Showing posts with label Graham Norton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graham Norton. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

NEW. Graham Norton West Cork Marmalade Gin lands just in time for Christmas

press release

NEW Graham Norton West Cork Marmalade Gin lands just in time for Christmas

With his Own Irish and Own Pink GiN stacking up awards and accolades, Graham Norton has turned his attention to a taste of nostalgia to launch a brand-new variant, Graham Norton’s Own West Cork Marmalade GiN.


Available in store in SuperValu(RRP €39), the West Cork Marmalade GiN is carefully crafted in West Cork with Irish grains, locally sourced botanicals, and Spanish oranges. The perfect balance of premium Seville oranges and classic aromas of botanicals and is a refreshing surprise for all gin lovers. Dry in style, with a citrus twist of marmalade creates a refreshing drink that lingers on after the last drop.


On his newest addition, Graham says: “You’ve tried it on toast, now enjoy it as a toast! Spain’s famous Seville oranges give the best marmalade its unique citrus tang; now those same oranges take centre stage in my latest Irish GiN. Starting with Irish grains and locally foraged botanicals, this new variety is infused with marmalade made from premium Seville oranges and made in Ireland.”


SERVING SUGGESTION: Pour over ice with a premium tonic, with a twist of orange and a garnish of orange zest.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Very Enjoyable Wines of the World Online Tasting With Kate Barry

Wines of the World Online Tasting

With Kate Barry

Very much enjoyed my virtual visit to the weekend’s Wines of the World Tasting with our host Kate Barry. She had three wines to go through but each was anonymous, wrapped in a brown bag, for the time being. Kate made us work (fun!) to determine what we were tasting.

But she did it so well, step by step, in simple English. No online technical hiccups here, every word from Kate was loud and clear. And there were smiles, slurps, and a few laughs, easygoing all the way, a very pleasant way indeed to learn about wine - see below for next Virtual Tasting. 

Bag No. 1, a white, was first. “We will use our senses: eyes, nose, palate.” Normally, one of the first checks is to see if the wine is corked. If there’s a “damp cardboard” sensation, you’re in trouble. But no need to worry in this case as the closure is a DIAM cork that comes with a guarantee against cork taint.

Kate holds up the first of the wine: “It is lovely and bright with a medium pale colour. Hold your glass at an angle against a sheet of white paper and you can see it’s of medium intensity, lemon with a hint of gold.” Would the nose be medium or pronounced? “Just about medium,” said Kate. Now cover your glass with a hand, swirl, smell. “Woohoo..Absolutely beautiful.” Smell now for fruit, citrus perhaps. “Lemon, lime, here.” Try now for apple and pear. Stone fruit, melon perhaps. Move on to tropical. “A hint of pineapple”. “And I think there’s a tiny bit of white pepper.”

Now we move to the palate. “Get the wine into your mouth and slurp. You’ll notice the difference!” She smiled. “The tip of the tongue will tell us whether it’s dry or not..” Are we salivating? “I think there’s a medium salivation going on, so a medium plus acidity.” Alcohol? Check the glass for legs or tears, the more tears, the more alcohol. Is there a burn at the back of the throat? “I think this is medium.”  The body? Take a sip of water (light bodied) and compare. “This is a bit more than water, so light to medium bodied.”

Now to check the flavour intensity. Medium was Kate’s verdict. Flavours include lime, lemon, green apple, a little spice, minerality (more on palate than nose) plus some stone fruit. Measure the length of the finish, how long does the flavour last? Up to five seconds is short, 5-10 medium, above 10 long.  “Eight seconds, really refreshing”. Nothing jarring here. “I think it has a loverly balance, a lovely wine. Not complex, simple and easy drinking”

So now for the reveal. Old or new world? Alcohol content? Vintage? Variety or blend? What have we been drinking? It was a Michel Lynch “Nature” Bordeaux (AOC) 2017, 12%, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, a typical blend of the region. 

Michel Lynch “Nature” Bordeaux (AOC) 2017, 12%, €16.50 Wines of the World

A lovely pale colour and silver tints, this vintage has an intense bouquet with notes of white flowers and citrus fruit. The palate fresh and harmonious, underpinned by fine intensity and noteworthy mineral tones. Grown from 100% organically grown grapes  in the Bordeaux region of France.

The wine pays tribute to Michel Lynch, one of the great names of Bordeaux wine (Irish, of course). Made from a careful selection of organically grown grapes, it contains as little sulphur as possible and has environmentally friendly packaging.

Fat Bastard Malbec Vin de France 2019, 13%, €11.50 Wines of the World

One difference between red and white wines is that red has tannins. “No tannins in white wine. Full stop!”, says Kate. “Tannins is a dry gritty sensation. Some love it, some hate it. The paler the colour, the lighter the tannin. This one is medium grippy, all integrated.”

The label says a lot here: remarkably full bodied (fat bastard), round and generous. The Fat Bastard Malbec is sourced from southern vineyards, between the Languedoc and the Gers regions. Kate took us through each of the reds in the same way as she tasted the white.

