Sake in Ichigo Ichie

John Wilson goes to Cork’s Michelin-starred Ichigo Ichie for a sake-pairing dinner

Kangaroos in a vineyard in the Hunter Valley region. Photograph: iStock

A group of family producers are determined to prove that Australia produces fine wine

Wines for the weekend: Great value red and white from Tesco

Midleton’s master of maturation Kevin O’Gorman: ‘With the Knockrath, the differences in taste between trees are still subtle, but I think more marked than before.’

Aged in virgin Irish oak in Wicklow, Dair Ghaelach comprises seven different releases

€2,000 per shot: Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter One. Photograph: Midleton

Just how good is the most expensive Irish whiskey ever sold?

Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection: collectors are expected to seek out the the 45-year-old whiskey, which costs €35,000 a bottle

Only 48 bottles of rare 45-year-old Midleton whiskey will be put on the market

Four top picks from Ireland's award-winning wine retailers

This week’s wines were selected by four National Off-Licence Association award winners

SuperValu has a wide range of Spanish wines on sale this month

SuperValu’s Spanish wine sale has some great deals on offer. Here is the pick of the bunch

Ruth Deveney in Deveney’s off-licence, Dundrum, Co Dublin, which won the best spirit specialist of the year at the  National Off-Licence Association 2020 awards

Deveney’s off-licence in Dundrum wins best spirits store at national off-licence awards

With a bit of thought, you can find wines that will go nicely with chocolate

Wines for the weekend: these two wines from Dunnes Stores are worth seeking out

David Llewellyn with his sparkling wine. He planted his first vine in 1999, on a smallholding in Lusk, Co Dublin

Fruit grower David Llewellyn was often asked about making this wine. So he did

All four wines below are 13 per cent alcohol or less.

Even basic Austrian red wines are light, fresh and full of pure fruit

A mouth-watering Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch and a Côtes du Rhône-like deeply flavoured red

This pocket-sized book will be useful for to any visitor to these shores with an interest in whiskey. Photograph: iStock

Gary Quinn’s guide to all of Ireland’s distilleries and the whiskey they produce

Who doesn’t like Malbec? It seems to be the red equivalent of Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that pleases all and grows in popularity every year

Malbec from Argentina and New Zealand share something in common: consistently good quality

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: This pair are from Chile’s Leyda Valley

Fiona Beckett: ‘If you enjoy cooking and like using seasonal ingredients, this is just an extension of that.’

Fiona Beckett’s new book focuses on pairing delicious food with non-alcoholic beverages

Four to try taht are worth spening a little more more on

If you just spent more than €12 you’ll start to notice the difference in a wine

These two tasty French bottles offer good value for money

Alcohol-free wine and beer starts out as a “real” wine or beer, before the alcohol is removed.

Alcohol-free beer or wine is never going to taste exactly the same as the real thing

Captain Kombucha California Raspberry, SynerChi Ginger & Lemon, Blakes Always Organic Natural Kefir and A&K Real Food Ginger Kombucha

John Wilson: Fermenting your own is more fun and less pricey than buying it in shops

Carmen’s Wave Series Left Wave Sauvignon Blanc and Right Wave Pinot Noir

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Tesco

The rise in demand for low- or no-alcohol beers has brought several new brands to the market. Photograph: iStock

The range is widening, the quality improving – and sometimes it’s just the best option

Cepa Lebrel Rioja, Campaneo Old Vines Garnacha, Laurent Miquel Albarino and Exquisite Collection Wairarapa Pinot Noir.

John Wilson: Inexpensive supermarket wines that offer genuinely great value for money 

Festive fizz: any sparkling wine will help create a real sense of fun and excitement at your get-together

Critic’s choice of Champagne and sparklers, from €10.50 to €215

Skellig Six 18 gin (€50 for 70cl).

We now have a growing range of artisanal Irish spirits, some of them truly fascinating

Cantina dei Colli Ripani Rosso Piceno, Viticultores Ambulantes Delmoro, Delheim sur lie Chardonnay and Champagne Delamotte Brut NV.

