IGP pays d’Oc
€8 in the SuperValu wine sale starting 3rd September
Lovely plump peaches and orange peel, with a refreshing dry finish.
Perfect on its own, but I reckon it would be good with thai/green curry prawns.
I like both Marsanne and Roussanne, but there are some truly awful cheap versions from the Languedoc. This is an exception; It won’t ever compete with the great wines of the Rhône valley, but at €8 it is a real bargain.
€9.50 in Dunnes Stores from 1st September.
Medium-bodied with lovely bouncy ripe dark fruits and light tannins on the finish.
A good all-rounder, and perfect with mid-week dinners.
I really enjoyed the previous vintage of this wine and the new 2014 vintage is every bit as good. It is made primarily from Bobal, a variety unique to south-east Spain. The 2014 has been blended with some Tempranillo and Cabernet to bring the alcohol down a little, and it has worked really well. I believe this is going on sale in Dunnes Stores at €9.50 from 1st September – a fantastic bargain in my books.
Available from La Touche, Greystones; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; McCabes, Blackrock & Foxrock; Rua, Castelbar; Liston’s, Camden St.
Herby, grassy aromas and fresh clean green fruits with a nice zesty kick.
Before dinner, with fishy starters or mild goat’s cheese salad.
Lombeline is selected by Charles Derain, former sommelier at Patrick Guilbaud, and one of the best tasters in this country. As well as bringing in a very nice range of fine Burgundy and a few other goodies, he sources this Loire Sauvignon. We all need a house white, something reliable that we can crack open and enjoy before dinner or with a starter. The Lombeline falls into this category; inexpensive, well-made and satisfying.
Available from Tesco
Light juicy dark cherry and plum fruits with a nice freshness.
A great all-purpose wine, but I imagine this would go very nicely with pizza as well as lighter meat pasta dishes.
I remember meeting Gatene Carron back in the late 1990’s (both she and I were very young then!). She was very glamorous too – a globe-trotting winemaker, fluent in four languages, who had studied in France before working in China, Australia, Oregon and Chile, where she made wine at Concha y Toro. When I met her she was a flying winemaker for UK company Western Wines, who made wine in various parts of the world. She now works for Mondo del Vino, a large Italian producer that supplies many of the importers and multiples in Ireland and the UK. The wines are consistent and reliable with the odd star. This is one of the good ones, named after her, La Francese.
Available from O’Briens
It is rare to find anything exciting at this sort of price. You are generally looking for a lack of faults rather than a fine wine. The Julia Florista, from the team that brought you Porta 6, delivers a very satisfying mouthful of fresh green fruits, good refreshing acidity and a snappy finish. Perfect for everyday drinking, this would make a great party wine. Julia, by the way, was a legendary fado singer who passed away in 1925.
Available from Bean & Berry, Wexford; Blackrock; Listons, Camden St.; Hole in the Wall; D7; SuperValu, Sutton; Nectar Wines, Sandyford; Michael’s, Deerpark; The Wicklow Wine Co.
A well-made light crisp fresh dry white from Italy. Better than most Pinot Grigio in this price range, a great everyday option.
By itself or with light fish dishes and shellfish.
Custoza (once Bianco di Custoza) is one of the lesser-known names from the Veneto in north-east Italy. I have always been very fond of its wines. They fall into a category that the Italians do very well; light and zesty whites to drink with fish. They prefer these to wines with too much aroma or flavour – sort of like a vinous squeeze of lemon to go with plainly cooked fish served hot or cold with a few herbs and maybe some olive oil.
Available from O’Briens, and independent wine shops.
A bold and very beautiful wine; medium to full-bodied with a dangerously moreish palate of ripe liquorice, figs and dark fruits, finishing on a smooth note. Over-delivers at every stage.
I would go for a big beef or lamb casserole or maybe a nice steak.
This is an old favourite but I hadn’t tasted it for a while and was blown away by it in a tasting yesterday. Palmela is a small region on the Setúbal peninsula, across the river Tagus from the capital Lisbon. In the sandy soils running right down to the Atlantic ocean the Castelão grape produces unique fruit-filled wines, that have the ability to age very well.
Available from Tesco
A delicious lip-smacking Riesling, full of intense lemon and lime zest, light green fruits, with a touch of honey on the finish.
This would go really well with crab salad, scallops or prawns.
Australia has been growing Riesling for over a century and makes some seriously good age-worthy wines. The Eden and Clare Valleys have the best reputation, but the Great Southern region, on the very tip of Western Australia also produces its own delicious style. This wine is made for Tesco by Howard Park, one of the leading wineries in the area.
Available from Spar, Castleforbes; Hole in the Wall, D7; D Six; Reids, Enniscorthy; Wine Well, Dunboyne; The Wicklow Wine Co.
Good firm crunchy dark fruits with a little acidity and some dry tannins to make it a perfect everyday food wine.
I would drink this with virtually any kind of European meat dish.
This is the sort of wine you would love to get in a French bistro, but sadly rarely do – in my experience most cheap French restaurants serve awful muck. This however is very good and was even better the second night when I tried it again. Earlier this week, I spent a very pleasant hour talking and tasting wine with the guys who run this excellent shop on Wicklow Main Street. It is slightly ramshackle with bottles and boxes and all sorts of other goodies piled up in every conceivable space – they also do coffee and various foods. It is a great place to visit and I should go there more often. I also picked up this bottle to try at home.
Classic Marlborough Sauvignon with lifted grassy aromas, clean green fruits with lime zest and good dry length.
A few months back, I wrote about the Lidl Cimarosa Sauvignon Blanc, which they buy from Yealands, a large single estate in Marlborough. This week I received a bottle of the Tesco own-label Marlborough Sauvignon – also supplied by Yealands. I tried the two wines against each other and they are different. The Tesco version has a bit more fruit and better length, but then it sells for €2 more. If you have both supermarkets in your home town, you can try the same taste test. If not, either will appeal to fans of Sauvignon Blanc.
Available from Tesco.