Hunky Dory Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand
Floral aromas, luscious fresh exotic fruits, and a dry finish.
I have written about this wine before, but if you are a fan of Marlborough Sauvignon, this is well worth buying. Made from organically grown grapes, this is a very keenly priced; originally at €18.99, I have seen it in several outlets at a bargain €15.
Available from 64wine, Glasthule; Ardkeen, Waterford; Carpenters, Castleknock; Blackrock Cellar; Gibneys, Malahide; La Touche, Greystones; No. 21, Cork; O’Driscoll’s, Cahirsiveen; The Wine Centre, Kilkenny.
Pinot Noir La Roncière 2014, André Vatan, Vin de Loire
€14.95 from Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown.
Light refreshing red fruits with an earthy edge. Serve cool with all sorts of summer salads, cold meats and chicken dishes.
For a long time, Sancerre was one of the few parts of France other than Burgundy attempting to make red wine from Pinot Noir. Red Sancerre has got a whole lot better, but is always quite pricey. This wine, made by one of the leading producers of Sancerre (white and red) is very moreish and offers pretty good value for money.
Custoza 2014, Zenato.
Available for €14.95 from Searsons, Monkstown.
Fresh textured white with pear fruits and good cleansing acidity. Great served solo or with lighter seafood and salad dishes, possibly a prawn salad of some sort.
Custoza, a lesser-known neighbour of Soave, can be more reliable, possibly because there are fewer producers who have to try a little harder. They use the same grape varieties, mainly Garganega, sometimes with a little Trebbiano, to make attractive crisp refreshing white wines.
Dao Jardim da Estrela 2014, Carlos Lucas
Available from Clontarf Wines; Browns, Portlaoise; JJ O Driscoll, Ballinlough; O Learys, Cootehill; Hole in The Wall, D7; www.quintessentialwines.ie Quintessential Wines, Drogheda, for €12.95.
Lovely soft juicy blackcurrants and red cherries. Refreshing and ripe, with no tannins. Ideal everyday wine with all kinds of red and white meats. A stuffed filet of pork or bacon with parsley sauce both sound good.
I like Dao. When properly made, it is light and refreshing with very tasty dark cherry and plum fruits. There are expensive versions, and some of these are very good. But most are incredibly cheap given the quality and offer great value. These are very food friendly wines that won’t break the bank; perfect for a wet Wednesday. This one is made from three local grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) and Alfrocheiro.
Lovely fresh textured melon fruits with a zesty acidity and a crisp dry finish. Brilliant inexpensive all-purpose wine.
If only all Pinot Grigio tasted like this. Our shelves are full cheap mawkish versions that seem to satisfy a demand for wine that tastes of very little and therefore won’t offend. I have been following the Fugatti for a few years now – it is proof that you can make good Pinot Grigio at a reasonable price.
Available from Sheridan’s Cheese shops; 64wine, Glasthule; Blackrock Cellar; Rua Deli, Castlebar; Ashe’s of Annascaul.
Lovely ripe juicy strawberry fruits with a tannin-free finish. Light enough to drink on its own, but big enough to take on red meats. This would be perfect if you are having a gang around.
Available from Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; The Drink Store, D7; The Wine Shop at One Pery Square, Limerick.
16 Stops Chardonnay 2014, Adelaide, Australia
Unoaked, with clean fresh apple and peach fruits. Good everyday drinking. Perfect on its own or with fish and white meats.
It has been a while since I wrote about an Aussie wine under €15. Over the last few years, the strong Australian dollar had pushed prices up. At the same time, it seemed as if the quality of entry level wines was not quite as good as in earlier years. This seems to be rectifying itself; certainly I was happy to come across this wine and the 16 Stops Shiraz at a very keen price.
Available from Blackrock Cellar; Miller & Cook, Mullingar;
Fresh Outlets; On The Grapevine, Dalkey; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; La Touche Wines, Greystones; Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Martins, Dublin 3; The Malt House, Trim; Power & Co, Lucan; Redmond’s, Ranelagh; 64Wine, Glasthule; Searsons, Monkstown; World Wide Wines, Waterford.
16 Stops Shiraz 2013, McLaren Vale
Rounded dark fruits with a touch of spice and a smooth finish. As with the white, a crowd-pleasing, all-purpose wine to serve on its own or with a wide variety of foods.
Available from Blackrock Cellar; Fresh Outlets; On The Grapevine, Dalkey; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Kelly’s, Dublin 3; La Touche, Greystones; Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Power & Co, Lucan; Redmonds, Ranelagh; 64Wine, Glasthule; Sweeney’s, Dublin 11; Searsons, Monkstown; World Wide Wines, Waterford.
Cavas Novas Vinho Verde 2014, Portugal
Lively lemon and pear fruits with a touch of citrus pith. Lovely weight of fruit with a bit of depth, and a crisp dry finish. Drink as an aperitif or with lighter seafood dishes.
Oysters or mussels cooked with a drop of the same wine and plenty of parsley?
Arriving shortly in Ireland. Look out for it in independent wine shops.
Time was when most Vinho Verde was light, fizzy and sweet. Not any more; over the last five years, the region has transformed itself and now produces wines that compare favourably with Rías Baixas just over the border in Spain. Alvarinho is the most obvious comparison, but Arinto, Loureiro and Avesso can all produce fresh zippy wines with lovely mouth-watering plump fruits.
Sa de Baixo 2014, Douro, Portugal
Succulent ripe red fruits with a smooth tannin-free finish. Light harmonious and very quaffable.
A good all-rounder to drink by itself or with white meats – creamy chicken with pasta sounds good.
Available from Redmond’s Ranelagh, On the Grapevine Dalkey, Red Island Wine Co Skerries, 64 Wine Glasthule, Blackrock Cellar, Wicklow Wine Co., Morton’s Ranelagh, McHugh’s kilbarrack & Malahide Road, Power Wine Merchants Lucan.
The Douro Valley is better known for Port. This stunningly beautiful region is responsible for one of the world’s great fortified wines, but also offers some amazing red (and even white) wines. It all depends on where the vineyards are located and which direction they are facing. The cooler vineyards make some very tasty wines. Sadly the best are expensive – everything has to be done by hand here, but every now and again you come across a real bargain. This has been one of my go to value reds for a few years now.