Mary Dowey’s Bottle of the Week: An Italian Red For Just €10

Wine editor MARY DOWEY selects an Italian red oozing la dolce vita as her bottle of the week …

Ricossa Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG 2016

Ireland’s love affair with Italian wine is intensifying – and no wonder. Italy has so many distinctive regions and styles built around local grapes that the variety on offer is mesmerising. Italian wines taste better than others with Italian food – and who doesn’t love that? Now along comes SuperValu’s Italian wine sale, adding tempting prices into the mix.

The press had an opportunity to taste all of the sale wines in a preview some weeks ago. For easygoing, all-round appeal at a tenner, this Barbera d’Asti is my top pick. With typically Italian notes of red and black cherries with a tiny pinch of herbs, it’s fruity and attractively juicy with the trademark tanginess of the Barbera grape. You’ll also notice a gentle squeeze of tannin which makes it taste much better with food than by itself. Most Italian reds are made to enjoy with a meal, after all.

What sort of food? Meats of all kinds, just about anything with a tomato sauce (there comes your pizza or spag bol), hearty vegetables like roast aubergines or chargrilled courgettes and plenty of cheeses. Have it on hand when you light the barbecue and see how easily it will adapt to whatever you throw on the grill (except perhaps fish).

One other thing to bear in mind is that this northern Italian will suit the current fashion for serving red wines slightly cool. Not chilled to death, please – 30-45 minutes in the fridge should suffice, after which you can always pop it in a cooler on the table if the weather happens to be kind.

Alcohol: 13.5%

From SuperValu. Usually €12.99, on special offer at €10 during the Italian wine sale which runs until June 12. Buy any six bottles in the sale and save a further €10.


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