THE local-and-in-season theme reflected in food foraging is an entirely different philosophy to that behind organics. But the two outlooks can be good companions, not least as much of the organic approach to food and drink is dedicated to minimising human intervention and emphasising the direct line between field and fork.
One place where both ought to find a good home is the Quay Co-Op on Sullivan’s Quay in Cork where I picked up three of today’s wines, along with the cracking cider on page 25, all of them organically produced. Any of them would be perfect for raising a toast to wish a happy 30th birthday to the Quay Co-Op which has flourished since 1982 and now also has stores in Carrigaline and Ballincollig.
The wines are among the organic and biodynamic range imported and distributed throughout Ireland by Mary Pawle (064 -6641443; www.marypawlewines.com).
* Mary is also behind a fascinating wine tasting event at the Grain Store, Ballymaloe, Co Cork on Thursday, Jun 7, at 7pm. Sunday Business Post wine columnist Tomás Clancy will be telling the tale of the ‘Wine Geese’, the past and present generations of Irish people involved in winemaking around the world. But better again, his co-host will be winemaker Caroline Feely who, with her husband Sean, moved from Dublin seven years ago to Saussignac, a short hop from Bordeaux. They now make highly-regarded organic and biodynamic wines at Chateau Haut-Garrigue. The event costs e10, and there are special rates on accommodation. (021-4652531; firstname.lastname@example.org).
* Next Wednesday at 7pm, Annie’s Bar on Sunday’s Well in Cork, is hosting a & a three-course dinner accompanied by wines made by New Zealand’s Forrest Estate which is imported by James Nicholson. The last time I tried this range, all of them struck me as top-class and some of them I rated as outstanding. Early booking (e45; 021-4398384) is essential. More details on blakecreedon.wordpress.com.
Gérard Bertrand Tautavel Réserve
Dunnes Stores, €8
The south of France is a great source of good value wines and Dunnes generally features some crackers from that vast region, including this generous deliciously spicy Côtes du Roussillon Villages grenache-led blend.
Cecchi Chianti Classico
Dunnes Stores, €10
I love wine regions that do the basics well, and in just a decade or so Chianti has come a long way in that regard. Once a byword for poor, tired plonk, the denominazione now makes many good, crisp, food-friendly wines such as this lovely herbal scented food-friendly red.
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
Dunnes Stores, €9
It can be difficult to find New Zealand wines priced at less than e10, so do take the opportunity to pick up this well-made sauvignon blanc — ripe fruit flavours set off with great verve by the grape’s signature crisp acidity
Chateau Gaillard Touraine Sauvignon Blanc
€12.15 at Quay Co-Op — via Mary Pawle Wines
No doubt about it — this is the bargain of the week. You might detect a more fleshy and full-figured character than you’d expect from the sauvignon blanc grape: well that restrained richness of texture is thanks in part to the prolonged period the wine spends on the grape skins (’lees’) before bottling. It works wonderfully here, adding a lovely rounded layer to the fresh tingling acidity so typical of the grape.
ERA Nero d’Avola Sicilia 2009
€10.65 at Quay Co-Op — via Mary Pawle Wines
Sicily has a reputation for making robust ‘country’ wines. But there are lots of tremendous affordable and elegant wines from the island (including whites such as fiano). This one’s a splendid translucent ruby colour, and offers a ripe yet elegant and spicy mouthful on the palate.
Domainde de Brau Cuvee Les Compagnons 2009
€11.20 — via Mary Pawle Wines
Open up this cabernet sauvignon cabernet franc blend plenty of time before you tuck into it: it really blossoms with the air. Dense and opaque, it’s a lovely rich compote of fruit bedded in a soft creamy texture and a touch of spice.
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