Food, wine, travel, music
If you ever get a chance to hear Peter Dunne of Mitchell and Son in Dublin talk, take it! As entertaining as he is informative, his 40 years as a director of the company has taught him plenty. Most importantly his knowledge is easily digested due to his wry sense of humour and storytelling gift. At a recent tasting in Cork he presented wines which took us on an adventure. And if you get a chance to ask him to play the piano, take that too! Order on line or visit shops in the Financial Services Centre and Glasthule.
Dare I say, a girlie wine, great to serve as an aperitif, or all the way through a light lunch with salads and light fish dishes. A little sweetness with a hint of grapefruit comes from the Ugni Blanc and Colombard grape varieties.
Another wine as an elegant aperitif, this is a good exmaple of the Sauvignon grape with good fruit and a fresh finish. Good for light as well as substantial salads. The wealthy owner of this vineyard doesn’t care about making money, just about making a good wine, so good value at €14.99.
Spatlese Trocken, Pflaz €24.99 Schumacher Riesling 2008
Lovely round fruit, deliciously fresh finish, great length, will keep well enough to eventually get sweeter. Keep one bottle to try after 10 years as a treat; it’s interesting to experiment, but now it’s just perfect.
Rose de Clarke 2011 Bordeaux €16.99
From the Listrac area, known for its rosés, this one has a strong salmon colour from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes pressed and left overnight, then the juice taken away to ferment. More a red than a white wine it wlll take substanial food more than many other rosés, even meats. Good for complicated salads with duck confit, rare beef etc and to go with leftovers. Peter Dunne suggested drinking it with Christmas leftovers which was a new idea to me and a good one for next year. I fancy it with oriental food too. Good price for this level of quality and a good example of how interesting a rosé can be. From 1771 it was in the hands of Tobie Clarke one of the Irish Winegeese who settled in Listrac from Co Down. Since 1973 Chateau Clarke has been in the Baron Edmond de Rothchild portfolio.
This wine shows that 2009 was one of the greater vintages of the decade in most of Europe. Coming from Cote de Blaye, and not from one of the better known areas, explains its low price for a wine which is an excelent blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Peter Dunne says that Blaye didn’t become as famous as a region as its port was silty and ships couldn’t get in to export the wine. The practicalities of wine distribuition! The late Dr John O’Connell in his book ‘French Country Roads, a wine lovers guide to France’ described Blaye and it southern neighbour Bourg as “a twinned forgotten backwater of Bordeaux”. Now, though not still displaying the beauty of its east adn western neighbors, has come along with factories nearby which is good for business. Beautifully well balanced, this wine is a bargain for drinking now. The Sichel family’s involvement gives an assurance of quality.
This the kind of wine that is good for party drinking without food. Soft, easy drinking it’s not a good wine for having with food when it needs more bite, except perhaps with a chocolate dessert. Try it for upmarket art exhibitions to tempt tyre kickers to buy, buy buy!
From the Setubal region of Portugal comes great fruit, well balanced with good structure to pair with substantial food such as steak, lamb and game. Great value from a country that has pretty good value on offer, though you need to know what you are buying.
L. A. Cetto Petite Syrah 2009 Mexico €12.50
This is a good one to test on your friends. Try pouring it into a decanter (or a milk jug) and see if they can guess where it’s from. Peter Dunne’s test for a wine club yielded no winners, except the wine itself which went down very well with great praise for its fruity good value.
Alta Vista Premium Malbec 2010 Argentina 15% abv €17.99
Handpicked grapes carefully selected with just one and a half bottles produced from each vines (Chateau d’Yquem gets even less at one bottle from each vine), so good intensity of fruit for this is high class Argentinian wine.