John Wilson: Four cracking Christmas wines for €14 or less

Wines for the Weekend: Dunnes Stores has plenty of other tempting bottles, too

Wines for the Weekend: Paloma de Plata Albariño, Téofilo Reyes Ribera del Duero, Santa Julia Reserva Malbec and Rapaura Springs Rohe–Dillon’s Point

This week, a look what Dunnes Stores has on offer this Christmas. A number of the wines below have already featured in The Irish Times, as Dunnes prefers to offer a very similar range of wines throughout the year. This does not mean they aren’t good value, though.

I featured Laurent Miquel Solas Réserve Viognier (€10) earlier this year; it would go perfectly with your Christmas dinner, light enough to partner smoked salmon or prawns yet rich enough to go with turkey or goose.

I have also written about Rapaura Springs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc before; this is very good value at €11.50, but you might want to splash out on the single-region Rapaura Springs Rohe–Dillons Point below (€14). This would go very nicely with any fishy starters, or cheesy nibbles, as would the crisp, racy Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Cuvée Genèse 2018 (€20). Fans of Spanish wines should take a look at the fruit-filled Botas de Barro Rueda 2019 Verdejo (€13).

To partner turkey, as well as the two reds below, Dunnes has the warming, rounded Terroir Daranton Ventoux (€10) or, if you fancy pushing the boat out, the scented, light, elegant Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru 2014 Les Saint Georges Domaine M Carillon (€65), which would also go nicely with goose.


Also with goose, or if you intend serving a rib of beef, you could try the Cuvée Prestige Bordeaux 2018 (€14) from the Irish-owned Château de la Ligne or, even better, the warm, spicy, toothsome Château Haut-Canteloup Cru Bourgeois Médoc (€19).

Lastly, Dunnes has the very smart, bone-dry Lombard Blanc de Blancs Champagne (€45), perfect as an aperitif with cheesy biscuits or with oysters.

So here are my principal recommendations for this weekend.

Paloma de Plata Rías Baixas Albariño 2019, €12.70
Mouth-watering ripe pear and pineapple fruits with a crisp, dry finish. You could certainly serve this before eating, but it really comes into its own with all manner of shellfish.

Rapaura Springs Rohe–Dillon's Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020, €14
Crisp and racy, with lively ripe tropical fruits cut through with lime zest. Try it with smoked salmon or trout, fish terrines, prawns or crab.

Santa Julia Reserva Malbec 2018, €13.50
From the cooler Uco Valley, in Mendoza, this is a very stylish Malbec with smooth, ripe damson fruits and subtle notes of vanilla, leather and spice. Great with turkey, even better with roast beef or a steak.

Téofilo Reyes Ribera del Duero 2018, €11.50
Last June I suggested this keenly priced wine to go with barbecued food, but those swarthy ripe dark fruits with hints of vanilla would go very nicely with either turkey or a roast of beef.