Wine: Revisit retro tipples
Regress to the early 1970s, when a brighter future beckoned. Television screens showed their true colours, technology began replacing hard labour and suddenly we had leisure time and hobbies. We joined the EEC and one of the perks was easier access to wine.
With all the zeal of a convert, we followed those with the loudest voices. Brands befriended us with sophisticated advertising and distinctive bottle shapes. Some even semi-clad in straw - Chianti's "fiasco", doubled as a glamorous candlestick holder. Easy-to-remember slogans: "Blue Nun, the wine of connoisseurs" and "The French adore Le Piat d'Or" captured a Parisienne lifestyle of dinner parties portrayed as dramas on TV ads.
While the wines were perfectly well made, some were sweetened naturally with the grape's juice, and over-selling of connoisseurship found them out.
Embarrassed by our naivety we shunned our first wine date. Still keen to find new converts, the Blue Nun and her disciples have today reinvented themselves to match the current trend for drier tastes. However, if it wasn't for these gentle fruity wines, many of us would never have embarked on the ever-evolving discovery that is wine. So why not revisit an old favourite?
1) Rivaner Riesling 2014, Blue Nun, Sichel Söhne, Qualitatswein Rheinhessen, Germany 10pc
Aromas of apple skins and a little sulphur. Off-dry, light-bodied and assertively fruity with crunchy green apple skin flavours and a friend to hard cheese.
€9.99-€10.99 Tesco, Dunnes Stores and O'Brien's nationwide
2) Silvaner Pinot Grigio 2014, Black Tower, Landwein Rhein, Germany 10pc
Earthy apple aromas. Off-dry, fresh apple and green plums on the palate with a long dry finish. Tasty with an onion and cheese quiche.
€9.99 nationwide at Dunnes, Tesco, SuperValu, Centra, Spar and Londis
3) Sparkling Mateus Brut Rosé, Portugal 11.5pc (Resealable Zork cap)
Neutral aromas pressage a simple and dry palate flattered by the bubbles. Happy with fish and chips.
€19.49 at The Goose, Drumcondra; Savages, Swords; Boomers, Clondalkin and in Limerick: Mace, Caherdavin
4) Soft & Smooth Red, Piat d'Or, France 12.5pc
Toffee apple aromas followed on the dry palate with ripe berries and well balanced by moderate alcohol and tannins. Enjoy with grilled skewers of lamb and bell peppers.
€9.99 in Dublin at Molloy's, citywide and select Londis, Gala, Spar and Tesco
5) Chianti 2014, Castellani, Italy 12pc
Jammy red berry fragrance. A classically dry palate with refreshing acidity, gentle tannins and easy style. Very food-friendly, especially with saucy tomato dishes.
€12 at Dunnes Stores nationwide