Posts Tagged Aldi Cremant de Jura

Take Four Sommeliers


A good sommelier can be a lifesaver, effortlessly guiding diners to that perfect bottle of wine at an affordable price. Of course there is also a minority who like to sneer at every customer they serve. As the 2012 movie Somm showed us, being a good sommelier requires a high degree of skill and knowledge. It is an important position for the restaurant proprietor too. As one leading sommelier pointed out to me, he brought in half of his restaurant’s profits, while a huge battery of chefs, waiters and other employees were responsible for the other half. But what do sommeliers like to drink off-duty? I asked four from around the country to divulge their favourite wine within a budget, and a dish to accompany it. The only restrictions were price – €25 (€15 in the case of Aniar), and availability. Coincidentally, three of the four wines have featured as wines of the week on these pages – obviously these somms know a thing or two!

Julie Dupouy of the Greenhouse restaurant on Dawson Street was placed third in the World Sommelier Championships, one of the most difficult and prestigious competitions. She now also runs Down2wine, a wine consultancy service. She chose the Rosso Piceno. “I love it for the balance between sweet dark fruits and savouriness, and the smooth and seductive texture. A great option at the table especially with venison and some sweet earthy ingredients such as beetroot and mushrooms.”

Nicolas Faujours works at Knockranny House in Westport. With his Bourgogne Rouge, Faujours chose duck, and not just any duck; see online for the Knockranny pan-seared breast of Gressingham duck with various accompaniments. “It is such a versatile wine and I love it,” he says. “It is light bodied and great with many foods including the duck as well as sea bass. In staff tastings, it always comes out on top.”

I gave Zsolt Lukacs of Aniar in Galway the harder task; a wine under €15. This Philippe Michel Crémant, a favourite of mine as well, is, he says, “a heavyweight champion in bantam costume. A fantastic wine on its own or with oysters, squid and chorizo or light pork dishes. Thanks to its great acidity, it can easily cope with some cheeses, too”. Samuel Chantoiseau is head sommelier at Ballymaloe House in Cork. “I love Chenin Blanc from the Loire valley. With wine this good I would eat some seared Irish scallops, maybe with quinoa and roast vegetables and a little spice. I love Savennières, but it is quite expensive. This Vouvray is delicious; if I had an older vintage such as 2012, it would be even better.”

Image 1Vouvray Sec 2014, La Dilettante

Fascinating, delightful wine. Light yet full of rich honey and peaches.

Stockists: Le Caveau; Baggot St. Wines; Clontarf Wines; Corkscrew;
Green Man; Listons; Fallon & Byrne; MacGuinness, Dundalk; Avoca, Rathcoole.

Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Guillot-Broux 2014

Juicy fragrant light redcurrant and red cherry fruits.

Cabot and Co, Westport; Poppy Seed, Clarinbridge; Grapevine, Dalkey;
Mortons, Galway.

no 2 rosso-piceno-di-gino-fattoria-san-lorenzo-2013Rosso Piceno “Vigna di Gino”, Fattoria San Lorenzo 2014

Lovely elegant dark cherry fruits with a savoury edge and a very attractive freshness.

Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Dublin, Galway and Meath.

Phillippe Michel ChardonnayBargain Wine

Philippe Michel Crémant de Jura NV

Crisp zippy refreshing green apples and lemon zest. Amazing value for money.

Stockists: Aldi

Posted in: Irish Times

Leave a Comment (0) →

Aldi Press tasting


Aldi held their summer wine tasting recently in the Cliff House – a lovely venue for a tasting. As usual at the Aldi event, some decent wines and jaw-dropping prices. As argued here before, these days wine producers can make large quantities of inoffensive, largely off-dry white and red wines at incredibly cheap prices. But don’t expect too much in the way of excitement. There were some nice wines here, but they were usually up at the €13 a bottle level – and at that price, the other supermarkets and some independents can compete quite successfully.


Philippe Michel Crémant de Jura

This has featured many times before; it is still one of the best-value bottles of fizz in Ireland. Crisp green apple fruits, very gluggable and streets ahead of most Prosecco in my book.

Exquisite Collection Blanquette de Limoux

Slightly unusual nose (possibly the Mauzac) with some elderflowers; a very pleasant light fruity bottle of fizz. Made by Jean Claude Mas, as were a number of French wines at the tasting.

Exquisite Collection Rías Baixas Albariño 2015

Good ripe, off-dry pear fruits, with plenty of zesty acidity and some length too. Well-made wine.


Vouvray 2015

A very nice medium-dry wine with lots of acidity, genuine Chenin Blanc fruits – pears and quince, with a touch of honey.

Exquisite Collection Riesling 2015, Clare valley, Australia

Classic Clare Valley Riesling with crisp green apples and plenty of citrus acidity. Well-made wine.

Exquisite Collection Ch. Latour Laguens, Bordeaux


I forgot to write the vintage down for this wine; it is a good clean Bordeaux with nice warm fruit and a rounded finish. Good value for €9.99

Ch. de Caussagues, Corbières

Amazing price. Light sweet jammy fruit. An option for those on a very tight budget.

Toro Loco Bobal Merlot 2014, Spain


The cheapest wine at the tasting I think, but not the worst. Light easy juicy fruits with a sweetish finish.

Lot 12 Anjou Chenin Blanc 2012

I have written about this wine before, from Ch. de Fesles, one of the posher Chateaux of the Loire. Very crisp and dry, in fact razor sharp, with lightly honeyed green fruits and a bone dry finish. Good wine.

Lot 14 Minervois La Livinière 2014

Fragrant, elegant wine with warm plum fruits and some spice. Well-made fairly-priced wine.


Lot 15 Grès de Montpellier 2014


Good rich savoury fruits, with light tannins. Nice wine with plenty of stuffing; with red meats.

Posted in: Blog

Leave a Comment (0) →