fact that we can get away without shaving our legs for another season.

And, more importantly, time for wine! Reds especially, though perhaps not the really big, wintery ones just yet.

Instead, let’s ease into autumn with some lighter, leafy, tangy styles bathed in stewed red fruit and spices. Reach for a Pinot Noir, a cooler climate Syrah or try the latest red grape to start winning hearts around the world: Mencia.

Ease yourself into autumn with these six tangy red wines

Here are my favourite six picks from recent tastings for tangy, autumnal reds.

1) Pinot noir from Tesco

When I saw that there was 14% Pinotage blended in with this Pinot Noir, I was sceptical. The result however is a delightfully round and fruity wine with delicate, sweet violet notes. Not your typical Pinot Noir, but still a delicious drink.

Buy Wairau Cove Pinot Noir 2016, Tesco, £8.00

2) Cotes du Rhone from Corney & Barrow

Stock up on this extremely pretty, excellent value Rhone blend. Light and figgy, but round with warm spice. It’s the perfect wine to warm up for Christmas.

Buy Corney & Barrow Cotes du Rhone, Vignobles Gonnet 2015, £9.95

3) Spätburgunder from Corney & Barrow

It sounds like a character from Game of Thrones, but if you like your Pinot light, fragrant, crunchy and tart in a good way, then you will adore this silky, leafy wine from Germany. Don’t be put off by the name; this Pinot Noir is glorious for the price.

Buy Spätburgunder (that’s Pinot Noir), Schloss Schönborn, 2013, Corney & Barrow, £13.50

4) Mencia from M&S

The Mencia grape is where you go when you’re tired of massive, heavy reds and this little number from the cool Galician region of Ribeira Sacra in NW Spain is seriously moreish: Fresh, tart strawberries and spice with grip and a touch of balsamic on the nose. It’s a wine that would be great with charcuterie.

Buy Castillo de Los Templiarios Mencia, 2016, £9.50, M&S

5) Mencia from The Wine Society

A gorgeous version of what the Mencia grape can do: perfumed, refreshing and earthy with tea leaf notes and crunchy red fruit. If I were allowed to say you could drink buckets of it too, I would.

Buy Regina Viarum Mencia, Ribeira Sacra, 2016, The Wine Society, £11.50

6) Pinot Noir from Tesco Finest

Pinot Noir from Burgundy in France is your ultimate, Autumn-in-a-glass wine and this one is no exception. Hailing from the Mercurey appellation, it has classic, spiced cherry notes with a tangy freshness and elegant, pale red hue. Great value for wines from this part of the world.

Buy Tesco Finest Mercurey Pinot Noir 2014, Tesco, £14

Get your chimney swept and your corkscrew out! Enjoy.

Winebird is a freelance writer, presenter and author of VINALOGY: wine basics with a twist! You can follow her on Twitter, and find her on YouTube.