Wine (and dine) for the weekend

Once again, we’re wedged in that sticky spot between autumn misery and Christmas cheer, when the only thing to put a smile on our face is a bottle of good red and a roast. It mightn’t yet be the season to be jolly, but it is prime venison season (not to mention prime drinking season) and in that fact, we find solace.

This Californian red, Pleiades XVIII, is - by our estimation at least - the one to offer your lunch guests this weekend. It's a non-vintage (the number is more like an edition) blend of Syrah, Barbera, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and others. Conjured up by the known-to-be-maverick maker Sean Thackrey, it comes up a deep red in the glass, with black fruit and kirsch offsetting the slight pepperiness of the tipple.

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To complete this already rather perfect picture, we’d recommend trying Pleiades with some venison from The Wild Game Co. The meat is of the highest quality, sourced from a family business in the Scottish Highlands by another foody maverick, Andy Waugh.

To get the best of your cut (we'd recommend loin) season with salt, pepper and rosemary, rub with garlic and olive oil then sear for six to seven minutes. When it comes to venison - as with most meats - the pinker the better. Order online - or better, check out The Wild Game Co’s regular spot on Broadway market.

Pleiades XVIII is £25 at Majestic. www.majestic.co.uk Venison from www.wildgameco.co.uk

Words by Sarah Baldwin

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