Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Picpoul de Pinet, "Muscadet of the South", is the perfect seafood pairing

Picpoul de Pinet, "Muscadet of the South", is the perfect seafood pairing

Petit Roubie Picpoul De Pinet (AOP) 2021, 12.5% ABV

RRP €16.00-16.50 Stockists: Wunderkaffee, Farran/ Organico, Bantry / Ardkeen

Grocery Store, Waterford / Sonas, Newcastlewest / Field's Supervalu,
Skibbereen / Taste, Castletownbere / Mortons, Galway /
Little Green Grocer, Kilkenny / Connemara Hamper, Clifden / Scally's

Supervalu. Clonakilty / Quay Co-Op, Cork etc. etc. Mary Pawle online.

This organic French wine has a lovely mid-gold colour. Quite aromatic, a mix of floral, citrus,  and apple. Crisp on the palate, no shortage of acidity but, with white and citrus fruit on the palate and its excellent mouthfeel, it is harmonious. Dry for sure, especially towards the finish, and obviously an excellent match for oysters and shellfish (which are abundant in the growing area).  Serve at about 8 degrees for best results; I find a degree or two lower doesn’t do any harm!

Very Highly Recommended.

Picpoul is the grape name and it is found in the Languedoc and the best of it seems to be from the village of Pinet, on the edge of the Med and about 90 minutes east of Carcassonne. It is a very old grape variety and the name means lip—stinger (after its high acidity). Wine-Searcher says this Picpoul de Pinet is its most famous incarnation. “The variety's ability to keep its acidity even in a hot, Mediterranean climate makes it the perfect choice for the region, making taut, full-bodied white wines with herbal and citrus aromas.”

Importer Mary Pawle introduces this 2021 as a dry white, with a green-gold hue. Crisp and appley. “Often referred to as the Muscadet of the South, it is excellent with oysters and most shellfish.”

"Petit Roubie Picpoul is very popular. I've been importing it for about

15 years now and at that time it wasn't so widely known here but now
it's everywhere. The Petit Roubie is excellent...".

Château Petit Roubié has been practising organic farming since 1985. Floriane and Olivier Azan have owned the estate since 1981 and have developed, thanks to a judicious choice of winemaking, a very attractive range indeed. 


Check out our Top 2023 Wines here.


Check out the Good Value Wine List here


Their lands are in a historic area; if you visit, you can still see vestiges of the Via Domitia (the Roman road) in their scrubland. And those Roman engineers were building on top of an even older “road”. The wine, I’ve read, is presented in a Neptune bottle though that, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the Roman god of the sea.

Wine & Food Pairing : Seafood (shellfish, oysters, shrimps, mussels), Aperitif, Mediterranean Specialties: Squid stuffed with Sétoise, Mussels stuffed with Sétoise, Tielle, Soft cheese, Quiche with zucchinis and goat cheese

Live music, entertainment, and street food to tantalise your taste buds, at Clonakilty’s annual culinary food festival.

press release

Live music, entertainment, and street food to tantalise your taste buds, at Clonakilty’s annual culinary food festival.

Kids Zone

Nothing beats dining al-fresco! This June, the annual, family-friendly food festival will see Clonakilty’s streets transformed into a foodie haven on Saturday 17 June. The Irish Yogurts Clonakilty Street Carnival is an opportunity to sample delicious local food, mix with fellow foodies and experience a true taste of West Cork.

An unmissable foodie experience that has something for everyone. Devour your way through flavourful dishes from 3pm that include seafood linguine, grilled beef fillet sandwich, Clonakilty Blackpudding burger, Pizza al Taglio, noodles and curries, and many more. Catered for by Clonakilty’s top local restaurants and local food producers, including, Kirby’s @ The Whale’s Tail, Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Clonakilty Park Hotel, Scannells, The Emmet Hotel, Oak Fire Pizza, Clonakilty Food Company, O’Donovan’s Hotel, Alley Garden Bistro, Abacus Catering, Casey’s and John O’Brien’s Bar and Restaurant.

