Friday, October 30, 2009

Country Mix 106.8fm WineSpot Wicked Halloween Wines 28th October 2009

Thinking of Halloween I thought we’d have a look at some truly Wicked Wines.

Devils Corner Sauvignon Blanc 2008 RRP 13.95
A wine all the way from Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) this wicked drop is named after a treacherous bend in the Tamar river, where many a sailor lost life and limb over the centuries.
Tasmania is a cool-climate region (like New Zealand) and Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes do really well here. Its zingy stuff for sure so if you like Marlborough whites you would enjoy this one very much.

Whispering Woods Red 2004 RRP 12.95 (2 for 20euro on promotion)
A lovely smooth blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet that sees four months ageing in oak. Its from Western Australia, a very good region for quality Aussie wine.This one definitely falls into the Winter Warmer category and its currently on promotion at 2 for 20euro! If you drank enough of this at 14.5% you wouldn’t exactly be whispering in the woods! ...more likely a bit of singing and dancing..

All the talk of sailors, misty climate and trees that do a bit of whispering, got Linsey Dolan and myself talking about scary movies like The Fog and The Shining. I watched The Shining again a few weeks ago and scared the bejaysus out of myself!
Enjoy the Halloween!!..grab a bottle of wine for backup and give yourself a good scare!
You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning between 10 and 11am on Country Mix 106.8fm.

Country Mix 106.8fm WineSpot Knockout! Wines 21st October 2009

On this weeks show we looked at some tasty wines for everyday drinking.

Antares Sauvignon Blanc RRP 7.95
A great little Tuesday Night Wine that recently won a prize in The Irish Wine Show, as the “Best New World White Wine of the Year under 8euro”
Pretty much a benchmark good-value Sauvignon Blanc, this is a great (screwcapped) party wine which goes down very easily indeed.

Vaughan Johnson Good Everyday Red RRP 9.95
This is my Ronseal Wine (it does exactly what it says on the label..)
The wine is selected each year by Mr. Vaughan Johnson, who runs an excellent wine shop in Cape Town South Africa. The blend varies slightly from year to year, its always local grape verieties, but the aim remains the same, to present an easy-drinking wine for everyday drinking. Its modelled on the rustic wines of the South of France, in general style, in that it has a bit more bite than your average New World Red. A nice little drop especially at the price (also screwcapped!)

Celebrity Chef Andrew Rudd prepared a lovely stir-fry Beef and Broccoli dish in studio and we tried the food and wine together. Linsey Dolan raved about the dish, I loved the beef but I have to say broccoli and me have a chequered history at best.. The South African red went nicely with this particular dish (because of the soya sauce and beef combo..)

Karen Lawless, Dublin’s Talkings producer described the wines as “Knockout” and she must have been seeing the future! On my drive back from the studio, the car hit a bump in the road, the two wines hopped up from the back seat, spilled all over the car and very nearly knocked me out!
You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning between 10 and 11am on Country Mix 106.8fm.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Country Mix 106.8fm WineSpot World Cup Qualifier Wines 14th October 2009

With talk of “possible” World Cup Qualification for the boys in green (here’s hoping anyway!) I thought we’d have a look at some South African wines.
People often consider South Africa as a “New World” wine producer but there’s quite a history here as they’ve been making wine since 1659.
In more recent times, Cape wines really started to cause a stir in international markets after the end of the Apartheid regime and the lifting of the trade embargos.

Anyway today we looked at two wines from the family-run Backsberg winery (or “winefarm” as they like to say in South Africa) This winery, based in the Paarl wine region near Cape Town, is on the go since 1916, so lets just say the Back family have a seriously solid tradition and background in wine production.

Backsberg Chenin Blanc 2007 RRP 11.95
Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted grape in South Africa and this one is a really tasty, well-priced introduction to the variety. The wine has a lovely subtle sweetness to the fruit, balanced by a nice little bite of citrus acidity. To me, its like a halfway house between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and its certainly very easy to drink. Chenin Blanc makes a refreshing change in white wine because your palate can easily suffer from over-exposure to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc (the big two in White Wine Varietals) We had this wine just after tasting Andrew Rudd’s Meringue Roulade and I reckon it worked very well with this dessert.Dublin's Talking presenter Linsey Dolan gave us the thumbs up on the wine and dessert combo which was great! If you like Chenin Blanc try some Vouvray, the classic French wine made from the grape!

