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Keep an eye out for this symbol! You’ll find the Specially Sourced label on over 320 of our wines. That means we’ve met the winemakers, we particularly loved their wines and they also match our principles of products of integrity. The wines are exclusive to us, so you won’t find them anywhere else either. NB Some wines featured in this magazine are only available in select stores.


his is the first issue of Uncorked Magazine, SuperValu’s very own wine and drink magazine. Whether you're a seasoned wine lover or just starting to explore the world of wines then Uncorked is for you. Throughout its pages you’ll find a wealth of knowledge and top tips from some of Ireland’s most renowned wine writers. All of the wines and drinks in this magazine have been tasted, tested and selected by each wine writer so if they like them, we’re pretty sure you’ll like them too. SuperValu have a long heritage of quality wines with a philosophy reflected in the Specially Sourced range with its distinctive circular symbol (see panel to the right). The wines are not bought off the shelf and SuperValu works closely with the vineyards, making decisions with the wine maker about everything from grape blends to vintage. This not only ensures good value for the customer but unparalleled quality too. There are some 320 wines sourced exclusively for SuperValu and of those you’ll find the Specially Sourced label on 190 of them. We feel sure you’ll develop the same grá for them as we have. ROSS GOLDEN-BANNON Editor, Uncorked PS Please remember to drink responsibly, you only need a little of very good wine. Follow us on

The Contents 2

The chillaxing factor A whistle stop tour of the major French

FOOD&WINE Magazine, meets Daren

tips using wine as an ingredient

Owers of Australia's famed Nugan Estate


Pop goes the party

Irish whiskey is something of a passion

planning with renowned wine writer and

for Jean Smullen, and as a jury member

blogger Aoife Carrigy

of the International Taste Awards she


Treat yourself The Sunday Business Post's wine critic

Editor Ross Golden-Bannon

Tramore Road, Cork. © Musgrave Ltd


Whiskey galore

Star picks and the dos and don'ts of party

indulgent tipples

Published by Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland,

Raymond Blake, the Wine Editor of

wine regions along with some top cooking

Tomás Clancy shares his mid-week

Designer Jane Matthews


Oz’s youngest wine maker


Crafty beers Artisan Irish beers

knows what's good for you


Wine and food matching Top tips and easy cheats on matching food and wine, with Ross Golden-Bannon


How to spot a wine star

for you to explore with Jean Smullen, who

Kevin O’Callaghan, the SuperValu Wine

is something of an expert in all things

Buyer, shares his X factor wine stars

liquid from wine and beer to whiskey


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Chillaxingwith FrenCh wine Ross Golden-Bannon finds the centre of the wine world has become as relaxed as their New World cousins with more info on the wine labels and better value on the price


here was a time when you’d need an encyclopaedic knowledge of French wine to choose from the many offerings of this world-renowned wine producer. Wine labels never included the grape varieties and if you didn’t know what Château used which grape, well, with a Gallic shrug, that was your problem. But things have changed, at least on the bottles being exported. Many French wine producers are starting to talk to their customers through updated labels and even food and wine matching tips on the back of the bottles. We’ve taken a quick tour of the most famous French wine regions so you’ll know what to expect. Though you won’t have to go much further than the SuperValu wine shelves.

Noir which you’ll find in our Naudin Teircin Bourgogne Pinot Noir (€13.99). Pinot Noir is an ideal entry point grape for friends who you’d like to persuade to try red wine, as it is low in tannin – a very food friendly grape too.

The Rhône Valley

You’ll find two distinct wines in the Rhône Valley, located in the South-East of France. The steep slopes of the northern part of the region give us the smoky, herby, mineral flavours of Syrah which you’ll find in André Goichot Côte du Rhône (€11.99). These warm, spicy reds will work wonders with dishes as simple as bangers and mash to complex Indian food. The southern part of the Rhône is an entirely different story


The word Bordeaux, or Claret, is probably the original global brand. Long before Coca-Cola or even Taylor-Keith Red Lemonade, the Irish were drinking Claret. In fact, without us, the French would have had nowhere to store their wine as their oak barrels were made in Kinsale. If you like big wines with blackcurranty notes, the smell of cedar and maybe even some roasted coffee – this is the wine for you. The SuperValu range has something for all pockets from the work-a-day, yet complex, Château Haut Medoc, Bordeaux Superieur, (€9) to a blow out treat of Saint Émilion Grand Cru (€31.99).


You probably know many Burgundy wine labels without realising it – from Beaujolais and Bourgogne to Chablis their names have grown bigger than the classic region itself. The SuperValu André Goichot Chablis (€19.99) is one of the three classic styles you’ll find in Burgundy. The others are the fruity Gamay, used to make Beaujolais and the silky, smooth Pinot

Loire Valley


Alsace Burgundy

Rhône Valley


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with its flat, sun baked plains you’ll find thirteen different grapes blended here, often with the juicy Grenache grape, into all sorts of magic and at all sorts of prices. But don’t ignore the whites from this region which can be equally good. Try La Chasse Du Pape Reserve Blanc, €11.99, a surprising value driven white from the normally red wine producing region.

The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is the place to go for white wine lovers. From mouth-puckering Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Foucher (€10.99), a classic bone-dry match with shellfish to the unusually smoky Pouilly Fumé Les Chênes (€15.99), you could get lost in the grapes here. You’ll struggle to find wines which match these styles elsewhere in the world so they are well worth exploring. Not forgetting that the Loire Valley do their own bubbles too, called ‘Crémant’. At €23.99 the SuperValu Crémant De Loire Premier Cru is worth the treat, needless to say bubbles go with almost everything.


the magic cooking ingredient Our tOp 7 tasty tips There’s more to cooking with wine than the glass in your hand as you shimmy your pots around the hob. Wine can add all sorts of layers of flavour and spruce up even the simplest of dishes.

reducing the fat in your pan, especially when cooking fish but it works well with meat and

vegetables too. Use a smaller amount of fat

along with a glug of warmed or room temperature wine. The wine will give you the necessary

If you like aromatic wines with a bit of spice, then the Alsace is for you. Thai and Chinese food love these wines and you’ll find the perfect match in SuperValu’s Trimbach Riesling (€16.99) or Michel Léon Gewürztraminer AOC (€12.99). The king of the grapes here is the Gewürztraminer, rich, floral and spicy but even the Pinot Blanc will take on a swaggering spice in Alsace. A good wine for those who would normally run from a dry wine. For all their dryness Alsacian whites are fat, fragrant and complex. That’s a good thing.

