'Tis the season for hearty comfort food and wines to match. If you're looking for cuddly, well-made and red wines that are a bit off beat ... you've come to the right place.

1. 2013 Matawhero Church House Malbec

Malbec is a gutsy, juicy, moreish, a dark shade of red that people love or don't quite get ... usually because it's hard to find and they haven't tried it. This Matawhero malbec from Gisborne is a standout, thanks in part to a brilliant summer that enabled the malbec to fully ripen with flavours of Doris plum, blueberry and dried herbs. Smooth as.
Price: $28

2. 2005 Campo Viejo Gran Reserva


From one of Spain's major rioja producers, this
tempranillo-dominant (85 per cent), graciano (10 per cent) and mazuelo (5 per cent) red wine is perfect with those winter roasts. Rich, ripe and fruity with an underbelly of smoky toasted wood and tobacco, it's not just their tennis players making their mark worldwide ... this wine is drinking beautifully now.
Price: $30

3. 2007 Squawking Magpie SQM Platinum

Hold the front page. Squawking Magpie celebrates 30 years in Hawkes Bay's Gimblett Gravels with an exceptional limited release 2007 red wine. Alas, after years of careful cellaring, only 200 bottles have been produced. It is a blend of merlot (70 per cent), syrah (15 per cent) and malbec (15 per cent) and has been beautifully aged, ready for your drinking pleasure, savoury, sensual and full of satisfaction.
Price: $69

Available at heraldwine.co.nz for a limited time, courtesy of Glengarry and GrabOne Bottle.