Five black wines to drink this winter

Black wines are bold and beautiful.
Black wines are bold and beautiful. Photo: Shutterstock

The shift towards light, fresher wines in recent years may have left those of us thirsty for deep, brooding wines with muscle and power out in the dark. Wine is not just red and white and pink any more. "Orange" is an accepted shade for skin-contact white wine, "Green" is nothing to do with environmental credentials but rather early-picked white grapes and rapier-like acidity.

But fear not, dear drinker, as "black" wines are about to have their moment. "Black" wines are simply very dark red wines, almost opaque in colour and bound with flavour profiles ranging from light and fruity to rich and powerful.

They're most commonly fashioned from Malbec grapes grown in Cahors in France's south-west and Saperavi from the former Soviet bloc state of Georgia.

Food pairing needs a blood and guts approach. Go for red proteins with wild, gamey, slow-cooked and fatty flavour profiles.

2014 Hugh Hamilton "The Quirky" Saperavi, McLaren Vale, $39.50

A joint project between one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and Georgian winemaker Lado Uzunashvili. Grapes are sourced from Kakheti in Georgia and crafted into dry, savoury wine with dark fruits knotted together with sinewy tannins.

2015 Ten Miles East Saperavi , Adelaide Hills, $45

Medium to full-bodied, juicy and elegant. Ink dark in colour, as you would expect, but retaining a great deal of freshness. Classic iron fist/velvet glove wine whose tight-knitted structure of tannin and acidity unravels beautifully with the right food pairing.

2012 Chateau du Cedre, Cahors, $29.99

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Chateau du Cedre is the poster child for the region of Cahors. Its powerful, chunky fruit flavours and gum-numbing tannins work like pistons in a V8 engine, driving masses of flavour and texture across the palate. Not for the faint-hearted.

2014 Chateau la Reyne "Le Prestige", Cahors, $32

Hedonistic mix of clove, cinnamon and black fruits in a beautifully layered wine with complexity and detail. Mid-weight with tannins pitched towards the grainy, furry spectrum but still savoury and moreish. Answers the question: "Got any blacker?"

2015 Georges Vigoroux Pigmentum, Cahors, $27

Loaded with red and dark berries and soft, almost pillowy, texture this is an entry-level Cahors that dials down brute force in favour of drinkability and freshness. Bright bouncy red wine but still with a dark side.