Kids can enjoy their very own carnival festival experience by dining and playing in the Family Fun Zone. A tasty kids’ menu, musical entertainment, and kids’ activities will all be on hand to keep them amused throughout the day at Astna Street from 11am. Free activities include a drumming workshop, kids’ disco, bouncy castles, penalty shootout, giant Jenga and Connect 4 games, mini golf, face-painting, circus workshop, stilt walkers and an autism family friendly area.

At the launch!

Entertainment throughout the day includes live music by The Kates, Ceomhltas Clonakilty, Clonakilty Brass Band, Andrew Whelton and Shanley’s House Band. Carnival goers will also have the chance to add some jazz to their step as the Clonakilty Swing Dancers (Damhsa Larthar Chorcai) will get audiences on their feet and the West Cork Drumming Group will add extra beat to the festivities.

County Cork has always enjoyed a reputation of being a unique and dynamic food destination in Ireland, and the Irish Yogurts Clonakilty Street Carnival is no exception. A real feast for the senses, this unique food and family fun festival will showcase the very best cuisine and flavours the town has to offer.

Food tickets can be purchased at €18 for adults, €7.50 for children, booking fee applies. Adult tickets include 2 meal dishes, Clonakilty ice cream, wine or soft drink. Tickets can also be purchased from Fuchsia Footwear and Kerr’s Bookshop in Clonakilty. All other activities throughout the day are FREE and streets fully pedestrianised.

When: Saturday 17th June
Where: Clonakilty Town Centre (fully pedestrianised) Time: All day from 11am

Kids Zone, Astna Square from 11am:

Drumming workshop Bouncing castles Penalty shootout Giant football target Giant Jenga

Giant Connect 4 Street bowls
Small kids play area Basketball Hoop Badminton

Mini Golf
Face painting Circus workshop Stilt walkers PLUS MORE...

Live Music (Stage and music sponsored by Casey’s, Mick Finn’s and Carbery Plastics) Astna Square
12pm – Ceomhltas Clonakilty
1pm – Clonakilty Brass Band

2pm – West Cork Drumming

Notes to Editors:

FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (See attached flyer)

Main Stage (Pearse Street)

3.30pm – Swing Dancers and DJ 4pm – West Cork Drumming Group 4.30pm – The Kates

Shanley’s Stage

6pm – Shanley’s House Band

Delicious Street Food (From 3pm Pearse Street)

Clonakilty Park Hotel
Inchydoney Lodge & Spa
Kirby's @ Whale's Tail Restaurant Casey's Bar & Restaurant
Scannells Pub
Emmet Hotel
Oak Fire Pizza
O'Donovan's Hotel / Alley Garden Bistro Clonakilty Food Company
Clonakilty Ice Cream
Abacus Catering (Kids Food)
John O'Brien's Bar & Restaurant

  • Clonakilty is a multi-award-winning, cosmopolitan town in West Cork. It became Ireland’s first ever official Fair-Trade Town in 2003 and Ireland’s First Autism Friendly Town in 2018. Awarded Best Town in Europe 2017 and winner of Irish Tidy Towns competition in 1999 (and Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town in 2012, 2017 & 2022).

  • Clonakilty is home to long-standing famous food brands including Irish Yogurts Clonakilty, Clona Dairy, Shannonvale Foods and Clonakilty Black Pudding.

  • Clonakilty is renowned for its history and picturesque scenery and is host to a vibrant music scene, regular festivals and events, cafes, and restaurants with the finest locally sourced produce, as well as a huge selection of independently owned boutique shops.

  • The first ever Clonakilty Street Carnival took place in 2016 and is an annual event in June. Since 2020, Covid restrictions put the carnival on standby and the last event was in 2019 with a maritime theme.

  • Irish Yogurts Clonakilty is an award-winning family run business making many different varieties of delicious live yogurts and Crème Fraiche since 1994.

    For press enquiries and images please contact Melissa Clarke on | 087 435 7543 

Ballyvolane House hosts Robert O’Byrne aka The Irish Aesthete for an Irish Country House Gardens talk and dinner

press release 

Ballyvolane House hosts Robert O’Byrne, aka The Irish Aesthete, for an Irish Country House Gardens talk and dinner.