Start with a generous drizzle and then taste the results before you add any more. You will need to cook the alcohol off a bit first for the

The simple wine marinade use it to marinade before cooking – it works just as well with vegetables. Make sure the wine isn’t too cold and be careful with fish as the acidity in some wine might toughen the fish if left for too long.

Southern France

4 5

that old kitchen adage: you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.

Only use wine you’d drink using a half a glass so use the bottle you’re going to serve with the dish. If you’ve bottles

Swap wine and water From poaching vegetables and fish in wine to making a straight swap of sweet get all the moisture you need and that extra layer of flavour. If poaching fruit you can then reduce the remaining liquid for

of wine hanging around that you’ve already rejected, don’t use them in cooking. If they taste bad from the glass they’ll only add that poor flavouring to all your hard work in the dish.


7 a rich sauce.

Wine as a dessert If you are a confident baker it is worth experimenting with dessert wines as an ingredient where oil is required,

The sheer variety of French wines can be overwhelming but as the start of an exciting journey there is no better place to begin. France is used as a benchmark of wine-styles across the wine making world. Bon Voyage!

full effect and don’t forget

For the most part you’ll only be

wine for water when poaching fruits, you’ll

Wines from Southern France are far less encumbered by the ancient traditions of other regions, they’ve even welcomed New World wine makers to come and share their modern knowledge. This means you’ll find innovation matched by some very good prices. The SuperValu Viognier Les Terrasses (€13.99) is a wonderfully fresh and floral example of a relatively new grape to the region being cultivated into something really special. The more classic Picpoul de Pinet Mas Puech (€14.99), is a bright, fresh and citrusy wine, ideal with simple seafood.

Use wine as a seasoning

moisture along with that extra bit of flavour.

Wine acts as a tenderizer of meats so


1 2 3

Swap wine and fat

This is a surprisingly healthy solution to

like in almond and oil cake.

Alternatively, baking fruits with wine gives them an extra

The ultimate gravy ingredient Take your gravy to the next level by adding some red wine. Use a little at a time and keep tasting, but you’ll need to cook the gravy gently to ensure you lose the alcohol without losing the flavours.

special dimension and a drizzle of port or sweet wine over some ice cream is hard to beat.


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TIP This can be made The nighT before and will lasT several days in The fridge, if There’s any lefT.

Peaches poached in dessert wine This is an ideal recipe for all sorts of stone fruits, especially if they’re a little under ripe. You’ll hardly notice you’ve ticked off two of your five a day fruit and veg quota. 12 SuperValu peaches 1 SuperValu orange, juice and zest 2 SuperValu limes, juice and zest 400ml Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato or other dessert wine 700ml water 50g SuperValu honey 200g SuperValu sugar 1 vanilla pod, split in two 2 sprigs of SuperValu thyme Serves 6

1 2

Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 30 to 40 seconds if ripe and 1 minute if a little

hard. Drain and slip the skins off. Place all the ingredients in the saucepan and bring to a boil on a medium heat, then

reduce to a simmer. Ripe peaches may only take 5 minutes to cook but harder ones may take 10 to 15 minutes.


Once cooked transfer to a bowl along with the liquid and allow to cool completely,

remove the thyme. To serve allow two peaches per person, and serve with a generous amount of syrup and some zest. This is delicious with mascarpone cheese, sour cream or Greek yoghurt.


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A round up of party wines and celebratory sparklers with Aoife Carrigy,wine critic at FOOD&WINE Magazine and Holymackers blogger

Laying on a little wine is a no-brainer way to get any party going, but there’s a few simple rules of thumb worth bearing in mind before you choose which corks to pop. Here’s a gathering of some of my favourite tipples to match with just about any occasion but don’t forget to ask for guidance in your local SuperValu too.


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Piccini Bianco Toscana IGT 2012, Italy €9.49

Domaine de la Baume Elisabeth Viognier 2012, France €12.99

La Grille Single Estate Muscadet, France €12.99

Fruity but not too sweet,

Strong-flavoured barbecues

Muscadet’s salty minerality make

nutty but not too rich,

need big bold whites. This

it a classic match for shellfish,

with a lemon-fresh finish

generous, off-dry number

but this friendly version’s ripe

that’s not too tart, this

offers ripe orchard fruits and

apple and honeydew fruit and

easy-peasy wine will get the

lots of peppery, ginger spice

natural light spritz would work

party started.

to cut through the richness.

as well without food.



Ask not what your wine can do for you, but what your wine will do for your guests. There’s no point picking your all-time favourite if your guests don’t enjoy it. Of course you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can be clear what function you wish your wine to serve.



Sometimes wine serves purely as a party lubricant, other times it takes centre stage. You can choose to compromise on distinctive character and displease as few palates as possible. Or you may prefer to make a bold statement and risk ruffling some feathers.

There are no real rules excep at you 3 t th should enjoy what y ou drink


Some wines are designed with food in mind, others less so. Decide in advance if you’ll be serving food of any kind and, if not, steer away from wines with higher levels of acidity or tannin.



Domaine des Grandes Esperances Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2012, France €13.99

Dolle Grüner Veltliner Strassertal 2011, Austria €13.99

Try this budget-friendly Sancerre-style alternative for a similarly classy aperitif to get the gastric juices flowing. Expect lots of mineral laced, crisp edges and a clean lemony finish.

Looking to impress the wine fashionistas? With toasty, nutty aromas, generous palate and a steely citrus heart, this super-stylish Grüner would pair brilliantly



Consider whether your guests are likely to bring along some wine themselves, in which case you’ll simply want enough to get the party started and can probably spoil everyone that little bit more.

with sushi or antipasti.


