Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé What is the Difference?

Sauvignon Blancs from France

France is renowned for producing some of the world’s most sought after white wine.

Sauvignon Blanc originated in the west of France. It does best in cooler climates, such as the continental climate of the Loire Valley and the Atlantic-influenced climate of Bordeaux.

This white grape from France tends to be fresh and crisp, green apple and herbs on the nose. Typically high acidity.

A typical Sauvignon Blanc from France would be from the Bordeaux region. This is where the grape first originated. With this grape you can generally expect a dry and light bodied wine, with light fruity notes, such as lime, gooseberry and honey. These flavours would complement any foods, for example, with pastas that contain pesto, risotto, and various types of fish.

The Sauvignon grape is not only grown in Bordeaux, but the cool climate of the Loire Valley pays huge tribute to this grape. The cooler climate in this area slows down the ripening of the vine, allowing the grape time to develop, this gives a balance between its acidity and sugar levels. The balance allows for intense aromas.

Sancerre is not very unlike a Bordeaux Sauvignon. Though this white would be bone dry, highly aromatic with intense flavours of gooseberry and peach. Depending on the area of this Appellation, some villages would have more clay in the soil, this would result in more full bodied wines. While other villages, have lighter soils, with a mix of limestone and gravel, this would result in a wine with more floral, perfumed aromas. Compared to Sauvignon Blanc grown in Bordeaux, Sancerre can be more concentrated with more acidity.

On the other side of the River, Pouilly-Fumé tends to be a little broader, softer, slightly less vibrant and aromatic than Sancerre. The one distinctive aroma of Pouilly-Fumé is gunflint, this gives the wine its local characteristics. The distinct flavour comes from the soil, the chalky clay terroir of the Pouilly-sur-Loire.

So each Sauvignon Blanc has a lot of similarities but each with their own uniqueness, a Bordeaux Sauvignon would be a little less expensive than a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, but that would not take from the quality.


Pop into any of our 8 stores across Cork City & County, and try any of the following. Or buy online by clicking on the wine name.


La Cheteau SancerreOn the nose it is expressive with floral and fruity notes which follows through onto the palate resulting in a full bodied wine with gooseberry and green fruit most prominent, classic elegance and a long finish. €23

Alain Gueneau La Guiberte SancerrePale yellow in colour with green and golden highlights. Initially on the nose you get discreet herbaceous hints such as nettle and mint. Then the nose reveals notes of elder blossom, citronella, and thyme. Refreshing on the palate with its acidulous balance where lemon and grapefruit prevail. On the finish, notes of pears in syrup. €27 

Pascal Jolivet SancerreGolden yellow in the glass. A slight aroma of gunflint, but the fruit aromas shine through in this Sauvignon. Full bodied with a long finish, this Sauvignon does not disappoint on the palate, showing the perfect balance between minerality and acidity. This tasty white is definitely unique.  €35 

La Cheteau Pouilly-FuméThis dry Sauvignon Blanc is pale yellow in colour, with a slight green tinge. On the nose you get ripe gooseberry, green fruits and elderflower. The palate does not disappoint with delicious green apple flavours, gooseberry, and a crisp clean finish. Good length. €23

Domaine Bois Fleury Pouilly FuméAromas of fruity citrus such as grapefruit, passion fruit, as well as rose petals and white flowers. This Pouilly Fumé is an easy to drink Sauvignon, fruity and elegant on the palate. €26

Living a Gluten Free Live!

Whether you are Gluten intolerant or suffer from coeliac disease, we at O’Donovans off Licence, try to make it easy for you to still enjoy a few drinks.

Between both, coeliac disease and gluten intolerant there is an estimated 450,000 people suffer across Ireland.

What we are noticing that it is a lot easier these days to control your gluten free diet, with the supermarkets offering a huge range of gluten free food products. We at O’Donovans off Licence, also want to make life easier for you, so we are increasingly adding to our gluten free range of alcohol beverages.

It can get a little overwhelming when it comes to knowing what is safe for a gluten free diet, and what is not… So hopefully this piece will make it a little clearer for you…

So just to talk you through, what alcohol is gluten free friendly….

