Movies and Booze: Fancy a glass of wine this weekend?

Wine expert Jean Smullen takes us on a journey to France....

Its all about France today on Movies & Booze.  We’re looking at a classic Sancerre and a wine region that is the little brother of Chateauneuf du Pape.

2015 Nicolas Carlin AOP Sancerre (La Côte Blanche) €16.99

Stockists:  Lidl, Nationwide (while stocks last) from March 20th onwards

For many wine lovers Sancerre is the finest white wine of the Loire.  Sancerre is dry  white wine made from  the Sauvingon Blanc grape.  This AOP is very much sought after by wine enthusiasts who love good quality Sauvignon Blanc.


Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive grassy aroma which sometime smells like nettles or gooseberries.   This is a very aromatic wine showing classic concentration flavours of gooseberry and tropical fruits.  The acidity is very fine and is beautifully balanced with lovely ripe flavours. This is the classic  white grape of the Loire (Sancerre and Pouilly Fume) now grown world wide producing dry aromatic wines with a pungent smell, high acidity and pronounced green gooseberry flavour.


Nicholas Carlin started his winery in 1970.  He grew up in Paris and his first career was in software.  The vineyards were originally owned by his wife’s family, this is a quality Sancerre from a small producer.


2015 PuechMorny AOP Gigiondas €14.99


Stockists:  Lidl, Nationwide (while stocks last) from March 20th onwards

The vineyards of the Rhone valley stretch from near Vienne to just below Avignon (125 miles to the South).   This makes the Rhone valley the biggest French region after Bordeaux and the Languedoc for the production of quality wine.Red wine is the speciality of the Rhone . White wine represents only a small percentage of the wines grown here but shows great diversity, from dry and still to distinctly sweet, as well as various styles of sparkling wine.


The key wine producing areas of the Southern Rhone makes wines from a blend of a number of different  grape varieties. Grenache, a  Spanish grape variety, known for it's brawn rather than it's beauty.   When blended with the openly fruity grape Grenache adds a note of interest.   Grenache give mixed soft red fruit flavours to the blend. Wines from the Southern Rhone tend to be Grenache predominantmixed mainly with Syrah, Cinsault and Mouvedre. 


The Gigondas AOP was awarded in 1971, originally the region was part of Cote du Rhone and situated to the east of the Rhone Valley.   The wine style is very similar to its larger neighbour Chateauneuf du Pape but tends to be a little cheaper and does not have the same recognition as its more famous neighbour.   This wine offers all the oomph and style that CDP does but at a much more competitive price.  Packed with fruit and spice this would be perfect served with a slow cooked beef stew.

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