Uncommonly good: find unique wines by buying from these shops

John Wilson: Look to retailers who import their own wines directly for something you won’t find elsewhere

Online wine sales have dropped off since lockdown ended, but ordering a case of wine is still a very handy way of buying, provided you plan a few days ahead. All four companies featured below import their own wines directly, so, with the exception of Le Caveau, which supplies other retailers, you won’t find them anywhere else.

Le Caveau has a huge range, including many natural or low intervention wines. Curious Wines has built a loyal following with a comprehensive listing of wines. WineSpark, covered here before, offers wine at cost price once you become a member. Wines Direct was one of the first mail-order wine companies, long before online sales were a thing, and remains one of the very best.

As well as these four, it is worth looking at wineonline.ie and three relative newbies – thenudewineco.ie, theallotment.ie, and stationtostation.ie. All three are run by experienced professionals who know a thing or two about wine. Fans of organic wine should take a look at marypawlewines.com, which is celebrating 26 years in business. All of these would be happy to chat online or by phone if you need a hand.

However, remember that most wine retailers will happily deliver a case of wine to your home or holiday destination if you aren’t close to a good wine shop. This includes O’Briens, which is offering the very tasty Château Grimont from Bordeaux for €12.95.


This week a few suggestions for Easter that you can order well in advance. I will cover the Easter feast in greater depth next week.

Delmonico 2017, Bordeaux Supérieur

13.5%, €16.60 down from €20.75

A very modern Bordeaux with smooth sweet cassis and vanilla. Perfect with grilled cutlets or a roast of lamb.

From curiouswines.ie, Cork

Château Sainte-Marie 2019, Bordeaux Organic

13%, €16.40

A perennial favourite: this is what inexpensive Bordeaux should taste like. Medium-bodied with ripe yet restrained supple blackcurrant fruits and light tannins kicking in on the finish.

From winesdirect.ie, Mullingar

Château Bois de Rolland Vieilles Vignes 2019, Bordeaux Supérieur

14%, €18.35

Ripe blackcurrants, pencil shavings and some good drying tannins on the finish. Textbook Bordeaux. Perfect with a roast of lamb, or pepperonata.

From lecaveau.ie, Kilkenny

Cillar de Silos 2019 Crianza, Ribera del Duero

14.5%, €19.82

Smooth, elegant and sweet-fruited subtle spice. Dangerously moreish and great value. Locally they would roast lamb or pork in a giant asador or clay barbecue.

From winespark.com