Obviously alcohol that is brewed or distilled using no gluten ingredients and which is labelled gluten-free is the safest bet. But that said, that doesn’t mean that is all there is to offer…

All distilled spirits are gluten-free, there is no gluten in the final product of any distilled alcohol. 100% distilled spirits are safe, which include Whiskey, Gin, and grain based Vodka.

So even when a cereal containing gluten is an ingredient in the fermentation process of a spirit, the distilling process removes any trace of gluten.

The question then is often asked, why some spirits have gluten free on the label, and some do not….. If it states gluten free on the bottle, then it must not contain any gluten ingredients from start to finish.

Alcohol distilled or fermented from non-grain ingredients, and which contain no gluten additives or flavourings are the safest choice, as they are naturally gluten-free from start to finish. But that’s not to say that other spirits, that the gluten is removed through the distilling process are not safe. You just need to find what best suits you…

Another great choice for a gluten free diet, would be Cider, all ciders made from apple, pear or other fruits, are gluten free, they are made from 100% pressed fruit, and do not contain any wheat, barley or rye.

Cider is the ideal choice for something tasty and refreshing, with craft cider becoming an increasing trend, the only problem you will have is choosing which one to go for. As the market continues to develop, different varieties are readily available.

At O’Donovans we are always adding to our craft section, and keeping it local, Stonewell Cider made in Nohoval, Co. Cork is very popular amongst our cider customers.

Beer is the one drink that you need to be careful, and avoid anything that does not state it is gluten free. Traditionally Beers are made with water, hops, yeast and barley.

Water being the main ingredient in any beer, it comprises of about 90% of the final product. Hops would generally be used to give the beer its unique flavour, while Grain is the source of sugar for the fermentation process, the most commonly used are barley, wheat or rye. Finally the yeast, while we know that cereal or grain is not gluten free, yeast can be misleading. Most brewer’s yeast is not gluten free, as it contains gluten from the barley used to make the beer. Some brewer’s create yeast using sugar beets, this yeast would be gluten free.

So swapping the wheat or barley, with gluten free grains such as sorghum, rice, or millet, makes a beer gluten free.

Whether you are gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease, when it comes to beer, you have to be really careful of the gluten content in a beer.

The amount of gluten in a beer is measure by ppm (Parts per Million). In Ireland anything below 20ppm can be considered gluten free. Some beers on the market such as Heineken, Budweiser and Coors, technically are under the 20ppm, but because they are made from barley, they cannot state they are gluten free.

Gluten Free Beer is not very readily accessible, but there is a few options out there. We at O’Donovans try to have a mixed choice for the consumer, and again keeping it local, Cork based brewery 9 White Deer has launched its Stag Saor range. This was the first brewery to produce the first gluten free beer in Ireland. The brewery has since grown its range, and now even have a gluten free stout available. The full range is available at all O’Donovans stores.

The best news is most Wine is also gluten free and is safe to consume on a gluten free diet.

Wine is made from grapes which are naturally gluten free. When going through the fermentation process gluten is also not added, the only area to be cautious of is another process of wine making, with is called fining.

This is where substance are added to the wine to clarify it, potentially this could cause gluten contaminants to enter the bottle.

Generally after fining, the wine is filtered out, but small particles may remain behind in the bottle. For someone who is very sensitive to gluten, this could be harmful, but after the fining process and filtering the particles would be much lower than the 20ppm. So there for the wine is still classed as Gluten Free.

If you are unsure on any of the above, please call in to any of our 8 stores, our trained staff will help you choose what is best for you.


Written by Lorna O'Driscoll, Marketing O'Donovans Off Licence

Choosing the Perfect Wine for Christmas!

So when it comes to selecting wine for any occasion, it can get a little daunting, especially when trying to match with food. Christmas time is a season consumed with rich food and having the perfect bottle of vino to match, and getting it right can be a little overwhelming. I have simplified your choice below, and I give a few recommendations.

So if you are going all fancy, and having a different wine with each course, I go through the day from morning to evening. I may have chosen a wine for each course, from starter to dessert, but whether you choose white or red, if you stick with the one type of wine, that’s ok, I have chosen high acidic wines, these wines will compliment all the flavours in every meal.