John Wilson picks his favourite bottles, glassware, books and accessories

Irish craft brewers have always been keen to get in on the tradition of Christmas beers.

Mescan’s Beoir na Nollag kept in whiskey casks while Yule Christmas Ale has honey

Christmas dinner wines: Muga Rioja Blanco; Les Deux Cols; Château Perron; and Greywacke Pinot Noir

John Wilson: My picks start at less than €15,and I’ve a range of other suggestions, too

Christmas party wines: Laurana Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Mme Claude Parmentier Régnié, both from Lidl

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A crisp Verdicchio and a gluggable Beaujolais

Once opened, a bottle will keep for a week or so. Photograph: iStock

Pour a small measure into a proper large wine glass to release the amazing aromas

“The key to matching your Christmas turkey, goose or beef is to have a drink that is not too sweet.”

John Wilson: Alcohol-free is among the drinks sector’s fastest-growing categories

These two wines are close to the €20 mark, but they’re worth it

Cask is an extravagantly decorated cocktail bar on MacCurtain Street in Cork. One of its bartenders, Linda O’Flynn, was named Irish Bartender of the Year

Linda O’Flynn’s seasonal cocktail can also double as a delicate winter drink

Maynard’s, Krohn, Kopke and Offley; 10-year-old tawny ports

John Wilson: The quality of all ports across the range is higher than ever

Aldi Exquisite Collection Pinot Gris and South Australia Pinot Noir

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A French Pinot Gris, an Australian Pinot Noir

Waterford Distillery is working with 72 growers, with 19 soil types, based in the southeast and midlands

Waterford Distillery says its single-farm bottlings will show soil’s influence on barley

 Domaine Antugnac Pinot Noir, Aduna Rioja, Villa Des Croix Picpoul de Pinet and La Raspa Blanca Seco

John Wilson: Wine stimulates the appetite so a few nibbles will provide welcome soakage

Noel Sweeney maaster distiller at the Powerscourt Distillery

Glendalough, Powerscourt and Roe & Co all add new whiskeys to their Christmas line-up

Magazine wine November 2019. Pinot Noir: Wildflower, Felicité, Sancerre Maulin Béle and Beaune

John Wilson: This most versatile of food wines is instantly likeable and gluggable

Aldi one-offs: Yella Belly ‘Citrus Bomb’ and Lot Series Lot XI Merlot

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A zingy white and full-bodied red from Clare Valley

Rosanna Goswell of Tuath Glass presenting the overall award for Irish Whiskey of the Year 2019 for The Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt to Bernard Walsh (Walsh Whiskey) with Colm Egan (Irish Whiskey Association)

The 17-year-old single malt cleaned up at ceremony in Dingle Distillery

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: Insight, Dog Point, Babich Black Label, Greywacke

John Wilson: The overall standard of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is consistently high

A good sommelier will make your wine drinking a better experience, and might save you money too

John Wilson explains why most restaurants need a wine waiter, not a sommelier and selects some of his favourite wine lists

Lidl’s Christmas line-up: Chardonnay-Sauvignon-Viognier Les Amandiers and Château Blagnac Haut-Médoc

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: An unusual white and a classic red, both French

Bán Poitín: Dave Mulligan, Bar 1661’s owner, also distills his own brand of the spirit

Another Round: John Wilson meets Dave Mulligan of Dublin’s pioneering Bar 1661

John Wilson selects a few bottles to be enjoyed with cheese or winter fare

These richer choices are both available from Marks & Spencers.

