Showing posts with label Dunnes Stores. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dunnes Stores. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Convenient Food from the English Market!

Convenient Food from the English Market!

You want to avoid being stuck in the kitchen on a hot summer's day - and we will have them! You'd prefer to be in the garden enjoying some nice food. 

Here's one suggested meal solution, based on a quick visit to the English Market. "Ingredients" include the always superb Smoked Chicken from Ummera (buy at the Good Food shop). The Sushi is available from the Maki stall. The olives were a present from Spain while the Glenilen Mango and Passionfruit Cheesecake is widely available from various farmers' markets and Dunnes Stores.

Ummera Smoked Chicken is added to

Thursday, April 18, 2024

You can drink this French Albarino "with anything that lives in the sea"

Laurent Miquel Côte 238 Pech Gentille Albarino Aude (IGP) 2022, 12.5% ABV

€15.00 Dunnes Stores

You can drink this French Albarino "with anything that lives in the sea"

This bright Albarino comes in a lovely light gold robe. The nose is pleasantly perfumed with fresh citrus. And that zestiness (along with peach) is also a feature on the palate where it is light and elegant with a cloak of bracing freshness. 

Our Pech Gentille is a crisp, light and refreshing one produced from the Albarino grape. It may not be from the traditional areas of Spain’s Rias Baixas and Portugal (where it is known as Alvarinho) but is one to note. Highly Recommended. Be sure and keep an eye out for special offers in Dunnes; I got this for €12.80 during their French Wine Sale.

Looking out from a Roman hill-top fort, Oppidum d'Enserune, 
located near Béziers in the Languedoc, not too far from
Cessenon-sur-Orb where Laurent Miquel operates from.

The producers suggest trying it with Oysters Kilpatrick or any way you like the crustaceans! “You can drink it with anything that lives in the sea. By the sea, preferably.” Excellent also as an aperitif.

The wine’s name 238 refers to the coordinates of the vineyard plot that the fruit comes from. “All these plots all have their own little secret. A section that gets the right amount of sun and soaks up the right amount of natural water. These areas tend to grow the vines that grow the grapes that lead to wines really worth talking about.” The Pech Gentille is harvested at night, with clarification done at low temperature before ageing.


Check my growing list of top wines for 2024


Check out my Good Value Wine List here

Monday, April 8, 2024

Looking for a wine to pair with your Ardsallagh or St Tola? This Sancerre is perfect.

Looking for a wine to pair with your Ardsallagh or St Tola? This Sancerre is perfect. 

Chateau de Chenonceau on the Cher River

Jean-Max Roger Cuvée “Genèse” Sancerre (AC) 2022, 12.5% ABV

€20.50 (16.40 in sale) Dunnes Stores

In years gone by, I used to get a fair bit of Jean-Max Roger wine from Karwig’s in Carrigaline and so was happy enough to see this in Dunnes. It was at a good price in their French Wine sale, down from the regular €20.50 to €16.40.

The Roger family are well-known for their Loire wines. This one comes from the village of Bué and is situated close to the Cher River, a tributary of the mighty Loire. The Loire wines of Sauvignon Blanc are designated Sancerre and this example is precise and refreshing, less pungent than its New Zealand counterpart (none the worse for that).

Check out  our Top Wines 2024 list (with stockists and short reviews) here 

Looking for better value? All under 20 euro. Click here

Limpid in the glass, the light gold colour invites you to come and explore its fruity and flinty aromas, its citrus led fruits (apple, pear also) in an elegant and vibrant medium-bodied wine, right through to a dry, long and flavourful finish. This particular wine has been made “by several generations of our family. It is the genesis of our estate.”

The Loire Valley is well known for its superb goats cheeses and this Sauvignon will do well with the likes of Chavignol (which you can find in Ireland) and Couronne Lochoise. The latter may not be available here but, in any case, I’d be making the ash versions of Ardsallagh and St Tola my first choices. Aside from the cheeses, fish is regularly mentioned as a pairing: grilled fish, sushi and sashimi, and it is a sensational pairing for seafood. Serve at 10 to 13 °C.