Christmas Morning!

Why not start the celebrations early….. Start your morning off with a glass of mimosa, the best sparkler for making mimosas surprisingly is not Champagne, you’re better off opting for something a little less expensive, Prosecco from Italy or Cava from Spain, they are the perfect dry sparkler that blend well with juice.

We have prosecco ranging from €10…

Per Ora Prosecco, delicious flavours of green apples and pear, with a pleasant acidity and subtle finish, this prosecco makes the perfect aperitif with a splash of orange juice. €10

And we have Cava ranging from €20…

Marques de La Concordia Cava, this fresh sparkler has aromas of citrus and a little honey. On the palate, green fruits, a little lemon and a subtle nutty flavour. €20

Jumping straight to the main event…


To start whether you are having soup or traditional prawn cocktail, you are best to start with a light refreshing white with high acidity, this will cleanse your palate, before all the rich flavours that will follow in the main course.

I would recommend a Crisp Albariño from Spain, or a Champagne from France. Albariño offers a light and refreshing body with high acidity. … The slight bitter flavour comes from the thick skins of the grapes, this consequently makes Albariño great for palate cleansing. Champagne is the absolute best palate cleanser of all time! Champagne is bubbly which lifts any lingering flavours and washes them away, the acidity will brighten the palate.

We have Albariño from €16…

Paco & Lola Albariño has fresh acidity, aromas of white and tropical fruit. On the nose you will get subtle floral undertones. With a long finish, this young wine has a gorgeous citrus aftertaste. €18

We have a huge range of Champagne ranging from €57…

Moet & Chandon has a vibrant intensity of green apple, citrus fruits and brioche. A Blend of over 100 different elegant wines, grapes used are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. €62

Main Course!

What wine you serve with the main course, all depends on what food will be on the table.

Firstly let’s stick with the traditional Turkey and Ham. Turkey is a white meat and has no fat content, so a full bodied white or a light bodied red with high acidity would be perfectly matched.

I would recommend a Pinot Noir. The high acidity of Pinot Noir, would cut through the rich flavours. The red fruits flavours are ideal for a juicy slice of ham.

But if you are not a red drinker and prefer a white wine, then a full bodied Chardonnay can be an attractive accompaniment to your turkey. The oakiness and sweet spice notes, along with creamy acidity can accentuate the dry meat and balance out the flavours.

We have Pinot Noir ranging from €10…

Luis Felipe Edwards Pinot Noir from Chile at €10, this wine has a delicate red colour, on the nose, you have plum and raspberry, and on the palate it is fresh and light with a pleasant fruit intensity and soft tannins on the finish.

We have Chardonnay ranging from €10…

Macon Uchizy Domaine Talmard 2020 from France, winning white wine of the year ’21/’22, €19.95, this French wine is a rich, full flavoured chardonnay based, beautifully balanced white. Stunning citrus and ripe pear flavours.

If you are serving a Tenderloin of Beef for your Christmas dinner, it is safe to say that red would be the preferred choice with roast beef, but to be a little controversial I am also going to point you in the direction of a good white, that would also pair well with a strong meat.

So when it comes to red, a full bodied Bordeaux with high tannin content, would work best. The sharpness and dark fruit flavours would enhance the flavour and texture of the beef.

Alternatively you could go with, and which I would prefer is a full bodied Rioja. The spice, herbs and plum flavours would complement the spices in the beef.

We have Bordeaux red wines ranging from €13

Château Calendreau is a deep, rich and flavoursome red wine with this vintage displaying a warming but subtle fresh nose of jammy prune.  The palate is ample and fresh, supple but rich in extract, floral, and with a long, sharp finish. €16

We have Rioja red wines ranging from €16

Coto de Imaz Reserva, with an intense cherry red colour. On the nose you have everything associated with Christmas, red berries, vanilla, and cinnamon. It does not disappoint on the palate, good acidity, elegant and high tannins leading to a long finish. €20

Some people prefer a white wine, especially with Christmas dinner, as it can be refreshing with a big meal. To try something a little different, I am going to recommend a Sancerre, this wine has high acidity and is medium bodied. Perfect match to the juicy spicy flavours of a roast beef.