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Finca Labarca Rioja Crianza Tempranillo 2010, Spain €11.99 Rioja is a safe bet for Irish drinkers. Friendly and fruit-focussed, its ripe black fruits, subtle oak spice and tannic frisson works with or without food.


Domaine la Condamine l’Eveque Mourvedre 2012 €11.99 A meaty wine for meaty gatherings, the marriage of dark intense fruit flavours, sweet liquorice spicing making for rich drinking but some rustic tannins keeping things lively.


Altivo Dao 2011 €11.99 Soft and fragrant with structure and elegance too, this excellent value treat will lend an air of class to proceedings, thanks to spiced winterberries, blood orange notes and fine tannins.


Saveroni Valpolicella Ripasso 2012 €13.99 An ideal match for antipasti with the famed Ripasso fresh cherry tang to get the gastric juices going, alongside peppery spice and ripe black fruits to go with flavourful cold meats.


Saumur Cabernet Franc Vallée Loire 2010, France €13.99 With the right charcuterie to soften its edges and coax out those fragrant hedgerow fruits, this poised paper-dry wine would make an interesting, if left-field, choice.

t a y h o w ur wine can d t o n k s A hat w o t f u o b r , y u o your wine will do for you r guests Top Tip A handy way to cool white wines, sparkling wines and beers, is to line a wine box with a black sack, fill with ice and top up with salted water.

CELEBRATORY SPARKLERS Griffith Park Sparkling Brut ‘Methode Traditionelle’, New Zealand €17.99 Nicely balanced bubbles with just-baked biscuit aromas, creamy mouthfeel and applefresh acidity, at an affordable New World price tag. Bonnamy Crémant de Loire AOC Brut, France €24.99 This zesty Chenin Blanc-lead bottle-fermented sparkler would work well with shellfish appetisers to set the celebratory tone.


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How sweet it is!

With notes of peach and pineapple Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato is a sweet sensation. Š 2014 Gallo Family Vineyards, Modesto, CA. All Rights Reserved

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great WINE A

We asked Tomås Clancy, the wine critic at The Sunday Business Post, what wines he'd drink mid-week and he lined up some real treats, though he’s having a tough time choosing from the SuperValu mix of Specially Sourced and premium wines



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ne of the great pleasures of life is to share something we love with our friends and family. So it’s no surprise many of our most beloved wines are brought out at parties, formal gatherings and of course all the big dates on our annual calendar from Christmas to Easter. The problem is that these are almost exactly the moments when we can least expect anyone to focus on the wine, and rightly so, on special occasions wine is the supporting actor and not the star of the show. This also means the wine you love is not served to its best advantage and gets lost in the noise of highlevel conviviality. So when exactly is the right time for a special wine? It’s when you can hear the wine being poured, say why you love it and where you tracked it down, without people cupping their ears at the far end of the table. Once the scene is set, preferably with a significant other to go with the significant wine, and all the better if it’s midweek. This means you’re more likely to slowly appreciate the quality of the wine rather than dive into any weekend quantities. But first, to serve the wine to its best advantage we need to think about: temperature; time; and the glass.

TemperaTure There’s no need to be a trained scientist with a thermometer as I feel there are no fixed rules, just a few fairly straightforward pointers. If the wine is highly perfumed and you want to enjoy those aromas best, do not chill the wine to death. If we want our red wines to bloom the wise advice is that they need to be served at room temperature, ideally the temperature of the hall, not the kitchen or drawing room. Time The wine in a bottle is not unlike you and I sitting down in a comfortable chair, or in the case of an older wine, dozing on a couch or even in bed. Pulling the cork or twisting the cap is an alarm call going off, or pulling the covers off your bed. Wine is a living thing, some wines leap out of bed, they need no snooze-time but more mature wines, red and white, might need a moment. Some need an hour to wake up.


Continued on page 12

The wine in a bottle is not unlike you and I sitting down in a comfortable chair RED

Finca Labarca, Gran Reserva, DOC Rioja 2005 €22.99 the red fruits of

The steep, nearly

Domaine Alain Grangeon, Cuvée Tradition, AC Châteauneuf du Pape 2012 €30.99

this Rioja, either on

vertical vineyards in

This is a big wine, built

wine that really

the nose or on the

Spain’s hip Priorat

to last and needs all

benefits from an hour

region are making

the decanting time you

less decanting but does

palate. A startlingly

or two decanting after

opulent wine, all

some of the most

can spare, initially tense

need to be off cool on

opening and makes an

plush dark red fruits,

ambitious Garnacha

and grippy, with every

the lips. If it feels cool,

ideal meditative wine.

in the world, with

passing decanted hour,

leave in the glass for a

a hint of coconut

A wine to sip quietly.

and leather with

wines like this which

it reveals layer after

little to warm up, it will

Piercing dark bitter

be time well spent. This

the glass as its being

beefy but smooth

is a dark, grippy and

layer of spice, touches

chocolate, maraschino

is a savoury wine, very

poured. It is a perfectly

tannins and a long,

spicy delight with a

of liquorice and hints

cherry hints, flecks of

cutting, dry and grippy

matured wine that

glorious finish.

hint of white pepper

of warm heathers and

prune and a smooth

with a slowly revealed

reveals layers of fruit,

heat in the long

burnt earth.

evolving finish.

heart of very pure dark

sweetness and earthy

sinewy fruit.


Age has not dulled

Mosaic, Winemakers Selection, DOC Priorat 2008 €23.99


Sopra Sasso, DOC Amarone della Valpolicella 2009 €28.99 This is a blockbuster

Ricossa Antica Casa, DOCG Barolo 2009 €22.99 By contrast with many other fine wines from Italy, Barolo needs far

Château GrandBarrail LamarzelleFigeac, AC St. Émilion Grand Cru 2006 €31.99 This is wine that needs little or no decanting, the pungent, intense aromas of blackcurrant, dark chocolate and cedar waft out of


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Glass There’s no need to be obsessive here at all,

the key thing is to use a glass that lets the wine breathe, can hold in aromas and has a reasonably thin lip. It should have a stem long enough not to have us cupping the bowl and over heating the glass. But if you do have a couple of good wine glasses, which you never use, now is the

time to use them. So, what wines might feature in this reflective evening of wine pleasure? Wines of ambition, complexity and engagement that will repay our close attention and mild pampering. Wine lovers looking for an evening of wine reflective pleasure could certainly consider including any one of the following fine wines.

