Goes well with Neven

Wine reviews – By Michael Wolsey

We eat a lot of Italian food in Ireland nowadays. Well, sort of. We eat a lot of pasta and pizza, which is hardly the same thing. The same goes for restaurants. Only China provides us with more ethnic restaurants than Italy but a lot of so-called Italian restaurants do little more than heat up frozen pizzas and chilled pasta dishes. Still, I remember when the only Italian food to be had was fish and chips from Cafolla’s, Borza’s or Macari’s, so the change has been for the better. Oddly, despite the popularity of Italian-type nosh, we don’t drink a lot of Italian wine – apart, that is, from cheap Prosecco, which is everywhere. Dunnes is distributing a free cook book (cook magazine, to be accurate) by Neven Maguire which gives some of his favourite Italian recipes and teams them with a Prosecco and three other nice Italian wines. Two of them are Chiantis, a wine which used to be popular, even trendy, but which fell out of favour. A pity, for some very nice, rustic reds fly under that flag. The Maguire recommendations are Chianti Classico DOCG Campomoggio (€16.50) and Chianti DOCG Riserva Campomoggio (€20). The Riserva is aged longer in oak barrels and the bottle and is a little smoother. But there is not much to chose between these reds with flavours of blackcurrent and cherry. Excellent with cheese or any meat dish. Pinot Grigio is another wine which became very popular, then fell out of favour when over-production reduced the quality. The Dunnes’ recommendation is Principesco Pinot Grigio IGT (€12.50). Unlike some, this is produced entirely from Pinot Grigio grapes. It is a nice, soft white with flavours of apple and peach. It goes well with fish.