Wine of the week

This week, Joanna Simon has chosen an adaptable French red...


Château Rouquette Sur Mer L'Esprit Terroir, La Clape 2013, Languedoc, France

Red wines from Languedoc can be pretty big and burly, especially when the grape blend includes, as this does, a fair amount of Carignan, but there's no suggestion of burliness or rusticity here. Instead, it delivers a mouthful of red berry and praline-smooth flavours and a juicy, refreshing finish, all for under a tenner. The clue to the elegance is in the name. Rouquette On Sea isn't a case of poetic licence-cum-wishful thinking: the vineyards really do peer over the cliffs to the sea, picking up cooling, freshening Mediterranean breezes. The absence of chewy tannins and oak flavours makes for an adaptable red, which can partner red meat but won't overpower lighter meat and vegetarian dishes and is a friend to garlic, herbs and non-hot spices.

£9.95, The Wine Society,

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Rich, complex and well-balanced. No, not your dream partner, it's a bottle of wine

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