Alsace Gewurztraminer Grand Cru
Lidl | €14.99
One of my favourite things to do is encourage readers to try new wine varieties.
Heading to the Alsace region, gewürztraminer is an aromatic white grape variety with lots of complexity and texture, making it a food-friendly wine. If you haven’t tried it, this bottle from Lidl will start you on your journey without breaking the bank. It’s quite a floral wine, with notes of exotic fruit such as lychee, but what elevates it is the pop of spice and a little ginger, which adds good balance and weight. This would work great with a Thai takeaway, although don’t go too spicy as there isn’t enough residual sugar to carry it. A mild pad Thai would work well.
Bouchard Aine & Fils Pouilly Fuisse
Dunnes Stores | €27. Special Easter offer of €21.60
I’ve picked not one but two chardonnays for this Easter because I think it is such a fantastic time of year to enjoy this treat.
First a pouilly fuisse, which is excellent value on special offer in Dunnes at the moment. From the Bouchard Aine & Fils vineyard in Burgundy, this winery has been making chardonnay since 1750, resulting in a wine that displays notes of apple, pear and peach with a little citrus. It’s got a soft honey finish with excellent minerality. This will work great with a seafood starter this Easter, especially a prawn cocktail. Equally, if you’re serving up a roast chicken or some roast pork, this is the perfect pairing.
O’Briens Wines | €28.95
Chablis is the most northern wine growing area in Burgundy.
In fact, it’s so far north, it’s nearly in the champagne region. Interestingly, Chanson wines have spent two decades being perfected by the champagne house of Bollinger. So this is a real treat. This is an excellent well-rounded wine displaying notes of green apple and pear, just on the cusp of ripeness. What really makes this wine noteworthy is its fresh minerality, which gives a real fullness. Elegant yet rich, this will also work great with a seafood starter like seared scallops. As the evenings get warmer, sear a tuna steak on the barbecue and crack this beauty open.
Tesco | €12. On special offer €9 until 19 April
There is good consistently to the Tesco Finest wines.
For those who enjoy a bold red, this wine punches above its weight, especially as a good montepulciano can be a bit hit and miss. Rich with good structure, notes of plums and blackberries with a little cherry are enjoyed upfront, followed by a hint of oak and a little chocolate finish. To get the best out of this wine, let it breathe for about half an hour before serving. This wine will pair beautifully with a roast rib of beef and even though it’s quite bold you can happily keep sipping it after dinner. It will also work lovely on Easter Sunday night with a sneaky chunk of Easter egg.
Chateau de Pierreux Brouilly Rouge
Simply Better at Dunnes Stores | €19.99. On special €15.99 throughout Easter
If you’re looking for a red that’s a little lighter, give this brouilly a slosh in your glass.
Jammy strawberry and blackberry flavours are complemented with a little cherry sharpness and a touch of spice. Ageing in large oak barrels adds good structure and length, with silky smooth tannins on the finish. This red is light enough that it will work right through your meal. Start off with a goat’s cheese salad followed by a roast leg of lamb and a light chocolate mousse for dessert will work a dream. We also tried it with roast duck, which was sublime, and if you fancy dining al fresco this spring we’d recommend pairing with a little paté.
Bodega Atamisque Cabernet Sauvignon
Avoca | €32.95
Mendoza in Argentina may be famous for its fantastic malbec but the Uco Valley
also has well-earned credentials for producing excellent cabernet sauvignon. Case in point is this Bodega Atamisque, a real treat for Easter. Rich and full bodied, this is a complex wine with jammy black fruit flavours and tart cherries. Warm spices of cinnamon and cloves are deepened with a little black pepper along with cassis and vanilla. It has good acidity, while maturation both in French oak and stainless steel barrels lead to lovely round tannins. This is another wine perfect for Easter Sunday, to elevate your roast leg of lamb dinner and to pair later with some delicious dark chocolate.
Lidl | €11.49
Cava represents fantastic value for money, especially when you consider that it is made in the same traditional method as champagne.
However, sometimes it can be so cheap, people question its quality. Admittedly I did myself with this wine and while it’s not what you would call a complex wine, it is well made and perfect if you’re having a lot of people over and you need your wine to stretch. On first pop, you’ll pick up lovely aromas of citrus. The vibrant bubbles impart notes of apple complimented with a little cream and a surprising pop of toastiness. Dry but fresh, I would reach for this in a heartbeat above a cheap bottle of prosecco.
Tesco | €12
Provence is the home of elegant, refreshing rosé but often it comes with a high price tag.
Clever retailers are sourcing from good Provence vineyards that might not have the big names or the celebs attached but still make fine wine. Case in point is this Côtes de Provence from the Tesco Finest range where the grapes are sourced from coastal vineyards. Juicy fruit flavours of creamy strawberry and raspberry are complemented with a touch of pomegranate. Elegant and refreshing, it’s got well-balanced acidity and offers good value for money. Perfect if laying out a cheese and meat board or serving with seafood but we enjoyed with a crispy pizza with some Gubbeen chorizo.
La Dame En Rose Sparkling
Marks & Spencer | €13.50
This time we’re heading to the Languedoc region of France where this pale pink pop of flavour is made.
The calming sun of southern France warms the grapes for this wine, which include cinsault, caladoc, grenache and carignan, a classic rosé combination. Flavours of strawberry and redcurrant make this a very fresh and fruity wine. It’s elevated with a little pop of spice on the finish, which adds some complexity. Oozing in elegance, this is the wine that will see you through from spring dinners to summer barbecues. It will also work lovely with desserts – we’re thinking a deliciously fresh soft strawberry cheesecake.