On Friday 30th June, beautiful Ballyvolane House hosts Robert O’Byrne, aka The Irish Aesthete, for what promises to be a fascinating, fun and memorable evening. Robert will talk about the history of Irish country house gardens in this gorgeous setting, with a three-course dinner to follow in the dining room at Ballyvolane. 

Writer, TV presenter and lecturer specialising in the fine and decorative arts, Robert is author of more than a dozen books, including Luggala Days: The Story of a Guinness House and The Last Knight: A Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin. Robert also wrote and presented Ireland’s Historic Gardens, a two-part TV documentary examining the history of Ireland’s country house gardens over the last 400 years.

A lovely family-run country house, Ballyvolane House is set in the rolling North Cork countryside, surrounded by 80 acres of its own lush gardens and farmland dotted with cows and rare-breed pigs. Justin and Jenny Green are the third generation of family to run the property with the help of their three children, and Justin’s dad Jer Green has been restoring, developing and maintaining the gardens at Ballyvolane House for over 60 years, with extraordinary results.

At Ballyvolane everyone benefits from the planting carried out by gardeners of the distant and more recent past, as there’s an impressive array of colours and scents all throughout the year, from snowdrop drifts just after Christmas, followed by groves of daffodils, magnolias and rhododendrons in full bloom, then more rhododendrons and azaleas and glorious bluebells, wisteria and the laburnum arch, flowering in all its glory throughout June.

This magical destination is home to delicious home-grown produce from their own three-acre walled garden too, freshly gathered every day and used for the well-provided table as well as in drinks using Ballyvolane’s own award-winning small batch Irish milk gin, Bertha’s Revenge. 

Beginning at 7pm on Friday June 30th, tickets are €25 for a Bertha’s Revenge rhubarb martini and the garden talk by Robert O’Byrne, with cocktail, talk and three-course dinner (excluding wines) for €75, hosted by Robert, Justin and Jenny. Get to know Ballyvolane further and explore the picturesque and inviting gardens with an overnight stay after the event from €300, including breakfast the following morning. The gardens at Ballyvolane House will be stunning in late June so guests are welcome to come early and have a stroll around them beforehand. There are also several wonderful country house gardens in the locality such as Anne’s Grove, Lismore Castle, Tourin, Cappoquin House, Dromana and Mount Congreve, all worth exploring during a stay at Ballyvolane.

To book tickets, phone 025 36349 or email

Please visit to see all available offers.

CorkBillyBeers #26. Craft Beer Fruit and Nut. And Honey. With Galway Hooker, Clancy's Cans, Lough Gill and Bacchus

CorkBillyBeers #26

Craft Beer Fruit and Nut. And Honey. With Galway Hooker, Clancy's Cans, Lough Gill and Bacchus


Galway Hooker Honey Beer, 5.3% ABV, 500ml bottle

This Galway Hooker Honey Beer comes in an amber colour with a slightly off-white head, a soft one. The aromas are more like those of a lager, grassy and floral and just a little hint of honey. The honey does come in a wee bit stronger on the palate, adding a little sweetness but nothing over the top. Well balanced overall and quite a crisp refreshing finish.

This unique beer is a collaboration between the brewery and locally based Leahy Beekeeping “to bring you a special taste of the West of Ireland.” And it certainly does.

By the way, the ABV is given as 4.1% on the website but it is 5.3% on the bottle. IBU is 25.

No matter the figures, this is an excellent beer and is Very Highly Recommended. Indeed, I think you may like it whether you like honey or not! And a big thank you to Dermott of the Pantry and Corkscrew Restaurant in Westport for introducing me to this one!


"Both lagers and ales can be brewed with honey. Some brewers will choose to experiment with ingredients, while others will add honey to traditional styles. Overall the character of honey should be evident but not totally overwhelming. A wide variety of honey beers are available. U.S. brewers may add honey to the boil kettle (as a sugar source) or post-boil (to preserve more volatile aromatics)."


