Weekend wine with Blake Creedon

AMONG the highlights at a recent tasting held by Lidl, two bottles in particular proved a bit of a surprise.

If I were to walk into any shop and see a St Emilion Grand Cru and a Châteauneuf du Pape at the prices here I’d think twice about buying them.

Both appellations are held in high esteem — too high in my view — and I’d be inclined to suspect that something was not quite right. This is particularly true of the CdeP which regularly under-delivers, even priced in mid teens or €20.

But the two bottles here offer very good value Bordeaux and Cotes Du Rhône respectively.

A handful of other wines in the tasting were well worth a second look, including an unctuous candied 10 Year Tawny Port that is a very pretty unusually light pink-orange colour and sells at €12.99; and a Premier Cru Chablis at €13.99.

*There are far too many great wine events coming up to mention here so take a look at blakecreedon.wordpress.com. Among the highlights is the first Wine Society evening at the Hayfield Manor in Cork on Thursday. It’s a five-course dinner matched with the wines of Famille Quiot in the Rhone valley. €79 per person. To book, call 021-4845900 or email events@hayfieldmanor.ie.

Cimarosa Sauvignon Blanc, — Lidl, €5.29

Fresh citrussy and slightly grassy Chilean sauv blanc, every bit as good as plenty of its peers and priced at a tenner. On offer until tomorrow at six for the price of four.

Viajero Sauvignon Blanc 2009, — Lidl, €7.99

This wouldn't be my first choice at Lidl but its softly-softly approach to the grape and its pithy texture will find favour with some.

St Emilion Grand Cru 2009, — Lidl, €11.99

Now this is my idea of a good affordable Bordeaux — tightly-furled flavours opening up to deliver generous fragrant glassfuls of berries and spice.

Chateauneuf Du Pape 2009, — Lidl, €12.49

The southern Rhone is awash in good middleweight spicy reds and this is one of the better ones at this price: glossy black minty delicious.

Black Sheep Ale 500ml 4.4% ABV. Tesco, €2.29

PEOPLE who developed their taste for craft beers across the water in Britain are likely to have done so through beers such as Theakston’s Old Peculiar — robustly-flavoured, strong in alcohol, and quaintly named.

The brewery that makes it was swallowed up by a nest of larger companies during a surge of acquisitions in the 1980s.

But the then managing director Paul Theakston quit to set up Black Sheep in Masham in North Yorkshire, which brings us to today's bottle: This beer is an entirely different prospect to the more famous Peculiar: a lightly hoppy lemony ale which is perfectly pitched to people getting bored with big brands of lager who want to try something more interesting and food-friendly.


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