WINE O’CLOCK: Season of mists and mellow wines
A LOT of nonsense is written about matching wines to seasons. If you like a wine in winter you unlikely to go off it in the spring, so drink what you like whenever you like to drink it.
But there is a degree of commonsense behind the matching. Obviously in summer we look for crisp whites and sparkling wines that are nice for sipping in the garden and in winter we go for the big reds that work well with stews and casseroles.
And autumn? Well, Keats called it the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, so, maybe some mellow wines – light reds and heavier whites. More nonsense, really. But they happen to be my favourites wines, so any excuse.
For the whites, a lightly oaked Chardonnay is a good choice. For the reds, maybe something from the Pinot Noir range or its cousin the Gamay. Or maybe one of the lighter Spanish blends. Vega Roja Tempranillo-Shiraz (€8 Centra) is smooth, fruity and good value. If you like wine with your pizza, try this one.
Pinot Noir and Gamay are generally light in alcohol and low in tannins. They go well with chicken, cheese or salmon.
Wairarapa New Zealand Pinot Noir (Aldi Exquisite Collection, €9.99) is quite similar to the Roja – lively, fruity and good with the heavier fish.
For a nice Gamay, try the organic Henri Marionnet Touraine Gamay (€16.65 from Le Caveau in Kilkenny).
Beaujolais and the wines that fly the related Fleurie flag are also nice, light reds.
Château de Fleurie (O’Briens €19.45) is an upmarket Beaujolais with a silky finish that strikes a balance between blackcurrant and chocolate flavours.
Pierre Ponnelle Beaujolais-Villages (Dunnes, €12) is a more standard Beaujolais, smooth and very pleasant.
Dunnes also stock a Pierre Ponnelle Fleurie (€14); light, bright and very smooth.