Four light and refreshing Loire Valley wines

John Wilson: These lighter, fruity beverages are best served cold if not slightly chilled

The Loire Valley produces every style of wine imaginable, including sparkling, white, rosé, red and sweet. Generally, they share a refreshing acidity and lightness of fruit that makes them ideal for summer drinking.

We are familiar with some of the names, such as Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet, but may be less aware of others. The two most common red grape varieties are Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, although you will find Gamay, Malbec and a few local specialities such as Grolleau and Pineau d’Aunis. Cabernet Franc is responsible for some of the greatest red wines of the Loire, including Chinon and Bourgueil, among others. But this week, the focus is on Pinot Noir. As inexpensive Loire reds are not easy to find, I include a Muscadet as my inexpensive wine of the week. These lighter reds are best served cold if not lightly chilled.

As well as the wines listed below, Le Caveau has an extensive list of all Loire wines, including plenty of organic and low intervention wines. O’Briens has two Cabernet Franc-based wines, the Langlois Saumur-Champigny and Henri Bourgeois, for less than €20, as well as two Sancerre Pinot Noir. In addition to the featured Sancerre, Whelehans has a comprehensive range of red Loire wines, as has JN Wine.

Château de l’Auberdière 2022, Muscadet de Sèvre & Maine sur lie

12%, €11.65

A light refreshing white wine with green apple and pear fruits. Try it with seafood: a plate of oysters or a bowl of mussels with some crusty baguette sounds good.


From: Dunnes Stores

Cheverny 2021 Pascal Bellier

12.5%, €17.95-€18.95

A blend of 80 per cent Pinot Noir and 20 per cent Gamay, this is a classic Loire red, fresh and full of crunchy, lively red cherry fruits. Serve cool with charcuterie, grilled chicken or firm cheeses.

From: JN Wine; Beshoffs the Market, Howth

Pinot Noir Les Doigts d’Or de Dolly 2021, Alphonse Dolly

13%, €21

Ripe raspberry and strawberry fruits with light tannins on the finish. Serve with duck, roast chicken or soft, creamy cheeses.

From: Curious Wines, Cork

Sancerre Rouge 2021 André Vatan Maulin Bèle

12.55%, €26

Elegant and aromatic with dark cherry fruits and a slight earthiness. Drink it with salmon, tuna and all manner of summer salads.

From: Whelehans, Loughlinstown