Paul Kimmage's guide to French Wine

The Sunday Independent sportswriter gave the Off The Ball crew a lesson on the best wine regions in France

Paul Kimmage's guide to French Wine

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

On tonight's Off The Ball, Sunday Independent sportswriter Paul Kimmage joined the show to give his take on Maria Sharapova's admission that she had failed a drugs test for a banned substance. 

Somehow we also ended up on an unrelated tangent about Kimmage's favourite wines.

"You strike me as a cultured man. Do you like wine?" he asked Off The Ball's Joe Molloy.

"You had Michael Carruth in here a short while ago and I don't know did he mention his love for Châteauneuf du Pape? Michael loves Châteauneuf du Pape. I'm a big fan of Châteauneuf du Pape myself and the Rhône wines. Well, here's the thing about the Rhône wines and Châteauneuf du Pape in particular. You go outside here and walk down the street, there's a very good wine shop and you go in there and order a good Châteauneuf du Pape, you're going to pay €70-80 for a good Châteauneuf du Pape," he said.


"But here's the peculiarity about Châteauneuf du Pape. If you know that region, the border between Châteauneuf du Pape and Côtes de Rhône Village is just a ditch basically. It's a ditch - except one wine - Châteauneuf du Pape costs €70 - and you can get a Côtes du Rhône Village for €11. And what's the difference? Same sun, same climate, same soil. Difference is that one costs a fortune and one doesn't. But they almost taste the same. But you can get some really good Côtes du Rhône Village Cairanne, Rasteau, Gigondas ... superb wines that are only literally across the ditch."

There was a point to Kimmage's explanation of the difference between the wine regions, as he went on to discuss how it relates to the subject of failed tests, before returning to the subject of wine after a texter asked for some more recommendations. 

"The Côtes du Ventoux is really superb, Rasteau now is getting a bit of a reputation. Personally I like the Gigondas. Again, it's a bit pricey, but look, definitely worth it."