O’Briens Wine Beer & Spirits
33 Spruce Avenue Stillorgan Industrial Park Co. Dublin Ireland Ireland
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sauvignon blanc

  • Exciting New Wines this October

    October may seem a little early in the year to be looking back, but everything in the world of wine seems to be coming a bit earlier this year, with many regions in Europe recording their earliest ever harvest this 2017 vintage.  Also by now, practically all the wine buying is done and almost all the new wines are already on the shelves.

    Led by our wine buyer Lynne Coyle MW, the three of us on the wine team have tasted in excess of 3,000 wines this year.

    To say that the selection process is stringent would be an understatement, from this number, just over 70 wines have made the grade.

    Needless to say, we are very happy with all the wines chosen, but there are far too many to detail here so I have highlighted just a few of my favourites below, if you would like to see a more comprehensive list, you should check out the New Arrivals page


    To start my selection I am going a wine from North-West Spain, which should need no introduction, I am of course talking about Albariño, which in just a few short years has shot from being a niche-wine to its current position as one of Ireland’s favourite white wines.

    Follas Novas which is one of the newest additions to the range is a beautifully aromatic Albariño with floral notes, peach, pear, and lemon with a bone-dry palate with a refreshingly-zesty citrus edge to the finish. Albariños generally work very well with all manner of seafood dishes, and a fresh and zesty example like this would be great served with some native oysters now that they are back in season.  (€14.95 down from €18.95 for October)

    My next choice, Myburgh Bros. Sauvignon Blanc, is made by the multi-award-winning South African winery M.A.N. Vintners, using a blend of fruit from across the Western Cape; ripe fruit characters coming from the warmer Agter-Paarl, and freshness from the cooler coastal regions of Elgin & Franschhoek.

    This is a smooth & aromatic Sauvignon, made in a ripe, yet approachable style, yet far from being simple, 11% Semillon is added to the blend for weight and complexity, with additional complexity coming thanks to three months ageing on the lees.  This type of Sauvignon can stand up very well to punchier dishes such as a Thai Green Chicken Curry. (€9.95 down from €14.95 for October)

    El Salvaje Vineyard

    My next choice is a red wine is from the Lingenfelder family who have been Wine-Growers in Pfalz region of Germany for fourteen generations, firmly in it for the long-haul, they practise sustainable grape farming. Their Fox Label Dornfelder is a light-red which shares many similarities with Pinot Noir; perfumed raspberry and cherry fruit, savoury undertones with light tannins and fresh acidity which makes it a great match for Roast Pork. (€15.95)

    The last wine in the line-up comes from Argentina, where the High altitude, Uco valley sub-region of Mendoza is fast gaining a reputation as the home of Argentina’s most elegant Malbecs. El Salvaje is a wonderfully-perfumed Malbec, floral & spicy on the nose, with deep dark berry fruit on the palate, perfectly balanced by the surprisingly fresh finish. This wine is crying out for a char-grilled Rib-eye steak. (€19.95)


    Please note prices are correct at time of publishing, these offers will end on 30th October 2017,  please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.

  • 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.

  • Stunning Whites in our Annual Wine Sale

    In my blog last week, I picked out a selection of reds from our annual wine sale, so it is only fit and proper that this week I should turn the spotlight on to some of the Stunning Whites included in the line-up.

    To start off, I have picked a Pinot Grigio From the Friuli region of Northeast Italy where Pinot Grigio tends to be richer and more complex.  Puiattino (€11.95 down from €17.95) is a great example of this style, with a fresh and grassy nose with hints of green apples, leads to a palate which has a touch of honeyed richness but is dry, crisp, and steely on the finish.

    Puiattino's Pinot Grigio vines grow on the rolling hills of the Collio region, in the Province of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

    We cross over to Chile for my next selection, Novas Viognier (€9.95 down from €16.95) which is made with 100% organically grown grapes from Chile's No.1 organic estate’s vineyards located 300 metres above sea level. This is an extremely aromatic, richly flavoured white with peach and apricot fruit, all kept in check by the refreshing acidity.

    Back to Europe now, and the next wine is from the Rías Baixas region of Northwest Spain. Rías Baixas, unlike most other Spanish regions, has a Cool Climate with significant rainfall thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.  Xovial (€9.95 down from €16.95) is a Classic Albariño, citrus and floral aromas, with a touch of stone fruit, all beautifully balanced with the vibrant zingy acidity.

    To ensure vine health in the cool and rainy Rias Baixas region, the vines are trained across pergolas, promoting free movement of air and preventing excess moisture from building up.

    Moving to the Southern French Languedoc region now. From a small family-owned, organically-farmed estate located at Limoux, high in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Domaine Begude 'le Bel Ange' (€10.95 down from €16.95) is a Chardonnay and Chenin blend with beautiful pure pear and apple fruit and a fresh as a mountain stream zesty finish.

