WINE O’CLOCK: Online wine to beat the lockdown blues
Some off-licences have closed and many of us can’t get out to the ones that are open. But most wine stores operate good online sales and delivery services, so, if you’ve time to spare, you should try browsing a few websites. You may come across unusual wines that never make it onto the shelves.
Some stores will take orders over the phone. Most impose a minimum number of bottles for delivery, so check the terms and conditions.
Here are a few wines I have picked from online lists, pretty much at random, just because they are a little unusual and don’t cost a fortune.
Chateau Carteau Saint Emillion GC, €29.99, Worldwide Wines Waterford
Saint-Émilion is a Bordeaux Grand Cru wine château, run by five generations of the Bertrand family . What’s unusual about this is the price – good value for a grand cru. Dark rich flavours of liquorice and blackberry, aromas of charcoal and pine. A beautifully balanced red.
Roca Malbec Merlot, €12.75, Wines Direct
Argentina is the fifth largest wine-producing country in the world and its traditions go back 500 years to the Spanish invasion. It is also famous for it steak and this is the perfect wine to go with it – or a with a good Irish steak for that matter. A spicy red with a hint of cherry.
Fontana Soave €16.95 La Touche Wines, Greystones.
Soave used to be one of the most popular Italian wines in Ireland but seems to have slipped in popularity. A pity. It’s a nice white made primarily from the garganega grape. Typically, it has citrus flavours with an almond edge and goes well with fish. This one is a dry, crisp and fruity .
Chateau du Coing de St Fiacre Chardonnay, €14.99 Worldwide Wines, Waterford
Chardonnay is making a comeback after a big drop in sales caused by over-production and subsequent poor quality. This is an unusual Chardonnay which comes from Muscadet territory and is described as “a cross between Chablis and Muscadet”. I haven’t tried it, but I like the sound of a wine that is “steely and clean with pear and quince on the nose … the palate is rich and soft with ripe gooseberry”.
Benovie, Bois Rosier Rosé, €11.60 Le Caveau , Kilkenny
It’s not outdoor drinking weather yet but if your back garden is as far as you can go, you might like to wrap up and give this one a try, just to get in the mood. If they could put summery South of France in a bottle , this is what they would get. Soft ripe strawberry flavours, red fruit aromas and a hint of cassis.
Zantho Trockenbeerenauslese, €21.99 for 375ml, Worldwide Wines, Waterford.
One good reason for ordering this online is that you won’t have to pronounce it. It’s a dessert wine from Austria with deep rich fruit and honey flavours. Austrian wine doesn’t usually get much of a look-in. So now’s your chance.