Four refreshing white and red wines to put a spring in your step

John Wilson: Prices are rising but there are still plenty of great value wines to be had at every price level

I read that the astrological start of spring is March 20th, while the meteorological beginning is March 1st. One date is based on the position of the earth relative to the sun, the other on the annual cycle of temperatures. So spring has officially started, or has almost arrived. I hope that, as you read this column, the sun is shining, and the temperature has risen a few degrees. I love spring and the promise it brings of bright sunny days to come.

As temperatures rise, it makes sense to move away from more substantial stews and hearty tray bakes to lighter foods. And to accompany them, we turn to more refreshing white and red wines. These less heavy wines usually have the added benefit of being lower in alcohol. If you are having a belated St Patrick’s Day lunch, these would be ideal with mixed salads, cold meats or salmon.

For the wine trade, one sign that spring has arrived is the onset of the tasting season. While restaurants may be suffering from increased costs, our wine importers certainly appear to be optimistic; many have headed off to trade fairs all over the Continent, while here at home, the tasting circuit is in full swing with a huge number of trade events and plenty of new wines to try out.

As elsewhere in the economy, prices are rising, largely due to increased costs throughout the supply chain. But there are still plenty of great value wines to be had at every price level.


Beaujolais 2020

13%, €12.50

Unfussy, refreshing supple strawberry and red cherry fruits with an easy finish. Serve cool with grilled salmon, or fresh tomato-based pasta dishes. From: Marks & Spencer

Domaine des Corbillières Touraine ‘Les Griottines’ 2020 Organic

13.5%, €17.45

A delight to drink; vibrant crunchy red cherry and raspberry fruits with just enough acidity to keep it in balance. Drink it with a plate of mixed charcuterie and firm cheeses. From:

Loimer Kamptal Riesling 2021

12%, €24.99

Crisp racy acidity with toothsome stone fruits and a lingering dry finish. A great aperitif, with sushi or a crab salad. From: Pinto, D9; The Wine Centre, Kilkenny; Clontarf Wines;

Fleurie 2021, Camille Melinand

13.5%, €26.95

Fragrant with delightful lively, fresh dark fruits and a tannin-free finish. An exquisite wine to enjoy solo, or with charcuterie. From: Searsons, Monkstown; Next Door, Ballyshannon