MOVIES & BOOZE: Fancy a drink this weekend?

Wine expert Jean Smullen joins Sean Moncrieff...

Jean Smullen discusses a number of vintages to look out for during wine fair season...

We’re in wine fair season right now, all over the country shops are holding consumer fairs. This is a great way to taste and sample wines in advance of Christmas to decide what you are going to buy. Fairs to look out for include:

Dublin:

Fri 11th & Sat 12th November – The Printworks Dublin Castle O’Briens Wines Christmas Wine Fair Tickets €15. Tickets can be bought on line or at any O’Briens outlet. https://www.obrienswine.ie/
Friday 18th November – La Touche Wine Fair at SOBE at Charlesland Golf Club Greystones. Tickets €15 can be bought on line www.latouchewines4u.ie/wine-fair
Sat 19th November - Blackrock Cellar, Blackrock Village, Co Dublin. Christmas Wine Fair Tickets : €10 Tickets are limited so call them on 01 - 278 3844 to book your place

Cork:

Friday 25th November - The 14th Cork Wine & Craft Beer Fair at The Clarion Hotel, Cork City
Tickets can be purchased on line or at any of the 9 O’Donovan outlets in Greater Cork http://www.odonovansofflicence.com/wine-fair-ticket/

Clonmel:

Thurs 24th November – Red Nose Wine Fair - at Raheen House Hotel in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tickets are €15. For further information and bookings visit www.rednosewine.com. They also have a winemakers dinner on Friday 25th in Mulcahys in Clonmel. Tickets €50 for food & Wine featuring Nicolas BERGASSE of Chateau Viranel one of the wines we are featuring today.

2014 Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon €14.99 (widely available)

Wolf Blass celebrates its 50th birthday with a unique promotion called “Chase the Cap” Instant win rugby-themed prizes are on offer. Purchase a bottle of Yellow Lable WB and you will find a message under the cap of the bottle, prizes include luxury European Rugby Weekends for two, as well as other rugby-themed prizes and premium Wolf Blass wines. How to enter, buy a promotional bottle of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon or ChardonnayEach cap has a message inside either saying ‘better luck next time’ or stating the prize that has been won + an 8 digit code inside.Winners simply go online and visit www.wolfblass.com/chasethecap and enter in their unique code along with their details to receive their prize.

2013 Château Viranel AOP Saint Chinian €17.99

Stockists: Red Nose Wines, Clonmel www.rednosewine.com & Curious Wines, Cork

The winemaker Nicolas BERGASSE of Chateau Viranel is over with Red Nose Wines for their charity Hospice tasting on November 24th. Nicolas BERGASSE-MILHÉ is one of two brothers who have taken over the family estate of Château Viranel. Where is this estate? It is in the heart of Languedoc, in Saint-Chinian. Here, in the south of France, on limestone terraced hills, the vines share the land and sun with the garrigue and olive trees. Their family vineyard consists of 40 hectares on which they use a system of sustainable agriculture in order to preserve the lasting quality of its soils. The property has been in the family for nearly five centuries (since 1551)

This is one of the better AOP’s in the Languedoc region. An AOC since 1982, Saint Chinian wine is now the 4th largest wine producing area in the Languedoc, after Corbieres, Coteaux de Languedoc, and Minervois. In the Beziers regions (just to the north).

This wine is a blend of 40 % Syrah 40 % Grenache noir 10 % Mourvèdre and 10 % Carignan with 20% of the blend oak aged in French Barrells for 12 months.

The palate on this wine is rich and fleshy with velvety tannins, lovely well balanced wine with mocha notes showing through. Drinking now but will last for for 5 to 7 years. A fine example of a well made organic wine from this exciting French wine region.