Showing posts with label Red Nose Wines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Nose Wines. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2018

CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest. Wines, Spirits and Beers. Hurry over to Leslie!

CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest
Wines, Spirits and Beers

Hurry!!! Leslie Williams to host Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser this evening.
Leslie's ready for you!

“Nasc will be hosting our Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser on Friday 7th December 2018, in conjunction with Crawford & Co.

Where: Crawford & Co., Anglesea Street, Cork
When: Friday 7th December at 6:30 PM

Tickets are €25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite (

Proceeds will go towards maintaining Nasc's free legal service, which provides support to refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrant families.

The event will be hosted by Sommelier Leslie Williams of the Irish Examiner.

Attendees will sample red and white wines, bubbly and port. They will also receive nibbles and be in with the chance of winning one of the many spot prizes up for grabs via our raffle.

Please join us on the night and help support Nasc's work!

For more information, visit our website:"

West Cork Brewing at Fionnbarra’s
A Birthday Party. December 8th from 8.00pm
Roaring Ruby - a super red ale

Hosted by West Cork Brewing Company
“Hi everyone! Its our 4th Birthday soon so we have decided to organise a special shindig in Fionnbarra Bar on December 8th for all our friends and customers! We will have a tap takeover on the night with Sherkin Lass, Roaring Ruby,The Rapids Rye Ale and a special keg of Breakfast in Baltimore Stout for one night only!
Delicious nibbles, special prizes and great beer are just the start of what the night has to offer!! Hope to see ye all there :-)”

Hey Dudes. It’s Flower Power for the Bees.
The Friary Saturday 8th at 7.00pm

“Hey brothers and sisters, it's time to hang loose and give some love (and moolah) to our awesome bee buddies - 60's flower power-style! We invite you to The Friary for a night of psychedelic music, shirts and flares, way out tunes, out of sight prizes, raffles and boss brews.

And all the righteous cabbage (cash :) ) we raise will go to our good amigos in Ballincollig Tidy Towns who are installing and maintaining bee-friendly sites just outside the city.

We'll have food (including brownies - not that type!), Honey Moonshine and mead cocktails (thanks to Blacks Brewery&Distillery and Kinsale Mead Company) and the Mostest Groovy Costume prize. DJ Mike Darcy will play 60's classics all night and also your requests :D The Hippie Wheel of Fortune will be going all evening for free drinks.”

Clonmel’s Red Nose Wine are ready for you!

with Christmas Offers and Sunday Openings 
“As announced last week, our Christmas Specials are now ready for you all.

You can pick up a copy of the offers here ( and also our Corporate / Gift brochure for all your gift needs ).

We also have a range of new wines ( Italy, Spain and France ) that just arrived today, and we will have loads open to try all the way to Christmas.

And we are now open Sundays ( from 2-5 ) all the way to Christmas. A good day to call in if you have a busy week.” 

O’Brien’s Wines Limerick. Christmas Tasting
In Store from 4.00pm to 8.00pm, this Friday.
The Parkway Shopping Centre.

Festive Night: 18 different suppliers popping in. Whiskeys Gins Wine Craft Beer Brandy's and cocktail making.

Note too that O’Brien’s Fine Wine Sale nationwide ends at close of business next Sunday the 9th. Here are a few to tempt you:
insert pic from downloads.

Riojan Vineyard Turns Back The Clock - by 50 Years!
Now Arturo and his brother Kike, who joined Artuke in 2010 and spends most of his time on the vineyards, work their land like it was done 50 years ago and have returned to macerations that last six days (“if you work well in the vineyard and have moderate yields, there’s no need to force things at the winery”), cement containers, wooden vats and large 500- and 600-litre barrels, although they still use stainless steel tanks. 

Read the full story (via Spanish Wine Lover) here 

The Growing Wine World: Everyone Wants In, according to Wine-Searcher

Wine drinkers live in all parts of the globe and the wine world needs to adapt.
By James Lawrence | Posted Wednesday, 28-Nov-2018

If one were to imagine the most likely destination for an ambitious sommelier to thrive and prosper, the United Arab Emirates might, to put it mildly, not come very near the top of the list.
Yet despite the theoretical confines of Islam in the Middle East, record numbers of students are enrolling on WSET programs in the region, while leading hotel chain Jumeirah has started running courses in-house for staff. read more here .