Clancy's Cans #11 Maple & Pecan Brown Ale, 7.5% ABV, 440ml can CraftCentral

Surprise, surprise. This brown ale pours into the glass and it is brown, though you might see the odd “flash” of ruby. The head is a bubbly one with a tan shade. A mild chocolate, mild caramel too and a toasty touch feature in the initial aromatics and get stronger on the palate along with a fleeting in and out sweet input from the roasted pecans (not so much from the syrup). Quite complex and long-lasting on the finish. That fresh sweet-sour taste is, the producers say, typical for this type of beer.

And you come across that too in Ballykilcavan's highly regarded Bambrick's Brown Ale. This is, after all, the Export strength version of Bambrick’s. 

Highly Recommended.

Oddly enough, I’ve scoured the Ballykilcavan site for a mention of Clancy’s Cans but nary a sign. Why? I wonder. The label comes to the rescue with some info: “a limited edition series of cans.  We’ve called them Clancy’s Cans, in recognition of the five generations of the Clancy family who have worked and continue to work on the farm."

The label sums it up: “Dark chocolate and burnt toffee meets sweet nutty sweetness.” And advises to enjoy it between 7 and 11 degrees.

Yes, Maple essence and Pecans are included in the ingredients list.

It has much the same ABV as Old Brown, a dark beer from Mayo’s Mescan with a mild sourness, of the type that has been brewed in West Flanders since the 17th century. Enjoyed one of those a month or so back in that superb Westport restaurant The Pantry and Corkscrew. The Mescan, which is matured in oak barrels for more than two years, is somewhat ahead of this one.


Lough Gill Macadamia Nut Brown Ale, 5.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

Lough Gill emphasise that “This Brown Ale is brewed with real Macadamia nuts, roasted in our own kitchen, along with top quality malts and hops for a rich nutty flavour and luxurious dark brown colour.”

It has been around for a while and is definitely a favourite here. Colour is a rich dark brown with hints of red leaking through occasionally. Aromas are from the roasted nuts, mostly. And lead to a decadent sweet and roasty flavour on the luxurious palate and note that outstandingly smooth texture. No need to change my opinion on this one, a winner every single time.

Very Highly Recommended.

Attention to detail has paid off for Lough Gill. “Things were getting a bit squirrely over here; it must be the trays upon trays of macadamia nuts we hand-roasted for this beer. Some would say we’ve gone nuts – but taking our time over each and every step is part of what makes every one of our craft brews unique.”


Bacchus Kriekenbier (Cherry Beer), 5.8% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys

Looking for a refreshing fruit beer? This is one.

Cheery cherry beers are quite the thing in Belgium. This one comes in a dark robe but there’s a red glow off it. The off-white head doesn’t stay around for long. No mistaking the cherries in the aromas or on the palate either. In the mouth though there is quite a bit of tart acidity which results in a sweet and sour taste. Quite a thirst quencher! Serve at about 5 degrees.

The name tells you this is a beer with cherries. And the ingredients list names cherry juice, cherries, and cherry flavour.

They say: The basis for this surprising cherry beer is Bacchus Vlaams Oud Bruin (Bacchus Flemish Old Brown). During the brewing process, the brewer adds roasted malts to this Flemish red-brown beer. By the way, we enjoyed a bottle of that Old Brown recently 

Some Other Belgian Krieks:




Kriek De Ranke;

Cantillon Kriek;

Mort Subite Kriek;

Floris Kriek;

Boon Kriek

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


press release



Family-owned producer recognises impact of food inflation by absorbing rising costs

Pictured with Valerie Kingston are children Edward Sweetnam, Éabha Deane and Charlie Salter. Picture: Alison Miles / OSM PHOTO

Glenilen Farm has become the first Irish-owned company to introduce yoghurt pouches to the market. The family-owned West Cork food producer has launched a convenient and multifunctional range of yoghurt pouches for adults and children.

The brand carried out extensive research and found consumers were looking for nutritional yoghurts with multiple benefits. In response, Glenilen Farm developed a dual action range of products combining gut friendly kefir and 15g of protein in each 160g pouch.

Glenilen Farm Kefir Protein is available in strawberry and mango flavours. Its kefir is a fermented, spoonable yoghurt with 14 strains of live cultures. Consumers also have the option of choosing a larger 350g pot which contains 33g of protein. 

