French reds can add ‘va va voom’ to your dishes

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Southern French reds from the sunny Cotes du Rhone such as Asda Cotes du Rhone 2011, France (£3.67, Asda), punch above their weight.

They can turn a grey sky blue with sun-baked red fruits, hints of spice and soft tannins to complement tender meats and balance hot, spicy sauces.

Tarrango is a native grape to Oz, and Brown Brothers Tarrango 2010, Victoria, Australia (£7.99, Sainsbury’s) is a ruby red designed to be served chilled. Light and fruity, it’s not dissimilar to Beaujolais and the wine’s refreshing qualities, balanced by good acidity suit flame-grilled chicken drumsticks, grilled tuna or seafood skewers. Ideal for hot, balmy nights.

Big and spicy, shiraz/syrah stands up to all those powerful, peppery BBQ flavours and Chilean producer Casa Silva Dona Dominga has a real nugget that would also suit a mid-week Indian takeaway.

Try Dona Dominga Syrah (Shiraz) 2010, Chile (£7.11, Waitrose) with its forest floor of dense black fruits.

This intense red has lasting appeal with a lick of soft caramel, an element of leather with hints of nutmeg spice and an ultra smooth finish.