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Excellent Portuguese Reds. + Wine Briefs

Herdade do Peso Trinca Bolotas Alentejo (DOC) 2016, 14%, RRP € 19.99

It’s a vinho tinto (red wine), a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional and Aragonez (Tempranillo). It has a vibrant mid ruby colour and intense ripe berry aromas. Fruity and dry, full-bodied, very well balanced with a prolonged finish. Thanks to the equilibrium of tannins, acidity and fruit, this is an excellent food wine and Very Highly Recommended.

After malolactic fermentation, the wines are transferred to French and Caucasian oak barrels, where they are matured for around six months. To maintain its high quality, the wines are bottled without cold stabilisation. It may thus throw a slight deposit during bottle-ageing.

Serve: Trinca Bolotas Red should be served at between 16ºC-18ºC.

I read the story of the local pigs on the bottle label: This pig is part of the "Porto Preto" breed, and meat from this pig is called black pork (pata negra i.e. black hoof). During the fattening-up phase, these pigs, which have never been crossbred, roam freely over the countryside and eat the acorns of holm oaks and seeds of cork oaks that are native to the area. The acorns are the secret that makes these pigs so special. The Alentejo pig or black pig (porco alentejano, porco preto) is a native of Portugal, the only surviving species of grazing pig in Europe. It is a gastronomic treasure, part of local cuisine since time immemorial. See more on the ham here.

The Alentejo pigs are classed as Iberian and therefore may be used to make the much desired Iberico ham (of which the Bellota is the highest standard of quality). So the Iberian pig is not exclusively Spanish. And if you can get your hands on the Portuguese ham, you know where to get a lovely wine to match it!

Casa Ferreirinha Esteva Douro (AOC) 2016, 12.5%, RRP €14.99, Stockists include JJ O’Driscoll Cork, The Cinnamon Cottage Cork, Bradley’s Cork,

Mid ruby is the colour of this Highly Recommended Portuguese wine. Intense aromas feature fruits and floral plus a hint of spice. Light red fruits too and again some spice on the harmonious palate with polished tannins a benign factor. There is good acidity and the finish is long and dry. 

It is a welcome wine at the table. You could well come across it on restaurant lists - I enjoyed it recently at Killarney’s Great Southern - if you do see it, go for this easy drinking example of Douro reds.
Like many Portuguese wines, this is a blend and the grape varieties are Tinta Roriz (40%), Tinta Barroca (35), Touriga Franca (15) and Touriga Nacional (10).

Wine Briefs

Red Nose Wine
"We will keep this simple and tell you that we have added 10 more wines to the special 25-30% Offer wines and we even left a few from the last list on. You can see what wines are now on sale ( they include Mirabello Pinot Grigio, Gassac Picpoul30 Mile Shiraz, Chateau ValcombeBordeaux  and many more ) 

Lots open for tasting and don't forget, the Ladder SALE is still on until the end of the month

Beautiful Wines at Beautiful Prices."

Chateau Feely is a winery in Saussignac, a winery with an Irish interest. The excellent wines are imported by Mary Pawle. 

News from Chateau Feely

Harvest 2018 took place under gorgeous Indian summer conditions. The good weather meant no need to rush and perfect timing for all the wines. Quality is excellent and quantity is more than last year's frost affected vintage but not as much as 2016. Read on for news of this happy harvest, the early season tour and course schedule, accommodation and more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Big Bold Zinfandel from Down Under. Plus Wine News in Brief!

Big Bold Zinfandel from Down Under
New to SuperValu Range

“We’re living in an age when great big gobfuls of super-ripe juicy red fruit win a lot of plaudits in the wine world. Well, step forward Zin.” 

The quote is from Grapes and Wines as they introduce their account of the Zinfandel grape. No doubt that Zin is a “big robust” grape and revels in hot climates such as California and South Australia and south-east Italy (where it is known as Primitivo). These two are pretty well balanced, very approachable, and will go well with steak, burger, BBQ.

