The Wine Buff: Last of the summer wine
It may be the last day of August, but you can stretch out the after-holiday glow by cooking some of the food and drinking some of the wine from the country you holidayed in. If it was France, you're in luck. There are two French wine sales coming up - Dunnes' runs for three weeks in selected outlets from September 3, and SuperValu's runs from September 5 to 26.
I was at tastings for both, so a few recommendations follow.
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The Dunnes sale has a 25pc back offer, so you'll need to make the deduction from the prices I have here.
If you're still in the mood for rosé, the Cinsault-based Belrose Rosé, €11, has a summery touch of peach; for a crisp, refreshing white at the same price, try the Les Courtelles Picpoul de Pinet, and if you're a fan of Sancerre, there are two options, Les Fondettes Sancerre for €22 and Pascal Jolivet Sancerre for €30.
With the discount, it's worth springing for the more expensive one, which has a nice flinty nose and more layered complexity on the palate. For a more rounded white, the Macon Lugny Coeur de Charmes for €16 will appeal.
On red wines, the easy-drinking Réserve de Luch Pinot Noir for €11 would be delicious slightly chilled; I really liked Laurent Miquel's Bardou 2014 for €20, which is 100pc Syrah and has good complexity with spicy bramble and a touch of meaty savouriness; and there are a few classic Bordeaux, including Lions de Batailley 2014 for €38, which would be lovely for a special occasion, or dare I suggest, for keeping till that big day at the end of the year. And the Lanson Black Label Champagne at €40 will be a tidy €30 with the reduction.
SuperValu's sale has reductions on its existing stock with a few guest bottles at prices ranging from €8 to €50.
The very reliable André Goichot range has some good reductions, the Macon Lugny is down to €10 and the entry-level Chablis is €15; while the Beaujolais Village is €10 and Moulin a Vent even better value at €12.
There are two vintages of the Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Sur Lie, 2015 and 2018, both €10 so worth getting both to compare, they're lovely. Sauvignon Blanc drinkers may like the New Zealand-style La Petite Perrière for €9, or the more classic Guy Saget Pouilly Fumé for €15.
For something special, try the Decanter gold medal winner, Domaine de la Perrière Megalithe Sancerre, for €22.
The Remy Ferbras Gigondas 2014 packs plenty of nice dark fruit for €15, and special buys are the very voluptuous Louis Latour Meursault for €42 and Château La Garde Pessac Léognan 2010 for €30.
O'Briens also has some great offers for September.
Blason du Rhône Châteauneuf du Pape is €18.95, reduced from €34.45, and Spanish fans will like Xovial Albariño, €10.95, down from €16.95. Monte Real Gran Reserva, for those who like the oaky style of Rioja is €16.95, reduced from €33.95.
The Conrad is hosting an impressive Burgundy Tasting Dinner on September 25 kicking off with canapés and a pre-dinner tasting of Domaine Lupé-Cholet including Mercurey Blanc, Puligny Montrachet, Gevery Chambertin and Nuits St Georges 1er Cru 'Clos Prier' in the Champagne and Oyster Bar; and moving into the Coburg for starters of corn-fed chicken, a main course of Ballinwillin venison, and a dessert of peach melba and vanilla parfait, with matching wines. Tickets €85pp, from eventbrite.ie.
La Reine Pedauque Chassagne Montrachet 2017
€37.50 when you get 25pc back on €50 purchase price, 13.5pc, from Dunnes
Montrachet never comes cheap, so the discount makes this a good buy if you're planning for something to pair with turkey. Beautifully balanced, complex and perfumed.
Château Bentejac 2017
€8.95 reduced from €17.95, 13.5pc, from O'Briens and obrienswine.ie
This Bordeaux has a floral touch of violet on the nose and generous, fresh flavours of black plum, black cherry and a touch of bramble spice on the palate. Perfect paired with roast beef.
Crémant de Bourgogne Simonnet-Febvre
€19, 12pc, from SuperValu
Owned by Louis Latour, this blend of 60pc Chardonnay and 40pc Pinot Noir is the only Maison in Chablis to produce Crémant, which is made using the Champagne method. Crisp citrus and a touch of biscuit make it a lovely bubbly.