Château la Sancerre, this Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley has a lovely crispness, aromas of lemon and ripe green fruits. The high acidity lends to a long lively finish. €23


After all that rich food you may prefer to leave a little bit of time before you tuck into the pudding, but we all do love a little sweetness after dinner. So not to over indulge straight away, why not choose a liquid dessert.

A sweet Sauternes from France, or an ice wine such as Riesling from Germany, both these wines would go well with a fruit salad or tart. The best thing about a dessert wine such as Sauternes, is it comes in a half bottle, and a glass is usually enough. It will also keep in the fridge for about a week. Sauternes has a very high alcohol content, this is due to the grapes being affected by noble rot, and this causes the grape flavours and sugars to become more concentrated.

On the other scale then Riesling has a lower alcohol content, this is typically due to the grapes been grown in cooler climates and as a result grapes wouldn’t be fully ripe, which then produces grapes of lower sugar levels.

We have Sichel Sauternes from France, peach and apricot flavours, with a subtle taste of honey and orange. Great acidity and a lovely long length. 375ml bottle retailing at €18.

For a Riesling I would recommend Dr. Loosen Riesling Qualitätswein, this is refreshing and fruity. Aromas of apricot and green fruits. Crisp flavours of apples, apricots and peaches. 750ml bottle retailing at €15.


Now it’s nap time or game board time, whatever you choose to do, I hope you enjoyed my recommendations above and made Christmas dinner that little bit easier for you, but we are not done. Later in the evening you may get a little peckish, and decide to have a slice of that Christmas pudding, and nothing goes better with pudding than a lovely Ruby or Tawny Port. The fruitiness of Ruby Port and the Nuttiness of Tawny will both compliment the rich fruit & nut flavours of the Christmas pudding.

We stock a range of different Ports, from Ruby, Tawny, White and you could also splash out and get a vintage port. We stock Taylors brand and Fonseca, ranging from €19.50.

What a long day, it is now time for bed…..

We have 8 stores across Cork City and County, please pop into your local branch, and we are happy to help you with all your beverage needs. We offer a free gift wrapping service, and once you hold onto your receipt, we offer sale and return. We have a huge range of gifts packs, from beer, spirits to wine. We can custom make hampers for any budget. And if you are unsure we also have gift cards.

Most importantly … Please remember drink sensibly. Visit

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

Written By: Lorna O'Driscoll - Marketing O'Donovans Off Licence

A Taste of Spain!!

Spain is probably one of my favourite wine producing countries.

There is nothing like having a cold glass of Albariño with Fresh Scallops or if you’re lucky enough some Fresh Lobster. If you are not a fish eater, perhaps enjoy with an Indian or Thai dish, this grape will complement the spices. Or simply enjoy as an aperitif to cleanse the palate.

Or on a cold winter’s night, sitting by the fire, sipping on a full bodied glass of Red Rioja, enjoy with a home cooked Sunday roast Lamb, serve at a dinner party with Venison, or simply serve with a selection of meats and cheeses.

My Favourites

I am going to talk through two of my favourite Spanish grapes, and recommend two wines that you can buy in all 8 O’Donovans off Licence Stores, and Online

History I

But first just a quick rundown on the Rias Baixas region; The GI (Geographical Indication) of this region is, a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). PDOs are smaller areas with more tightly defined regs, Each PDO has a unique flavour that can’t be copied by any other wine because the wine must be made according to the laws. Spain has several traditional labelling terms for PDO. The Rias Baixas region is DO (Denominación de Origen).

Starting with the beautiful elegant Albariño grape, typically grown in Rias Baixas Region, North West Spain. The Albariño grape has a very distinctive floral aroma, along with mouthfeel of peach, apricots and a bitterness of citrus fruits. High in acidity but unusually light, usually with an abv of 11.5% – 12.5%.

The high altitude and cooler climate of the Rias Baixas region stops the grape from over ripening giving it fresh bright acidity, Albariño is best enjoyed young, to ensure its trademark acidity and bold fruity palate.

