August 1, 2021

WINE O’CLOCK: For the secret of youth, make a date with a redhead

Many surveys and studies point to the benefits of drinking wine, red wine in particular. I love to read them but I don’t necessarily believe them.

If health is your concern, you might be better not drinking alcohol at all, or maybe not reading surveys.

The latest one suggests particular health benefits from young red wine.

The study of 16 wines from Australia and New Zealand found levels of healthy antioxidants, found mainly in red grapes, decreased significantly over time.

Researchers say the compound trans-resveratrol, which has proven cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects, decreases by about 75 per cent over a 16-month period.

The tests were conducted on wine which had already been bottled. It was then re-sealed and tested again at a later date.

Since you are unlikely to be drinking any wine younger than two years, your choice will already have lost some of its antioxidant value, I guess.

But we should not let facts get in the way of a good survey.

Young reds can be very nice, light and bright and fruity, but I am not a huge fan of the reds from either Australia or New Zealand.

If I’m after the elixir of youth, I go for a Pinot Noir or the Beaujolais type, which you will also find under the Fleurie label.

Merlots and Malbecs will give you the same fruity flavours, but with a bit more body.

The four I have chosen here are all 2018.

Las Cenizas Merlot 2018 (€9, O’Briens)
A Merlot from Chile, which is good at young wines. Cherry and plum are the flavours and it smells a little like fruit cake.

La Bastille Red (€9.95, The Wine Centre Kilkenny)
Merlot is the main grape component in this blend from southern France. It’s a nice smooth red, good with meaty dishes and also excellent with blue cheese or mature cheddar.

Goyenechea Goye Malbec Roble (€14.95, The Wicklow Wine Company)
Argentina is the go-to country for Malbec and this is a great example. Bright and lively; blackberry flavour with hints of vanilla and spice. A good accompaniment for the heftier pasta dishes such as ravioli or lasagne

Chanson Fleurie 2018 O’ (€18.95 O’Briens)
This is a Beaujolais cru. Smooth and aromatic with flavours of cherry and raspberry and the scent of fresh-cut flowers.



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