Take six wines
Cave de Monterail Châteauneuf du Pape 2008
A good allrounder, with the necessary structure and a soft, red-fruited spiciness that works just as well with turkey and all the trimmings as it does with lamb. 14pc alc. €12.99
Available from Aldi.
Astrolabe Pinot Noir 2008
Well-rounded and silky from New Zealand’s Marlborough region and gently aged in French oak; dominated by fleshy plum and cherry fruit with a smoky undertow, this will do the honours with turkey or lamb. €16.99 (currently on offer) Available from O’Briens.
Willunga 100 Shiraz/Viognier 2007
From Australia’s McLaren Vale and cooler Adelaide Hills; fullflavoured juicy fruit, tinged with chocolate and a peachy lift from the addition of Viognier. So wellbalanced it’s hard to believe that it’s 14.5pc alc. Try with goose, duck and red meats. €14.99 Available from Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer Street; Drink Store, Manor Street; Donnybrook Fair, JM Vintners, Rush; Mitchell & Son, CHQ, IFSC and Sandycove; Cellar Master, Stillorgan; 64 Wine, Glasthule; World Wide Wines, Waterford.
Superquinn Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Classic Collection 2008
A silky smooth Ripasso at a bargain price; medium to full-bodied with red and black berries and a dried figgy fruitiness. Nicely spiced, after a year in French oak. 13.5pc alc. €10 Available from Superquinn.
Zenato Valpolicella Ripassa Superiore 2007
A luxurious winter warmer, with velvety dark fruits, a crisp edge and a lingering finish. 14pc alc. Good with goose or duck. €19.40 Available from Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Red Island, Skerries; Sweeney’s Glasnevin; Dicey Reilly’s, Ballyshannon; Wine Centre, Kilkenny; Mac’s Fairview; Harvest, Galway; Ardkeen Quality Food Store, Waterford; Next Door chain; The Parting Glass, Enniskerry; Claudio’s, Newtownmountkennedy; Searson’s, Monkstown; Donnybrook Fair (on offer at €14.99).
Chateau de Francs 2007
A touch of Bordeaux at an affordable price from winemakers famous for Château Angélus and Château Bellefont Beleir, this Merlotdominated (70pc) blend with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is ripe but restrained, with a purity of spicy cherry and plum flavours and clean finish. Like all Bordeaux reds, it’s good with lamb. 13.5pc alc. €12.80. Make it a Bordeaux double, with the white Château Haut-Garriga, full of lemony succulence, from the superb 2009 vintage (€9.75). Great as an aperitif, or with seafood. Available from winesdirect.ie.