There are a few theories behind the Albariño grape and its timing. When it was first produced, was it brought in the 12th Century or as early as the 5th Century? What we do know though is that this grape has been grown in the Rias Baixas region for thousands of years. In the mid-20th century, a new generation of wine growers were taking over, which allowed the Albariño grape become better established and renown, spreading throughout the region.

My Favourite White

I’m going to introduce to you my current favourite Spanish White Wine;

Paco Lola Albariño 2019, from the Rias Baixas region, this wine will definitely make you feel alive and refreshed. With a fresh acidity, aromas of white and tropical fruit. On the nose you will get subtle floral undertones. With a long finish, this young wine has a gorgeous citrus aftertaste. Pair with anything from fresh pasta, to shellfish, or spicy Asian food, the acidity of this wine, will bring out the flavours of any of the above. Currently retailing Sep ‘21 at €18, available in all 8 stores Cork City & County, also available online

History II

Back to Spain and their wine laws; the wine laws in Spain define specific ageing criteria for Spanish wines. They are defined by the length of time the wine is aged, both in barrel and in the bottle, before it can hit the shelves. The period of ageing has a huge impact on the style and quality of the wine. In order of increasing minimum age, they are Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.

The most important region for Premium Spanish reds is Rioja DOCa. Rioja is the oldest Designation of Origin in Spain. The main grape for this moderate climate is Tempranillo. This grape can be full or medium bodied, with medium acidity, medium tannins and red fruit flavours. What determines the styles of Red Riojas is the oak ageing, this softens the tannins and gives a sweet vanilla flavour to the wine.

My Favourite Red

Now to introduce you to my favourite Spanish Red Wine;

Marques De La Concordia Rioja Reserva 2015, take notice of the Reserva in the name, this wine has been aged for 24 months in American Oak Barrels, and later remains racked for 12 months in the bottle before hitting the shelves.

This full bodied red belongs to the DO Rioja region, made from 100% Tempranillo grapes, hand-harvested in the Rioja Alta vineyards located 600m above sea level.

With a very intense cherry red colour, with velvety soft tannins due to ageing, on the nose you will get subtle spice and oak flavours, with dark bramble fruits. You will not be disappointed on the palate, as you get flavours of blackberries and dark cherry fruits, with secondary flavours of vanilla and cinnamon. This perfectly balanced rioja, has a lovely long and elegant finish. Enjoy this delicious red, with strong meats, such as venison and duck, or perfect for that Sunday roast Lamb. Currently retailing Sep ‘21 at €16, available in all 8 stores Cork City & County, also available online



If you would like to expand your knowledge on Spanish wine, or any other Countries, you can email myself, and enquire about enrolling on our WSET wine courses. The Cork Wine School

Written By: Lorna O'Driscoll - Marketing O'Donovans Off Licence


Having friends around for dinner and the game. Like most of us if you can’t understand a thing that’s happening on the field don’t get left out. Stir the conversation to what you know best and that’s wine.

In 2 minutes you’re going to be a wine genius. In 9 easy pictures we are going to teach you all the vocab from tannin, bouquet, terroir, aroma — not to mention how to hold a glass, recognise flavors, and know when to drink it.

Lesson 1: The Wine Bottle

Lets start with what the wine comes in. The name of the company that produces the wine will be at the top, followed by the variety of wine, the region and type of grapes used, and the year it was made. Alcohol content will be at the very bottom of the label. See our wine bottle illustration:

Lesson 2: Temperature of Wine

Depending on the wine they should all be served at different temperatures. White wine should be served cold below 5°C, red wine at room temperature and pink or Rose chilled between 7-13 degrees.

Lesson 3: The Wine Glass

This is a great opportunity to pick up on your friends serving wine is whisky jars. While we don’t recommend you buy all of them try pick around the wines you like.

Lessons 4: Swilling the wine

The last thing you want when your knowledge is blowing everyone over is to swill the wine like a novice. To hold and swill wine like an expert, hold the glass by the stem. This is important especially with chilled wines since the heat from your hand will warm the bowl and alter the taste of the wine. Then rotate your wrist so the wine gently swirls around the bowl. This allows the smell of the wine to fill the bowl, which is important for the flavor profile.

