Take it home: an Irish pale ale, a superstar Spanish red

Every Friday, John Wilson selects one great beer and one great wine which are perfect for drinking at the weekend. This week: 12 Acres Pale Ale and a bottle of the Spanish red, El Castro de Valtuille 2013

Are you planning on having friends in to watch Ireland Vs Wales tomorrow? Then here are two great ideas for what to serve your guests. A terriffic Irish beer and a superstar Spanish red.

12 acres pale ale

One Great Beer: 12 Acres Pale Ale

€3.80 for a 50cl bottle. Volume 4.6%

Paddy and Ian McDonald are the third generation of their family to supply barley to the brewing industry, but the first to actually produce a beer using their own crop, malted by Minch Malt in Athy, and their own spring water from beneath the farm. They started up in November 2014.


At the moment, the brewing takes place in Co Cork, but Paddy is in the process of building his own brewery on the family farm in Killeshin, Co Laois. The 12 Acres Pale Ale is made in a crowd-pleasing style, light and refreshing with a lovely soft maltiness mid-palate.

Stockists: O'Briens and specialist off-licences.

El Castro de Valtuille 2014One Great Wine: El Castro de Valtuille 2013

€13.50 Volume 14%

Raúl Pérez is one of the superstars of Spanish winemaking. He fashions a series of amazing idiosyncratic wines from small parcels of vines he comes across around his native north-west Spain. Sadly these tend to be very expensive.

Happily for us, he also makes more reasonably priced wine in his family estate in Beirzo. This is one of my all-time favourite wines that hits all the right notes every vintage. The 2014 is no exception; smooth and elegant with delicious soft savoury dark fruits, it is a real bargain at €13.50.

Stockists: The Black Pig, Donnybrook; Red Island, Skerries; Baggot Street Wines; Clontarf Wines; Blackrock Cellar; 64wine, Glasthule