Wines for the festive season

Posted on: 1st December, 2015

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: Tony Eklof

Tony Eklof, originally from New England, has settled in Clonakilty after a career as a librarian at University College Dublin. His knowledge and passion for wine has been inspired by frequent visits to the wine growing regions of the continent, particularly Italy and France.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to matching wine with the Christmas dinner, only suggestions. As the wine writer Hugh Johnson puts it ‘food these days is becoming almost as complicated as wine’ with extraordinary choices available and styles of dining changing. If you are going for a traditional turkey dinner one thing to keep in mind is to try to avoid a wine with high tannins, the element in wine that makes it taste dry. Aged wines are a good choice as the tannins tend to ‘precipitate out’ with time. Try a fruity Cru Beaujolais, a vintage claret (Bordeaux) or a fine Rioja. For white try a full-bodied Chardonnay, Burgundy for example, or a fine Riesling from the Alsace region of France.

I’ve been chatting to the folks working in or managing the retail wine shops in the Bandon-Clonakilty area and asking them to recommend a festive label from their collections.


URRU Culinary Store – Ruth recommends Finca Valleoscuro 2013 (red) from Spain, €12.95.

Matson’s Wine Store – Daniela recommends La Mascota Malbec 2013 from Argentina. €12.99. (This is for those who like a big full-bodied red, 14.5 pc!)

O’Donovan’s Off Licence – Tom recommends Zenato Valpolicella €14.99 (red) and Haut Poitou (white) €13.99.


SuperValu – Yiannis recommends Lady de Mour Margaux 2012 (red) on special at €25 and Dolle Austrian Riesling 2013 at €10.

Harte’s Eurospar – Barry recommends Poggio al Casone Chianti Superior 2012. €14.99. Biologico.

Lettercollum Kitchen Project – Karen and Bridget recommend (red) Domini Veneti Valpolicella Classico 2012. €17.30.  (Biologico and harvested by hand.)

Lidl, Clonakilty  – John recommends (white) Engelberg Riesling, Alsace Grand Cru, 2013, €12.99 and (red) Chateau Jean de Gue Lalande de Pomerol, 2012, €22. Tony recommends Chateau Romer du Hayot, Sauternes Grand Cru, 2001, 50cl €17.99. Stunning and very highly rated desert wine. Just perfect to round off the Christmas festive dinner!

The Olive Branch – Niamh recommends Casal Dos Jordoes Douro, Reserve Port, €24.45.

Douglas, Cork City, and nationwide: 

O’Brien’s Fine Wines – Federico recommends Cusumano Shamaris Grillo, (white, Sicily, Italy) €14.99 and (red) Man O’ War Syrah, New Zealand, €29.99.

Happy Christmas to all.


Feedback, comments etc welcome.

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