Set the scene with a significant other and a significant wine White

Portico Da Ria, Albariño, DO Rias Baixas 2011 €13.99

Trisquel, Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile 2013 €17.99

Domaine Rene Carroi, AC Sancerre 2013 €22.99

Here is a wine that

Nautilus Estate, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2012 €19.99

This is a happy

Here we are back

benefits from calm

This is an

bridge between

in Sancerre the

delight with hints

imbibing, rather


New and Old worlds,

birth place of

of grapefruit with

than necessarily

Sauvignon Blanc

zesty, European

100% Sauvignon Blanc wines with

This is a very engaging and accomplished Albariño, one of the most fashionable grape varieties on the planet at present. It has Riesling-like minerality and zest, but give it time and a luscious backdrop emerges.

Lone Kauri, Riesling, Marlborough, New Zealand 2010 €14.99 This is a mature

Michel Leon, Gewűrztraminer, AC Vin de Alsace 2011 €12.99

a burnt brown

the temperature or

from a small, high

minerality and lime

sugar crust, fusil

decanting, though

quality family

hints, with complex

a delicious less

or petrol-like

do cool and drink

owned property.

tropical fruited mid-

aggressively styled

notes evocative

10 to 15 minutes

The fruit is picked

palate and cutting,

Sancerre. There

of a great

after opening. A

at night and

clean finish. Again,

is good acidity,

mature Alsace

slightly inverted lip

meticulous cellar

benefits from a few

freshness and

Riesling at three

or bowl-like glass

work involves

minutes in the glass

primary zesty green flavours like lime

times the price.

will trap all the

leaving the wine

after pouring, cool

Ideally served

delicious aromatics,

on lees, for three

not chilled.


like glorious Turkish

months giving a

classic cut-grass

cool and not

delight violet with

rounded mouth-



rose notes and on

feel to the tropical

the palate, a spicy

fruit rush and

flicker of cinnamon-

the multilayered

like spice too.


with touches of


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The art of

artisan beer Jean Smullen, the News of the World wine columnist, also has a passion for Irish craft beer and picks some of her favourites to share


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rewing in Ireland stretches back to the Middle Ages when traditionally it was a cottage industry carried out by women as part of their household duties. In the 1690s the ‘alewives’ controlled the brewing trade. As family businesses generated more income the affluence of the alewives increased and their influence all but disappeared, as they shifted up a class. Subsequently the brewing of beer became the job of the working man, known as ‘common brewers’. During the nineteenth century there were over 200 breweries in Ireland but by the end of the twentieth century, brewing in Ireland was carried out by some 12 brewing companies, most of whom were owned by multinationals. Today, the wheel has turned full circle and small brewers are at the centre of a new Irish brewing revolution. The industry has gone back to its roots and although brewing techniques remain fundamentally unchanged, full use is also made of new scientific techniques. Brewing beer involves the use of grains that are crushed (milled), heated and mixed with water to create a fermentable sweet liquid called ‘wort.’ The sweet wort is then infused with hops. Hops are the seeds of a female plant, native to Europe and Asia used to add flavour. There are numerous varieties and the brewer uses specific varieties to create individual beer styles. Hops contain lupulin glands which produce a resin. When this is boiled with the wort its chemical properties change to give beer its bitter flavour. From then on the process involves converting the starch into fermentable sugars by adding yeast which then converts the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which creates the bubbles. After fermentation the beer is stored to allow its flavours to mature. It is then filtered and bottled before finally ending up in your tankard. There are now a number of popular beer styles in Ireland from stout and larger to the previously exotic India Pale Ale and of course the ever popular lager. Keep an eye out for the many local beers and indeed cider varities around the country which SuperValu supports. I’ve listed below some of my favourites.

Crafty brews

Brú Rua Irish Red Craft Beer This red coloured beer has toffee and cherry aromas with lovely zippy citrus flavours with a hint of grassiness. A hearty Irish red ale, hand brewed in the Boyne Valley it has a crisp bitter cherry bite on the finish (€2.99).

Brú Rí Irish Craft IPA (India Pale Ale) Floral and subtly spicy Brú Rí is crisp and refreshing on the palate. It is brewed with Irish malt and four different types of hops giving it a crisp, acidic bitter ale, with a blast of citrus and floral aromas on the nose (€3.12).

Galway Hooker (Irish Pale Ale) Galway Hooker is brewed in Roscommon and is an Irish Pale Ale, the slightly bitter hop flavours show through giving a lovely bite to the finish. Acidity and citrus flavours are central to the character of this beer (€3.59).

During the nineteenth century there were over 200 breweries in Ireland

O’Hara’s Irish Red Brewed in Carlow to a traditional Irish recipe with a tasty twist in the fermentation process giving it a delicious full-bodied flavour. This refreshingly acidic traditional Irish ale has a lovely bitter finish, completely refreshing on a hot summer’s day. A pronounced earthy toffee flavour with some surprising sweetness also showing through (€2.99).

O’Haras Dry Hopped IPA This Irish Pale Ale (aka India Pale Ale) tends to focus on the malts; the hop character here is quite high. A balanced beer, with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness. It has a whiff of molasses and a touch of roasted bitterness which adds a bit of a bite to the final flavour of the beer (€2.99).


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No small beer here A quick cog sheet on beers, stouts and ales Lager

Lager, is a pale beer with a high concentration of hops, malt and soft water. The word lager comes from the German word for ‘store’ and the term refers to beers that have been matured or ‘lagered’ at low temperatures. The basis of the style is that the beer is fermented and stored at a lower temperature meaning it has a crisper more refreshing taste.


