Easter Alternatives

When tasting at home, I usually taste blind (and then ‘seen’ afterwards) and try to taste a group of 6-8 similar wines at the same time. My backlog of wines had been building up, and after two days of very disappointing tastings, I really wasn’t looking forward to tasting still more wine. I understand this is not a complaint that many people understand, but tasting a series of well-made, but uninteresting wines night after night tires very quickly. Last night I found five wines supplied for a ‘Something different for Easter’ article which never materialised. We had nothing for dinner, so I bought a shoulder of lamb from my local butcher, which I roasted. Not only was the lamb magnificent – tender and full of flavour, but three of the wines were really enjoyable and each went very nicely with the lamb. So, three very different wines, each good in their own way, and perfect with Easter lamb. I also tasted a few white wines, and really enjoyed a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, pert of the Superquinn wine sale currently running.

J. Mourat ‘Sacré Blanc’ Chenin Blanc 2010

Fresh honey and quince on nose and palate, with good acidity and pretty decent length. A really enjoyable interesting wine at a great price.

€11.99 down to €9 for the Superquinn Spring French Wine Sale

Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009

Light violets and red cherries on the nose; light sweet fruit with good acidity; very pleasant and refreshing, with a nice earthy note on the finish. A very Italian wine that went very nicely with the lamb.

€14.50-14.95 from Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer St; Baggot Street Wines; 64Wine, Glasthule; Wicklow Arms, Greystones; Deveneys, Rathmines; Corkscrew, Chatham St.; Nectar Wines, Sandyford; Hargadons, Cabinteely.

Castello di Potentino 2005, Montecucco Rosso

Sweet ripe cherry nose with an earthy note; on the palate, sweet old-style Italian, with tea and liquorice flavours alongside the mature sweet fruit; possibly not the most polished, with some drying tannins on the finish. Possibly tiring a little, but a wine of real character and I really liked it – great with the lamb too.

€14.10 from

Domaine des Hauts Châssis, Cuvée Esquisse 2010

Forward clean dark fruits on the nose; sweet and savoury at the same time, with cool just-ripe dark cherries, and a light savoury kick, and a touch of tobacco; no great concentration or structure, but a very pleasant wine for drinking now.

€19.95 from , The Vineyard Galway; On The Grapevine, Dalkey.

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