This Malbec has an intense colour with a vibrant purple hue. Elegant with aromas of black cherry and hints of vanilla and chocolate. Generous and unctuous with a delicate spicy finish. Kate: “ It’s a simple easy-drinking food wine. Lovely with a meal. Love it with a steak or Spaghetti Bolognese. Cheese too.”

A French wine created by Thierry Boudinaud, a renowned winemaker who has crafted wines from California to Chile to South Africa. It is named after a British expression describing a particularly rich and full wine.

Graham Norton’s Own Shiraz, South Australia 2017, 14.5%, €14.00 Wines of the World

The Graham Norton Shiraz is from South Australia and is a mix of fruit from different regions offering a reasonably complex, concentrated wine with a deep ruby colour. It’s a bold in aroma and on the palate, juicy wine full of character, just like the man himself! Perhaps that’s why they called it Shiraz rather than Syrah (the French name for the grape denotes, mostly, a gentler wine). 

Quite a good wine for a tasting actually. The flavours alone, mostly primary, could fill half a page of your notebook! As is often the case in Australia, the fruit comes from different areas, three in this case: “The Barossa, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek; each brings something different.”

Kate enjoyed tasting this one. “A dry wine with medium plus acidity.” She expected a high alcohol count, judging mainly by the burn at the back of throat, and she was spot on. Lots of primary fruit flavours plus some spice. Excellent finish too and well balanced. “I’m a lover of this wine and I hope you enjoyed it too.” We did, enjoyed the whole session.

Casa Silva - Live Zoom Virtual Tasting March 26th

The next live interactive virtual tasting will feature wine expert Kate Barry and Stephen Ludlam from Casa Silva. Casa Silva is Chile’s most awarded winery of the 21st Century – outstanding wines of great quality and fantastic value. It has the oldest wine cellar in the Colchagua Valley. Beneath its traditional and historic facade, however, is one of Chile’s most modern wine facilities. Should be a superb evening.  More details, including booking, here.

Kate will hold another recorded (non Zoom) tasting in mid-April. Keep an eye on the website for details. By the way, Wines of the World also do private tastings for firms and other groups.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sauvignon Blanc. Graham Norton in on the act! Cono Sur's Silencio best in Chile

Noble Grape Sauvignon Blanc
Graham Norton in on the act!
And Cono Sur's Silencio best in Chile.

Sauvignon blanc is one of the best known and best loved grapes on the planet. The Loire Valley is regarded as its heartland but it thrives too in New Zealand, especially in Marlborough, and in Chile and indeed in many other places around the world.

And it is to New Zealand that West Cork born Graham Norton went to try his hand at making a bottle. Personality in a bottle or a personality with a bottle? The answer is somewhere in between.  

Cono Sur Reserva Especial Sauvignon blanc 2013, Valle de Casablanca (Chile), 12.5%, €13.99 Bradley’s Offlicence

According to the recent Wines of South America, Cono Sur (the first winery to be recognised as carbon neutral) is “one of the most consistent and reliable wineries in the country”. The country is, of course, Chile, and this is an excellent example and Very Highly Recommended.

The pale gold colour is bright and healthy looking and there are fresh aromas of white fruit and blossoms. Fruit flavours in the crisp and elegant palate, lively acidity and a decent finish too. Ideal as an aperitif or with seafood dishes.

Graham Norton’s Sauvignon blanc 2015, Marlborough (New Zealand), 12.5%, €12.00 at SuperValu from November 6th

Norton is a shareholder in the Invivo Winery and the wines for blending were brought to him in London. Winemaker Rob Cameron came too and together they came up with a wine that quickly won a string of awards.

Critics say:
“Fresh and lively… fabulous juicy finish”.
“Tongue tingling….full of punch and personality”.
“Savvie….full of lime zest.”
Norton says: “It’s lovely! Tropical fruit...a bit of zing...cheers to that!”

Colour is just about present with hints of green. Aromas are fresh, white fruit, some herbal elements too. There is a generous flush of freshness and fruit, matched immediately by balancing acidity (just like a Norton put-down!). Must admit this is an excellent drop indeed (unlike his red chair!) and Highly Recommended.

Emiliana Sauvignon blanc 2014, DO Valle Central (Chile), 12.5%, €12.95 Bradley’s
This is an organic wine by Eco Balance, made for “relaxed everyday enjoyment. Integrity, sustainability and an earth friendly focus inspires all that we do”.

This is light yellow, green also evident, clear and bright. Aromas include herbal elements, white fruits too (including grapefruit). It is fresh and fruity with a zingy acidity, a decent mouthfeel and a moderate finish. Very good value and Recommended.

More good news for Cono Sur and chief wine-maker Adolfo Hurtado. Their Silencio Cabernet Sauvignon, launched in Dublin 12 months ago,  has been named as the best red wine in Chile, gaining an unprecedented 98 points.