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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
GOOD IRISH FOOD AND FINE WINE AT TESCO
All the supermarkets are basking in reflected glory after the recent announcement of the Blás Na hÉireann Awards in Dingle. Dunne’s Store, Lidl, Aldi, Supervalu and even Superquinn had winners on sale across the board. Tesco’s own brands won a silver for their Irish Yogurt (Finest Madagascan Vanilla Yogurt for Tesco).
But Tesco also have other Blas winners on their shelves as I found out when I visited their Mahon store yesterday, on a quest for good Irish food and fine wines. The award winners I spotted – there could well have been more – were Folláins jams and Butlers chocolates.
It is a tough market out there for Irish produce and these awards sure help lift the profile. The fight to win shelf space is ongoing, particularly for our chocalatiers, and I have seen, both in the English Market and on the Tesco shelves yesterday, how hard it is for them.
Butler’s, in fairness, have a good presence but it is difficult to spot other Irish produce in the inviting display. So I was glad to see the capital Á, in a Gaelic type script. Checked it out and sure enough the Áine choc bars came from Cavan, from the multi-award winning Áine’s Chocolate in Stradone Village www.chocolates.ie
Treated myself to two bars, in the cause of research of course, at 2.50 each. Only one has been tested so far and that is Áine Or. This 33% milk chocolate 100 gram bar is set to make friends everywhere. It has a smooth creamy almost caramel like centre but it is all chocolate, all gorgeous, and indulgent. Looking forward to sampling the other one, a Lime Zest in 70% Dark Chocolate.
Glenilen Yoghurts didn't feature in the Dingle prizes but they are still my favourite and we picked up a big pot of the Raspberry one from €2.25. Lots of soups and readymade meals from Irish makers including Cully & Sully and Taste a Memory. Delighted too to see the Just Food range there and popped their Minestrone Soup and Spicy Lentil Soup into the trolley.
Then I turned my attention to the wine area where Wine Festival banners were hung and many reductions trumpeted. I had a shortlist and got the four I was after, some at a reduced price.
1- Tagus Creek, Shiraz and Trincadeira, Alentejano, Portugal 2010, €8.69;
2- Tingleup Vineyard Riesling, Great Southern, Western Australia 2010, €11.99;
3- McWilliams Mt Pleasant Cellar Release, Elizabeth, Semillon, Hunter Valley, NSW 2006, €10.00;
4- Coteaux du Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet 2010, €7.00.
Their Ogio Primitivo had been recommended by Tom Doorley on Twitter and I bought a bottle for 6 euro and then there was an impulse buy (isn’t there always) a Vinea Reserva Tempranillo, Cigales 2005, reduced to €8.00.
Looking forward to trying out that lot.