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


  • Irish Wine Geese

    The Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations that take place all over the world this week are a reminder to us all that the Irish have always looked beyond these shores.

    Although historically this was mainly for reasons of political or economic necessity, these enterprising emigrants often sought out or created exciting opportunities for themselves in their adopted countries of residence.

    In the case of France many of the best of these opportunities lay in the wine trade, evidence of the of the success of these Irish “wine geese” of centuries ago is still plain to see in the names of some of today’s leading Bordeaux Châteaux such as Lynch-Bages, Kirwan, Phelan-Segur, and in the case of Barton family, the estates remain with the family who left Ireland almost two hundred years ago. The Bartons are famously proud of their Irish heritage, so much so that, patriarch of the clan, Anthony Barton even holds an Irish Passport.

    The wines detailed below illustrate the central role these Irish émigrés played in the wine trade of the adopted country.

    The splendid Château Mauvesin-Barton is the Barton family's newest property in the Medoc.

    Starting in Bordeaux, the Barton family's latest venture,  Château Mauvesin-Barton (€24.95 down from €27.95) has started to develop so besides dark fruit there're savoury cedar like notes and a rounded palate.

    But the story doesn’t end in Bordeaux, because following in the footsteps of the pioneering 'wine geese'  there is new generation of young Irish making a name for themselves in the wine-world in France today.

    Carlow-native Isla Gordon in her adopted Languedoc homeland.

    One such wine goose is Isla Gordon, originally from Co. Carlow. After spending a number of years training under Jeremy Hyland, possibly the best regarded viticulturist in NZ, at Kim Crawford wines and later at Astrolabe wines, Isla and her Australian winemaker Husband Paul decided it was time to set out on their own and chose the Languedoc as the place best suited to the style of wine they both wanted to produce.

    Today, working with some unique terroirs and old vineyards treated organically and by hand, the Gordons produce some stunningly good old-world wines but with a modern Oz twang such as the delicious wine below.

    Domaine la Sarabande Les Rabasses (€18.95 down from €21.45) Is classic Languedoc blend of Grenache, Carignan & Syrah, this has blackberry and cherry fruit plus liquorice complemented by subtle oak notes.

    Foxrock born and bred, Neasa Corish Miquel and winemaker husband Laurent Miquel at their organic estate in Corbières

    Another of these modern-day wine geese, based in the South of France is Neasa Corish Miquel. Originally from Foxrock in Co. Dublin, Neasa is married to winemaker Laurent Miquel and living in France. The family are making delicious red and white wines from their organically farmed vineyards in Corbières region.

    Les Fleurs Blanche (€14.45) is made from Grenache Gris, an interesting grape variety which has hints of peachy fruit, a ripe mid a palate and a stony minerality on the finish.

    Looking further afield, I have an example of an Irish Wine goose making their way to Australia.

    Kevin O’Brien’s great grandfather James O'Brien and great grandmother Mary Mullins independently left Co. Clare they later met and married in South Australia.

    Winemaker Kevin O'Brien in his McLaren Vale Cellars

    Kevin’s vineyard is located in the McLaren Vale, its name ‘Kangarilla’ is an aboriginal word meaning a place with abundant resources. The vineyards are located on multiple sites and ancient geologies giving the wines complexity. Farming sustainably, Kevin uses small batch hands-on techniques to give his wines a natural fruit expression, reflective of site and season.

    Kangarilla Road Terzetto  (€16.95 down from €17.95) is an intriguing mix of three Italian varieties gives perfumed tea-brack, raisin and cherry on the nose, with palate of prunes, cinnamon and chalky tannins

    All that leaves for me to say is, Sláinte agus Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh!

    *Please note, prices are correct at time of publishing, please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.

  • Wines to warm up with this January.

    With the wind whistling past the office window and weather warnings in place for next week, I’m planning for nothing more than a couple quiet nights in by the fire with a warming glass of red this weekend.

    If that sounds appealing to you too, read on as we have put together a stunning set of winter reds, all of which we are offering as part of a buy 1 bottle get 2nd bottle Half Price promotion (Mix & Match).

    I have highlighted below just a few of my favourites, but to see the full selection you can click here, or even better, why not drop into one of our 34 stores nationwide where one of these winter reds will be on the tasting table all weekend.

    Starting in Spain, Dominio de Artiga Reserva is a superb Tempranillo aged for five years so there's plenty of berry fruit, some vanilla and mocha notes but now with age also a savoury leathery note too.

