June 15, 2024

Four wallet-friendly wines, all between €10 and €15

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‘I plan to drink less and to continue drinking better … It is never too late for resolutions’

How is Dry January going for you? Well, I hope. But once we move into February, will you return to your previous drinking habits? Rather than go dry for an entire month, I have elected to return to the path of moderation. Over the last few months of 2021, I have to admit that I regularly broke my own alcohol consumption rules.

I could blame the pandemic and I could blame Christmas deadlines (it is a time of year when I receive the most samples), or I could blame the dark nights and cold weather. Thanks to Covid, some of our Christmas celebrations were moved into early January. It is never too late for resolutions so we have now embarked on a year-long effort to drink less alcohol. 

First, I plan to drink less and to continue drinking better. I know that the December credit card bills will have arrived, but as suggested here many times before, a few euro make a huge difference to the quality of your wine. If you drink inexpensive wines from the multiples, you will no longer be able to buy any wine for less than €7.80. 

Torres has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to climate change, implementing many positive changes both in their vineyards and wineries

We are also planning two to three dry days, and one or two semi-dry, where we have a beer or a single glass of wine. A few decent Bag in Box wines would help both this and my drive towards some sort of sustainability. Monday always seems a bit daunting, so the dry days will be Tuesday to Thursday. I intend doing something positive each dry evening as a distraction.

It is not connected directly to my health, but I also plan on drinking more sustainably. This will involve separate things; firstly drinking more organic or biodynamic wines (not a hardship and fairly easy to do if they are certified). And second, supporting producers, regions and countries that are making serious efforts to minimise their carbon footprint. This is connected to organic viticulture but involves much more besides. I covered some of the arguments last year, but if you are interested in further reading, I would recommend looking at an article by Dr Richard Smart, Carbon Footprints, Wine and the Consumer on jancisrobinson.com, from December 2019.

The Catalan family-owned firm of Torres has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to climate change, implementing many positive changes both in their vineyards and wineries. In 2019, they co-founded International Wineries for Climate Action, a group of 20 wineries, with more applicants, who are committed to using rigorous scientific methods to measure and reduce carbon emissions. See iwcawine.org for details.

In the meantime, here are four wallet-friendly wines, all between €10 and €15, and all widely available countrywide.

SuperValu La Petite Perrière 2020, Vin de France

12.5 per cent, €9 down from €11.99
A very decent light white wine, with enticing fruity aromas leading on to plump exotic fruits, good acidity and a smooth finish. Perfect to drink solo, or with a light lunch.
From: SuperValu, supervalu.ie

Viña Sol Orignal 2020, Miguel Torres, Spain

11.5 per cent, €9.50-€12.50
If you feel like celebrating, you could try the magnificent Torres Gran Muralles 2016 (€85); otherwise the Viña Sol, one of the first wine produced by Miguel Torres is light and refreshing with lime zest and pear fruits. A good aperitif or to drink with light seafood, perhaps grilled lemon sole.
From: Widely available including O’Briens, obrienswine.ie; Carry Out, carryout.ie; Dunnes Stores, dunnesstoresgrocery.com; Tesco, tesco.ie; SuperValu, supervalu.ie; Centra, centra.ie

Château Cazal-Viel 2020, Vieilles Vignes Saint-Chinian

15 per cent, €12
The perfect winter warmer, with masses of rich, smooth, powerful, dark fruits topped with a hint of black pepper. One to enjoy with beef casserole, venison, or braised short ribs.
From: Dunnes Stores, dunnesstoresgrocery.com 

Bardolino Cuvée XV 2020, Rizzardi

13 per cent, €14.95
A perennial favourite of mine with a new name. Bursting with supple fresh red cherry fruits, this is a great all-purpose red to enjoy solo, or with most white and red meats, as well as vegetable gratin dishes. Great value for money. 
From: O’Briens, obrienswine.ie

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