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.
The opening line from one of Charles Dickens’ most famous novels ‘It was the best of times it was the worst of times’ seems as appropriate now as it was when it was penned. It seems the worst of times as we wake up these mornings to one tragic news story after another. Best of times because all is relatively peaceful here in West Cork and well, as I write, we have had a few days of glorious warm sunshine. Perfect then for the BBQ or for just sitting out watching the wonderful sunsets with a glass of summer wine. The two I refer to in the title are just that, wines that go equally well with food or on their own.
Both wines are new to our area. Both also come in slightly quirky eye catching bottles underlining my belief that like a book, with wine, you can tell a lot by the cover! Wine that looks good often is good.
Our white is Rione Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, 2014. It comes from near Ancona in the Marches region on the Adriatic Sea. Vercicchio, a bonedry white, is the wine most associated with this upandcoming region of Italy. A great accompaniment to seafood or for predinner sipping.
Our red is from Brindisi in Puglia. Corte Ottone Brindisi Riserva, 2013. Reds from this southern region (think of the ‘heel’ of Italy) are made almost exclusively from the Negroramaro grape and are warm, soft, slightly bitter and go wonderful with the lasagna or a ragu. At 13 per cent, the Brindisi is a bit lighter than is the norm for red wines from the south of Italy so even more suitable for summer drinking. Now, where has that elusive sunshine gone?
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Super Valu, Clonakilty, €10
Corte Ottone Brindisi Riserva, Harte’s Eurospar, Clonakilty, €11.