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: a versatile white and a warming Côtes du Rhône

Domaine de la Sarabande Misterioso; Château Coupe-Roses Les Plots; Domaine Saint Antonin; and Les Petits Apôtres

John Wilson: Great value wines from the region that produces a third of France’s fare

The Virgin Mary: ‘We try to create interesting drinks; we are not always trying to mimic alcoholic drinks’

Another Round: John Wilson on the Virgin Mary, on Capel Street in Dublin

Midleton Very Rare: each component of the 2019 release has been aged for between 13 and 35 years

Another Round: John Wilson on a whiskey that caused a stir when it arrived – at £40 a bottle

 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon, Montes Alpha Colchagua Cabernet Sauvignon, Mitolo Jester McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon and Clos du Marquis Saint-Julien

John Wilson: Part of the problem is Cabernet Sauvignon can be dry, tannic in its youth

Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Majken Bech-Bailey of the Michelin two-star restaurant brings soft drinks to a new level

Wines for the weekend: Marks & Spencer’s Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico and Terres de Moraines Madiran

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Two bargains from M&S’s autumn line-up

Mayo made: the Mescan brewery has been expanding its line-up of beers

Another Round: John Wilson on Mescan, whose Belgian-style beers are for savouring

Three of this week’s wines cost less than €12, the other less than €20. All four should help ward off those winter blues

John Wilson: Vegetarian dishes with mushrooms go well with fuller-bodied reds

Lidl French wine sale: Expression de Saint Mont and Collin-Bourisset Morgon

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Two more to try from Lidl’s French wine sale

The edible capsules, which contain 23ml of Glenlivet whiskey cocktail, were likened to  the Tide Pod Challenge of 2018

Scottish whisky company Glenlivet has created shot-sized capsules. Not everyone thinks they are a great idea

John Wilson: Soave can be ideal alternative to Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc

Dot Brew: Shane Kelly’s Irish craft brewery made a beer using Champagne yeast and white-wine casks; the dab of orange paint is a nod to old, unlabelled Belgian beers that were identified by colour. Photograph: Tom O’Hora

Another Round: John Wilson on how Dot Brew has developed with help from a key fan

Wines worth trying: Domaine Deux Vallons Muscadet and Les Pierres Cabardès

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A crisp Muscadet and an elegant Cabardès

Four Horsemen: Kim, Putin, May and Trump

Another Round: Don’t make the mistake of overlooking one of our first craft breweries

Powerful Italians: Ciello Rosso,  Fabrizio Vella, Tenuta la Favola and Baglio Rosso organic Nero d’Avolas

John Wilson: These Nero d’Avolas go well with hearty autumn and winter meat dishes

The rosé is packed with fruit and perfect for spicy curries and the red is ideal with winter stews casseroles

Over the next few months you can expect to see many new and interesting wines arrive on the shelves of your local wine shop.

John Wilson: New wines are appearing on shelves in a seasonal refreshing of portfolios

Method and Madness: the new whiskies are two very distinct and different additions to the market

Another Round: Irish Distillers launch two new whiskies under the Method and Madness label

O’Briens wine sale: Les Secrets de Sophie Touraine and  St Hallett Gamekeeper’s Shiraz Grenache Touriga

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: One French, one Australian, both from O’Briens

Magazine wine September 2019. Brazilian Soul Premium Selection Tannat, Garzón Tannat Reserva, Petite Arvine 2017 from Domaine René Favre and Pretty Pony from Kanaan Winery

John Wilson: There are a number of niche alternatives to France, Italy or Spain worth considering

Holo was set up by twin brothers Pádraig and Adrian Hyde who started off brewing beer

From the Dunnes sale: Château Bellevue La Forêt and Château Siran Margaux

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: An Irish-owned Fronton and a classic Bordeaux

Stonewell: Daniel Emerson and his wife, Géraldine

Another Round: Stonewell Cider founders Daniel Emerson and his wife, Géraldine

Viano ‘Hillside’ Red NV, Napa Valley; Folk Machine ‘Parts & Labor’ Red 2016, California; Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014, Sta. Rita Hills; and Anthill Farms Syrah 2016, Campbell Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

John Wilson: Intrepid importers are finally bringing middle ground producers to Ireland

SuperValu savers: La Petite Perrière Sauvignon Blanc and Alma Cersius Coteaux de Béziers Rouge

John Wilson’s Wines for the Weekend: A pair of good-value bottles from SuperValu’s sale

Knappagoue Castle Marsala:  a 12-year-old single-malt that spent three years in Marco de Bertoli Marsala casks.

