Jean Smullen reviews Lidl's 2018 Cimarosa, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC and 2016 Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Easter weekend, a time when people sit down together to share a meal. Spring Lamb with all the trimmings was traditionally served at this time of year; however, today you can enjoy anything you like on Easter Sunday, there are no rules! Whether you prefer fish or vegetarian and vegan foods there is a wine to match your choice. Turkey has become popular at Easter Time too, so today on Movies & Booze we’re going to show you three wines, all available from Lidl, that will go well with an enormous variety of food styles.
2018 Cimarosa New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc €7.99
Stockists: Lidl, Nationwide
In 1973, as Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc vines were being planted, no one could have predicted that this variety would attain the superstar status it has today. The explosive flavours of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc have created a huge international demand for the style. Pungently aromatic, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc assails the senses with red capsicum (bell peppers) and gooseberry characters, with 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.
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc really sets a benchmark for the classic New Zealand style. The soils range from very young river beds to old glacial material. Most of the coastal vineyards in the east face river valleys. Mountains to the west provide rain shelter. High sunshine hours and low rainfall also contribute to the zesty charachter of gooseberry with tropical fruit overtones.
Sauvignon Blanc has become so popular it even has its own day. Sauvignon Blanc day is celebrated on the first Friday in May, so this year Friday 3rd May is International Sauvignon Blanc Day. It even has its own hashtag #SauvBlancDay - this day fortnight make sure you celebrate in style with this lovely Marlborough Savvy!
The Cimarosa New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, has fresh grassy and lime fruit aromas that just sing out of the glass. Lively and fresh with crisp citrus acidity and green pea and asparagus flavours.
Back to Easter however, a few suggestions of food to match with this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with its big flavours and distinctive taste.
Grilled fish or shellfish cry out for a pungent Sauvignon Blanc. Think of the wine acting as a squeeze of lemon juice on the fish. This wine will also be delicious with poached fillet of salmon or chicken and mushroom pie. Salmon with dill or just a simple smoked salmon on brown bread will also work well. If you are serving garlic prawns as a starter, then this wine will ace the match!
For vegans why not try Italian Stuffed Peppers with courgette, walnuts, olives, and broccoli. Salads to match with this wine include broccoli served with goats or feta cheese and baby tomatoes, green asparagus, or avocado and red peppers.
2017 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC €6.49
Stockists: Lidl, Nationwide
The vine has flourished throughout Italy (Enotria the land of vines) since recorded history began and numerous indigenous grape varieties continue to produce grapes for a wide range of individual and attractive wines.
Although usually considered a Mediterranean country, Italy's shape and topography varies from the snow capped Alps in the North to the sunbaked coasts of the South give rise to great variation in local climates. There is usually sufficient sunshine in every region to ripen the grapes but grape varieties which grow well in the north of the country or at high altitude are seldom suited to the hot dry south.
Abruzzo offers wine drinkers refreshing simplicity. The red Montepulciano grape (not to be confused with the town of that name in Tuscany where Vino Nobile is made) the wines are full bodied robust with a capacity to age. They are very drinkable even when young.
Montepulciano is one of Italy’s most widely planted grapes. It is very widely planted down the East Coast from Marche to Apuglia. It originated in Tuscany and is often confused with Sangiovese the other native Tuscan grape. Today it is the principal red wine grape of the DOC Abruzzo it is a grape that produced a lighter style cherry fruit character wine but with a good amount of tannin to keep it supple.
This wine is intensely fruity with tons of ripe cherry fruit and a lovely mocha hit. It has a lovely ripe tannin which would work well with any sort of spicy sausage meat or ham.
Easter is not all about formal dining, so if you’re looking for a wine that will go well with everything from pizza to turkey, this is a good choice. This is an everyday very drinkable fruity wine made in a warm region to the South of Italy. It has lots of juicy fruit and would make an ideal party or barbeque wine.
For vegetarian’s - vegetable flavours are subtle and earthy so you need a juicy lively wine to match with them and this wine is an ideal choice.
2016 Saint Emilion Grand Cru €14.99
Stockists: Lidl, Nationwide
The village of Saint-Emilion originated in the 8th century when a Breton monk, Emilianus, built a settlement there, hence the town was named for him. Soil quality is essential to quality wines vineyard and Bordeaux is lucky to have a diversity of soils that are especially favourable to grape growing. The limestone plateau, where the medieval village of Saint-Emilion stands gives robustness, style and elegance to the wines. The key to quality from the region is the blending of varieties where Merlot dominates complemented by Cabernet franc.
I visited St Emilion a few years ago, this small medieval town is renowned as much for its beautiful buildings and scenery as for its wine. The town has wonderful steep, narrow, cobbled streets, and a huge Romanesque church with the iconic 13th-century Tour du Roy tower.
Younger St Emilion wines which tends to have a lot of fruit dominating, can be great served with fish or poultry and that includes turkey! Plum fruit dominates with a hint of spice and chocolate. This will also work well with game. This wine has lovely spicy aromas of cloves and mocha and a lovely medium tannin and acidity when tasted, with the plum fruit/clove character showing through on the palate.
With most people planning a family get together this weekend involving lunch or dinner, this St Emilion is a great choice for anyone serving beef or lamb this weekend as it goes particularly well with red meat.
Red wine is usually served with red meat because of the desirable matching of the chemicals found in each. The most influential ingredient in red meat is fat, it gives meats their desirable flavour.
As you chew a piece of red meat the fats in the meat coat your tongue and palate which desensitizes your taste buds. As a result the second bite of the red meat tastes less tasty than the first.
Your steak would taste better if you washed your mouth between mouthfuls. There is an easier way to wash away the fat deposits.
Red wine contains a compound that cleanses your mouth, removing fat deposits, re-exposing your taste buds and allowing you to savour the next bite of red meat almost as much as the first.
This wine is the perfect wine to match with traditional shoulder of lamb, roasted with rosemary and garlic and served with green asparagus (now coming into season) and roast potatoes. Don’t forget the mint sauce or jelly. A match made in heaven!
The Real Wine Fair” is a one-day wine fair celebrating artisan growers who farm organically and/or biodynamically in the vineyard and make wine with minimal interventions in the winery. Around 25 growers and winemakers will be pouring and presenting their wines to consumers, trade visitors and press. In addition to the extensive range of wines being shown, the fair will also feature food stalls showcasing the best of Irish artisan food. On Thursday 15th May, 2019 at the Chocolate Factory in King’s Inn Street, Dublin 1. Tickets are €20. More details in the wine diary https://jeansmullen.com/