That summer holiday is in the dim and distant now. A brief foray into the high thirties Celsius, requiring regular dips in the pool and then later, some proper wine to go with some fantastic local grub.

In my case (pardon the pun) those flavoursome bottles of vino cost about five Euros, from the Conad supermarket a few miles down the road.

Being in Tuscany, there was more Chianti on the shelves than you could shake a bastone at.

But I tend to disregard Hannibal Lecter’s favourite tipple (spot the wine writing cliché) and opt for other reds from the region instead. The common denominator being the Sangiovese grape.

Incidentally, I’ve noticed that once you know how to pronounce Sangiovese, you can’t help but sound Italian. Try it: san joe VAE sae.

Back home in Blighty, you could do far worse than picking one of these three Sangiovese dominated blends from Tuscany.

All three will work well with mushroom dishes, pasta with tomato based sauces, game, steaks and not forgetting liver and fava beans of course.

1. Bottled sunshine

Poggio Argentiera Morellino di Scansano 2013

£8.99 each when you buy two at Majestic

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The wonderfully named Poggio Argentiera Morellino di Scansano 2013 is bottled Tuscan sunshine and good value at £9. It oozes ripe cherry flavours and spice, with a lick of vanilla and wood smoke.

2. Smoothly organic

wine-otw-poderi

Barone Pizzini Rosso del Poderi IGT Maremma Toscana 2011

£10.75 from vintageroots.co.uk

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Online organic wine specialist Vintage Roots has Barone Pizzini Rosso del Poderi IGT Maremma Toscana 2011. It is smooth, well balanced and very approachable, with cherry and and under-ripe strawberry flavours and a hint of toasted oak.

3. A savoury special

Villa Antinori 2012, Toscana

£14.99 at Tesco and Waitrose

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Or treat yourself to a bottle of Villa Antinori 2012, Toscana, which is savoury, structured, with a lively acidity and flavours of cherry, brambles, chocolate, spice and tobacco.

Mike Tipping

Mike Tipping

Mike Tipping has been writing about wine on a regular basis for 12 years now. From his York home Mike has travelled widely in pursuit of wine, visiting vineyards and wineries and meeting winemakers, as far afield as Chile but mainly in Europe.