WINE O’CLOCK: How to have a grape St Patrick’s Day
SO what wine will you drink on St Patrick’s Day? I recommend Vin de Liffey, the black one with the white head, best sipped from a pint glass.
But Ireland is officially listed as a wine producing country by the European Commission and if you are very persistent (and a wee bit mad) you can find real Irish wine made from real Irish grapes.
West Waterford Vineyard produces wine in Cappoquin; Lusca comes from Lusk in Co Dublin and Thomas Walk wines are from an organically-managed vineyard in Kinsale, Co Cork.
The main grape variety is Rondo, which gives a good harvest of red grapes even in a cool, damp climate such as ours. It is a hardy, dark-skinned grape, that grows outdoors without protection despite the dearth of sunshine during the ripening season.
David Llewellyn also grows small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes under cover at Lusk, and Dennisons, at Passage East, have tried an early-ripening white variety, and Pinot Noir, but with limited success.
You won’t find any of these wines in supermarkets but some independent retailers and local restaurants stock them.
The Thomas Walk wines, from Kinsale, can be tracked on his website but sales are conducted through Germany.
You can however buy a wine called Kinsale from Dunnes for €12.50.
It is produced by Laurent Miquel and his wife Nessa Corish at Faugeres in the south of France. Nessa is from Dublin and they say they have named this wine after “the wine captial of Ireland”. It’s good with wild boar and black pudding, they also say.
It’s a nice, spicey, ruby red and next time I am in Kinsale I must give it a go with some drisheen. You won’t find much wild boar in Kinsale. Plenty of wine bores, though, but I will try to avoid them.