    The Valdepeñas vineyards of Spain's central plateau are perfectly positioned for ripening bush-vine Tempranillo.

    My next choice comes from a Lynch-Bages owned estate in the South of France, L' Ostal Cazes Estibals is a high-quality wine, which is richly-textured with a wealth of ripe bramble fruit rounded out by subtle oak.

    The vines at L'Ostal Cazes are perfectly positioned for soaking up the Southern French Sunshine.

    On now to Puglia, deep in the heel of Italy, tasting Tenute Rubino Marmorelle Rosso from here is like tasting the Southern Italian sunshine in a glass, this is a gorgeous, richly textured red wine with an abundance of ripe black berried fruit.

    Sun-drenched Negroamaro vines at Marmorelle Estate

    To finish out the selection, I have gone with a Californian classic, Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve, which is an absolute benchmark Zinfandel, medium to full-bodied and velvet-smooth with a lovely ripeness of fruit over a bed of oak, cinnamon and pepper.



  • Autumnal Reds in our Annual Wine Sale

    There may still be plenty of sunshine about, but It is fair to say that autumn has now taken hold and as the leaves are falling and the evenings begin to draw in, our appetites tend to move towards richer, more robust dishes, the same goes for our wines, so I have chosen below a selection from our Annual Wine Sale, all which are suited to roasts, hearty casseroles and cosy evenings in beside the fire.

    I am starting with a Spanish wine, which is from vineyards located in the Ribota valley of the Calatayud DO at an altitude of 700 – 900m above sea level. La Multa Old Vine Garnacha (€9.95 down from €13.95) is made by Scottish wine-maker, Norrel Robertson MW, who has been making wine in Spain for over 14 years, it is full bodied with fine, soft tannins and well-balanced acidity. Soft raspberry and wild berry fruits give way to a long, smooth, spicy finish. To see it at its best, I would pair this wine with some simply grilled Lamb cutlets.

    Norrel Robertson MW, is one of only three Masters of Wine currently living in Spain

    Next up is a wine from the iconic Portuguese winemaker João Portugal Ramos. When João began his career as a winemaker, the Alentejo region was still widely unknown. Today it’s fair to say that nobody has done as much for the region’s promotion and reputation within the wine world as João Portugal Ramos. His Smart Dog Syrah (€9.95 down from €14.95) displays all the charm that makes Southern Portuguese reds so easy to love; Intense, ripe, red berry fruit undercut with some spice notes leading to a palate which is smooth with soft tannins supporting generous fruit and a full body making it an ideal partner for chunky Lamb burgers or richer pasta dishes

    João Portugal Ramos surveying the crop in one of his many Alentejo vineyards

    Staying on the Iberian Peninsula, the fiercely cold winters and hot, dry summers of the Valdepeñas region allow for great concentration to the fruit.

    From here, Dominio de Artiga Reserva's (€10.95 down from €14.95) ripe berry flavours are coupled with hints of smooth vanilla and rich cocoa, imparted by the French, American and Hungarian oak barrels in which the wine has matured. Wines like this work really well with slow roast pork loin.

    Incredible value for a Reserva level wine, Dominio de Artiga shows just how well-suited Tempranillo is to fine oak-ageing .

    Moving to the south of France now, for a Gorgeously rich vintage of one of our star wines. Gérard Bertand’s Pic St. Loup (€11.95 down from €15.95) is made with a blend of old-vine Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan & Grenache blended from various sites throughout this unique terroir within the Languedoc. It is supremely elegant with wonderful fruit purity. Silky smooth with layers of wild bramble fruit, good without food, this would be a great match for a wonderfully rich Cassoulet.

    A traditional Cassoulet Toulousain would be a perfect match for Gérard Bertrand's Pic St. Loup.

    For my last choice, I am going with a wine from Chile, and Chocalan Origen Gran Reserva Syrah (€11.95 down from €16.95) is one of the very best Syrahs coming out of Chile, thanks to the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean on Chocalan's Maipo valley vineyards.  This Syrah has also been livened-up by the addition of some Viognier which adds floral perfume and texture to the bramble fruit, liquorice and pepper. This is a wine that is crying out for a Rib-eye Steak.

    Our sale finishes up at 10pm this Sunday night, so to be sure not to miss out, why not drop into your local store.

  • Our Sale Wines in the Press.

    When putting together the line-up for our Annual Wine Sale, we were certain that we were going with the strongest selection yet, nevertheless, it is great to have that confidence re-affirmed with a huge number of reviews in the Press, some of which I have picked out below.

