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.
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.
Vale da Capucha 2011, Vinho Regional, Portugal
Very restrained with just ripe damson fruits, good acidity and a very attractive mineral core. Great wine with real character.
This has the acidity and tannic structure to cut through fatty meats; grilled duck breast or maybe belly of pork, so long as they aren’t swamped with a sweet sauce.
Available from Corkscrew, Gibney’s Malahide, Redmond’s Ranelagh.
Pedro Marques is better known for his white wines than red (see above), but I tried this red three times over the last six months and was very taken with it. As my tasting note suggests, it was a lovely elegant wine with a slight earthy minerality. I was gobsmacked to find out it was 15% alcohol. So not one to sip while watching TV.