Weekend wine with Blake Creedon

There’s a very special event coming up in Cork, Galway and Waterford over the next few weeks.

There’s a very special event coming up in Cork, Galway and Waterford over the next few weeks. Jacob’s Creek is inviting 50 guests free of charge to their See Beyond The Label roadshow at pop-up restaurants in atmospheric venues in each of those cities. At each, a highly-regarded chef will be putting together a dinner, each course of which will be accompanied by matching wines — and even better, a fascinating sensory exercise presented by TV3’s wine expert David Whelehan.

As well as hints and tips about wine tasting, David will help diners focus properly on their senses, firstly with a simple comparison test in which each diner is presented with a pair of wines — for instance a chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc; or a merlot and a cabernet sauvignon if opting for red — and try to identify which wine is which. Later in the evening another dimension will be introduced with a second, more specific, test — not with wines but bottles essences of aromas — when a volunteer from each table will try to identify the various scents. The exercises sound simple, and they are. But we are so used to allowing other factors cloud our senses that being compelled to listen to what your nose and palate says can be a radical.

The chefs and venues are as follows. Apr 4: Cork City Gaol (Canice Sharkey, Isaacs). Apr 19: Galway City Museum (JP McManus, Cava & Aniar Restaurant). Apr 26: Greyfriars Gallery, Waterford (Robbie Krawczyk, O’Brien’s Chophouse).

- To enter the draw for a reservation at one of these special events, see facebook.com/jacobscreekireland or email jacobscreek@idl.ie (with Jacob’s Creek ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ in the subject line) naming which venue you’d like to attend, your name, date of birth (as drinks will be served) and contact details for you and one guest.

- SuperValu stores are currently running a promotion named World of Wine until Sat, May 5, with reductions on hundreds of wines. Let’s go sniff out some of the highlights.

BEST VALUE UNDER €9

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint Chinian 2009
SuperValu, reduced to €7.99

One of the best wines in SuperValu’s own ‘Specially Selected’ range, the emphasis in this grenache syrah blend from the south of France is on the savoury end of the spectrum: tart red fruit accompanied by delicious food-friendly herbal aromas.

Catania Crianza Ribera Del Duero 2007
SuperValu, reduced to €8.99

One of the highlights of SuperValu’s exclusives collection, this is a handsome reserved tempranillo, baked and fresh ripe cherry. Another excellent Spanish red at an affordable price provides the hint yet again that some of the best value out there is from Spain.

Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja
SuperValu, reduced to €8.99

Up to St Patrick’s Day, SuperValu was offering the Campo Viejo crianza at a reduced price of €7.99. Well now it completes a neat double act by bringing its reserva stablemate down to nearly that low price. Elegant, well matured fruit, accompanied by a polished wood.

BEST VALUE UNDER €10

Niel Joubert Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Paarl 2006
SuperValu, reduced to €9.99

Just like the revelation at the Lidl tasting recently, the Niel Joubert range at SuperValu provided a surprise: that a relatively modestly-priced wine from South Africa would show so well: this has a delightfully playful fragrance of ripe fresh red fruit.

Niel Joubert Reserve Chardonnay 2008 Paarl
SuperValu, reduced to €9.99

We can easily be wooed by, for instance, ‘classic’ wine regions such as Burgundy. But there’s a growing phalanx of really well-made chardonnays at approachable prices like this one: it’s fresh and crisp but shot through with flashes of more lush, warmer, tropical fruit flavours.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2011
SuperValu, reduced to €8.99

Widely available, and fairly often reduced in price to below a tenner, this kiwi sauvignon blanc has become a staple for when shellfish is on the menu as it brings delightfully contrasting layers of plump ripe fruit and zingy citrussy acidity.


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