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Find Your New Favourite... Malbec Alternatives

6 crowd-pleasing alternative reds for Malbec lovers

Every wine lover has their go-to wine - something you know you can always reach for and trust to do the job nicely. Malbec is that for a lot of people. At its best, it's full-bodied, bursting with ripe fruit and has a rich, smooth finish. Delicious.

Here at Reserve Wines, we love sharing our enthusiasm and knowledge with everyone we meet. We believe that exploring wine should always be fun and inspiring, which is why we've created our new Find Your New Favourite series. 

Find Your New Favourite is here to help you expand your drinking horizons beyond your usual wine choices. Whether it's uncovering a winning new pairing with your favourite family recipe or simply learning something new, we love nothing more than taking our customers on a voyage of wine discovery. 

Malbec is one of the UK's best selling red wines, sitting only behind Merlot and Syrah/Shiraz. It's undeniably popular amongst our customers online and in our wine shops, where we sell thousands of bottles each year.

Originating in France, it was a staple in Bordeaux wines up until 1956, when many vines were killed in the harsh winter that year. Malbec then became less fashionable in favour of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but fortunately it found its way over to Argentina via Chile. Argentina now export over 100 million bottles a year to over 100 countries all around the world - and as a result, you'll find Malbec on almost every wine list and in every wine merchant in the country (luckily for us!)

Here we've hand-picked six of our favourite alternatives that every Malbec lover should enjoy:

Avalon, Zinfandel 2016

A Zinfandel (Primitivo) from California that's bursting with dark berries and ripe plums. The tannins are smooth and rounded. This is a perfect red wine if you're lighting the BBQ, particularly if you're going low and slow with a fatty joint of meat such as pork shoulder. 

Biscardo, Neropasso. 2018

This blend from Veneto is consistently one of our best selling wines, full to the brim with dark cherries and plum compote and is super smooth. A really great wine if you like that rich, decadent style of Malbec. 

Indomita Nostros Reserva Carmenere 2020

Camrenere is Chile's premier grape, and sits somewhere between Merlot and Malbec. It's got a bit more attitude than Merlot, with intense red and black berries, hints of truffle and cracked black pepper. There's a small amount of Cab Sauv in here too which just lifts the tannins slightly.

Miopasso, Nero d'Avola Appassimento. 2019 

A Sicilian take on the Appassimento style where the grapes are left out to dry for 3-4 weeks before pressing to intensify the fruit. Packed with dark cherries, damson jam and ripe blackcurrants, this is an incredibly unctuous red with lots of complexity and depth of flavour. A great pairing with beef ragu and tagliatelle.

Chateau Puybarbe, Cotes de Bourg 'Gaia' 2017

A flagship Bordeaux from Chateau Puybarbe, Merlot dominant with some Cabernet Sauvignon too. It's medium bodied with fine tannins and plenty of ripe blackcurrant and roasted coffee. This is a great wine to try with duck or chicken skewers on the BBQ. 

Santos Lima, Quinta Vista Tinto 2019

A Portuguese blend of Syrah and local varieties, with lots of dense, jammy red fruits. This is a soft approachable red that's a real crowd-pleaser, perfect for midweek drinking or having a few glasses with friends. 

We've also put together a case of all 6 bottles including free delivery. These are 6 deliciously different reds, which we're pretty sure will become your new favourites.


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