Wine tastings lead to curious discoveries

With the news of Cork’s biggest wine shop officially opening almost two weeks ago, word is still travelling thick and fast throughout the county and beyond. This was helped again when one of Ireland’s most respected independent wine writers made a feature of us in his Saturday wine column for the Irish Examiner.

Columnist Blake Creedon is one who always seems to fly the flag for wine styles that are sometimes overlooked and underestimated. So it’s great to see that he has recommended a number of examples that bring out the best of their varietals at accessible price points. White Zinfandel (of which I have slated in the past. Oops!), Pinot Grigio and Merlot all get the call to be given a second chance.

Recommended wines featured by Blake Creedon, Irish Examiner, 18th & 25th September 2010:

The Ned Pinot Grigio 2009 (€12.99)

“Much of New Zealand’s Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio tradition is all about wines that are big, luscious and semi-sweet. Much more to our liking is the likes of this one – dry and crisp with playful hints of fruity peachy sweetness.”

Berrigan Point Merlot 2007 (€9.99 currently €7.99)

“Sure where would we be without Merlot? Essential component of Bordeaux but also can work so well on its own. Here, a joyous, expressive fruity Merlot with a fresh fruit salad of flavours and a decent representation of essential tannins.”

Gregorina Sangiovese Superiore 2008 (€11.99)

“Although the smashing value white Cuvee Jean Paul at curious wines does have a counterpart, you could regard this excellent number as its true dance partner. A subtle, elegant dry red with that lovely herbal scent I always associate with the Sangiovese grape.”

Borgo Magredo Prosecco Spumante NV (€16.99)

“Prosecco is a sparkling wine style that we often approach tentatively – and yes some of the lighter ones can seem like a gear change from Champagne. Banish such prejudices – or the enjoy having them upended – by the firm confident verve of this lovely fresh fruity sparkler.”

The Carnival White Zinfandel Rosé 2009 (€9.99 currently €8.99)

“I like this a lot, the immediacy of its juicy, generous basket of strawberries beautifully delivered by a fine, creamy texture. Ultimately, balance is the measure of a wine: the 10% ABV alcohol chimes in perfectly, and I certainly didn’t feel overwhelmed by the significant touch of sweetness associated with the style.”

Dignité Viognier 2007 (€12.99)

Paired with roasted duck with peaches and rosewater sauce. “Viognier is the wine most akin to rosewater: at its most excessive, it can have quite an overwhelmingly powerful perfume. Here though, it’s a lovely soft-textured white with just a hint of that lovely rose petal scent.”

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