Friday, March 15, 2024

Pinot Gris. Very much at home in Alsace and this Colmar is a good one!

Domaine De La Ville De Colmar Pinot Gris Alsace (AOP) 2021, 12.5% ABV, €14.75* Dunnes Stores

Alsace -  by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

* €11.80 in 2023 French Wine Sale.

The Alsace, in the northeast of France, seems to be the place to go for Pinot Gris. 

Grapes & Wines indicates that the grape can produce really good wines in many countries “but I still go back to Alsace to see what makes it tick” and points to the climate. In Alsace where “long hang times are possible; you can pick late for dry or off-dry, and even later for sweet ones.”

Dunnes, where I bought this bottle, say the areais famed for zesty, flavourful white wines.  Pinot Gris goes perfectly with Asian cuisine…. This Pinot Gris epitomises the Alsace style…”

Domaine de la Ville de Colmar, with its centuries-old history, holds a privileged position in the heart of the famous French region.

This particular semi-dry Pinot Gris is light gold, a shiny gold, in colour. Aromas are fresh and complex with even a hint of smoke. It boasts a gorgeous fruity palate and a long finish to match.

Very Highly Recommended.

Enjoy with smoked fish, pork or veal is the advice from Dunnes while the winemaker’s recommendations are as aperitif, and with foie gras, duck breast, cheese (fish in foil, scampi, shellfish, white meats in sauce). A generous wine, an ideal partner at the table. 

Check out  our Top Wines 2024 list (with stockists and short reviews) here 

Looking for better value? All under 20 euro. Click here

In general this versatile wine may be paired with terrines, shellfish, oily fish, smoked fish, sushi, white meats, sweetbreads, mushrooms, spicy and aromatic dishes, and Asian cuisine … It really is versatile! 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Bursting with youth and audacity... Francois Martenot's Crémant De Bourgogne

Francois Martenot Crémant De Bourgogne (AOP) Brut,  2021, 12% ABV

€20.50 Dunnes Stores

€16.50 in last Autumn’s French Wine Sale

..bursting with youth and audacity..

Made in the traditional Champagne method, this Crémant is dry with beautiful flavours of lime and pear. The AOP generally encourages a wine bursting with youth and audacity…freshness and vigour. And that is exactly what you get when you pour this beauty, a pale gold colour and a fountain of bubbles rising to form a necklace around the edge of the glass.

And, with this Brut, that vivacity continues through the aromas and onto the palate which is full of flavour and is fresh and elegant with a lively acidity. Better than most entry-level champagnes and without the hefty price tag. The grapes used here are Chardonnay and Gamay,

Crémant as you know is an excellent aperitf. The French also recommend matching with main dishes such as stewed poultry with pears and dried fruits (confit de volaille aux poires et fruits secs). Serving temperatures: 4 to 8°C as a pre-dinner drink, 6 to 9°C with main meal.

Maison François Martenot is located very close to Beaune, the capital of the Burgundy wine region, in the heart of one of the nicest vineyards of France. Between Auxerre and Mâcon, Burgundy proudly offers some of the most prestigious AOPs of the world.

Check out  our Top Wines 2024 list (with stockists and short reviews) here 

Looking for better value? All under 20 euro. Click here

Crémant de Bourgogne was first made, using the Traditional vinification method (same as Champagne), at the beginning of the 19th century. The AOC status granted in 1975 laid down strict conditions for its production based on meticulously applied traditional skills to achieve high-quality vinification. Only whites and rosés qualify for the appellation. They may be blanc de blancs (from white grapes) or blanc de noirs (from white-juiced black grapes). Most are classed as brut or, less often, demi-sec. The production area is the same as that for the appellation Bourgogne.

Oh by the way, these crémant wines are not confined to Burgundy and there are quite a few to choose from including Bordeaux, Limoux, Savoie, Die (Rhone), Jura and Alsace.. even Luxembourg! You may read a little more on the subject here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Laurent Miquel “Kinsale” Faugères (AOP). "The Irish would say it was just lovely. And we'd have to agree."