    Domaine Begude's owners left behind a hectic City life in london to follow their dream; making great wine in the South of France.

    For my final choice, we have to go back to the Southern Hemisphere and Marlborough, New Zealand in particular. Needing no introduction Simon Waghorn’s Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc is a firm favourite at O’Briens, however, his Awatere Sauvignon Blanc (€16.95 down from €22.45) is an extra special Astrolabe taken from several cool climate vineyards within the Awatere Valley subzone.  It is marked out well-defined minerality & acidity, flavours of lime zest, elderflower and fresh herbs with a dry, savoury finish and it is a real treat for Sauvignon fans.

    Of course, the wines I have chosen above are just some of my own favourites, there are over 100 wines included in the sale, why not browse the full list here, or even better, drop in to your local O’Briens store where there will be a selection of sale wines available to taste all week long.



  • 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.

  • Treats for the Long Weekend

    This upcoming long weekend will surely see many dinner parties, celebrations, and informal gatherings as we all take advantage of the extra day off. Now, normally on the August bank holiday weekend, my blog would lean heavily toward BBQ wine tips, but unfortunately, the picture above might represent wishful-thinking as it doesn’t look like the weather is going to play ball.

    The good news though is that we have an exciting new line up of wine promotions in your local O’Briens store and that from this Thursday and right through the weekend we are offering 15% back on your loyalty card for any purchase of six or more wines. So, there can be no better time to treat yourself to something special.

    I have picked some of my favourites below, two from the old world and two from the new, all four delicious and perfectly suited to summer celebrations indoors or out!

    For my first choice, we are starting out on the shores of Lake Garda, where Bertani, long renowned for their top-class reds, have made a white wine of incredible quality. Le Quaiare (€14.95 down from €17.95) is a delicious single-vineyard Lugana, which is mineral-driven and complex, boasting subtle aromas of wild honey, ripe pear and fresh lemon zest.

    Bertani's vineyards overlook the Beautiful Lake Garda

    Next up is Ireland’s favourite wine style, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. I am sure this style needs no introduction, however, Whitehaven’s ‘Greg Label’ Sauvignon Blanc (€16.95 down from €20.45) is one well-worth a special mention.

    Made in honour of the company's founder, the 'Greg Label' represents the pinnacle of Whitehaven's winemaking. Hugely expressive aromas & flavours, bursting with cool fruit and mouth-tingling minerality make for a complex & super concentrated, lush Sauvignon.

    Whitehaven's stunning Sauvignon vinreyards

    Moving on to the reds, but Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, my next choice is the outstanding Yakka Shiraz (€14.95 down from €19.95). From the cooler Adelaide Hills region, this is a special wine with alluring perfumed complex aromatics of maraschino cherry, pepper, liquorice and cedar plus a rich and juicy palate of epic length.


    To finish up my selection, we are going back to Northeast Italy for Rizzardi’s Pojega Ripasso (€16.95 down from €20.45). This is quite simply one of the best Ripassos made by anyone. Year in,  year out it gets top ratings from major critics, made in an extremely elegant style with pure wild-cherry fruit & sweet spice undercut with notes of mocha.

  • The Best from Down Under

    Our Australia & New Zealand Wine Sale Starts today Wednesday, July 12th and runs until 10 pm on Wednesday, July 12th.

    We have 20% - 35% off over 130 exciting wines included in the sale line-up, far too many to detail here but I have chosen a few of my favourites below, these wines are from some of the finest vineyards in the Southern hemisphere and should illustrate just how wonderful the wines from Australia and New Zealand can be. As you might expect given the time of year and the regions covered, I have included some BBQ food matches for the wines, but needless to say, all four are equally delicious on their own.

    To start, we are looking at New Zealand, and in particular, the region & grape variety that put the country on the wine map; Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

    Made by former Cloudy Bay chief winemaker, Eveline Fraser from a single vineyard in Marlborough, Insight Sauvignon Blanc (€12.32 down from €18.95) wine has amazing levels of intense fruit and a depth of minerality not often seen outside Sancerre, this is not only different to most rival Marlborough Sauvignons but miles better! The pungency of this wine calls for a full-favoured dish such as Thai spiced seafood kebabs.

    When an Iconic Sancerre producer such as Henri Bourgeois, decides to make Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand you can expect good things. The French influence can be seen in the restraint and elegance of Petit Clos Sauvignon (€14.95 down from €19.95) but it also carries hallmark pungent Marlborough bell pepper and grassiness. Simply grilled prawns with a squeeze of lemon juice would perfectly complement the elegance of this wine.

