A light Irish beer stuffed with flavour and a Tasmanian Chardonnay

Sam Black of Blacks beers in Kinsale, one of the best craft brewers around, decided to try making a lighter beer that still tasted of something.  According to Black they wanted to make “a lower alcohol beer with all the flavour of a real ale, one for drinking on sunny days sitting on the grass. People like to sit out and have a bottle for their lunch. It is part of our core range, although sales do slow down a bit over winter when people move on to our bigger beers. It is quite a tricky one to make; keeping the flavour in and the alcohol down without making a watery beer. That’s why there aren’t too many around.  When we did it, it was the first in Ireland under 4 per cent”.

As for the beer, it does manage to square the circle, by being both light in alcohol while packing a thirst-quenching fresh citrus hoppy punch.

Lot 2 Chardonnay 2013, Tasmania

12.5% €12.99

New Zealand’s unique wine-growing landscape. Photograph: Thinkstock

Most bottles of wine have two labels; one on the front to grab your attention as you browse along the shelves, and a back label, (technically the front label) with all of the required legal information regarding alcohol, drinking while pregnant or driving machinery etc. and often a completely useless tasting note designed to entice as many people as possible into buying the wine. Supermarkets are sometimes shy about revealing the source of their own-label wines, or possibly the producer doesn’t want to be seen selling wine to a multiple. So you will usually see, bottled on behalf of or bottled by 1235 for Tesco or similar.

But look closely at the back label on this wine from Aldi and you will see that it was produced by Taylors, one of the leading producers of Australia, known as Wakefield in Europe. It comes from Tasmania, source of some of Australia’s most exciting Chardonnay (if you like the fresh crisp style of Chardonnay) It is fresh, lean and clean with crisp green apple fruits and a light spritz would go down very well with all things fishy or alongside some summery salads.