India Pale Ale

Stout is made using roasted malt or barley. Today most artisan brewers create their own distinctive style of stout by toasting the grains to their own specification thus giving their beer its own recognisable flavour. Stout producers can add vanilla, cocoa and coffee pods or beans during fermentation to add extra flavour. Irish dry-style stout will also add salt to give a rounder taste to the blend.

Originally applied to a heavily hopped, higher alcohol beer created to withstand the journey to Europe from India. First brewed in the nineteenth century it is fermented at a higher temperature for a shorter time, giving it a fruitier flavour. Colour also defines the beer’s style, which can be blond or amber. Today IPA is a generic term meaning International Pale Ale though some Irish brewers use the term Irish Pale Ale.

Many an Irish stew has been improved on by including some stout to the stock Beer & Food



A good rule of thumb for beer and food matching, as with wine, is: heavy food, heavy beer; light food, a lighter beer. The sweetness of malt reduces the heat of spicy food. Intensely spiced foods, which have become a popular component of today’s diet, are complemented by craft beer’s ability to diminish heat. In comparison, wine’s higher alcohol actually accentuates the warmth from many spices which can be undesirable.


Dry stouts and porters are good with a hearty soup, stew or a meat dish with a strong gravy. Indeed, many an Irish stew has been improved on by including some stout to the stock.


Lager’s restrained hop bitterness makes it a good match with chicken, espeically a spicy one. Think of lager as white wine. Hoppy beers can also be used in place of a pairing that calls for an acidic wine.


Pale ale will work really well with pork or with slightly more acidic cheeses such as a goats cheese salad. A light amber ale with malt character and dry hop finish will also work well with the rich flavours of a ratatouille or good old spag bol.


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This wine, considered a benchmark of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, is from fruit harvested in the Marlborough region famous for this variety. The wine displays intensity with white stone-fruit and pink grapefruit balancing refreshing nettle flavours. The fruit sweetness with crisp supporting acidity is typical of the style.

This wine can be matched with grilled fish, barbecued prawns or salmon, and poached white fish with fresh green salads containing parsley, pepper or lemon. Mediterranean dishes with hummus, olives and feta will also match well. Though made to drink while young and vivacious, this wine may be cellared for up to three years to develop further complexity.

“An intense expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from a vintage that promised as much. A wine that definitely delivers in the glass.�

Patrick Materman, Chief Winemaker, Brancott Estate

Enjoy BRANCOTT ESTATE Sensibly. Visit

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New world wines with old

world 18 UNCORKED

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I know it sounds corny but they’re all made with love. That’s what we do.” Nugan Estate chief winemaker Daren Owers

Daren Owers, chief winemaker at Nugan Estate

From Amarone inspired Dry Grape Shiraz, to the little known Bordeaux Petit Verdot Raymond Blake finds a world of innovation and tasty style at Australia’s Nugan Estate UNCORKED 19

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e’re at the tail end of harvest,” said Daren Owers down the line from Australia when I caught up with him in early April. “We’re on the home stretch and things are looking very good,” continued the Nugan Estate chief winemaker, who was appointed to the position in 2003, aged just 26. When we spoke, Owers had just completed a 700km round trip to Nugan’s vineyards in the King Valley, Victoria to check on the harvest there. If he was tired it didn’t show in his voice: “Things are looking good, the whites ferments have finished, I am very pleased. It’s a lower crop this year but better quality, it’s been a dry year in southeast Australia, the fruit is clean and disease free, we’ve had a smooth run.” Owers grew up in the Riverina wine region, where he remains based today with Nugan, and attended an agricultural boarding school before studying food technology at university. That included everything “from paddock to plate,” as he puts it, and he was only a week out of university before securing a job with Nugan, whose core business has always been fruit and juices. Recently retired matriarch of the company, Michelle Nugan, steered him towards wine, in line with plans for Nugan to produce wine under their own name. A trial vintage was made in 1999 and the first commercial release was of the 2000 vintage, in time for the dawn of the new century. Winemakers have a default setting when

asked if they have a favourite wine or a favourite grape to work with – claiming it is like being asked to choose between their children – and Owers is no different. When pressed, however, he plumps for McLaren Vale Shiraz: “McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s benchmark areas for Shiraz, along with the Barossa Valley.” But Owers’ love affair with Shiraz stretches beyond McLaren Vale and he speaks with great enthusiasm about a new wine – DGS – being made in the Riverina. DGS stands for Dry Grape Shiraz, which is made in an Amarone style from partially dried grapes, conveniently dehydrated in a nearby prune drying facility. “It’s really intense and wrapped in solid oak and we’re also making a ‘Second Pass Shiraz’, using the grapes from the DGS, the same as a Valpolicella Ripasso.” I suspect Daren Owers would not object to being labelled a Shiraz freak but it is possible to get him talking about some of his other ‘children’, most notably the Winemaker’s Gold Label Selection Petit Verdot. When used in Bordeaux this grape is buried deep and almost anonymously in the blend, a makeweight in the chorus line, never a soloist in the limelight like Cabernet or Merlot. Yet Owers is happy to label it, “the standout grape in King Valley, along with Sangiovese. It makes excellent wine there, a great example of the style, thanks to the fact that we get nice ripeness there.” If you want to step away from the mainstream, leaving the well-trodden path of Cabernets and Chardonnays and their ilk


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“The first commercial release of Nugan wine was the 2000 vintage, in time for the dawn of the new century.”

Nugan Estate Alfredo dry grape shiraz , €19.99

Nugan Estate Vision Sauvignon Blanc, €11.99

Nugan Estate gold label petit verdot , €13.99

behind, this Petit Verdot is for you. The flavour is strong and intense but good balance and pleasant acidity bestow appealing freshness also. Freshness that’s likely to last thanks to the screwcaps that Owers is happy to use on all his wines, premium ones included: “It’s a superior closure.” Asked for a final comment on the Nugan winemaking philosophy before dashing back to resume harvest, Owers opined: “We are a large producer but a small team, everything is done by a handful of people, everything matters. We care about what we do. We keep the wines in balance, go for low yields and make small parcels of wine. I know it sounds corny but they’re all made with love. That’s what we do.”

