With winter setting in, its just the right time to turn to Malbec, the smooth backroom bruiser of the wine world. It first came to prominence in wine making in France, but these days we all tend to think of Argentina when buying Malbec, and while its become their flagship grape, it really is grown all over the world these days.

On elf the thing that makes Argentinian wines so different is that the vine stock is almost unique in that its DNA is pre phylloxera (the root bug that almost wiped out the French wine industry in the 19th century), so they differ slightly from the vines now used in France and around the world.

So, what’s it like? Malbec is a full bodied style of wine with robust tannins and rich autumn fruits and the key to it is to get the fruit and tannins in balance. They can be enjoyed on their own but their rich robust style makes them a perfect with steak or mushroom based vegetarian dishes.

Anyway, here’s a couple of crackers to warm your cockles for the weekend.

Weinart Carrascal Malbec, Argentina

A gorgeously rich wine for this price. Ripe cherry aromas, with war soft plummy flavours and hints of cocoa and vanilla on the palate. Delicious

The Wine Society £12.50

Yellow Tail Malbec, Australia

What’s not to like? Its like massaging your palate in soft ripe autumn berries before adding the aroma therapy of a spice bouquet on the finish. Really lovely folks.

Tescos £6.00

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