    Gérard Bertrand H de L’Hospitalet Sauvignon Blanc , €8.95 down from €14.95

    “Good news for Sauvignon Blanc lovers, with €6 off, this is worth stocking up on. A fresh, clean, French-style Sauvignon Blanc, this is beautifully aromatic with a fruity character and refreshing acidity.”

    Corinna Hardgrave, Irish Independent, Sept. 3rd

    Château Cilorn , €14.95 down from €19.95

    “Elegant cherry fruits underpinned by a fine acidity and light tannins on the finish.”

    John Wilson, The Irish Times, Sept. 9th

    Xovial Albariño, €9.95 down from €16.95

    “An absolute steal. The crisp structure of Albariño pairs beautifully with oysters and white fish, and the classic flavours of apple mean this is also a perfect match with mussels.”

    Corinna Hardgrave, Irish Independent, Sept. 9th

    Follow Corinna's advice and pair Xovial Albariño with oysters for a real treat!

    Gérard Bertrand Pic St Loup €12.95 down from €15.95

    “Medium blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Great purity and elegance on the palate with waves of bramble fruit and silky-smooth tannins. Unbelievable value.”

    Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, Sept. 9th


    Gérard Bertrand Domaine de Villemajou €15.95 down from €20.95


    "A multi-layered red from with some bottle ageing which has added character to this handpicked Carignan, Grenache and Syrah blend.Very smooth, soft tannins and gamey notes on the palate. A rich, full-bodied red."

    Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, Sept. 9th

    Gérard Bertrand Hospitalet Red €16.95 down from €19.45

    “Again, another very approachable red blend – this time Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah in equal measures. A fruit forward wine with delicious soft black summer fruit flavours.”

    Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun, Sept. 9th

    Gérard Bertrand's stunning Château l’Hospitalet.

    Château Mauvesin Barton, €22.95 down from €27.95

    “You can feel the power in the plush Merlot which dominates this blend. Happily, the Cabernet heart also shines through with leather tones and flickers of deep dark plum over a lengthy, evolving finish.”

    Tomás Clancy, the Sunday Business Post, Sept. 10th.

    Irish Wine Geese Family, the Bartons have been at the heart of Bordeaux for 10 generations, Château Mauvesin-Barton is their latest acquisition.

    Château Bentejac, €8.95 down from €17.95

    “Probably the best value basic claret around just now, the value for money being underlined by the fact that the price is down from the original €17.95…… Great with grilled steak and also with soft cheeses.”

    Tom Doorley, Irish Mail on Sunday, Sept. 10th

    Our Annual Sale continues until Sunday, September 24th  but as some of these wines may sell out, be sure not to leave it too late to visit your local O'Briens store.

  • Last of the Summer Sauvignons

    As Ireland’s favourite grape variety, Sauvignon Blanc surely needs no introduction but as the wines tend to be so well suited to summer, I thought I would use this week’s blog to highlight some of the superb Sauvignons we currently have on offer.

    While France’s Loire valley can claim the title of being Sauvignon’s spiritual home, New Zealand is undoubtedly the driving force behind the explosion of Sauvignon Blanc onto the world stage, thanks to New Zealand, Sauvignon’s popularity has never been as high as it is now and it shows little sign of slowing down, so I am starting my selection in Marlborough.

    Theo, Alex, & Marcel Giesen in their Marlborough winery.

    The Giesen brothers, originally from Germany made their way to New Zealand in the 1980’s to set up a winery that today is one of the largest in Marlborough, their Bay and Barnes Block is a benchmark Marlborough Sauvignon packed with ripe tropical flavours; passionfruit, grapefruit, kiwi & lime beautifully balanced by the crisp finish.

    Sue White proudly displaying her wines at our spring wine fair last May.

    At Whitehaven, owner, Sue White leads a small, talented, committed team who together are carving global recognition for the Whitehaven label. The ‘Greg Label’ is their Premium Sauvignon Blanc which was created in memory of Sue’s Husband Greg White. Richer and more complex than the regular Whitehaven, and in true Marlborough-style is hugely aromatic on the nose and delivers masses of fruit on the palate.

    Gérard Bertrand's stunning Hopitalet estate.

    We have to make our way back to France for my next two selections, our first stop is in the Southern Languedoc region, and to the Hospitalet estate,  where multi award-winning winemaker Gérard Bertrand makes a very classy Sauvignon which is grown in exceptional limestone vineyards on the Mediterranean coast giving it some chalky notes to go with the ripe gooseberry and citrus fruit.

