Celebrate Real Wine Month With This White Gem From The Loire

Eyeing up A BRILLIANT WHITE for this evening? The Vouvray Sec La Dilettante, Pierre & Catherine Breton 2013 is near-perfect, writes MARY DOWEY

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The calendar has become littered with strange celebrations – Grenache Day, Sauvignon Blanc Day, Malbec Day and heaven knows what else. But here’s one that I think we should welcome. April is Real Wine Month – a time when promotions in restaurants and wine shops call our attention to one of the most positive and fastest growing trends in wine.

Simply put, it’s a back-to-the-future approach that values artisan methods above chemistry lab techniques. Organic and biodynamic practices are all the rage. Horses are making a comeback in vineyards, ploughing and manuring as they go. Wild yeasts are preferred to cultured yeasts. Sulphur dioxide is used minimally if at all. The idea is to make wines that taste more ‘real’ while doing less harm to consumers and the planet.

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Although I’m not mad about all ‘real’ or ‘natural’ wines, I’ve been a fan of this luscious Vouvray for years. Made from the fruit of 40-year-old Chenin Blanc vines using only wild yeasts and barely any sulphur, it’s certified organic and biodynamic and it positively bounces with zest. While the flavours are luscious with notes of pineapple, peach, lemon and honey, a salty edge prevents them from becoming overblown.

The result? Another sip, another sip… A whole bottle could disappear dangerously fast with nothing more complicated than a prawn salad or goat’s cheese on toast. Vouvray, by the way, is well worth exploring any time. How can the world’s finest expression of Chenin Blanc have been marginalised for so long?

Alcohol: 12%

On special offer from lecaveau.ie for Real Wine Month at €19.76; also available from Corkscrew; Dublin 2; Green Man, Dublin 6; Bradleys, Cork & Ballymaloe Garden Shop, Cork, around €23.

@MaryDowey

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