Posts Tagged Supervalu wine

Four bargain supermarket wines to ease your September blues

This article was first published in The Irish Times, 3rd September, 2022

As we count the cost of holidays past, school uniforms and rising prices, we should be thankful that the annual round of supermarket wine sales has started. These days the entire year seems to be a series of promotional cycles, but I think the autumn sales usually offer the best value. I tasted a range from Dunnes Stores, SuperValu and O’Briens recently and came across some very nice wines.

The SuperValu French and German wine sale started on Thursday and will continue until September 21st. Hats off to Kevin O’Callaghan and his team for coming up with a substantial German offering alongside France. Look out for the varietal wines from Albert Glas that include Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir. At €10-€12, these are all very keenly priced. If you ever wanted to explore your favourite grape variety, this provides the ideal opportunity. I would also recommend the Blue Tie (€10) from Alsace if you enjoy off-dry whites, and the rich and powerful I’m the Boss Cahors Malbec (€15), if you want something more full-bodied to partner your red meats and hearty bean casseroles.

From August 30th to October 11th, Dunnes Stores will be offering 20 per cent off all French wine. One of my favourites is the Exploration Crozes-Hermitage 2020 Cave de Tain (€16.80), a medium-bodied wine with delicious ripe dark fruits, pepper and light tannins, with no added sulphites.

In recent years, Dunnes has improved its Burgundy selection, and now has a very decent range, some offering value for money given current prices in Burgundy. Both the Bourgogne Rouge Marguerite Carillon (€18) and the Domaine de la Bressande Mercurey 2018 (€24.80) are very well-priced. The wines of Laurent Miquel have been ever present in Dunnes for many years, and quality has never slipped. The Laurent Miquel Kinsale is a delicious rich rounded Syrah, perfect with red meats and cheeses, and the excellent Côte 128 Viognier is an absolute steal at €10.40.

The other white wine that stood out for me was the Cocobiroux Vermentino, another great bargain for €9.60. If you fancy splashing out a little, the Lions de Batailley, the second wine of Château Batailley in Pauillac (€31.20) is a classic Bordeaux.

Lastly, the O’Briens wine sale began last Thursday with more than 100 wines from around the world on promotion. Bargains include one of my favourites, the light supple Saint Désirat Syrah (€9.95), as well as the Laurent Miquel Cabernet Sauvignon (€9.95) and the new organic Almorquí Tinto (€9.95). I would also be tempted by the Rizzardi Lugana (€13.95) and the excellent sherry lookalike Montilla Toro Albalá Oloroso (€13.95).

This week four wines all for €10 or less to help tide you over those September blues.

Château Lacroix 2020 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

14.5%, €9.20

A big powerful Bordeaux with concentrated muscular ultra-ripe cassis fruits and a spicy, tannic finish. Enjoy it with roast red meats or substantial bean casseroles.

From: Dunnes Stores

Château Bentejac 2019, Bordeaux

14%, €9.45

Medium-bodied with supple red fruits and light, slightly herbaceous tannins on the finish. A solid traditional claret. Try it with roast red meats or a garlicky mushroom casserole.

From: O’Briens

Albert Glas Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) 2021, Pfalz

12.5%, €10

Fresh crisp racy green fruits — pears and apples — with a lively acidity and crisp dry finish. Perfect aperitif wine with tapas, with creamy goat’s cheese or plainly grilled white fish.

From: SuperValu

Max Lions Grenache 2020, IGP pays d’Oc

14.5%, €10

Big ripe slightly baked strawberries with a touch of spice. Supple and rounded, this offers good value for money. Try it with substantial casseroles and pasta bakes.

From: SuperValu

Posted in: Irish Times

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Warming red wines for wet Wednesdays

First published in The Irish Times, Saturday October 28th, 2017

It is a dark, wet Wednesday evening, when the damp seems to creep in to every bone in your body. Your partner comes in looking weary after another hard day in the office. You know you don’t drink on a Wednesday, but this evening circumstances seem to dictate otherwise. The aromas of a freshly baked lasagne or a herb-scented warming stew seem to demand that you open a bottle of red wine. And so, over dinner, you have one glass, maybe two, of a simple, easy-drinking red, and the world seems a slightly better place.

We are not looking at wines that will have you searching for superlatives, but we do want a wine that tastes of something and will offer a little interest. Most really cheap wines are fine but boring. They taste as if they been manipulated by a team of winemakers to cover over any faults, leaving a medium-bodied, slightly sweet, rounded red wine with slightly confected fruit.  And they have. They are drinkable but bland and a little boring.

Sadly, post-financial crisis, most prices at the cellar door are beginning to increase a little. So whereas once you could find plenty of interesting wines at that magical €9.99, most seem to have crept up in price. This week I walked into four of our biggest retailers and bought a bottle of red wine in the €10-€13 range. It is impossible to keep up with the ever-changing prices in supermarkets, so some of these wines may cost less (or more ) by the time you read this. But all should be safely within the €10-€13 price bracket and maybe even less.

The Pinot Noir from SuperValu is light enough to drink alongside salmon or tuna, but would also go nicely with chicken and pork dishes. It featured as a party wine a few weeks back as well. The Chianti from Lidl has a little more body and would be more at home with lighter pasta dishes or pizza. You could match the Malbec with a steak but it would also drink well with lasagne or stew and other midweek dishes. The Cairanne is the most full-bodied and would be a good match for grilled lamb or beef.

On a related topic I wonder what will happen to supermarket wines if and when minimum pricing is brought in. If the selling price of a €6 bottle of wine is artificially increased to €8, will they continue to sell the same wine at an increased price and with a vastly inflated profit margin, or will they source a better wine?

In the meantime here are my wet Wednesday reds from the supermarkets. Next week, four bottles in the same price bracket from a few independent retailers.

Chianti Classico Riserva 2014, Fortezza dei Colli
14%, €10.99

Smooth easy red cherry fruits with a lift of acidity to keep it fresh, a hit of vanilla and a nice bite on the tail end. Perfect with lasagne.
Stockists: Lidl

Cairanne 2016, Domaine de La Belle Estelle
14.5%, €10.99

From the southern Rhône valley, a swarthy, powerful, meaty red wine with burly dark fruits sprinkled with spice. A genuine winter warmer.
Stockists: Aldi

Tesco Finest Argentina Malbec 2015
13.5% €12 (€9 on promotion)

Medium to full-bodied with perfumed, juicy dark fruits, all loganberry and plums with a very nicely rounded, soft finish.
Stockists: Tesco

Pinot Noir La Petite Perrière 2015, Saget, Vin de France
12.5%, €10.99 (€9 on promotion or three for €25)

A very friendly, medium-bodied red with soft, sweet, succulent dark cherry fruits, finishing with a flourish.
Stockists: SuperValu

Posted in: Irish Times

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