    Arnaud, Lionel, Jean-Marie, and Jean-Christophe Bourgeois amongst the vines in one of their family vineyards.

    I am finishing up with a classic from Henri Bourgeois, who is one of the Loire's most celebrated premium producers.

    Their Porte de l' Abbaye Pouilly Fumé is a truly stunning expression of Sauvignon Blanc with a lovely lemon curd aroma plus gooseberry but also the appellation's signature stony mineral character.

  • Award-Winning wines at O'Briens

    The results have recently been released for two of the wine world’s most prestigious competitions, and I am delighted to report that over forty of our exclusively imported wines picked up a regional trophy or a platinum, gold or silver medal, with many dozens more picking up bronze medals or commendations.

    The Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. The medal winners were selected from over 15,000 entries and judging at DWWA 2017 involved 224 specialist tasters from around the world, including 66 Masters of Wine and 18 Master Sommeliers.

    The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is now in its 34th year. The IWC is accepted as one of the World's finest and most meticulously judged wine competitions, which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region, and vintage. Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal-winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges.

    All in all, there are far too many winners to list here but I have picked out just a few of my favourites below.


    Coyam is produced by Chile's Emiliana who can proudly lay claim to being the World's largest organic winery

    Coyam 2013 €22.95

    “A polished style with rich dark fruits, milk chocolate, and sandalwood. This wine has both style and substance.”

      IWC 2017 Gold Medal Winner

    Wines ageing in expensive oak-barrels in Mont-Redon's cellars.

    Château Mont Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013 €33.45

    “Made in a modern style with new oak spice. A very complete wine that has great harmony and a complex and long finish.

      DWWA 2017 Silver Medal Winner

    The passionate Coca i Fito Brothers are on a mission to see their native Montsant region recognised as being among Spain's very finest DO's

    Coca í Fito Negre 2011 €34.95

    “Ripe black fruit on the lively nose. Dense on the palate with subtle freshness.”

      DWWA 2017 Silver Medal Winner

    The Sun-drenched vineyards of the Jumilla region allow Luzon to craft wines of exceptional richness.

    Luzón Crianza 2014 €15.95

    “Juicy charming with funk spice, green pepper, corn, cloves. Plummy bramble with integrated soft tannins.”

      IWC 2017 Silver Medal Winner

    The beautiful Domaine Begude sits high up in the Languedoc among the foothills of the Pyrenees

    Domaine Begude ‘Terroir 11300’ 2016 €17.95

    “Delicate floral, apple aromas herald in a creamy palate delivering a satisfying pith and juiciness of peachy fruit and fresh lemon.”

      DWWA 2017 Silver Medal Winner

    Longview's Stunning Maccaldsfield Vineyard

    Longview Yakka Shiraz 2015  €14.95 down from €19.95

    “Ripe luscious fruit, balanced with peppery spice. Well structured, long finish.”

      IWC 2017 Silver Medal Winner

    The Los Vascos Vineyards are perfectly situated in the foothills of the Andes.

    Los Vascos Grande Reserve 2013  €19.45

    “A mix of coffee and leather notes. Ripe blackberries and plums with rounded tannins and a long, spicy, savoury finish.”

      IWC 2017 Silver Medal Winner

  • Gérard Bertrand, Champion of Biodiversity

    Picking up awards is nothing new for master-winemaker Gérard Bertrand, but I know the latest one is one he will particularly cherish.

    Just last week the French press recognised Gérard Bertrand as a "Champion of Biodiversity" and awarded him the Trophy of Socially Responsible Leadership.

    Gérard Bertrand received the Trophy for Responsible Leadership 2017 in the Societal category, awarded by the French press group, Les Echos.

    The competition rewarded French business leaders most active in corporate responsibility.

    The jury was composed of eight corporate responsibility specialists and chaired by Jean-Paul Bailly, Honorary Chairman of Groupe La Poste (The French postal service). The Chairman’s notes are as below.

    “The societal difference Gérard Bertrand makes is rooted in his continuing environmental commitment, that bears concrete societal implications, within a global philosophy for his wines, from production to marketing and communication. Gérard Bertrand, Champion of Biodiversity.”

