The Black Pig Wine Bar

The Black Pig Wine Bar
If you find yourself sitting on a sheepskin covered bench on a painted concrete floor with a fire blazing in the stove alongside and you are trying to decide which of 80 wines you’ll sample, then you are in the Black Pig, Kinsale’s newest wine bar.

It opened on Lower O’Connell Street just a few weeks back and is operated by Gavin and Siobhan who have considerable experience from their years with the Ely Wine Bar in Dublin. It may be new but make sure to book before you go. We did last Sunday night - and found our name chalked on the wall behind our table – and were glad we did as the place filled up very quickly indeed.

Some were there for the wine, of course, but quite a few took the opportunity to enjoy the food. They have lined up some terrific local producers including The Real Olive Company, Frank Hederman, On the Pig’s Back, Milleens, Gubbeen, Golden Bean Coffees, Gurman’s Teas, Koko Chocolates, Colm O’Regan Organic Farm, Diva Boutique Bakery and Billy Connery Butchers

Many of the wines are available by the glass. In the whites, you’ll see old world favourites like Chablis and Riesling and new world wines like the Mount Difficulty Pinot Gris and the Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay from Australia. Chile (Carmenere) and Argentina (Malbec/Bonarda) are available by the glass in the reds; by the bottle you may choose the excellent Domaine de Aphillantes Cotes de Rhone Villages 2007 or, if you really love the other half, dip into the sunken treasures and come up smiling with the Close des Papes, Chateauneuf de Papes 1998 at 149 euro.

I sampled a couple of whites, at the lower end, I hasten to add. One was the organic Weingut Wagner-Stempel, Riesling Trochen, Rheinhessen 2011 and the other was the Domain Raimbault-Pineau Sancerre 2011, each at €7.20 a glass. There was a little discussion, almost an argument at the table, but we both, marginally, preferred the Riesling.

Must say we enjoyed our starters: the marinated Artichoke Hearts and the Toonbridge Buffalo Mozzarella with semi sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, both served with a generous basket of baguettes slices.

The mains were also excellent. No real surprises on the Antipasto Board (12.95) but thoroughly enjoyed the mix of Gubbeen salami and chorizo, Serrano Reserva, mature Manchego along with a bowl of olives, a tasty pesto and more artichokes heart. 

CL was also on a winner with the Frank Hederman Beech smoked organic salmon with horseradish sauce and brown bread. Needless to say there was a fair bit of swapping going on as the enjoyable evening in a busy buzzy spot unfolded, the rain and the wind outside forgotten as the fire glowed. With a cobbled terrace to the rear and a small streetside patio, it should be even better in the good weather ahead.