Nugan Estate Mclaren Vale Shiraz, €19.99

MEET THE fAMIly Nugan Estate is a family run business which grew from Alfredo Nugan’s hard work when he emigrated from Spain in 1940 to start a small fruit and vegetable packing business. The business grew with his son Ken Nugan at the helm, who passed away in 1986. Pictured above are Tiffany Nugan, Ken and Michelle Nugan’s daughter, matriarch Michelle Nugan and son Matthew Nugan.

A WINE MAKER’S STEAK ‘N’ SHIRAZ We call them rib eye steaks but ‘down under’ they are known as Scotch fillets and when properly cooked on a barbecue they are every bit as scrumptious as our own fair rib eyes – boasting a perfect balance between texture and flavour that the more expensive fillet steak cannot match. When asked to choose between the McLaren Vale Parish Vineyard Shiraz and the Coonawarra Alcira Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to match with a Scotch, Daren Owers first specified that it should be cooked “blue to rare” before plumping for the “rich and ripe and generous” Shiraz.


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A glass of old


You may have heard Jean Smullen give expert wine advice on Newstalk Radio but she has quite the grá for Irish whiskey too

or many outside Ireland whiskey is a drink that defines us. In particular it’s whiskey with an ‘e’, as when spelt without an ‘e’ it’s a Scotch whisky. The amber liquid has been the source of many tales and much mythology but what exactly is whiskey? Quite simply it’s distilled alcoholic from fermented grain which is then aged in wooden casks. Irish whiskey is traditionally triple distilled, resulting in a very smooth, mellow spirit. With a light, fresh character, the flavours of golden Irish whiskey runs to fruity and grassy, with a light hand on the peat, if it’s used at all. Scottish whisky is distilled twice and tends to be more peaty. The secrets of whiskey distillation was brought to Ireland about 500 AD by Irish missionary monks who called the fermented liquid ‘uisce beatha’ or water of life. During the nineteenth century Irish whiskey far outsold its Scottish counterpart and was the most popular whiskey in the world. The Irish used un-malted barley exclusively, which made for a lighter style of whiskey which the customer preferred. At this time, both Irish whiskey and Scotch became the drink of choice among the moneyed classes, especially as an apéritif. The subsequent move by the Scotch whisky producers in the twentieth century to blend their spirits became a major factor in the decline of Irish whiskey sales internationally as the whiskey drinker grew to prefer the blended Scottish style. In recent years the sun has started to rise again on Irish whiskey, a very welcome thing for people who like gold in their glass.


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The making of Irish whiskey consists of five main activities


Grain is the raw material of the distiller and Irish farmers grow the key crops of barley, oats and wheat in abundance. Making Irish whiskey involves converting the grain into sugar and this involves heating the grain in order to germinate it which turns the barley into malt.



The grains are soaked in water to release their natural sugars, and then germinated by spreading onto a warm floor. This process causes the starch in the grain to


convert into sugar. Before the heat causes the leaves and roots to form, further higher heat is applied; this stops germination and adds extra flavour to the grain, now called malt.


The grain is then mixed with hot water in a large vat with rotating paddles to extract the sugar.


The resultant sweet liquid, known as ‘wort’, is then fermented into a basic beer called a ‘wash’.



The wash is then processed through a copper distillation machine called a still where it is heated and cooled three times, this process converts the basic beer into a white spirit with a higher alcohol by volume.


The basic white spirit cannot be called whiskey until it has been aged in an oak barrel, also called a cask, for a minimum period of three years. The casks used to age the white spirit must have previously held whiskey, rum, sherry or bourbon. Ageing the spirit in oak casks matures it. It also gives the spirit its lovely brown colour as the flavours of the wood deepen the colour and add their wonderful flavours. Time in the barrel is essential for the production of smooth, mellow and mature Irish whiskey.


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The golden line up

Let’s have a look at some of the superb aged Irish whiskies that SuperValu have to offer Kilbeggan €26.99 It is believed that monks from Europe first introduced whiskey making to the Kilbeggan area in the twelfth century. The water of the river Brosna is ideal for whiskey and the rich agricultural land of Co Westmeath provides top quality barley. This is a complex whiskey quite light in style with a honey character. It has a lovely mocha finish with a hint of

Tullamore Dew 10 Y.O. €47 Tullamore Dew is one of the world’s most awarded Irish whiskeys. It has won 30 gold medals in the last 10 years. Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old is aged in old Bourbon, Sherry, Port and Madeira casks. There is a wonderful warm flavour of walnut and raisin on the palate of this whiskey. Earthy and rich with a long lingering finish.

nut and chocolate.

Jameson 12 Y.O. Special Reserve €62 The Special Reserve 12 Year Old is one of Jameson’s premium products. Aged for 12 years in a combination of Bourbon and old Oloroso casks, the wonderful nutty flavours are transferred into this unique whiskey. There’s a lovely flavour of roasted hazelnut with a subtle sweetness too. The youngest whiskey in the blend is 12 years old but it also has older whiskey added.

Bushmills 10 Y.O. Single Malt €44.95 This single malt is distilled using a pot still and is a great introduction to an Irish single malt. Bushmills malt has its own distinctive flavour and style. On the palate it has a depth of flavour with hints of vanilla and caramel. It has a lovely finish with flavours of pear and green apples, ideal as a delicate apéritif.

Golden Irish whiskey runs to fruity and grassy, with a light hand o n the peat


Most Irish whiskey, particularly those made with rare or extremely old vintages are served neat, or with ice or cold water on the side. Medium range whiskey makes for an ideal whiskey for cocktails.

Whiskey ginger cocktail 2 measures of whiskey juice of one SuperValu lemon ½ teaspoon maple syrup or strong Irish honey SuperValu Ginger ale In a shaker full of crushed ice, pour the whiskey, the lemon juice and maple syrup (or honey). Cover and shake vigorously. Pour into a tumbler glass ¾ full of ice and then top up with ginger ale and garnish with a slice of lime. Bitter sweet and very refreshing.


