Wine suggestions this week include nice Proseccos

May seems to have become food and wine festival month. This weekend it is Wexford’s turn with a craft beer trail in the town tomorrow. Greenacres wine shop will be hosting wine tastings Saturday and Sunday.

Tomorrow is the Sheridan’s Cheesemongers Food Festival and their fabulously named wine importer Enrico Fantasia will be on hand with wine tastings throughout the day. Enrico has a fascinating collection of wines, all are from small independently-minded producers, many growing their grapes organically.

Next weekend is the Lismore Music Festival (https://www.lismoremusicfestival.com/) with the highlight as usual the Opera in the castle. No specific wine connection with this event but this year it is Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderalla) and Rossini is very important to the world of gastronomy – there is also an Opera two-course meal with a glass of wine for €25 with food cooked by Eunice Power.

There are dozens of dishes named after Rossini but the best has to be the Rossini Cocktail which is two parts Prosecco to one part strawberry purée (similar to a Bellini which uses white peach purée). Given that Irish strawberries are now in every grocer’s shop at least raise a toast to Italy’s Mozart if you can’t make it to Lismore. Selections this week have a vague connection with Rossini who was born in the Marche in Central Italy and also spent time in Bologna, Rome, Paris and of course Vienna.

The Austrian wines, below, are from two producers imported by The Corkscrew in Dublin – Johannes Hirsch and Fritz Wieninger. Both are at the top of their game and are about much more than Gruner Veltliner (although their Gruner’s are of course excellent).

Elegance characterised both their wines – Wieninger’s Gemischter Satz field blend was light and fresh tasting but also balanced and subtle. His Chardonnay had flavours of guava and spice and his Select Pinot Noir was packed with forest floor aromas and complex cherry fruit flavours.

From Hirsch his Rieslings and his Gruner Veltliner were both stars – especially the Kammerner Grub Gruner which had flavours of coconut and spice with a lingering twist of tropical fruit on the finish.

BEST VALUE UNDER €15

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco 2011 — €11.99

Stockist: Lidl

This is a full fizz Spumante Prosecco which will work better than a Frizzante if you plan on making the Rossini cocktail above (Frizzante is so low in fizz it counts as a still wine and has lower tax). This is also tasty on its own with lots of peach and pear aromas, clean fresh flavours and even a little bitter lemon kick on the finish.

Bougrier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Loire, France — €12.99

Wine suggestions this week include niceProseccos 

Stockists: JJ O’Driscolls, Ardkeen Stores, Baggot Street Wines, Carpenters Castlenock

Loire Sauvignon Blanc tends to be a bit more restrained than from the New World. This has some gooseberry and apple but also touches of pear and lemongrass. Good acidity and clean flavours and a perfect wine for sipping chilled while someone else grills some fish on the barbecue.

Fico Grande Sangiovese 2014, Romagna, Italy — €11.99

Wine suggestions this week include niceProseccos

Stockist: SuperValu

Emilia-Romagna is the food capital of Italy (Parma Ham, Parmesan, Balsamic etc) but their wines are rarely seen here. This bright juicy Sangiovese is light, fresh and very tasty with sweet cherries, strawberries and plums. This is also barbecue wine and will work well lightly chilled.

BEST VALUE OVER €15

La Caniette Rosso Bello Piceno DOC 2010, Marche, Italy — €19.95

Wine suggestions this week include niceProseccos

Stockist: The Corkscrew www.thecorkscrew.ie 

This wine is well named as it is simply gorgeous. As usual from Piceno this is a Montepulciano/Sangiovese blend, jam-packed with delicious red and black fruits, lingering cherry and blackberry and touches of violets. The name references one of Michaelangelo’s famous colours

Wieninger Wiener Trilogie 2012, Austria — €24.95

Wine suggestions this week include niceProseccos

Stockist: The Corkscrew www.thecorkscrew.ie 

Austrian red wines get unjustly overlooked – this is a blend of the Blaufrankisch related grape Zweigelt (70%) along with a little Merlot and Cabernet. Ripe fruit-driven style, a little leafy on the nose but rich on the palate with lingering plums and dried strawberry flavours

Hirsch Riesling Zobing 2013, Austria — €24.95

Wine suggestions this week include niceProseccos

Stockist: The Corkscrew www.thecorkscrew.ie 

With all the focus on Austrian Gruner Veltliner we forget how good their Rieslings are sometimes. This has a classic Riesling nose of chalk and stones with a touch of gun-flint – mineral and aromatic with apples and lemon zest and a bright fresh acidity on the finish.


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