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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Three Wines. And a few beers!
Valdivia Dorius Amontillado seco sherry, Jerez (DO), 18%, €17.85 (50cls) Karwig Wines.
This dry amontillado is the perfect match for meat dishes and mature cheese and vanished very quickly here, where it was used as an aperitif - so quickly, I didn't have time to take any notes.
To get the best from its generous aromas and flavours, serve it at between 12 and 14 degrees. It has lovely amber colour, a rich almond nose, a nutty and tangy flavour and the superb finish goes on and on. And you can get all this from just one little sip. Very Highly Recommended. Enjoy, with all five senses, as they invite on the bottle.
Exquisite Collection Cremant du Jura (AOP) Chardonnay 2014, 12%, €11.29 Aldi
Had to pick up a sparkling wine in a hurry and got this Brut (dry) in at the local Aldi. A few hours later, I was very impressed with it. This sparkling Chardonnay, made using the same methods as they use in making champagne, was perfect for our little celebration. It is not lacking in complexity, has light fruit flavours, a hint of biscuit (that you find in champagnes), and a fine finish. Good price too. Very Highly Recommended.
Barefoot Merlot (California), 13.5%, €10.00 O’Donovan’s Off Licence
“Wine tastes better in a tee than in a tux”, Barefoot say. So you’re thinking cheap and cheerful, nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with this Merlot either. This is smooth and warming, full of raspberry and blackberry flavours, mild tannins, well balanced too and with a decent finish. It is an easy-drinker and good value.
Cloudwater Session IPA Wai-iti 4.5%
Thought this was an American brewery but they are from Manchester. Brexit or not, this is an excellent beer, a superb IPA. You’ll get hoppier but the balance here is spot-on and as a result, the beer is well worth a try. You may not get it in Old Trafford or The Etihad but you’ll certainly find a bottle in Bradley’s.
St Bernardus Wit, 5.5%,
St Bernardus has quite a smile and his abbey beers deliver every time. As they do with this perfect wheat beer. This traditional Belgian wheat beer is more or less a perfect example of the type, with clove notes, very refreshing, your perfect thirst quencher. Thirsty? Bradley’s have this answer.
St Bernardus Abt 12, 10%
Another big delivery from the Belgians, the big here referring to the alcohol at 10%. Not a big worry though; the beer is perfectly balanced between malty, bitter and sweet. It has fruity aromas, is full bodied with a hoppy touch on the finish.
They say: It is the pride of our stable, the nec plus ultra of our brewery. Abbey ale brewed in the classic 'Quadrupel' style of Belgium's best Abbey Ales.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Three Friends at my Table
West Cork Paella
I had three friends at my table for Saturday night dinner. Well, not really. But I did have the fantastic produce from Kanturk’s Jack McCarthy, West Cork’s Anthony Cresswell and the Loire’s Sebastien du Petit Thouars.
Anthony’s Ummera Smoked Chicken, bought in the Brown Thomas Food Emporium, was the main ingredient of the main dish. Ummera is the only Irish producer of smoked chicken and we used it in a special recipe by Clodagh McKenna: West Cork Paella.
When checking the list of recipe items, we found ourselves short a few and that led to a tour of the local shops. Supervalu had the Risotto Rice but no Chorizo. Coolmore, our local butchers, were out of a possible substitute, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Mexican or Italian Sausage, so we ended up in Aldi and got a Spanish Chorizo. Hard, if not impossible, to get Desmond cheese these days so Castlemary Farm’s award winning Goat Cheddar substituted and played a blinder!
Indeed, though I forgot the lemon wedges,the whole dish was excellent, full of great flavours. You can take it will be done again, this time with the Gubbeen chorizo! So well done to Anthony for the chicken and to Clodagh for the recipe! This link will also take you to four or five other recipes for the smoked chicken.
Is that a Cork car in front?
Jack and Timmy McCarthy are doing great things in Kanturk with Irish charcuterie and we started with a platter. Highlight here was their non-smoked Pastrami with special peppers. Simply outstanding and well worth getting your hands on.
We met Sebastien du Petit Thouars at his Chateau in the Loire in August and enjoyed a couple of visits. We had a great tasting with Sebastien, Darcy and their baby daughter Elizabeth, and one of the wines we brought home was his Selection 2009. This is a superb Cabernet Franc and one of the matching recommendations on the label was for curry. So why not Cloadagh's paella, we thought! And, glad to say, it worked a treat.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
|Never know what you'll see in an Austrian field!|
FIRST SWEET STEPS
Unless you can get yourself to a tasting, you’ll have to fund your first steps into sweet or dessert wine. And quite a few of these can be
Saturday, July 24, 2010
ALDI’SAldi’s and Lidl have changed shopping habits in Ireland over the last decade. Aldi’s are the nearest to me and are used in conjunction with Dunnes Stores.
The foreign discount supermarkets have often been accused of importing much of their food but a glance around the shelves in Aldi will tell that much has changed in that regard. The Irish symbol is very prominent indeed.
Bought some Irish Organic yoghurts there the other day but it is their sausages I’d like to highlight. I always thought that O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages were well priced at six for a fiver but you can get six Brannan Irish Jumbo Sausages, with garlic and herb, for just €1.99 in Aldi. The Aldi ones are somewhat smaller but this is good value.
They wouldn’t be good value of course if the quality wasn't there but my experience suggested that it is. Cooked them up and had them with the Country Baguette from Tom’s Bakery, one of my favourite breads. Have you tried them? What did you think?
Check out my review of Aldis - I am cork - on Qype
Sunday, August 3, 2008
HERE'S A TIP>>>
Staying in tonight? You have your main course and your dessert? But forgot the starter!
Just pop in to your local Aldi – they have stores all over now. Get one of the bowls of Les Olives du Marché. They have a variety under the Crespo brand and the one I enjoyed lately consisted of pitted green olives with chilli and parsley. Top class and you get 110g, with cocktail sticks included, for just €1.79.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
THE ALTERNATIVE VENUE
When the Irish pubs started to push up their prices on a regular basis, more and more people started to drink in the house. Could the same thing happen with eating out? Of course, it could. The alternatives are many. I tried one recently.
Could have been one of those evenings where a booking wasn’t available or where I just didn’t feel like driving into town, parking and so on. Instead, I popped over to the local Aldi. And Aldi is becoming local everywhere.
Starter was Breaded Camembert with Cranberry sauce (€1.99). Add in some leaves from a mixed pack (€0.70) and a little dressing and the cost of a very tasty starter works out at a max of €3.00 for two.
Main course was Chicken with Apple and Cider, taken from the Readers Digest 30 Minute Cookbook. Can't reproduce it here for copyright reasons but maybe it is available on their website (http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/ )
The main ingredients, all from Aldi (except the Creme fraiche) are: Chicken (2.00), Apples (0.32), Crème fraîche (2.00), Cider (a can costs 1.36, with some left over for the chef!). Allow 0.30 for bits and pieces and that brings the total for one of our favourite dishes to an incredible €6.00 for the two.
You could have a bottle of white wine. Aldi has a range from 4.99 upwards. But a pint bottle of Old Moor’s Cider from Devon (at 1.99 each) is recommended.
Dessert is no problem. Aldi has an ice-cream yoghurt with a raspberry ripple. Four pots cost €2.00. I used two along with some raspberries. Estimated cost for the two is €2.00 max.
Leaving out the wine and/or bottles of cider, the cost of dinner came to just €11.00. Of course that doesn’t include the costs of preparation and the time but overall it was very enjoyable and could well become a trend!