Delicious medium-bodied red with savoury dark fruits, well-integrated acidity and a smooth dry finish with a touch of spice. Great value too.
A very adaptable red, perfect with all manner of pork dishes, but big enough to accompany lamb or beef.
€13.95, down from €16.95 from O’Briens, obrienswine.ie
I have a grá for Dâo, both the red and white versions. The whites, usually with a high proportion of Encruzado, can be exceptional. The best reds have a lovely piquant edge, good acidity and an elegance that I really enjoy.
Made from 100% Arinto, this Vinho Verde has stimulating racy green apple fruits, and a light sparkle; slakes the thirst and gets the mouth watering. 12.5% alcohol.
As an aperitif with nibbles, raw seafood, sushi or oily fish such as mackerel.
Vinho Verde has come on in leaps and bounds; these days fewer semi-sweet green herbaceous wines and more light succulent and concentrated versions that are perfect with shellfish.
€11.95 down from €14.95 from O’Briens, obrienswine.ie
This is a delicious summer red, light and juicy with crunchy red fruits. Gouleyant as the French would say, or very gluggable in English I couldn’t find a vintage on the label; possibly it was on the cork, long since recycled. Great summer drinking and good value too.
€14.15 from Wines Direct, Mullingar, and Arnott’s, Dublin 1, winesdirect.ie
We drank ours with pan-fried hake, new potatoes and the very last of the season’s asparagus.
Loire Pinot has been improving steadily in recent years, possibly partly due to climate change, but also better viticulture and winemaking. It also helps that our tastes have shifted a little towards lighter wines.
Perfect on a warm summer’s eve; light, a mere 12%, and refreshing with vibrant citrus and peach fruits. Despite the lightness, it has good concentration and length. Great value for money too.
We drank this with some queen scallops simply seared with butter and lemon juice.
Vinho Verde has come on in leaps and bounds; these days fewer semi-sweet green herbaceous wines and more light succulent and concentrated versions that are perfect with shellfish. Anselmo Mendes seems to have a hand in just about everything that is going on in this part of Portugal. Not only does he have his own winery (available through Wines on the Green) but he advises a number of other producers too. Including this one.
€13.95 from Searsons, Monkstown, searsons.com; Brady’s, Shankhill, bradysshankhill.ie; Bradleys Off-licence, Cork, bradleysofflicence.ie; The Cinnamon Cottage, Cork, cinnamoncottage.ie; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, jusdevine.ie; J.J. Fields, Skibbereen, fieldsofskibbereen.com; Lilac Wines, Dublin 3, lilacwines.ie; Martin’s Off Licence, Dublin 3, martinsofflicence.ie; Deveney’s, Dundrum; Objekt, Newcastle West, object.ie
Inviting delicate perfumed floral aromas; juicy, really lively orange peel and apricot fruits, with a lovely musky kick on the finish. A delightful wine and outstanding value for money.
Lightly spicy prawn or chicken Thai curries.
I featured the 2014 vintage of his wine a few years ago. The 2017 is, I think, even better. The wine is made from 110-year old vines planted in Itata, one of the first vineyards to be planted by the Spanish conquistadors when they arrived in Chile.
€15 from Marks & Spencer
This is a very moreish all-purpose wine that offers great value for money. Medium-bodied juicy ripe strawberry fruits with plenty of concentration and real oomph on the mid-palate, and a smooth rounded finish.
A good match for most red meats or pork; I had mine with mildly spiced lamb kofte and a tomato salsa.
€14 from Mitchell & Son, chq, Sandycove, and Avoca, Kilmacanogue & Dunboyne, mitchellandson.com.
Ciello Bianco 2016, Catarratto, Cantine Rallo, IGT Terre Siciliane
Vibrant and bright with juicy peaches and almonds, balanced nicely by lemon zest acidity, finishing dry.
A great all-purpose wine to sip before dinner, or with a wide variety of lighter seafood dishes or salads. Perfect lunchtime wine.
An organic wine produced from Catarratto, one of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties. In fact, it is the most popular variety, making up 30% of all plantings, and was used primarily in Marsala production. Wines made from low-yielding vines in good soils can be very tasty, although there is still a lot of very average wines on sale. This is one of the good guys.
€12.95 from Baggot St. Wines; Clontarf Wines; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Redmonds, Ranelagh; Blackrock Cellar; Green Man Wines, Terenure; MacGuinness Wines, Dundalk; Bradley’s Off Licence, Cork; Le Caveau, Kilkenny.
Jaspi Negre 2014, Coca I Fitó, Montsant
Full-bodied and powerful with masses of plush smooth red fruits, a savoury edge, and well-integrated smooth tannins on the finish. An iron fist in a velvet glove?
Try this with hard cheeses or grilled red meats. A côte de bouef sounds right.
Catalan brothers Toni and Miquel Coca i Fitó work with small growers from lesser-known regions in various parts of Spain to produce wines that reflect the local terroir. The Jaspi Negre above is a blend of 45% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Cabernet and 15% Syrah. Montsant is a large C-shaped region, almost completely surrounding Priorat, high up in the mountains south-west of Barcelona.
€14.95 down from €16.95 from O’Briens, Obrienswine.ie
Castelli del Duca Secco Isabella 2016 Malvasia dei Colli Piacentini
Lightly sparkling, with aromatic, clean, fresh grapey aromas and light mouth-watering crisp dry fruit.
A very lovely aperitif or party wine and a great alternative to Prosecco.
The Medici family make a range of excllent Lambrusco and a juicy light Sangiovese under the Medici Ermete label. The Castel del Duca estate wines come from the Colli Piacentini DOC, on the western end of Emilia.
€13.99 from SUYPS.com; Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.
Cantina di Negrar Corvina IGT Verona 2015
A lovely light, juicy, fresh, red wine with beautifully defined crunchy dark cherries – a great glugger at a great price.
Coming in at a mere 12.5% abv, this would be great on its own, or with a plate of charcuterie and some crusty bread.
Good Valpol is one of my favourite wines. Light, juicy and low in alcohol, it refreshes snd invites you to take another sip; and then another, and so on. This may only have IGT status, but, made from the same grape, it is streets ahead of most Valpolicella at this price.
€13.95 from SIYPS.com; Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.