WINE O’CLOCK: What to drink at a social distance
I asked an elderly neighbour if she intended to take advantage of the local supermarket’s scheme to admit only pensioners for the first hour of shopping each day.
“It’s no use to me,” she said. “They don’t sell wine that early.”
If the early bird can’t get the wine, somebody else must be snapping it up, for there are empty spaces on the alcohol shelves and have been since the Covid-19 crisis broke.
Maybe shops should set aside another hour for drinkers. They can name it after this column.
Wine is not a cure for the coronavirus, I’m sorry to say. But I suppose it could be the key to happy isolation. To help with your planning, I have chosen a few wines that are particularly good for drinking just by themselves and, of course, all by yourself – or at least at a social distance.
Passo Grande (€11, Dunnes). A mellow red from the Puglia region of southern Italy. The deep red, almost purple colour, suggests something more hearty, but this is a surprisingly light wine, perfect for gentle sipping.
Vignobles Roussellet Pinot Noir (€7.49, Aldi). Pinto Noir is the perfect ‘just by itself’ red. This one is light and fruity, comes in a screwtop bottle and is very good value.
Casa Maria (€11.75, Le Caveau, Kilkenny). A dry, light white with citrus and fennel flavours. Another ‘just by itself’ wine, although you could stretch a point and nibble a few olives or a green salad. It goes very well with both. If shops shut altogether , you can order this one from Le Caveau’s online service.
Lunaria Vola Volé Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (€13.95, O’Briens). There’s a cartoon-type bee on the label because the Italian winemakers claim their vineyards are particularly protective to the habitat of bees. So you can feel virtuous while enjoying this crisp, light white from the Abruzzo region .
Móinéir Fine Strawberry Wine (€21.50, Ardkeen Store, Waterford). I haven’t tried this but it sounds lovely. Made in Ireland from “handpicked strawberries, gently pressed, fermented and aged to a golden-red hue. Dancing with the aromas of summer, the taste is complex and tantalising on the palate, with a hint of sweetness giving way to full-bodied flavour that tapers to a crisp finish.”
And if that doesn’t cure your virus blues, nothing will.