MOVIES & BOOZE: Mysterious wines for the weekend

Jean Smullen reviews 2017 Caves de Saint Pierre Côtes du Rhône and 2016 Diablo

We are doing something a little different on Movies & Booze today,  a white wine from the Rhône and a brand new wine from Concha y Toro.


2017 Caves de Saint Pierre Côtes du Rhône €10.99

Stockists:  Spar, Eurospar,  Mace & Londis (nationwide)

The Greeks founded what is now the city of Marseille at the river's mouth and presumably brought the vine to the Rhône valley.  However, it was the Romans who developed wine growing on a large scale here.   After the Roman's departed it was hundreds of years before the resurgence began in the 9th century, due to the establishment of monasteries and churches.  Since then the significance of the Rhône as a key supplier of wine has never really ceased.

White wine from the Rhône is not really mainstream.  In terms of production The Rhône Valley is the second largest wine region in France.  White wine accounts for 6% of the total production, 81% is red and 13% is Rose. 

This wine is made from a blend of three grape varieties,  Grenache Blanc,  Viognier and Clairette.

Grenache Blanc, originally a Spanish grape variety is widely planted all over Southern France.  It is usually blended and produces rich, elegant, fruity wines.  Viognier is a very ancient French grape variety, originally from Condrieu, it is very aromatic with peach, apricot and floral characters.  Clairette was originally brought to France by the Romans, it has fresh citrus characters and brings a freshness to the blend.

If you like white wines with a stone fruit character, you are going to love this wine.  Beautiful floral notes on the nose that follow through onto the palate.  Ripe rich peachy flavours but with a lovely fresh finish. A ripe rich rounded white wine, perfect with Thai Curry or any sort of seafood.


2016 Diablo €18.00

Stockists:  Widely available in supermarkets and off licences

Concha y Toro have created a new and mysterious blend.  Brand new to the Irish market Diablo is an intriguing wine guaranteed to become a favourite with Irish consumers.  This is blended wine with lots of red fruit flavours backed up by mocha, vanilla and a hint of spice.  Key to the unique character of this very innovative wine  is the aging process.  The wine has been aged in barrel for 6 months, 6 weeks and 6 days.

Another mystery that is Diablo lies in the fact that no one knows what grape varieties are used to make the wine.    This gives a wine with great appeal, as many will try to guess what they are.

Having tried it I can tell you that  it is very fruit forward in style, I found a lot of red fruit flavours and  a hint of smoky black coffee.   This is a wow factor wine, one to be enjoyed with food.   If like me you love cheese then get some aged cheddar and enjoy it with this wine.

If you like to cook with strong flavours and rich sauces, then this is an idea wine to match any sort of slow cooked meat dish.  Now that there is an “r” in the month and we all start to enjoy slow cooked braised meat dishes, this is a ideal wine to match with them.  Herbs used in the preparation of meat dishes come into their own with this style of wine as do richly flavoured sauces



November is  consumer wine fair season in Ireland and there are lots of great tastings on this month that are open to the public.  A great way to sample wines before the busy Christmas buying season and maybe choose a few new favourites to serve with Christmas dinner.


Wine Fairs

Cork – Today November 9th O’Donovan’s 16th Cork Wine & Craft Beer Fair in aid of Marymount Hospital at the Clayton Hotel, Lapps Quay, Cork.  Tickets: €15.00 get at door Starts 4.00 p.m.

MalahideThursday 15th November,  Grand Hotel Malahide.  Gibney’s 21st annual Christmas Wine Fair.  Tickets €15.00 from Gibneys in Malahide  Starts 6.00 p.m.

Dundalk Thursday 15th November, Oriel Centre, Old Gaol, Carrick Road, Dundalk,Co Louth.

McGuinness Wine Merchants Dundalk Christmas Fair.  Tickets now on sale priced €12 in aid of the Mater Foundation.  Starts 6.00 p.m.

Dublin Castle – O’Briens Autumn Wine Festival Fri 16th,  Sat 17th & Sunday 18th Nov (note Sat tickets sold out) Friday Evening 6-9pm and Saturday 2-5pm & Saturday 6-9pm.  Tickets €25 from their website.

Clontarf Castle – Thurs 22nd November Martin’s Off Licence Wine & Craft Beer Fair.  Tickets €15 from Martin’s in Fairview . Starts 7.00 p.m.


Wine Tastings

Aga Niemic of Vinostitos at Blackrock Cellar in Blackrock, Co Dublin  on Sat 10th Nov featuring a selection of wine from the Rhône as part of Rhône wine week this week.

Beaujolais Noveau 2018  tasting at Terroirs in Donnybrook on November 15th to celebrate the launch of the new vintage.

Details of these and many more wine and spirit events

in the wine diary