Lesson 5: Colouring of Wine

There are plenty of fools out there that think wine comes in 2 or 3 colours. This must enrage you so its time you made a point. Wines are not only red, pink, or white. In fact, the shade and hue of the wine indicates its age and the type of wine — whether it’s light- or full-bodied, or the different kinds of rosé. And if a wine looks cloudy, that usually means there’s something wrong with it. Ask for a different glass, or throw out the wine. That’ll teach ‘em.

Lesson 6: Wine strength

While there’s not much to this one as we all know wine strength ranges from 11-14%. Lighter wines tend to have less alcohol, whereas bolder wines will have more. No real news there. However, you could throw in that light wines should be drunk with 3 days after opening. Bolder wines can last up to 10 days. Even the one area they thought they knew all about you have up ended them.

Lesson 7: Aroma

Most people couldn’t smell a wine if you poured it down their nose but you think isn’t an essential part of the drinking process. Start throwing words around like fruity, sweet, spicy, herbal, mineral, and floral are some of the more common aromas. Claim you can even taste the underlying flavor notes of the wine. Here are some of the common ones:

And to round off the night lets talk about stuff they never even heard off. Call a taxi before you start.

Lessons 8: Tannins

Most of the clowns at the table wont even of heard of this. Just remember a tannin is a textural element of wine that makes it taste dry. Don’t push the boat out on this one but here is some extras. Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves, and fruit skins. Tannins add bitterness, astringency, and a complex flavour to your wine. Typically, tannins in wine either come from the grapes’ skin, seeds, or stems. Tannins can also be from the wood of the barrel that the wine was aged in. Wine tannins are most commonly found in red wine, although some white wines have tannins from being aged in wooden barrels.

Lessons 9: Terroir

Terroir is a vocab word that only true wine connoisseurs like you are familiar with . Essentially, it’s the set of special characteristics (including climate, soil type, topography, and other plants growing in the area) that influence grapes where they’re grown. The terroir affects the flavor of the grapes, and is what makes all wines unique. Now it’s time to say ‘we better call it a night, taxi’s outside’.

Now it’s time to say ‘we better call it a night, taxi’s outside’



1. What Wines Should I Serve At A Party?

You want wines that aren’t too high in alcohol, so people can have a good time without getting too drunk.

2. Is Drinking Wine Good For You?

There’s long been discussion about the risks and rewards that drinking wine has on your health. It really is true that wine – particularly red wine – does contain several antioxidants, such as quercetin and resveratrol, which may play a part in helping to prevent heart disease and cancer, (one or two units a day). But primarily for men aged over 40 and post-menopausal women (and only when consumption is limited to five units a week – that’s just two standard glasses of wine). But there are better ways to achieve this, such as taking regular exercise, quitting smoking, following a healthy, balanced diet and addressing other risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. We would always recommend Drink Responsibly, and everything in moderation.

3. What Is Wine Sediment?

Put simply sediment can form naturally in wine both during the fermentation process and while maturing in a bottle. Some wines are more likely to develop sediment and some wines will almost never form sediment. Wine sediment isn’t harmful and can be perceived as a sign of wine’s quality, but you will normally want to separate sediment from wine before serving and drinking.

4. What Makes A Wine Sweet?

A semi dry red or white wine has a level of 0.5 to 1.49% residual sugar. A semi dry wine has a hint of sweetness and more of a ‘fruity’ taste than a dry wine. A dry red wine will not have the taste of sweetness, due to the sugars being fermented into alcohol, and the tannins and acidity in the wine.

5. Are Flavours On A Wine Label Added To The Wine?

No, these are just what we call tasting notes. They are a guide for what the wine may taste like to you.

6. Should I Spit Out The Wine At A Wine Tasting?

You don’t have to. Only spit if you don’t want to become too inebriated!

7. How Many Glasses Are In A Bottle Of Wine?

A standard bottle of wine holds 750 ml. approximately six glasses (125ml per glass), a size that enables two people to enjoy three glasses each.

8. Are Screw tops Bad for a Wine?

No, they are actually excellent. They prevent a wine from every being corked. Lots of winemakers are using screwcaps for this very reason. They don’t signify that a wine is cheap!

9.How Do I Choose A Wine For A Dinner Party?