Ally Alpine talks of the retailing and auctioning of fine spirits

There is a richness and generosity to the wines that I really enjoy when I want something a little different

John Wilson: These are great wines to pair with more robust chicken and fish dishes

Both from O’Briens: Les Secrets de Sophie Touraine Sauvignon Blanc and Solar 6 Syrah from Gérard Betrand

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A Syrah and a Sauvignon Blanc from France

Crafty: producers can now sell their beer, wine and cider directly to the public. Photograph: Hero/Getty

Another Round: Cellar-door sales should boost craft wine, beer and cider producers

All of the wines listed below are made from blends, all 100 per cent Portuguese.

Quality of white wine has increased across the country in recent years

Aldi’s Exquisite Collection Rías Baixas Albariño and Wairarapa Pinot Noir

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A good-value Aldi Albariño and Pinot Noir

John Wilson: Fino and its cousin manzanilla are terrific with just about any food

Quincey Fennelly, co-owner of Wicked Wolf Brewery.

Another Round: Visitors to Wicklow Wolf’s new brewery will get the chance to sample its latest creation, Fuzzy Logic

Ruairí and Marie-Thérèse de Blacam in the polytunnel where they grow produce for their Inis Meáin Restaurant.

The bedrooms may book out immediately but it doesn’t mean you can’t eat in this wonderful restaurant

Vega Roja Chardonnay and Tempranillo-Shiraz, both €8 from branches of Centra

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: A pair of good-value bottles from Centra

Loch Measc Gin, Listoke 1777 cacao and raspberry gin and Grace O’Malley heather-infused gin

Top-quality offerings from Grace O’Malley, Listoke and Loch Measc Gin

Price tag of top range Riesling will put most people off but there are some cheaper, mouth-watering alternatives

Wines for the weekend: Vaugelas Les Falaises and Belrose Méditerranée Rosé

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Two bottles to try from Dunnes Stores

The red apparently comes from the addition of a small amount of barley. Photograph: iStock

Another round: The beer nuts might look down on red ale, but it has much to offer

Cabernet Francs from Langlois-Château, Domaine Guion, Y Amirault and Château Fouquet

John Wilson: One of my favourite grapes produces fragrant, light and fruity wines

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Convenience at a keen price

Cider can claim to be one of the most ancient Irish drinks of all. Photograph: iStock Cider can claim to be one of the most ancient Irish drinks of all. Photograph: iStock

John Wilson: Most bottles are 100% Irish, made from apples grown around the country

Two wines for a weekend with decent weather

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: a zesty white and a fresh pink from Dunnes

Peter Mulryan  has  produced a string of innovative gins, flavoured with  strawberries, raspberries and even Barry’s Tea, as well as the highly successful standard Blackwater No 5 gin

Another Round: Blackwater distillery has developed a Tanora gin made with tangerine peel

Nowadays the best wines have a wonderful fragrance, and delicate just-ripe cherry fruits.

The Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes have improved hugely over the past decade

Both wines are available at SuperValu

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: a Chilean sauvignon and a Beaujolais

There are few things so quintessentially French as a glass of fresh, fruity Beaujolais accompanied by a crusty baguette, a hunk of cheese, a few slices of ham, rosette salami and a nice green salad.

John Wilson: celebrate the French National holiday with four of the best-known names in French wine

Whiplash: Sophie de Vere’s artwork on the cans – for (top row) Rollover, Body Riddle and Bone Machine, and (bottom row) Let It Happen, Fantasm Planes and Gravity’s Rainbow – is as good as the beer inside them

Another Round: Whiplash brewery plans to open have hit some problems, but the Fidelity beer festival should make up for it

More articles