Mid-week tipple: a pink grapefruit beer and Lidl's Chianti Classico

Each week John Wilson selects two new drinks for you to try at home. This week Duxie Grapefruit Tea Pale Ale and Lidl Chianti Classico Riserva 2009

Duxie Grapefruit Tea Pale Ale, Jack Cody’s Brewery


Yes, you read it correctly. A beer that lists pink grapefruit , lime and earl grey tea as ingredients alongside the usual barley, hops, yeast and water. The label says drink in the sunshine, something that is currently in short supply, or with salads, smoked mackerel or Thai red curry. I had none of these to hand, but gave it a go anyway. It has aromas of candy and orange peel, and a light, refreshing, lightly bitter palate of fruit and candy again and some grapefruit. It also has the slight yet definite soapy perfume and flavour of earl grey tea. I liked it but could see how others wouldn’t.

Set up  in Drogheda by Geoff FitzPatrick, Jack Cody’s has been going since the summer of 2014, making a good name for itself with Smiggy Amber Ale and Puck Pilsner. The brewery also has Hail Glorious Saint Patrick Extra Stout out for the coming national day.


Lidl Chianti Classico Riserva 2009


Chianti usually falls into one of three categories; the first covers most of the cheap versions. These are acidic, scrawny, nasty and undrinkable. Then there is the second category, usually but not always from the posher sub-region of Chianti Classico. These are sublime wines, with lifted dark cherries, good acidity and plenty of tannins. They are great with red meat and game. They are also expensive; expect to pay €20 and more; a lot more for the very best. The third category covers a small group of wines that are soft and supple with lush sweet ripe fruits. They don’t taste very like Chianti, which tends to have high acidity. Nor do they have the complexity of a top Chianti Classico. But they are very gluggable on a Wednesday night. The Lidl version is a part of this grouping; inexpensive and light with very easy rounded fruits. For €10.49, you can’t really go wrong.