If you would like your wine paired to certain foods you are eating, visit one of our 8 stores where our trained staff are happy to help.

10.Do I Need Special Products To Get Out A Wine Stain?

Blot, don’t rub. Dab at the stain with a damp, white cotton cloth to absorb any excess wine. …Pull the fabric taut. Slide a bowl under the fabric, centering the stain over the bowl. … Sprinkle salt. … Add boiling water. … Machine-wash.

11.What’s The Average Alcohol Content in a Wine?

Most wines are between 11 and 14 percent in alcohol.

12.Why Is Rosé Pink?

Red grapes were used to make the wine and a wine gets its colour from its skins. When the winemaker crushed the grapes, they allowed the skins to come into contact with the juice for only a brief time, thus the colour is pink, instead of red

13.Do I Need To Decant My Wine?

Slowly and carefully decanting the wine ensures that the sediment stays in the bottle and you get a nice clear wine in the decanter, and subsequently in your glass. A second and more everyday reason to decant is to aerate the wine. Many young wines can be tight or closed on the nose or palate.

14.What’s The Difference between Different Wine Glasses?

Typically Red wine glasses will be a bit taller and have a larger bowl than White wine glasses. In general Reds are bigger and bolder wines so they require a larger glass to allow all those aromas and flavours to emerge.

15.If I Need To Cook With A Wine, What Should I Buy?

You should always cook with a wine you like to drink. For example, if the recipe calls for red wine, choose a red you love to drink on its own.

16.Can I Buy A Good Bottle Of Wine For Under €10?

Trust your wine Merchant, speak to one of our trained staff members, and they will point you in the right direction. We have plenty of good quality wines on offer for €10 and under.

17.Why Do Some Wines Give You A Headache?

Some things to keep in mind if some types of wines give you headaches: Not all wines have the same amount of potential irritants like tyramine and histamines in them, even if they are seemingly similar.  This means that aside from colour, two white wines or two red wines might be totally dissimilar, and might have different effects on a drinker. Some people suffering headaches after they drink red or white wine might actually be suffering from dehydration, an effect from alcohol. It’s believed that tannins can block serotonin production, causing blood vessels in the brain to constrict, and resulting in a migraine. Histamines cause blood vessels to dilate in folks lacking an enzyme to process them, which may result in a throbbing headache. But for most of us, the cause of a wine headache is simply drinking too much wine and not enough water. The mythical wine headache cure? It’s simple: the cure for a wine headache is to stop one, before it ever starts. In other words, don’t overdo it…especially at an office party!

18.How Do I Know Which Wine To Pair With A Meal?

There are no rules to this really, but it goes without saying, certain wines do taste better with different foods. If you are unsure and would like something to impress your guests, please call into your local O’Donovans Store, and our trained staff would be happy to point you in the right direction.

19.Can I Chill Red Wine?

Absolutely! Red Wine Should Be Served Cool — 15 to 20 Degrees Celsius. The most common misconception with red wine is that it is ideal to serve it at room temperature, when in fact serving it cool is the best way to enjoy it. The Lighter the red is, the nicer it is cooler. Place in the fridge an hour before serving.

20.How Long Does Wine Last After I’ve opened it?

The time frames vary depending on the specific type of wine but for still whites, reds, and rosés, I would say two to three days is the absolute maximum you’d want to keep an opened bottle. After being open for a couple of days, a wine’s aromas will go flat, its native flavours will subdue, and the wine may appear overly sour or acidic. For best results, I suggest finishing the wine within two days of being opened.

21.Are All Sparkling Wines Called Champagne?

No. Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne. Other names for sparkling wine are Prosecco, Cava.

22.How Do I Know If A Wine Is Corked?

If wine is corked, it will have an odour that you wouldn’t expect from a good wine. It may smell musty, or like damp towels, wet dog, wet cardboard or newspaper.The taste of the wine will be dull and will not exhibit any fruit characteristics. Some people also describe corked wine as tasting astringent. Always test the wine before allowing it to be served to others. This allows the host to see if the wine is fit for consumption and prevents pouring the wine into many glasses before a discovering that the wine is not fit for drinking. Return your corked wine to the store you purchased it from and we would be happy to replace it or offer you a refund.