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WINE OF THE WEEK: Waitrose & Partners País 2019, Maule, Chile

£7.99, Waitrose

A juicy, soft, low-tannin, pale red with strawberry and white pepper flavours, a swish of orange and a stony mineral burr. Delicious. It could stand in for good Beaujolais, or Pinot Noir or Etna Rosso, although it's made from a grape variety that has no connection with any of them: País.

No need to be surprised if you're not familiar with País. Most people aren't. What might surprise you is that it has long been Chile's second most planted variety. Where has it been hiding? Certainly not on labels or in wine being exported.

Grown mostly in the south, in Maule, Itata and Bío Bío, it's perennially been consigned to cheap domestic plonk (a lot of it rosé) and it still is, but it's started to be rehabilitated by the likes of Miguel Torres Chile, producer of this wine, and leading soil and vineyard mapping scientist Pedro Parra. It's early days, but long may the renaissance continue.

It's a wine you can drink on its own but, another surprise perhaps, it's versatile with food – charcuterie, tuna steak, roast quail, duck legs, herby chicken or lamb cutlets, pesto, spices of the coriander, cardamom, cumin kind, and even smoked salmon. 13.5%

Waitrose & Partners País 2019, Maule, Chile

£7.99, Waitrose


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