    In receiving the award Gérard said:

    "This award and the acknowledgement of a leading publication in the French economic press is an invaluable encouragement. It confirms our strategic choices and our ambition to promote the values and the excellence of the wines of the South of France

    If you would like to try some of Gérard’s wonderful wines the could be no better time as the entire range in on sale from now until 10.00pm on Sunday, June 18th.

    Also if you are visiting Taste of Dublin this weekend be sure to drop by the O’Briens stand where we will be running a series of Gérard Bertrand masterclasses where you’ll enjoy 3 delicious wines, a comfy seat and a short chat about the regions and grape varieties!

    Each masterclass lasts only 15 minutes and they take place every half an hour.  The price is 3 florins per masterclass and guests will also receive a coupon to redeem in O’Briens after the event. Places are based on a first-come first-served basis as they tend to book up quickly so make sure to pop over to our stand when you arrive to avoid disappointment!

    To give you a flavour of the event I have picked out below just some of the wines which will be on show at Taste of Dublin, but if can’t make it in, you can still sample some of the wines by visiting your local O’Briens store, all of which will have some of Gérard’s wines on the tasting tables this weekend.

    Picked from a plot of Sauvignon on Gérard Bertrand's multi-award winning Château L'Hospitalet and surrounding vineyards, 'H' de l'Hospitalet ( €11.96 save 20%) is a beautifully aromatic expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Seriously impressive.

    The stunning Château l'Hospitalet

    Hedonism (€15.95 buy one get one ½ price) is a delicious, berry-scented, organic, dry-Rosé. Bursting with fruit on the palate & quite full-bodied for a Rosé but all very well-balanced.

    Gérard Bertrand's Château de la Grange ( €13.56 save 20%) is located in the coastal area of La Palme, in the Aude department. The grapes are grown using organic farming methods, and thanks to the proximity to the coast the vineyard enjoys all the benefits of a micro-climate with cool, fresh winds, resulting in an expressive, highly aromatic wine bursting with ripe bramble fruit.


  • Brilliant BBQ Wines

    With a  fairly good weather outlook ahead, I thought now would the perfect time to have a look at some simple guidelines on how best to pair wines with BBQ dishes successfully.

    Above all, you should choose fresh, fruity, wines; zesty, citrusy whites, and bright, fruity reds and take care to avoid overly oaky wines either red or white and also avoid any red with heavy tannins.

    My top tip though would be to try a Rosé, pink wines are fantastic barbeque wines as they are incredibly versatile and very food friendly.

    To put you in the mood to fire up that grill, I have picked out some of my BBQ favourites below, all of which either included in our ongoing French Wine Sale which runs until Wednesday the 24th, or our Rosé promotion which runs all summer long.

    From Southwest France, Le Labyrinthe Côte de Gascogne (€9.95 down from €13.95 save 29%) is wonderfully fresh & fruity with grapefruit aromas and underlying exotic fruit. The zesty & refreshing palate finishes long on those exotic notes. For a real treat serve it with some sizzling chilli and garlic prawns.

    Provencal rosé and summer is a match made in heaven


    An incredibly sophisticated Provencal Rosé, Mirabeau (€16.95 buy 1 get 1 half-price) offers a combination of ripe red fruits and zesty apple fruit on the palate with a refreshing zip of acidity. This is a wine that tends towards elegance, rather than power, yet it has a very impressive finish. As I said above Rosé wines are very versatile and work well with most Barbeque dishes, but to see this wine at its best, try it alongside some mildly spiced Chicken Kebabs.

    Neasa & Laurent Miquel at their Languedoc estate


    From a leading Languedoc estate, owned and run by winemaker, Laurent Miquel and his Irish wife Neasa, Les Beauchamps Syrah (€10.95 down from €14.95 save 27%) is youthful and vividly fruity with juicy cherry and blueberry fruit and could even be served lightly chilled. This is just the wine to go for with homemade beef burgers.

    Gérard Bertrand surveys his organic vineyards

    For my last selection, I have a chosen another red, Solensis (€14.36 down from €17.95 save 20%) which is made with organically grown Syrah and Grenache from the sun-drenched vineyards of the Languedoc. From these perfectly ripe grapes, Legendary winemaker Gérard Bertrand has crafted a delicious red, jam-packed with ripe bramble fruit. This wine is just crying out for a charcoal grilled rib-eye steak.


  • French Favourites

    Our French wine sale begins this Wednesday, May 10th and is running for two full weeks right through until Wednesday the 24th, so there can be no better time to pick up a few bottles of your favourite French wine or even to try something new.