    Grilled prawns; perfect with the Petit Clos Sauvignon

    Australia’s most famous region; the Barossa Valley is home to Torbreck Vintners, who pride themselves on their ancient gnarly vines, their Old Vines GMS (€16.95 down from €22.95) has a terrific depth of ripe dark fruit supported good oak. Finishing on sweet, ripe fruit this the perfect wine to match up with Moroccan Spiced Lamb chops hot from the Barbeque.

    Old Vine Mourvédre soaking up the South Australian sunshine in one of Torbreck's Barossa vineyards

    From the cooler Adelaide Hills region, the family-owned Longview Vineyard’s flagship Yakka Shiraz (€14.95 down from €19.95) is a model of cool restrained fruit, balance, and complexity, yet still, displays lush ripe fruit. This truly is a stunning Shiraz, but you don’t just have to take my word for it, the 2015 vintage has just picked up a Silver Medal at the International Wine Challenge 2017. To see this wine at its best, serve it alongside a chargrilled Rib-eye Steak.

    A juicy rib-eye is the Yakka Shiraz' best friend

    Among others, the Insight Sauvignon and Yakka Shiraz will be available to taste in your local O’Briens store this weekend.

  • The new wines for July have landed

    By all accounts, we are due for a mini heat-wave this weekend, to help make the most of this warm spell while it lasts, there are lots of Summer treats available in your local O’Briens store. 

    Regular readers of the blog will know that, weather permitting, I never miss an opportunity to get the BBQ lit, and this weekend certainly be no different, but as this weather also sees many of us enjoying more seafood and salads than usual, for today’s selection I have chosen two whites ideally suited to these dishes.

    True to form, I have also selected two richly-flavoured reds that would be perfect with the aforementioned BBQ, and all four are new additions to our ever-evolving wine range.

    For my first choice, I have gone with a classic; Cave de Vignerons Associés Chablis. (€16.95 down from €19.95)  The Cave’s winemaker, Vincent Bartement was named "Best White Winemaker of the year" at the International Wine Challenge 2016, having previously picked up this top award in 2014, it should come as no surprise that this is an incredibly well-made Chablis.  For a thoroughly delicious pairing, try this with a goat cheese salad.

    Cave des Vignerons winemaker, Vincent Bartement was clearly delighted with his double win!

    All eyes will be on Eden Park this Saturday, as the Lions attempt to make History, and the All Blacks are of course the first thing to come to mind when most people are asked to think of New Zealand, but I think it’s fair to say that Sauvignon Blanc would now run a close second.

    The Horologist (€11.95 down from €15.95) is a textbook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, dry yet intensely aromatic; think gooseberry, lime & passionfruit, with a zesty citrus hit to the finish. Those intense aromatics call for a full-flavoured seafood dish such as prawns pil pil.

    Sizzling chilli and garlic prawns, the perfect partner for the Horologist

    Alma de Casa (€10.95 down from €12.95) is an unusual blend of mostly Monastrell with Cabernet and Syrah grown on old-vines at estate vineyards located in Yecla, Southeast Spain (pictured at the top of this Blog) where the climate is continental verging on to arid, moderated by the proximity of the Mediterranean. Showing typical Monastrell flavours of liquorice and blackberry with a supple palate, this is just the wine to so serve with lamb cutlets hot off the BBQ.

    Alma de Casa would be perfect with BBQ lamb cutlets.


    From South Africa’s Western Cape, the cheekily-named Goats do Roam (€11.95 down from €15.95) is a Syrah-led, six-grape blend which has deliciously juicy red berry and plum fruit, accented by subtle spice notes on the silk-smooth palate. This wine is crying out for a char-grilled Rib-Eye Steak!

    A juicy rib-eye would go down a treat with Goats do Roam

  • 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.



  • Just Arrived!


    One of the best things about this job is that with our constantly evolving wine-range there is always something new to try, and while January and February can be a little quieter on that front, things kick up a gear in Spring with an abundance of newly-made wines in the tasting room awaiting sign-off and lots of new wines hitting the shelves in our stores.

    A counter full of Rosé in the tasting room, means Spring has most-definitely Sprung

    With that in mind, for my recommendations this week I am going with three brand new white wines and one delicious red which was added to the range late last year.

    My first choice, the Retreat Sauvignon Blanc (€11.95 down from €14.95) is made with blend of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in several premium wine-producing regions including Hawkes Bay, Marlborough & Waipara, all of which benefit from cool-climate conditions.

    The soils and climate of these regions combine to make the perfect terroir for growing Sauvignon Blanc and this wine delivers everything that has made NZ Sauvignon Ireland’s favourite wine style; deliciously-dry & bursting with tropical fruit flavours & citrus notes, extended lees contact has added complexity and depth, making for a wine that can more than hold its own against fuller-flavoured dishes such as a Thai Green Chicken Curry.

    The vineyard's proximity to the Atlantic ocean, gives Follas Novas Albariño a well defined cool-climate character.

