19 Crimes The Banished (2016), Dark Red Wine

Wine is fucking great, ain’t it?

Nothing beats knocking back a red from a big-ass IKEA goblet and pretending you’re a character from Game of Thrones.

The older I get, the more I appreciate red wine, although I’ve still to 100% decide on which grape variety I like best. At first I was a shiraz man, then I got a taste for Malbec. These days, I reach for a pinot noir…but to be honest, quite often I grab the one with the most interesting label.

And that was the case with this Australian effort, which describes itself simply as a ‘dark red’ and gives no clue to the grapes used. The creepy label image and gangsta-as-fuck theme behind it was what sealed the deal for me.

So not expecting it to be particularly brilliant in taste terms, I was blown away but just how awesome this wine was.

Experts (of which I am absolutely not one) say wine can taste very different depending on what you eat with it, so I should say I was scoffing Mrs Gangsta’s famously awesome spaghetti bolognese.

The smell from the bottle definitely came across as rich and if I was pretening to be a proper wine reviewer, I’d say I got a whiff of dark chocolate and plums. But fuck knows if that’s the intention.

More importantly, the taste is delicious. It’s sweet, which I like in a red, and quite heavy in a comforting way. It almost feels a little thicker than most other reds, which may or may not be an intentional nod to blood – in keeping with the whole criminal theme of the 19 Crimes winery.

If forced to give a definitive marker of taste, I’d say there was some cherry in it and a mixture of various other fruits which I can’t quite put a finger on.

If you like sweet reds and are keen to try different styles, then this is well worth a look at under £10 a bottle. Easily the best red I’ve tasted in 2017.

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