    With over 300 wines covering a wide variety of wine styles, there's something here to suit everyone.

    To get you thinking, I have highlighted just a few of my French favourites below, but to see the full range, click here or even better why not drop into your local O'Briens Store.

    This beautiful Domaine Begude winery is the passionate labour of love for English owners Catherine and James Kinglake. The organically farmed 29-hectare estate located 300 metres above sea level makes delicious aromatic white wines and stunning Pinot Noirs but their real speciality is Chardonnay. With the name referencing postcode of the cool climate region of Limoux, their deliciously refreshing and delicate “Terroir 11300” (€14.36 down from €17.95 save 20%) has zesty citrus freshness coupled with apple and pear notes; fine structure & pleasing minerality.

    Organic Chardonnay vines take pride of place at the stunning Domaine Begude in Limoux.

    Based in Faugères, the charming Domaine la Sarabande is owned by an Irish wine goose Isla Gordon and her Australian wine-making husband Paul. After meeting and working together in New Zealand, they headed back to Europe to create their own wines. Their Misterioso (€13.56 down from €16.95 save 20%) has aromas of dark cherries and some lifted glazed fruit characters. The palate is again dominated by dark fruits but there are some attractive strawberry characters combined with fine tannins. The wine finishes dry but very well-balanced acidity helps to lengthen the palate.

    One of the Loire valley’s very best producers, Langlois-Chateau is owned and run by Champagne House Bollinger, whose quality charter is applied rigorously to all the wines of this great estate. Their Château Fontaine-Audon (€17.56 down from €21.95 save 20%) is consistently one of the best Sancerres on the market, thanks to its soils rich in "Silex" (Gun-Flint) it ticks all the right boxes; mineral driven, intense fruit and beautifully balanced, and this vintage has an extra level of ripeness to the fruit.

    The "Silex" rich soils of Château Fontaine-Audon

    Germain Croisille, is the winemaker at Cahors’ Château les Croisille, which his parents Bernard and Cécile founded in 1979. Working with organically-grown fruit he produces thoroughly modern and food-friendly Malbecs, marked out by their freshness, acidity and minerality. His Silice cuvée (€15.16 down from €18.95 save 20%) has delicious ripe black-berried fruit complemented by sensitive use of oak.



  • Que Syrah, Syrah!

    Syrah, when grown in its Northern Rhône homeland produces wines with a deliciously savoury and peppery style, that make it a perfect choice for these late winter/early spring days.

    Ferraton’s Crozes-Hermitage la Matiniere (€17.95 down from €19.95) is a great example of this style, a beautifully balanced lighter style of Syrah in which elegance and very pure fruit combine, resulting in a silk-smooth red that works well with a wide range of dishes from grilled red meats to roast poultry.

    Cave Saint Desirat's Syrah Vineyards.

    Made with 100% hand-picked grapes from vineyards in and around St. Joseph, Cave Saint-Desirat (€10.00 down from €14.45) is an elegant and superbly balanced Syrah, medium-bodied with very pure, black-berried fruit – although this is labelled as a simple Vin d'Ardèche it is easily of St. Joseph quality and would work beautifully with Lamb cutlets.

    Like most other Rhône Varietals, Syrah is very widely planted in the neighbouring Languedoc region, and Les Beauchamps (€14.95, Buy 1 Get 2nd Half Price) is a superb Syrah, which perfectly reflects the sun-drenched terroir of the Languedoc. Super-smooth and jam-packed with ripe bramble fruit and hint of spice, it's equally good with or without food.

    Of course, while Syrah’s story may begin in France, it certainly doesn’t end there, the grape variety, along with many others was introduced to Australia by James Busby in 1831 and since that time the spelling and pronunciation has evolved to give us Shiraz.

    In the hotter drier climates of Australia, Shiraz produces wines that tend to be rich and full-bodied with intense dark bramble fruit along with relatively higher alcohol.

    Baron of the Barossa, Geoff Schrapel

    Nowhere in Australia is more closely associated with Shiraz than the Barossa valley, so for my final selection, I have chosen a wine made by 6th generation Barossa winemaker Geoff Schrapel.

    Made from early-harvest grapes grown on the Schrapel family’s Barossa vineyards. Bethany Creek (€12.95 down from €19.95) is a very elegant, rather European style red with slightly floral and red cherry characters on both the nose and the palate. The finish is soft and smooth thanks to two year’s careful oak ageing. To see this wine at its best, pair it with a fine fillet steak.

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