The kids yoghurt pouches are designed to take the mess out of enjoying yoghurts on the go. They’re packed with gut-friendly cultures and are available in vanilla and strawberry. The new products will be available in supermarkets across the island of Ireland.

Glenilen Farm began in the kitchen of Valerie and Alan Kingston’s home in Drimoleague in 1997. The husband and wife team made use of an abundant supply of milk creating cheesecakes and yoghurts for the local country market. The company now employs over 50 people, producing a wide variety of yoghurts using milk from neighbouring farms. 

Valerie Kingston says,  “We are really excited about our new kids yoghurt pouches. The pouch means it’s easier to enjoy on the go without the need for a spoon. It has a resealable cap which also helps to cut down on any unnecessary food waste. Our team is constantly looking at ways to innovate using simple, natural ingredients and our new range is backed up by research into what consumers want. We’ve also created pouches for adults and older teenagers, combining protein, an essential part of a healthy diet, with kefir.”

2023 marks the third year in a row in which Glenilen Farm has absorbed a large number of the rising costs facing its business, meaning its own price inflation has remained below 1% in that time. 

Valerie Kingston added, “Food inflation is now at 14% which is a huge worry for families. The rising cost of groceries is having such an impact on people that we made a conscious decision not to raise our prices. Instead we have absorbed the increasing commodity costs for the last three years. Many of the key yoghurt brands on the market continue to be imported from outside of Ireland, we hope that consumers will continue to buy local and support jobs.”

The dairy brand is looking forward to taking part in Bord Bia Bloom in Phoenix Park from June 1st to 5th where they will be showcasing their new products and launching the new range to consumers at the event.

One Night Only - A Taste of The Caribbean in Cork. Paladar x Lil Portie Thursday, 8th June

press release

One Night Only - A Taste of The Caribbean in Cork 

Paladar x Lil Portie Thursday, 8th June, Paladar

Paladar welcomes Lil Portie to Cork Thursday 8th June, for one night only. Diners can expect a summery fusion of exotic flavours and Irish produce including dishes like Salt Fish and Chips -  a Jamaican-style salted cod fritters with plantain chips and Caribbean tartare sauce, Jerk Panca Pork Belly with Peruvian Panca Glaze and a signature Lil Portie Ceviche, a fresh citrus cured fish dish with Amarillo chilli tiger milk. 

Nico Reynolds describes his Lil Portie cooking as ‘zesty and spiced West Indian cooking with flavours from Latin America with a familiar Irish accent, drawing influence from Ireland, the Caribbean, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and Cuba.’ 

This will be the first guest takeover at Paladar since it opened last October. Paladar’s co-owner Andy Ferreira said, “I'm so thrilled to have Nico as our first chef take over. His style of cooking and his approach to food is so refreshing. For one night only, our guests can experience a night of vibrant food, great music, and banging cocktails.”

Nico said, “It’s my first time cooking as Lil Portie for a while and I couldn’t be more excited to pair up with the team at Paladar, and just as excited with the prospect of cooking in Cork. We’ll be focusing on small plates paired with world-class cocktails using different influences from around the Caribbean and South America using the best of Irish ingredients.” 

Nico first founded Lil Portie in 2018 bringing mouth-watering dishes to Rathmines in Dublin. He has hosted RTE One’s ‘All Fired Up’, a show based on Lil Portie Caribbean-inspired barbeque dishes, and has also appeared on many international TV shows with his unique style of cooking. 

Located at 6 Bridge Street, Cork City, Paladar is a vibrant and eclectic cocktail bar seating up to 65 people. It features art and sculpture from renowned Latin American and Irish artists, including a spectacular glass installation by Glanmire-based Eoin Turner Studio, with plants from Cork Rooftop Farm. The food is just as exciting, with small plates inspired by Caribbean Islands, Central and South America. 

Tickets are €15 per person and include a welcome cocktail. Booking is necessary as places are limited. To book email 

Keep up to date with the latest news by following Paladar on social at @PaladarCork