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Autumnal Wines that won't cost the Earth

Friday, 16 October 2009

Master of Wine Martin Moran from The Evening Herald joins us to discuss the subtle flavors of the Autumnal Wines that are on offer in local stores around the country that won't break the bank.

Martin Moran - Master of Wine
Martin has over 24 years experience in the wine trade. He writes for The Evening Herald.

He passed the notoriously difficult Master of Wine exam in 1994 and became the first MW to work in Ireland the following year. There are still only three in the Republic of Ireland.

He's poured wine in restaurants and hotels in London, sold wine in Dublin, London, Paris, New York and Sydney;

Picked grapes in Alsace, Chateauneuf-du-pape, Buxy, Chablis, Bordeaux and Southern England; grown grapes in England and helped ferment wine in England, Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Bergerac, Adelaide and the Hunter valley;

He has travelled the world sampling wines.

Autumnal Wines

Martin will discus the following wines. The selection we have is from 4 different big retailers and also from 4 different countries and grape varieties so there is plenty of diversity.

1.Name: Vega Roja Rioja
Vintage: Non Vintage
Country & Region: Spain, Rioja
Tasting Note: A gutsy surprisingly rich red, given its price, with plenty of blackberry like fruit and a little tannin that is typical of many of the good quality and value wines coming out of Spain today.
Food Match: Lamb chops or lrish stew
Price: €5.79
Buy It: Tesco

2. Name: Superquinn Cotes du Rhone
Country & Region: France, Rhone
Tasting Note: A Syrah/Grenache blend that delivers up plenty of oomph with plenty of gently spicy bramble like fruit and excellent length.
Food Match: Beef stir-fry or beef pie
Price: €7
Buy It: Superquinn

3. Name: Bushland Reserve Shiraz
Vintage: 2008
Country & Region: Australia, Hunter Valley
Tasting Note: Produced by the excellent Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley who normally charges at least twice this for their main label. It shows classic Hunter Valley style with plummy fruit and a light earthy or liquorice like spice. It's more subtle than many Shirazes from Barossa or Mclaren Vale
Food Match: Peppered steak or game dishes
Price: €6.49
Buy It: Aldi

4. Name: Vinalta Malbec
Vintage: 2008
Country & Region: Argentina, Mendoza
Tasting Note: This has seductive perfumed aromas reminiscent of violets with rich, silky textured plum and cherry fruit and good length of flavour.
Food Match: Rack of lamb with rosemary and garlic or spicy sausages
Price: €6.49
Buy It: Marks & Spencer

Wines Featured:

1. Vega Roja Rioja; €5.79; Tesco.
2. Superquinn Cotes du Rhone; €7.00; Superquinn.
3. Bushland Reserve Shiraz; €6.49; Aldi.
4. Vinalta Malbec; €6.49; Marks & Spencer

Some Quirky Wine Facts:


. In King Tut's Egypt (around 1300 BC), the commoners drank beer and the upper class drank wine.
. Dom Perignon (1638-1715), the Benedictine Abbey cellar master who is generally credited with "inventing" the Champagne making process, was blind.
. When Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii in volcanic lava in A.D. 79, it also buried more than 200 wine bars.
. The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose.
. Portugal has 1/3 of the world's cork forests and supplies 85-90% of the cork used in the U.S.
. Putting ice and kosher salt in a bucket will chill white wine or Champagne faster.
. Rose bushes are often planted at the end of a row of grape vines to act as an early warning signal for infestation by diseases and insects like aphids. A vineyard manager who notices black spots or root rot on the roses will spray the grape vines before they are damaged.
. Italy is the world's largest producer of wine, producing 12% of the world's wine. The USA and France tie for second place at 11%. Spain is third, producing 9% of the world's production. China and Turkey tie for fourth place -- producing more wine than then the individual productions of Argentina, Chile and Australia.
. It takes about 600 grapes to produce a bottle of wine.