Backsberg Pinotage 2004 RRP 12.95
Pinotage is South Africa’s unique signature grape (its a crossing of two French grapes, Pinot Noir and Cinsault) and is one of those wines that people seem to love or hate.
I’ve tried some really good ones (Kanonkop and Diemersfontein) but there are equally some fairly dodgy ones on the market (especially at the cheaper end of things..) I think that the Backsberg is a really well-made wine and a good introduction to the grape at a fair price. Its got a big juicy strawberry, spice and herb character..there may also be the slightest hint of banana, although I may well have imagined that, it packs a fair punch on the alcohol front 14% . It doesn’t taste that heavy but you can certainly feel the kick after a few glasses!

The Backsberg winery is “Certified Carbon Neutral” by the way..they’ve made many innovations to cut back on their Carbon Footprint including using lighter glass and packaging on their range of wines.

Two tasty Cape wines in any case and another interesting tasting!

We’ll be celebrating our Fourth Anniversary in Sandyford Village this Saturday 17th October. Feel free to join us for a glass of prosecco and some cake between 6 and 8pm!
You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning between 10 and 11am on Country Mix 106.8fm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Country Mix 106.8fm WineSpot P.S. I Love White Wine 7th October 2009

Having covered only red wines on last weeks programme I thought we’d balance up the scales and take a look at some fashionable whites this week. The show’s producer Karen Lawless tipped me off and asked me to cater for the ladies in particular (as Cecilia Aherne was in studio talking about her new book of romantic fiction)
So, we tasted two wines, a cheeky Pinot Grigio and a “lovely bubbly” Prosecco.
Both these wines are uber-fashionable at the moment (especially since Pinot Grigio got a mention in “Sex and the City”) and we’ve noticed a big increase in sales of both wines in recent times.
Pinot Grigio has several things going for it as a wine style, its dry, crisp, very fruity and quite light in alcohol, hence its easygoing drinkability! Its also pretty good value for money! There are quite a few well-priced PG’s on the market here now and if you’d like to splash out and try a really good one, trade up a few euro and pick a wine from the Collio or Friuli wine regions (the hilly areas where the good producers make the best wines, Collavini or Pighin are good winery names to look out for..)
Andrew Rudd, celebrity chef, was in studio cooking up his usual storm and a beautiful Chicken Pilau dish was on the menu to try with today’s wines!

San Giorgio Pinot Grigio 2008 RRP 10.95
A lovely refreshing drop (make sure its well chilled..) this is benchmark Pinot Grigio with plenty of fresh, pear fruit character and a nice citrus bite. A wine you can easily drink without food, it also worked beautifully with Andrew Rudd’s spicy Chicken Pilau. PG is a good wine for spicy dishes. You need something refreshing to offset the heat of the chilli or other spices and you really don’t want a wine that’s too posh (chances are the wine will be blown away by the strong spices in the dish.)

Teresa Rizzi Prosecco Frizzante RRP 11.95
A tasty little prosecco for sure, its no wonder this bubbly sells like crazy…it is just so easy to drink! Prosecco is the name of the grape by the way, it comes from the Veneto wine region near Venice, this is definitely the “Sparkling Wine du Jour” Fruitier, lighter and not as dry as Brut Champagne (it definitely does not have the class or cachet of a good champagne but hey it slips down very easily and sells at a quarter of the price!)
The “frizzante” style proseccos don’t have the full fizz bubbles of a champagne either. If you want more fizz for your euro, try a Spumante and look for ones from Valdobbiadene region (that’s where all the best prosecco is made)

We have both these wines on promotion (2 for 20euro!) at the moment as part of our Fourth Anniversary Wine Sale.

You can listen to my weekly winespot every Wednesday morning between 10 and 11am on Country Mix 106.8fm.