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Many of my friends have decided to give up wine during the month of January, after the glorious excesses of December. As usual, I will commit myself to the regime of a January diet : “The Wine Diet”, written by Professor Roger Corder. I quote from his research:

“Wine drinkers are generally healthier and often live longer: I have spent many years researching the health giving benefits of wine and have found that wine drinkers are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and dementia in old age”.
Consumed in moderation of course.

So, if you want to start the new year with “The Wine Diet”, I am recommending the following heart warming, full bodied red wines, to sip slowly before a roaring fire, watching a good film.
L’Astore Masseria, Puglia, Italy
From the sunny heel of Italy, Astore remains a firm favourite, with its unusual combination of grape varieties : 50% Aglianico and 50% Petit Verdot.
Intense, dark red robe. . Powerful fruity, spicy aromas – black fruits, mocha, tar, cinnamon, black pepper. Dry, with soft, ripe tannins. Full bodied with intense flavours of black fruits, coffee, and liquorice. Elegance and finesse, yet body and power. Lingering ‘more-ish’ finish!

Chateau du Cèdre, Le Cèdre, 2006, AOC Cahors
100% Malbec .
Wonderful opaque robe. Hugely powerful with fragrant aromas of cassis, blackberries, myrtille, wild violets, chocolate and spices. The palate has rich gourmet flavours of black fruits and sinfully dark chocolate, with savoury tannins, an opulent mouth-feel and a tenacious finish. Ideal with venison or wild boar. . Or just on its own, in front of a roaring fire, with some delicious roasted chestnuts. Needs to be decanted 3 hours before drinking.

Mas de la Seranne, Antonin et Louis, Languedoc 2007.
Syrah (60%) ; carignan, mourvèdre, grenache.
Powerful aromas of cassis, black olive tapenade, tobacco, laurier, leather, and liquorice.
Lots of dark fruits on the palate with hints of fresh basil and laurier. Silky tannins, luscious
mouth-feel, full bodied and a very long finish.
“L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé, à consommer avec modération”