Two well-known names this week, both at very keen prices and both from O’Briens. The Muscadet region lies at the mouth of the River Loire, in northwestern France. The wines here are almost exclusively white. Generally light and fresh, with lower levels of alcohol, they are perfect to sip before dinner or to drink with tapas and lighter seafood dishes. They also go perfectly with oysters and mussels, two other local products. We are very fond of Rioja in Ireland but usually go for the more expensive oak-aged Rioja Reserva. There is, however, a long tradition of making joven, or young, wines in this region of northeastern Spain. These are unoaked fruit-driven wines that are great on their own or with food.
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie Domaine de la Chauvinière 2021, €10.95 (down from €14.95)
At 12 per cent alcohol, this features refreshing clean apple and pear fruits with a lovely citrus streak. Perfect solo, with shellfish or plainly cooked plaice. You could also try it with lighter herby pasta dishes.
Monte Real Rioja 2020, €10 (down from €16.95)
An unoaked Rioja with pure red cherry and strawberry fruits and a nicely rounded finish. Try it with lamb cutlets or a casserole of beans and tomatoes.