Stop before you pop

Wine reviews – By Michael Wolsey

Summer is the time for sparkling wines but some of them can be expensive so, before you pop the cork, think about what the wine is for.

It is silly to spend much more than a tenner on wine for a boozy barbecue but worth splashing a little more on something to go with a family lunch in the garden. And if you’re spending a quiet afternoon with the birds, bees and a good book, Champagne may be worth the price.

Aldi are singing the praises of their Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut , which , at €19.99, is extremely good value.  It won a Silver Outstanding medal at the recent International Wine and Spirits Challenge and wine critic Tom Doorley has described it as “one of the very best, if not the best value champagne in Ireland today.” So there.

Aldi took 20 awards for their wines, which is an impressive achievement. If you want sparkle at a lower price you could try their Organic Prosecco (€14.99) or, for a very gentle sparkle at a very reasonable price, their Animus Vinho Verde (€6.99).

Vinho Verde is a wine I always associate with southern Portugal, the Algarve in particular, because that is the big holiday destination and it is the perfect holiday wine. In fact it comes from the north of the country. It originated in the province of Minho but its designated region now runs from the Spanish border all the way to the Atlantic coast where it meets with the city of Porto, home to another famous wine.

The name means green wine ( a reference to young grapes) and it comes in rosé and red, as well as white, although white is the variety most of us are familiar with, and I have never seen the red for sale in Ireland.