|Enjoying the Tapas with Alice (@fabfoodcork)|
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Friday, July 24, 2015
The Atrium is the Plaza to be
Tapas in the Clarion
The well known Atrium in the Clarion is transformed into a Spanish Plaza. Spanish chef Maria is dishing up the Tapas of her homeland here every Tuesday to Friday (5.30pm to 8.00pm). And it is not just the food that shouts Viva Espana. A new range of Spanish wines, accompanies the tapas and intensifies that relaxing feeling of being on holiday right in the middle of the city. And, if the sun isn't shining, even if it is, take a look at the colourful new seating before you sink in.
I was in for the “official launch” last week and enjoyed the food, the wine and the company. And isn't that what Tapas are all about. There is quite a selection each evening and all are reasonably priced.
You may have Patatas Bravas (a standard in all Tapas menus in this part of the world) with a spicy Tomato Salsa. Simple but always a welcome dish. My favourite was another fairly common one: the Roasted Red Pepper and Confit Potato Frittata, full of real flavour, simply and honestly prepared.
Another that made my taste buds stand to attention was the Salted Cod Croquettes with a Lemon Aioli, sharp and satisfying. Other favourites at the table included Arancini (delicious crispy fried risotto balls), Mehico Meat Balls with a smoky Tomato Sauce, and Chorizo and Roast Squash salad with sun-dried Tomato.
Adrian introduced the new range of wines to accompany the Tapas. They are supplied by Findlaters and are a good match. All are available by the glass, of course, with prices ranging from €6.50 to €9.25.
In the reds, the general favourite at our table (I didn't take a vote) seemed to be Marques de Riscal Ardo Rioja, with all the flavours and aromas typical of the region. I took a punt on the Torres Atrium Merlot - I liked the name, for a start. By the end, I loved the wine, smooth and rich and a great drop, especially with the Tapas. Other reds were Torres Mas Rabell and Innurrita Norte.
I didn't get as much feedback on the whites but I do know and like the Riscal Rueda. This Verdejo is very versatile and obviously a good choice for Tapas. The Innurrita Sauvignon Blanc from Navara also came in for praise. The others, and I’m sure they were all fine, were Torres Mas Rabell and the Olvena Chardonnay.
It turned to be a very enjoyable evening and a big thanks you to Sonia and Donna and the staff of the Atrium, the inner courtyard of the Clarion (celebrating ten years in business), for looking after us so well. See you soon!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
CHRISTENING THE RIEDEL
with a couple of Reservas
As you may know from a post earlier this week, I bought myself some Riedel glasses in town on Saturday. They were marked down from 25 to 15 euro. Needed something decent for the first use and so I settled on two recent acquisitions, both from Spain. The christening party went well!
FINCA MUSEUM VINEA RESERVA, TEMPRANILLO 2005, CIGALES, 14%, €8.00 TESCO, 4.5 STARS
This is made from the fruits of 60 year old vines, has been aged for 18 months in oak and has then spent two years in the bottle. Well worth the wait.
Colour is close to black and there are aromas of dark fruit (plums, cherries). First impressions in the mouth are of fruit, spice and acidity. Warm wavelets of concentrated fruit slip and slide around the mouth and then the wine is slow to go, as if sorry to do so. And you are sorry to feel it fade away.
FERNANDO CASTRO CASTILLO SANTA BARBARA, VALDEPENAS GRAN RESERVA, TEMPRANILLO 2001, 13%, €6.99 O`DONOVAN`S, 4 STARS
Picked up this lovely award winner at half price in my local O’Donovan’s. Colour is of dark cherry and the nose is of dark fruits and hints of pepper. It is fruity, spicy and dry on the palate. The fruits, black and red, feature as does the spice, in a complex multi-layered mouthful which lingers as it leaves.
More on the wine here.
Spanish aging terms:
|Crianza||Total stored 24 months, at least 6 months in oak|
|Reserva||Total stored 36 months, at least 12 months in oak|
|Gran Reserva||Total stored 60 months, at least 24 months in oak|
Thursday, September 15, 2011
THE BIG SPANISH WINE SHOW
“Wines from Spain: Changing Ways 2011” was the name of the big Spanish wine show that was held in the Imperial Hotel (Cork) yesterday. El Gordo (The Big One) is associated with the Spanish lottery but there was no gamble in
Thursday, September 1, 2011
September 15th, September 15th, September 15th ...Save this date!
October 10th, October 10th, October 10th .......... Save this date too!
September 15th is the date for the first ever Wines from Spain Tasting in Cork City. Here is your first chance to see what is on offer in Cork......
The Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain is pleased to announce their first ever Spanish Wine Tasting to members of the wine press and trade of Cork. The Wines from Spain: Changing Ways, which will take place on the September 15th at the Imperial Hotel, Cork City.
Over 180 wines, will be on show at Wines from Spain Tasting with the collaboration of 17 Irish importers of Spanish Wine. To view all importers and wines participating this year and download pictures, please view the Wines from Spain's Irish blog: http://
October 10th is the date for the Annual Wines from Spain Tasting in Dublin, this is the event's 7th year running in Dublin. The Wines from Spain: Changing Ways will take place at the Shelbourne Hotel.
2011 sees the return of the ever popular Christmas Stars competition, this year the competition will be on the best Sherries available in Ireland. The results of which will be sent in time for all Christmas publications. Another first this year is the introduction of a Jerez Room exclusively showcasing the best Jerez wines in Ireland.
Over 350 wines, the highest number yet, will be on show at Wines from Spain Tasting with the collaboration of 19 Irish importers and 15 Spanish wineries seeking representation. To view all importers, wines and wineries participating this year and download pictures, please view the Wines from Spain's Irish blog: http://
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
BESO DE VINO OLD VINE GARNACHA 2009, (Cariñena, Spain), ABV 13.5%, RRP €9.99, Stockists , 4 stars
I’ve often seen “grows on you slowly” as a descriptor in wine tasting. So, maybe half the bottle is gone before you realise you’ve got a good one? Well, there’s no danger of wasting any of this warm super-tasty red.
The warm hello comes on first contact: “Howya doin’ old stock?” And it is old stock, as the fruit (100 per cent Garnacha) is from old vines, vines with an average of 40 years to be more precise. Later, that veteran Garnacha spends four months in new French oak before the product is released.
Then it is good to go, keen to please and the experience is totally satisfactory, especially when you consider the price is just €9.99! Antonio, the little bull fronting Beso de Vino, can be proud of this one. It is a bit like himself, friendly and confident.
Antonio boasts that there is lavender in the nose. Not too sure about that, he can be a bit of chancer at times, but there is certainly the aroma of black cherries there. The fruity mouthfeel is big, for sure, but the dense fruit rush is held in check by the almost unobtrusive tannins to give a well balanced wine with quite a pleasant finish.
Just to underline the quality, Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate Robert Palmer gave it 89 points.
I know many will just twist off the screw-cap and pour. But take a second and look at that cap. You will see three little holes in it. I’m told they are not made by Antonio’s horns. So why are they there? Check it out here.