MOVIES & BOOZE: Some delicious wines for your weekend

Jean Smullen reviews Pasqua Lapaccio Primitivo Salento and Two Tracks Sauvignon Blanc

As winter still has us in its grip, today on Movies & Booze I’m featuring an award winning Italian red wine from the South of Italy and to put us in a summery mood , as well as a gorgeous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in anticipation of Sauvignon Blanc day on May 4th.

2016 Wither Hills Two Tracks Sauvignon Blanc €11.99

Stockists:  Widely available in independent off licences and also in Carry Out off licences

The grape with the greatest “rock star” credentials these days, must surely be Sauvignon Blanc. It seems there is a global industry dedicated soley to its promotion.  It even has its own day, May 4th, (which may run into a conflict with a few Star Wars fans), but as the date rotates on an annual basis, I don’t think they will be too upset if the wine world also uses it to celebrate the 9th Annual Sauvignon Blanc Day. 

Oz Clarke summed this up at Sauvignon 2016, talking about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc  he described it as “the wine, wine snobs can’t bear”.. Why?  Because this is the wine that a generation of  fans seek out for its ripe distinct flavours and aromas.  The best Sauvignon Blanc does not have to be expensive or complex it entertains with its attitude.

The home of Sauvignon Blanc is the Loire Valley.  Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive aroma, The smell of the so-called thiol character of Sauvignon is reminiscent of passion fruit, gooseberry and grapefruit. The characteristic odor is followed by a rich flavor with a pronounced finish.

Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s most widely planted grape variety.  The Marlborough region was first planted 142 years ago, yet it is only  a mere 30 years since Cloudy Bay put New Zealand on the global wine map in 1986.   By the early 1990’s Sauvignon Blanc was firmly established as New Zealand’s flagship wine with international demand increasing every year.  Today it accounts for 66% of New Zealand’s total wine production.

In 1973, as Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc vines were being planted, no one could have the superstar status it would achieve.  Pungently aromatic, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc assails the senses with red capsicum (bell peppers) and gooseberry characters, lush passionfruit and tropical fruit notes.  Fresh cut grass, tomato stalk and lime flavours added to the mix give this wine style its enormous appeal. 

Wither Hills is the name of the mountain range surrounding the Wairau Valley in the Marlborough This iconic winery was  founded by Brent Maris and is now part of the Lion/Nathan group.


2016 Pasqua Lapaccio Primitivo IGT Salento  €14.99

Stockists:  Widely available in independent off licences and also in Carry Out off licences

Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine is an historic winery that produces high quality  wines from  all over Italy. Founded in Verona in 1925 today Pasqua are one of the most famous wine  families in Italy.

This wine is made from the Primitivo  grapes grow in the unspoilt region of Puglia in the ‘spur and heel’ of Southern Italy.

This wine is one of the National Off Licence Association (NOFFLA) Gold Star Award wines for 2018. The Awards are announced in October each year.  This wine won a gold medal in the category  best old world wine under €15.00.  The wines are blind tasted by a tasting panel made up of members of the off licence trade in Ireland.  They assess the wines and give medals to the best in each category.  The tasting note for this wine read:  Bright juicy fruits - supple and seductive. Cherry plum and chocolate tinged aromas with toasted dark fruit flavours and a hint of spice.

The Primitivo grape has its orgins in Croatia, it is also related to Californian Zinfandel, in fact Crljenak the Croatian grape is believed to be the parent of both Primitivo and Zinfandel. 

Primitivo makes a hearty robust red wine, in warmer climates such as in Mediterranean Italy flavours of blackberry and pepper show through from the grape.

Wine Diary

Spanish Wine Week in Ireland 23rd – 29th April, 2018

Spanish Wine Week is perfectly designed for both foodies and wine lovers, learn more about Spanish wines in a series of events – tastings, talks, special restaurant and wine shop offers and competitions  all organised by Wines from Spain.