When people think of good wines, they usually are thinking of a handful of the same places. Most thoughts immediately drift towards Italy and their famed vineyards.
Of course, France has quite a few locations renowned for their wine, considering that some regions have given their names to their wine.
Additionally, the UK is also known for producing award winning wine. But one place that perhaps doesn't get enough credit for their wine is Ireland. However, there are quite a few amazing vineyards and wineries there that any true enthusiast should give a try.
Ireland not only produces some quite stellar wine, but it has some regional types of wine that it specialises in. One of these types of wine is mead, a honey wine that can be accented with dozens of different ingredients, making each one have a truly unique flavour profile. Mead is a drink that is popular not only in Ireland, but in a good portion of Europe and into the north.
In addition to mead, there is Lusca. Lusca is a wine made solely by Llewellyn's Orchard. Since 2002, this privately owned business has been the only one to make Lusca, and it was a huge hit. And while Llewellyn's Orchard is known primarily for Lusca, it also hosts a plethora of other red wines made from local Irish grapes.
But, if looking for a sample of classic Irish wines, any of the five companies below will offer their own unique twist on what is an Irish wine.
Dennis Davidson is a small-scale Irish winery based out of the South West of Ireland. Besides making wine, they also have a small orchard on location. The premise behind Dennis Davidson is that small, locally based products make for a better product than something mass produced for money or profit.
In contrast to this typical way of making wine, the Davidson company is run in-house, by the family, and the product reflects all the passion and care that they pour into the growing of their grapes, which is in turn poured into the final bottle.
Blarney Red is a branch of wines from Irish Family Vineyards. Blarney Red is a type of red wine made with a 1:1 ratio of mixing Cabernet Franc and Merlot mixed together. Blarney Red is described as having aromas of current and caramel, with a subtle spice undertone.
Not only that, but the Cabernet Franc imparts notes of raspberry and cherry into the wine, making it a very smooth wine that could be paired with nearly any meal. Irish Family Vineyards has been making award winning wines for over a decade, and this is one of the finest they can offer.
It would be a shame to not include mead on a list of Ireland’s best wine, and Bunratty Mead is one of the best of the best. Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks of Ireland, dating its discovery back to a time when monks would mix the grapes with honey and other spices.
Its fantastic taste and delightful aroma furthered its popularity and allowed it to spread out to the common man. Its popularity grew so much so that, when a couple was newly married, they would make sure to drink mead for the first month or so of their marriage, one full moon.
It was believed that the mead would increase the fertility of the woman and the virility of the man, thus leading to a healthy and growing. This is likely where the term “honeymoon” comes from. Bunratty Mead produces a traditional version of this impactful wine, which can be bought at stores or online. Whether in decanter or bottle, this makes for a fantastic wine.
Thomas Walk Winery
Thomas Walk Winery is located in Cork County and is run by Thomas Walk. Thomas Walk Winery has been operating since the 80’s, which makes it one of the oldest wineries in all of Ireland.
One of the reasons Thomas Walk’s winery has lasted so long is because he has conducted a lot of scientific study and measurement on his fields and crops during the early years of his business, getting results from some of the respectable German institutes. After years of study, Thomas Walk figured out which grapes from his native Germany would thrive best in Ireland, and breed some of the finest wine grapes around.
Thomas Walk currently has the business directed toward becoming more organic, natural, and environmental. While this passion is not overtly advertised, it is something Walk has been aiming for. Regardless, though, those who would care to buy a bottle of Thomas Walk’s finest can do so online.
Wicklow Way Wines
Located in Eastern Ireland, just an hour or so south of Dublin, Wicklow Way Wines produces what is likely the best berry wine in all of Ireland.
As a direct disclaimer, this wine uses no grapes, but rather gathers its berries from local sources native to Ireland. These berry wines, therefore, make for a delightful change for those who have been spending time purely in the “grapes only” camp. Móinéir, the name of their berry wines, comes in flavours of blackberry, strawberry, and raspberry, each of which are delightful and have garnered renown in their own right.
In addition to merit of taste, Wicklow Way Wines are a member of the Bord Bia’s Origin Green Incentive, an incentive that promotes sustainability and environmental responsibility in business practices. Those visiting Ireland could find a bottle of Móinéir in some of the eating establishments across the country, but for anyone else, online retail would be the direction to go.