Re-visit your holiday with a nice wine!

Coming back from holiday can be an anti-climax, but have a go at prolonging your holiday glow, by recreating the atmosphere with a nice bottle of wine from wherever you’ve been. There are two big differences of course – one is the sunshine, and the other is the price of wine.  It's hard to buy cheap wine in Ireland, due to higher excise duty & taxes. Did you know, a wine retailing here at €9 includes about €4.80 of tax (through excise duty & VAT), which goes straight to the Government coffers.

Spain is by far the most popular holiday destination, with 1 in 5 trips abroad last year going to Spanish airports. If you were anywhere from the Costa Brava down to the Costa del Sol, you will most definitely have come across Torres on your travels. Outside Spain, Ireland drinks more Torres than any other country in the world, so you’ll have no difficulty finding your favourite holiday wine at home!

Rioja is everywhere in Spain, of course. Lighter styles like Crianzas and young unaged versions are very often served lightly chilled, in small glasses, with tapas. Molloys have a lovely Sancho Garces Rioja Crianza, which comes from the best quality region in Rioja. It’s been highly praised for its price:quality by the wine press. Ribera del Duero has crept up in popularity. Vina Pilar Ribera del Duero ‘Roble’ 2013 or Lamatum are superb, well-priced wines from this region.

While Spain traditionally has been a lot better at reds than whites (too much heat and sunshine doesn’t suit white grapes), Spanish whites have much improved. Albariňho has become a lot more popular – it’s super with fish and shellfish, like prawns. Read what the critics say about Molloy’s Pedro d’Auga Albariňho, and try a bottle. Rueda is another popular white – delicious with pork or chicken.

Portugal is the second most popular destination, both for sun and golfing holidays. Vinho Verde is the white wine of choice by far. It’s easy to drink, even lighter than most Pinot Grigio, with low alcohol and a light spritz. We tried Vinho Verde a few years ago, but it would appear that it’s a wine that doesn’t travel well. No, it doesn’t get sea-sick or anything (!). By that I mean it doesn’t lend itself to drinking away from its native area.

We believe that Portuguese red wines are exceptionally well-priced, and way over-deliver for the quality you get. Look out for a new Portuguese red wine we’ve coming in soon under Molloys Exclusive Wines label – Quinta do Valdoeiro Bairrada. It’s packed with flavour - toasty oak, blackcurrant, mocha and spice, with a very long finish. And it’s under €15.

If you’ve been to Italy, chances are you were drinking Chianti and Valpolicella with your pizza, and perhaps Pinot Grigio with your pasta.   Our Albinoni Pinot Grigio blend is one of our best-sellers. You mightn’t have noticed it, but there’s a touch of Garganega grape blended in there too, which adds a bit more mouthfeel. One to look out for is Caleo Nero d’Avola – a very unassuming-looking label hides delicious savoury dark cherry, slightly smoky flavours. It’s really great with any type of tomato-based sauce – lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, right up to lamb shanks braised in tomato sauce. If there’s a chill in the evening air, go for something a bit more robust like our Gran Passione, and savour it with a big steak or meat dish. That will put a smile back on your post-holiday tanned face!