Laurent Miquel “Kinsale” Faugères (AOP) 2021, 13.5% ABV 

€13.20 at Dunnes Stores.

"The Irish would say it was just lovely. And we'd have to agree."

The Laurent Miquel wines at Dunnes Stores are very good value at their regular prices. But offers, such as those available during last Autumn’s French Wine sale, give you the chance to get even more value for your Euro. I bought this vegan-friendly blend of Syrah and Grenache for €10.56. It wasn’t the only Miquel wine that I bought!

Neasa Corish Miquel tells us all about this wine. “Our Kinsale Faugères celebrates the rugged slate-dominated beauty of Faugères in the South of France, and Kinsale, the wine capital of Ireland. Ireland, my homeland, has been associated with the story of French wines over many centuries- as a French Irish couple, we are writing a new chapter. Slate terroir in Faugères stores the solar heat and imparts warm, luscious baked fruit character to this red. Serve with traditional wild boar stew or lightly grilled black pudding.  It will do well with red meats and with big-tasting fish eg tuna and salmon.

Kinsale, like quite a few South Coast ports, has a long history in wine for sure but did you know that wine is produced here? Since the 1980s, Thomas Walk has been making his unique sustainable wines, now all from the Rondo vine. Most of the wine is sold in Germany. See more, including an online ordering facility, on their bilingual website here.

Back to Miquel’s Kinsale with its aromas of ripe red fruits with herbs and spices

“The Irish would say it was just lovely. And we'd have to agree. It has lots of depth, almost like it could tell you a story or two. Plums, black cherry, black currents, with a kick. Just lovely.”

Very Highly Recommended.

You cannot miss the garrigue in this area. “The word 'garrigue' refers to the heady scent of the mix of herbs and shrubs found everywhere in the arid, wild scrublands of the Languedoc. …In our part of Southern France, the garrigue is mostly made up of wild herbs like lavender, thyme, sage and rosemary and the aromas scent the air, especially during the summer months. So can garrigue impart a taste into the red wines, and, if so, how?”The quote is from the vineyard blog (by Neasa) of Laurent Miquel. More here. 


Cazal Viel is where it all started. And long before the Miquels arrived. Right back to 1202 in fact. When the monks of Abbaye de Fontcaude made their wine here. The Miquel have been here for a while too. Since 1789. That's eight generations and counting. Cazal Viel is about a 30-minute drive from Bezier and within easy reach of the autoroutes in the Languedoc area.


Thursday, November 2, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #52. Craft with Whitefield, Lineman, Blacks, and Lomza

CorkBillyBeers #52

Recommended wines 2024

Craft with Whitefield, Lineman, Blacks, and Lomza


Whitefield Harvest Ale 5.8% ABV, 375 ml bottle Bradleys

Seasonal. Classic tastes to suit the seasons. Brewed in Tipperary.

“To celebrate each year’s harvest we brew a beer with a unique ingredient. This year we are using raspberries from Con Traas’s farm in Cahir in a blend of sour beer and weisss beer. The raspberries were added at the start of cold maceration to preserve their unique flavour.” 

Orange is the colour (opaque) here and the white head vanishes quickly. The longish cork is secured with the normal wire trap and takes some removing. Smell the beer and you get a sour whiff, no hint of the wheat beer as yet! No hint of the raspberries from the Apple Farm though I did detect a hint of crab apples. 

That refreshing sourness rushes through on the palate, a concentrated hit, some clove notes interspersed, that my palate welcomed,. Probably one of the rarest flavours I've ever tasted. But I'm not backing off. I'm ready for more, taking my time though, sipping small the more to enjoy the flavour and the refreshment.

Out on its own in more ways than one! Go for it. Very Highly Recommended.

Best before date is March 2025 (bought 10.10.23). Wonder if I got a few and kept them until ‘25! They could well be even better.

Whitefield is a small family-owned brewery dedicated to brewing authentic, traditional-style beers. “Our focus is on using the best available malt and hops from farmers and people we’ve actually met and visited. Beers are brewed using a traditional style German brewhouse, matured over many months and then we self-distribute all our beers to publicans and off licences we respect and trust. This we believe, allows us to provide you, the customer, with a genuinely authentic beer.” See our feature on the Tipperary brewer from earlier this year here



Kilohertz or kilohops, KHZ is just buzzing, just the job for the Lineman himself.