    My next selection comes from another superb cool-climate location, Rías Baixas in Spain’s Northwest corner.  Follas Novas (€14.95 down from €18.95) is made with grapes grown in sustainably-managed vineyards, spread out in the heart of the Salnés Valley, it is a beautifully aromatic Albariño with floral notes, peach, pear, and lemon with a bone-dry palate with a refreshingly-zesty citrus edge to the finish. I would pair this wonderful white with some seared scallops or indeed with any shellfish dish.

    Domaine des Ballandors' cool-climate Sauvignon Vineyards

    On to France now, and while it may not be as well-known as some of the other central Loire Appellations such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy was in fact, the first French white wine appellation to be given AOC status in 1936. 

    With its vineyards planted mainly on Kimmeridgian limestone (as are the very best vineyards in Sancerre and Chablis) Domaine des Ballandors Quincy (€16.95 down from €19.95) is an incredibly elegant Sauvignon Blanc from a small family owned winery. Lemon zest & freshly-cut grass on the nose combine with subtle stone-fruit notes on the palate, and a flinty mineral-character lingers on the finish.

    The restrained fruit profile and refreshing acidity mean that this wine works beautifully with simply-grilled Sole or Plaice.

    Passimento Rosso's label depicting Romeo & Juliet's wall in Verona

    To finish we have another family-owned winery, but this time it is one of the largest family-owned wineries in Italy, Fratelli Pasqua was established in 1925 by four brothers and is today managed by the family's second generation who despite the scale of winery have very successfully retained the traditions of family ownership and the quality-focus that goes with it.

    Romeo & Juliet Passimento Rosso (€12.95 down from €17.95) is the Pasqua family’s tribute to Romeo and Juliet and the 3,000 messages of love which are left every day on Juliet’s wall in Verona, this rich, spicy & velvety red is made following the local ‘Passimento’ method whereby the grapes are dried prior to fermentation. This is just the wine to serve alongside rich meaty dishes such as Veal Osso Bucco.

    Veal Osso Bucco, the perfect partner for the gloriously-rich Romeo & Juliet Passimento Rosso

  • A Taxing Issue


    Here in Ireland we have some of the highest rates of alcohol excise duty in the EU, and while I’m sure my colleagues in the beer and spirits departments will have plenty of issue with the excise rates being 2.5 times the European average, it is wine that is the most disproportionally taxed.

    At €3.19 per bottle, we are out on our own at the top of the table and pay more than 12% higher than the 2nd placed UK, in fact we pay over a staggering 550% more than the European average, and don’t forget that this duty along with all other components of the retail price is subject to VAT at 23%.

    While we are on the subject of disproportionality, another inequity worth noting is that as the excise is applied as a flat charge rather than as a percentage rate, the effect on a wine’s price/quality ratio is most keenly felt at lower price points.

    As you can see from the table above, if you were to buy a bottle of wine at €9, only 53c of this would have been spent on producing the wine, however if you were take home a €12 bottle (a 33% increase) the value of the wine in the bottle shoots up to €1.80 (a 340% increase!), it really does pay to trade up by even by just a couple of Euro.

    I have chosen four wines below (all in and around the €12 mark) which I think perfectly illustrate the excellent quality that is available if you if you make the relatively short move from €9/€10.

    For my first choice, I thought I should start with the nation’s favourite wine style; The Horologist is a textbook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, dry yet intensely aromatic; think gooseberry, lime & passionfruit, with a zesty citrus hit to the finish. Of course, this wine is delicious on its own but if you pair it with a Thai Green Curry, you are in for a real treat.

    Sun-drenched organic Chardonnay vines at the Languedoc's Domaine Begude.

    Made exclusively with organically-grown fruit, Domaine Begude 'le Bel Ange' is an un-oaked Chardonnay which is cut with a dash of Chenin Blanc for extra zestiness and minerality. Crisp and fresh, with delicate flavours of pear and apple and with a long mineral finish, this wine works equally well as a stylish aperitif or as a fantastic partner to lighter

    The Andes provide a breath-taking backdrop for Norton's Malbec vines.

    With fruit grown at high-altitude in the foothills of the Andes and a label inspired by the street artists or 'Porteños' of Buenos Aires, Porteño is a juicier, more approachable take on Malbec from leading producer Norton.  Great with or without food, this works really well with meaty pasta dishes such as Tagliatelle al Ragù.    

    Made with grapes grown at Gérard Bertrand’s stunning Hospitalet estate in the Languedoc but using the traditional Southern-Rhône GSM blend, Cap Insula is very-much like a super-charged Côtes du Rhône! Jam-packed with ripe bramble fruit and left wonderfully smooth by eight month’s ageing in oak. To see this wine at its best, serve it alongside some char-grilled lamb cutlets.

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