When we say dining out, we mean really out: treat yourself and your lucky guests to a Mediterranean-inspired al fresco dining experience. Get your cupboard ready with the ingredients that surround this generous sea and prepare a meal meant to be shared on a long table among good friends, music, laughter and great conversation.
We’ll share five wines from five different countries in this region with blessed weather, admirable cuisine and a tradition of long, unforgettable feasts.
SPAIN Paco & Lola 2014
€14,99, SuperValu, Dunnes
12,5% ABV / 100% Albarino
Easy going and crispy, this straw-coloured, light bodied Albarino from Rías Baixas will transport you to the Galician coast and delight you with a combination of delicate white flowers and ripe juicy citrus fruit.
Let Spanish guitar play in the background and bring the wine to life with a seafood paella or, if you want the evening to last longer, choose an assortment of tapas in which pulpo a la gallega is a must and fish the main character.
The traditional Veronese blend, once praised by Hemingway as “a light, dry red wine, as friendly as the house of a favourite brother” sets the perfect tone for a carefree sunset of la dolce far niente.
Everything about this wine is inviting, its intense cherry hues and aromas enhanced by a pleasant vanilla hint will quickly charm the nose while its velvety texture and potent but tamed tannins will irreversibly seduce the palate. Go full Italiano and enjoy it with pasta Bolognese. Yes, if you have a red and white checkered tablecloth this is the time to use it.
Golden is the sunset, golden is this unusual shade of Port. This fine white version of the classic Portuguese fortified, is aged for three years and its crispier and drier than its syrupy red counterparts, yet still a fabulous dessert wine or aperitif.
Honey and orange blossom merge in a full bodied embrace that will be great served on the rocks with a slice of orange or at the end of the evening next to an almond-based dessert.
Evoke the magical palette of a soirée in the Loire Valley with a wine iconic to the region. Far from complex, this is an approachable yet elegant rosé that has a pleasant balance between sweetness and acidity just like the ripe strawberry flavours and aromas that distinguish it.
Fruity and feminine, it is a versatile treat that can accompany a cheese and charcuterie board, a lightly seasoned grilled chicken salad or a fish barbecue.
Take a sip of this tangy white and picture the volcanic island of Santorini where it’s made… A radiant sun in the blue sky, the chalky white village, and a peculiar glass that balances the familiar acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc with the minerality of the native grape Assyrtyko.
Medium bodied and with a touch of white fruit that balances what would otherwise be a harsh flavour, this lemonade coloured wine will go hand in hand with spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) or a sundried tomato and feta quiche.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.