Lineman KHZ IPA, 7% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

There’s this promise on the label: “With the bitterness to refresh and the fruitiness to satisfy your hop cravings..”

Lineman’s KHZ is back after a 2-year break, “one of our dankest and funkiest IPAs thanks to the lashings of Ekuanot and Azacca we give it.”

Colour is a light orange but a very hazy one whose white head holds on for a brief moment. Aromas tell of the dankness to come. And it comes in a power-packed rush, bitterness welling across the palate as a shoal of strong citrus flavours swirl about. The dry hopping has worked like a dream but this is no heavy metal performance. It is Booker T cool and smooth, knocking out a rhythm of fruity hop aromas. Jamming it up so you don't want it to end.

Very Highly Recommended. Kilohertz or kilohops, KHZ is just buzzing, just the job for the Lineman himself.

Geek Bits

BB: 15.08.24. Bought 25.09.23 

ABV: 6.9%

Hops: Azzaca, Ekuanot, Centennial, Citra

Suitable for vegans

Format: 440 ml can


Blacks KPA Kinsale Pale Ale, 5.0% ABV, 500 ml bottle Dunnes Stores

Can’t blame folks for blowing their own trumpet! “Our world-famous KPA is all about perfect balance and amazing drinkability.” I have been drinking this since 2014 and would gladly help with that trumpet.

You know the story. This is an American-style Pale Ale bursting with Cascade and Citra Hops. Tropical and citrus flavours are beautifully balanced with malt sweetness. Loved the way the flavours spread over the palate from the first sip and that dry clean lingering finish. Indeed, linger is the word. Take your time sipping, the better to enjoy every single drop.

The Magic of Malt and Hops

The delicate balance between malt and hops is what makes this pale ale so special. Some brewers go too heavy on the malt, but this recipe allows the hops—a mix of Centennial, Cascade, and Citra—to shine through with their grapefruit, lime, and other citrus flavours. The malt still plays its part, giving the beer a delicious mouthfeel and a crisp clean finish.

This is how Blacks themselves put it: Blacks escape the mundane of the mass market, producing beers with passion, personality and lots of hops. American-style Pale Ale bursting with Cascade and Citra Hops. Tropical and citrus flavours are beautifully balanced with malt sweetness.

Very Highly Recommended

Geek Bits

Style: Top Fermented
IBU: 60
Hops: Centennial, Cascade, Citra
Best before: BB: 12.06.24 (purchased 05.10.23)
Pair: Burgers, Steaks, BBQ Meats
Released: 2013
Available: Draft, Bottle 500ml, Cans


Lomza Lager 5.7% ABV, 500 ml bottle Dunnes Stores

Spotted this Polish lager on the shelf and thought, thanks to my long-standing European spirit, that I’d give it a twirl.

Their recipe consists of nothing more than three carefully selected ingredients: water, barley malt and hops. It is distinguished by being non-pasteurised.

It certainly looks (with its gold colour and white head and millions of bubbles) like a lager. Smells like one also with its malt qualities prominent. The flavour is excellent and the beer is refreshing, a simple well-made lager.

“At Łomża we believe that simplicity is a great thing. In an increasingly complex world, we offer clarity - just the highest quality ingredients with nothing to hide. The only complicated thing about Łomża is our name.”

The Łomża brewery is one of the last remaining independent big-capacity breweries in Poland. “The decisions we make directly affect us and our business. We don’t compromise on quality. We stay true to ourselves and our aim to produce good quality, honest beer.”

Expiry date is next January. I didn't take too much notice of the non-pasteurised note even though it is flagged very clearly on the label until I photographed the bottle for this post.  The cans and bottles of pasteurised beers are run through a hot water spray that’s around 140 degrees to kill any bacteria and stop any yeast still in the beer from growing. Unpasteurised don’t get that treatment.