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Here’s our 6 new rules on picking

If you like a cup of strong tea with a big fry-up, then you already understand the basics of food and drink matching, says Ross Golden-Bannon


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The rough guide to food and wine matching


hankfully the widespread snobbery around strict rules of food and wine matching has given way to a more relaxed approach in how we choose our meal time drinks. Having said that, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some magic pairings, which everyone should try, or indeed some real disasters to avoid. The trick is to build up your knowledge around the grape varieties first, as this is one of the best guides to understanding wine. Certainly ‘terroir’, or where the wine is grown, is important but as most wine makers make single grape wines, called varietals, it's a great way of comparing the differences across the wine-making world. A good rule of thumb for successful wine and food matching is to turn your focus away from the main meat of your dish and look to the ingredients and sauces. Consider a chicken Kiev: this is a simple gathering of garlic and herby butter flavours. An ideal match would be a rich white like a Viognier or an oaky Chardonnay, but what if you pan-fried the chicken instead with some honey, ginger and lime? You’re flavours have all changed so cast your eye on a semisweet white grape like a Riesling or Moscato. A stonking T-bone steak with a peppered sauce is going to be very happy with Pinotage or Shiraz but a chilli beef stir-fry is going to want the low tannins of a Gamay. Check out our six new ways of looking at wine below and use our handy food and wine matching chart to help inspire you in the kitchen. Enjoy the journey!

Peas, beans, green beans, kale, lettuce Crab, lobster, prawns, soft cheese, roast poultry Cured meats, nuts, spicy dishes, aromatic spices, fruits Meaty fish, mushrooms, soft cheese, poultry, cured meats, Exotic, spices, big cheeses, red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots, scallions, smoked food, roast pork Beef, black pepper, hard cheeses, roasted meats, bbq dishes

rules on picking wine for foo w e n 6 r u o s ’ e r e H d 1






The reason a cup of tea tastes so good with

Have you ever had a glass of orange juice

Flavour intensity and weight are a good

a fry-up is because the tannins in the tea are

after you’ve brushed your teeth? The

guide to picking the right wine. A delicately

cutting through all those big flavours and fats.

previously sweet-citrus joy of the juice suddenly

flavoured dish needs a delicate wine so if

That's also why coffee doesn’t work so well as

takes on an altogether thoroughly unpleasant

you’re serving some steamed fish with just

it has less mouth-puckering tannins. The same

taste. This is the same principle behind the

a hint of seasoning then a light white like

principle is at work with big reds like a spicy

two big wine and food matches to avoid.

an Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot

new world Cabernet Sauvignon, magic with a

The first is matching a dry wine like a

Grigio will do the job. The wine acts as a

peppered steak or beef bourguignon, not so

Muscadet (made from the Melon de

gentle partner instead of overwhelming

good with a chille con carne (see number 5).

Bourgogne grape) with a sweet dessert.

the food flavours. But keep in mind that

The wine, which worked so well with your

flavour intensity is not the same as weight:

briny oysters, will suddenly taste acidic

a plate of mashed potatoes is light in flavour

and bitter with a sweet dessert.

but big in weight.


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Light white


Big white

Poached or steamed Roasted


Semi=sweet white Smoked


Light red


Medium red


Big red

Grilled or BBQ








If you like salted caramels then you’ll understand

If you love hot and spicy food you may already

By all means you should be choosing

how well sweet things can go with salty things.

know all about the pitfalls of matching a high

wines which you like. If you prefer red wine

The classic match in the wine world is Sauterne

alcohol, high tannin wine with hot food. A wine

with everything there’s nearly a red wine to

and blue cheese. If you’re going down the classic

which is high in alcohol will amplify the heat

go with everything. Fish works very well with

route and matching a dessert wine like a Muscat

of the chillies, and then the heat of the chillies

a light Pinot Noir and if you’re having a gang

with a dessert then the rule is that the wine has

make the tannins taste nasty and bitter. The

around and you’re unsure which to go for, pick food friendly white and a food friendly red and

to be sweeter than the dessert. Otherwise the

best match with a spicy dish is a light red like a

wine doesn’t taste sweet enough. Another good

Pinot Noir, a Gamay or a sweet white Riesling or

let people choose themselves. But do keep in

idea here is to match flavours with flavours so the


mind that as your guests move from starters to

famed nectarine notes in a Moscato are going

main courses and desserts, the same wine

to work well with an orange dessert. Semi-sweet

might not follow them all the way to

whites like Alsatian Pinot Gris make for a good

the finish line.

match with spicy food.


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How to spot a


Kevin O’Callaghan, the SuperValu Wine Buyer, gives us his own X factor summing up of how to spot the stars of the wine world


Kevin O'Callaghan, the SuperValu Wine Buyer.

hat is a wine star in people’s minds? Is it the eye-brow raising wine label from that little known region plucked from obscurity or that grape variety only you can pronounce, giving it pride of place? Maybe it’s the dusty bottle of 1979 Beaujolais Nouveau that only Del Boy would order, or that wine with the large dent at the bottom of the bottle that so obviously means a quality wine – right? Well let’s just presume that all of the above do not automatically denote quality and in the case of the dusty Beaujolais, absolutely not. A star wine is simply a wine which gets committed to memory for all the right reasons, and they’re not the kind of reasons Del Boy thinks are important. A star wine could be something you experienced with friends or family. Perhaps a bottle of something special shared intimately with a loved one. Maybe it’s that bottle you feel tastes like it cost a good €10 more than you paid for it. Whatever the reason, at the end of the day, there’s only one true judge and that is you; the person actually drinking the wine. So to aid those who want to expand their repertoire of wines and seek out those gems in store I have put together a selection of my wine stars. As a Wine Buyer I’d also like to share my tips on what I look for when selecting a star wine for you, the true judge.


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tips on how to spot a wine star


Varietal or regional excellence When I’m tasting wines of a single grape, known as a varietal, or perhaps a wine from a region famous for a certain style, it is important that these wines, tasted blind, display exactly the regional or varietal characteristics expected of them. In cases when expectations are exceeded, then my choice is all the easier, especially if the price is right.



