MOVIES & BOOZE: Fancy a glass of wine this weekend?

Jean Smullen explores French wine...

Wine expert Jean Smullen joins Sean Moncrieff to discuss a number of French varieties...

We are now into French Wine Sale season. Most of the big supermarkets have a range of wine offers on at the moment and most of them involve French wine. Aldi’s French wines have been on offer since August, SuperValu’s French Wine Sale launched on September 1st with over 100 French wines currently available it will finish on Sept 14th. Dunnes Stores have a French Food & Wine Sale in-store from Sept 10th -24th with 36 French wines from all the top regions available. Lidl’s French Wine Sale will start on Monday 12th September and will run while stocks last. Last but not least, Wines Direct www.winesdirect.ie have a French Harvest sale with 25% off many of the wines in their range. If you are thinking ahead and planning what to drink this Christmas, now is the opportune time to buy some pretty decent wines at a competitive price and if you can hang on to them for three months, you’ll have some pretty decent stuff to drink this Christmas.

2015 Domaine Saint Prix Sauvignon de Saint-Bris €11.99

Stockists: Lidl, Nationwide

This is one of a comprehensive range of white wines from some of the top French wine regions on sale in the Lidl French Wine Sale which beings on Monday 12th September. There are white wines from Alsace, Burgundy (of which this is one); Loire and they even have a white Chateauneuf du Pape. I loved the Sauvignon de Saint Bris, mainly because it is from a region not associated with Sauvignon Blanc, Burgundy. The AOP was awarded in 2001 and Saint Bris is to be found southwest of the Chablis AOP area in Northern France. The native white grape in Burgundy is Chardonnay but Sauvignon sneaked in here about 100 years ago. The Loire though is not that far away which explains why Sauvignon grows so well here. This is a benchmark Sauvignon Blanc, it has lovely aromas of green grass and asparagus, it is lively and fresh on the palate with lovely lime fruit flavours and it has a nice minerality showing through. A wine that Sauvignon drinkers will enjoy on offer at a very reasonable price in terms of the quality of the wine.

2010 Chateau Campe de la Hire €16.99 (2 for €20 in the SuperValu French Wine Sale) Stockists:

SuperValu, Nationwide

This wine comes from from Castillon near St-Émilion the AOP of Cotes du Castillon is on the right bank of the Gironde and is one of the best known of the Bordeaux “satellite” regions. The Cotes du Castillon has nine separate sub regions and here you will find very well made Bordeaux style wines being made. Because they are on the right bank Merlot and Cabernet Franc tends to dominate but here you will find some exceptional value. Bordeaux style wines at a good quality level without the high Bordeaux price. Before it got its own AOP in 1989 Cotes du Castillon wine were known as Bordeaux Superieur Cotes du Castillon.

This wine is quite light in style with lovely plum fruit coming through which means the Merlot is the main grape here. The wine is made from 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has lovely soft tannin and would work well with steak or any slow cooked meat dishes. Drinking well now, this is definitely a wine to enjoy now that there is an “r” in the month. Great value at this price.
French Wine Events

Don’t miss the fantastic Bordeaux Tasting at Searsons in Monkstown on Tuesday 13th Sept, 2016 featuring Lilian Barton Sartorius & Aline Baly of Châteaux Leoville Barton and Langoa Barton at 17:00. The ladies will then move on to ely Wine Bar in Ely Place where they will present their wines at a wonderful dinner. More info about how to book on the wine diary www.jeansmullen.com