Don’t panic. You still have a few days left to pick up your wine and wine-related Christmas presents. We all fret far too much about the wine for the Christmas dinner, remember that turkey matches everything but nothing matches Brussel sprouts so there is no perfect match.
September is Wine Sale month with the French wine sale at DunnesStores having begun on Tuesday last and SuperValu’s French sale on Thursday. Lidl’s French sale is wisely holding off until September 30 and Aldi and O’Briens have more general sales.
Will 2019 be the year Ireland’s wine drinkers finally start to catch up with our rosé-loving UK and EU counterparts? Largely thanks to the warm summer of 2018 sales of rosé last year showed a significant increase according to retailers I’ve spoken with and most are optimistic for 2019.
With the clocks going forward, longer evenings are coming and hopefully warmer days and evenings. Given that we have already had some warmer days I’ve found myself drinking more white wine and rosé, as well as Beaujolais and lighter styles of red.
I apologise in advance for this column as there is considerable decadence ahead. I was lucky enough to visit Adare Manor for one of their prized wine evenings recently, the good news however is that these evenings are open to anyone for approximately €75 to €85 per person — excellent value given the wines being served.
This week I want to focus on the wines of the Languedoc which covers a vast area of vineyards growing both varietal wines to suit international tastes but also quirky local wines unique to the region. The terrain here can vary from wild rocky garrigue to Mediterranean to more Atlantic.
Growing up in the midlands in the 1970s there was not a lot of wine consumed in our house except at Christmas or when the English cousins arrived in the summer — it was usually Blue Nun. However, my dad did occasionally buy red wine and that was almost always Rioja, a byword for quality then, as now.