Balance Tasting wine involves seeking out each taste characteristic to understand the wine completely, as you experience it in your mouth. Just like listening to a symphony’s individual instrumental sounds coming together to make music to the ear I taste for the harmony

of the individual wine notes. A wine has many contributing components from fruit flavours and mouthwatering acidity to the texture building tannins in red wines and of course, not forgetting the alcohol level. The wine maker will strive to bring all of these elements together in harmony to deliver a balanced wine. Wines

with weak acidity will feel flat in the mouth, lacking that distinctive zest of white wines. If the alcohol is too high it will over run the fruit and come across as masking any potential fruit flavours. It is this balance that I look for and which should be found in any wine, be it a €10 or €50 bottle.

Extensive notes are taken for each wine, conforming to the same system for each tasting

Quality to price This is not something that you would see often in wine reviews but it forms a very important part of the overall selection process. Some people have a habit of saying a wine was excellent when they’ve paid over the odds for it. Others are disappointed to discover that what looked like great priced wine was barely worth the effort in opening. Yet, we should note the difference between price and value: some of the very best value wines are not the cheapest on display. I find great satisfaction in discovering and enjoying a new wine that I would have happily paid a little more for the enjoyment. This is one of the simplest guides to how we measure a star wine. I feel sure you’ll often find this double enjoyment in our wines – the unique taste of wine you feel you should have paid a little more for.


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h g a a n ll s W a C ' i n e O S n i v tars e K REDS

Saint Laurent Corbières, Syrah, Carignan & Grenache,

Le Secret Saint Chinian

Ricossa Barbera D’Asti, €11.99

Pianta Ferro Primitivo di

Grenache & Syrah, €11.99

Manduria, €13.99

Aresti Trisquel Assemblage Cabernet, Syrah


From the beautiful region of

If you think of Italy it is

From Italy's Puglia region

& Petit Verdot, €17.99

Corbières is one of the largest

St. Chinian I found an aptly

both wine and food that

comes this stylish wine made

I was first intrigued by the

wine appellations in France,

named wine which I believe,

come to mind as both have

from the Primitivo (Zinfandel)

blend of grapes and delighted

famed for producing wines of

on taste, rivals even the

evolved side by side. This

grape. The label portrays the

by what was delivered on the

richness and spice. Here we

more expensive wines of the

wine from the northern

flavours through the use of

palate. A move away from the

have a luxuriously dense wine

Rhône Valley. Made using

region of Piedmont delivers

colour to show the fruit driven

power displays of other new

of lush ripe black fruits with

as little human intervention

a refreshingly fruit driven

raspberry, black and blueberry

world wines this is definitely

good firm texture on the palate

as possible, this blend of

wine of red berries, plum

flavours giving a gorgeous

more David than Goliath

and a wonderful long lingering

Grenache & Syrah has a fresh

and cherry with a wonderful

velvety texture which washes

achieving superb balance by

finish. This is an ideal partner

and lifted

soft grip. A superb summer

evenly over the

combining the characteristics

of bigger

aroma of

wine when

palate. The wine

of its 3 star grapes


cassis, rich

lighter styles are

is understated

that are brought

like grilled

brambly and

required and

and yet has

together with

ribeye, lamb

a silky spiced

an ideal match

incredible fruit

care to deliver the


texture of

for tomato


deep dark fruits

and hard

black fruits

based dishes or

and soft tannins

of the Cabernet


to match

everyday Italian

giving it a lovely

wrapped up in the

and will


cuisine. If you

silky texture that

spicy jamminess

benefit from

with grilled

love good pizza,

can be enjoyed

of the Syrah, all

opening an

meats and

you'll love this

with hearty

lifted with the

hour or so

lamb, a real

with it.

Italian cuisines.

structure of the

before hand.


Petit Verdot, simply excellent.


I’m a fan of Nugan wines for

Coteaux des Anges Macon Lugny Chardonnay, €14.99

Sauvignon Blanc, €14.99

Coteaux de Giennois Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, €13.99

Just like a book, you can’t

good reason. I've selected

Burgundy is famous for its

I’ve selected a red from

If I picked a Sancerre from

judge a wine by the label.

this wine out of a great

brilliant whites made from

Aresti already and this wine

the Loire that would be just

Made from organic grapes,

range as so many people

the Chardonnay grape,

shows the great everyday

too easy. Of course you’ll get

value from Aresti. The real

all the wonderful citrus fruits

Cuvée Ines Minervois Roussanne, Grenache Blanc,

Nugan Vision Chardonnay,

Petit Grain, €11.99


Aresti Special Release Casablanca

are on a Sauvignon or Pinot

in particular those from

display a multitude of fruit

Grigio default setting. This

Chablis. Again we have

added character in this

and gorgeous minerality

aromas, from pineapple to red

Chardonnay shows exactly

sourced an identical style

wine comes from the two

as expected, but you'll get

apple along with a gorgeous

why it’s still the world’s most

from the Mâcconais which

months on the lees which

all that from this wine too.

are yeast cells left over

Located in the district of

wonderfully combined to

popular grape. Tropical

uses no oak to allow the

and elegantly complex with

melon on the nose with

wine to show the purity of

that give greater character

Bonny sur Loire the vines are

flavours of lemon,

the lightest

fruit and highlight

to the wine.

planted on siliceous

honey and vanilla

touch of vanilla.

its crisp steely

Gorgeous citrus

clay soil terraces

fruits with a

overlooking the Loire

vanilla note. The palate is rich

The palate is

finish that wines

pleasant long


from this region


River. Impress your

finish. Mushroom


are famous for. An


friends with your

risotto, smoked

with tropical

absolute winner

watering feel

knowledge of this

and lychee

little appellation that

along with a very

and citrus

of a wine and

goats' cheese

fruit perfectly

great with shell


neighbours the more

work well here.

balanced with

fish, salads and


famous Sancerre,

a light touch

enjoying with

with zero oak.

making wine from

of oak giving a


Great sea and

the same grape but

gorgeous toast

Asian food

for a lot less.

like finish.


salmon or fresh


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