O’Briens Wine Beer & Spirits
33 Spruce Avenue Stillorgan Industrial Park Co. Dublin Ireland Ireland
+353 1 2931040 online@obrienswine.ie Monday-Saturday 10:30am-10pm Sunday 12:30am-10pm

Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Everybody needs good neighbours!


    When it comes to picking a wine, there can be great security in choosing from one of the really well known regions such as Sancerrre or Rioja.

    But in doing so we sometimes overlook the fact that wines of very similar style and quality can often be produced in neighbouring regions, so why not step (slightly) outside that comfort zone and pick up a bottle of one of the delicious wines I have highlighted below.

    Sancerre is famous worldwide as the home of crisp, elegant, mineral-driven Sauvignon, but just thirty-five kilometres to the Southeast lies the lesser-known appellation of Menetou-Salon.

    Menetou Salon Whites are made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown on mineral-rich soils very similar to those of Sancerre. This excellent example from Eric Louis (€14.99 down from €18.99) is fresh and fruity with notes of citrus and white flowers and a long mineral finish.

    This is a wine that works extremely well with white fish or shellfish dishes.

    Moving further South we come to the Rhône, in the northern half of this valley the commune of St.-Joseph produces some Syrahs of superb quality from old vines.

     The Cave de Saint Desirat Syrah (€9.99 down from €12.99) is produced with fruit from neighbouring vineyards and is a St-Joseph in all but Name. An elegant and superbly balanced Syrah, medium-bodied with very pure, blackberried fruit , this wine is very versatile and can partner easily with a wide range of meaty dishes.

  • Cool-Climate Australia

    With our wine sale finishing after this weekend, I thought now would be a good time to take a look at one of our producers Longview, who are well represented in the sale with three delicious wines on offer.

    Longview is a stunning family owned Australian vineyard located just outside the historic township of Macclesfield in the Adelaide Hills. Set on undulating slopes reminiscent of classic old world estates, it has quickly established itself as one the most awarded vineyards in the region since its first vintage in 2001.

    Longview Vineyard is a little warmer than other Adelaide Hills' sites but its wines are still decidedly cool climate in style showing restraint and finesse without sacrificing depth.

    In setting up the winery, brothers Peter and Mark Saturno were eager for to take on the challenge of producing the kind of premium, cool climate wines they had developed a passion for whilst abroad. The wines below show just what a good job the Saturnos are doing in achieving that aim.

    Longview Buckets White €11.49 down from €13.99, Australia has always been famous for it's Semillons but up here in the cool Adelaide Hills, when blended with Sauvignon Blanc, it takes on a whole new dimension. This has brilliant aromatics and intense fruit, dare we say it has more flavour than most Australian whites on the market!

    For a great match try it with a Goat's cheese salads.

    Longview Whippet Sauvignon Blanc €12.99 down from €16.99,  this Marlborough style Sauvignon is grassy, pungent and bursting with fruit. This is a simply brilliant dry white and stands out as one of Australia's finest examples of Sauvignon. Also, it makes an ideal mid-week option because of its low alcohol.


    Longview's flagship Yakka Shiraz €13.99 down from €18.99,  is a model of cool restrained fruit, balance and complexity, but still displays lush ripe fruit. Here we have a stunning Shiraz that is going to improve and evolve for years but is drinking beautifully already.

    To see it at its best serve with chargrilled rib-eye steak.

  • Wine Superstitions

    As I sit and write on Friday the 13th, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the superstitions surrounding wine.

    With wine-making having originated over 2,500 years ago, it is not surprising that so many of these superstitions persist; I have picked out just a few below.

    In Italy, if you spill wine at the dinner table, you must dab some of the spilled wine behind each ear. This was likely passed down from the Romans, who thought that the spilling of wine was a very bad omen.

    During a storm, fishermen used to pour wine into the sea to calm the waters.

    In Germany, when a person dies, the wine in their cellar must be shaken as soon as possible.

    During Jewish weddings, the groom stomps on a wine glass in order to bring a happy marriage.

    In Varnhalt, Germany, the last grapes harvested in every season must be brought in by an ox-drawn cart, or the entire season’s harvest will turn sour.

    In ancient Egypt, royals were buried with five jars of wine to bring with them into the afterlife. This was for good luck, so they could use the wine to enjoy themselves in the presence of other royals.

    Far from being superstitious myself, all of this talk of wine just sets me thinking about which wines I might like for the weekend.

    So unless you are completely housebound due to the fear of stepping outside your door on Friday the 13th, I think you could do a whole lot worse than getting down to your local O'Briens store and picking up a bottle or two of the delicious wines below.

    Chanson Macon-Villages €12.99 down from €14.99. Founded in 1750 and now owned by Champagne House Bollinger, Chanson is ranked with the best of the Burgundy Houses. This excellent Macon is consistently good regardless of the vintage. Not too fruity, not too dry, just perfectly poised between crunchy green apple fruit and soft warm honey flavours. This is a great all-round wine that drinks well on its own but can match a wide variety of food from fresh shellfish to roast poultry.  

     L' Ostal Cazes Eclipse Red €11.99 down from €15.99. Produced at the Languedoc estate of JM Cazes, owner of  Lynch-Bages. Even though this is largely Syrah the quarter of Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc give this wine a distinctly Bordeaux accent. This is like taking what's great about St.Emilion and the best parts of the Languedoc and mixing them both together resulting in a unique, thoroughly delicious wine that certainly reflects some of the class and style of its Lynch-Bages cousin. Try it with a grilled rib-eye to see it at its best.





  • September Wine Sale

    With over 100 wines in our September sale, ranging in price from €6.99 ( Andes Peaks Syrah down from €8.99 ) up to  €62 ( Bollinger Special Cuvee Rosé down from € 77 ), we have something to suit all pockets.

    The range of wine styles on offer number too many to name here, but suffice it to say that we have something to suit every palate too!

    So why not pop in to your local store this weekend and pick up a bargain or two.

    I have picked out a couple of half-price wines below just to illustrate the amazing value available

    Novas Viognier (€8 down from €16) is produced by Chile's No.1 organic estate with top class winemaking overseen by celebrated winemaker Alvaro Espinoza.

    Emiliana's Novas line is made exclusively with organically grown grapes, enabling unique wines that fully express their terroir. The Viognier is a very aromatic, richly flavoured white, packed with super-ripe peach/apricot fruit and a touch of oak, it is just the wine to reach for when serving Thai or Chinese food.

    From Jumilla in Southeast Spain, Carta Roja Gran Reserva (€7.49 down from €14.99) is made from 100% old vine Monastrell, and is then aged for 24 months in American oak barrels and a further three years in bottle, all of which accounts for a serious amount of investment for a wine at this price.

    On the palate it is super-smooth with plenty of sweet brambly fruit underpinned by delicious savoury character, this is a wine that is drinking perfectly right now and has tremendously vibrant fruit for a 7 year old wine.

    To see this wine at its best serve with braised lamb shanks.

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