Take three wines
Domaine des Lauziers Minervois 2006 -- this combines a lean and perfumed elegance with a rich core of ripe, liquorice-edged fruit. Tannins are supple in this southern French blend of Syrah (40pc), Carignan (30pc) and Grenache (30pc). 13pc alc. Save this for simple lamb. €11.99. Available from McCabe's, Blackrock; Hole in the Wall, Dublin 7; Donnybrook Fair; Lilac Wines, Fairview; Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer Street; Gourmet Bank, Churchtown; Kellys, Clontarf; Whelans, Wexford Street; Glendalough Fayre, Glendalough. Marks & Spencer Barossa Shiraz 2008 -- a hefty 14.5pc alc, but balanced and lively nonetheless. Rich, smooth and dark, with more than a hint of after-dinner chocolate mints, it is underpinned with luscious black/purple fruit. It would sit well with juicy beef, duck and other rich red-meat dishes. From winemaker Matt Gant of St Hallett. €12.49. Available from Marks & Spencer. Tim Adams Shiraz 2005 -- Australian, but from the cooler Clare Valley and showing more restraint than a benchmark Barossa. Nonetheless, there are plenty of fleshy cherries, plums and blackberries, with hints of liquorice, resting on a firm backbone clothed in sweet and supple tannins. A wonderfully reliable wine. 14.5pc alc. €14.05 (after the 60c duty cut). Available from Tesco.
These prices do not take account of the 60pc duty reduction in the Budget