Nugan Estates started as a broad-based agricultural company over six decades ago but are quite a young wine company, only going into grape growing in 2001. They are now a "veritable giant" according to James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia who also says that unlike some, Nugan "has built its business on quality rather than low prices."

Nowadays, with Matthew Nugan in command, they have a very successful export business and are the 13th largest exporter of branded Australian wine. To mark the launch of the two wines into the SuperValu portfolio earlier in the year, the company confirmed they  are “building on new found determination to further develop and improve the Nugan Estate brand and its legacy”. We look forward to that.

Nugan Langhorne Creek Single Vineyard Zinfandel (South Australia) 2015, 15%, €13 (Was €15.99). On offer from Thurs 18th – Wed 31st October  

Eighteen months in oak (new and seasoned French and American) has helped concentration and depth here and rich aromas are also promised.

Colour is dark ruby and, true enough there are intense aromas of jammy fruit. On the palate, it is fruity and juicy, pepper and spice, but this big bold wine is balanced, persistent fine tannins and well integrated oak and the high alcohol all playing a role. A hint of caramel and vanilla add a sweetish note in a good finish. This single vineyard Zinfandel, exclusive to SuperValu, is a great mate for BBQ and burger.

Nugan La Brutta Zinfandel Petite Sirah 2016, 15%, €12 (Was €14.99). On offer from Thurs 18th – Wed 31st October  

Just spotted on an electronic advert “Unleash the beast” on the side of a pitch holding a Premier League game as I was  unleashing this Australian beast, simply by twisting the screwcap. 

Nugan do seem intent on letting us know that Zin is big and bold, especially here where it’s blended with Petite Sirah. This Sirah is not related to Syrah or Shiraz at all; it is the same grape as Durif and grown mostly in California and in other very warm areas such as Australia. The fruits for this one are grown in Langhorne Creek (South Australia) and the Riverina (New South Wales).

Colour is a deep purple. There are seriously intense aromas, mainly plum. Bold fruit flavours rush across the palate, full-bodied, robust and spicy, with smooth velvety tannins that persist through to a good finish. Like ‘em big? This one’s for you.

Some rather humourous bottle notes tell us that La Brutta is Italian for beast, going on to say this beast takes no prisoners and “make no Mis’steak this is a wine to enjoy with MEAT! A wine that cuts the mustard."

The advert on the football pitch also refers to a drink, the Monster Energy Drink. By coincidence, there is a red bull on the front label of the wine but no sign of wings! 

Wine News in Brief

News from Gary Gubbins at Red Nose Wines about his new Rhone Supplier

“Did you know that the southernmost tip of the Rhone Valley is  actually in Costières de Nîmes ( which lies at the crossroads of the Rhone, Provence and the Languedoc ). We are delighted to finally do business with Chateau de Valcombe – they have 6 wines including 2 organic wines. The vineyard is in fact fully organic but only a small section is currently certified. The rest is in conversion and all will be certified soon.

The certified organic wines have a very particular name. No Sex for Butterfly and its all about a vineyard management technique involving pheromones - click on the wines to understand more. The red is 100% Syrah and the white a blend of Rousanne, White Grenache and Viognier. 

Cliff Townhouse
Spend a leisurely, pleasurable and informative Sunday afternoon (Oct 21st) in Cliff Townhouse with Wines from Spain and Susan Boyle, exploring some of the delicious wines of DO Navarra.
Susan will introduce a selection of wines from Navarra, the unique wine region in northern Spain, close to the Pyrenees, where wine has been produced since Roman times. Stretching 100 kilometres from the valleys of Pamplona to the plains of the Ebro river, the diversity of the climate and landscape of the DO help to produce a variety of diverse and different styles of wine. More details here

Rhone Wine Week takes place from 3rd to 10th November in venues all over Ireland. So if you’re a fan of Rhone Valley wines, keep an eye out for promotions and events. You can check out the website for full details here:


The Most Fun Way to Learn About Wine

Friday 16th November 7.00pm 
As the October date sold out very quickly, we have scheduled another Speed Tasting for November 16th.   
Open to anyone who likes wine, socializing, having fun and, above all, enjoys a challenge.

Here’s how it works: we teach you the basics of how to taste wine and then it’s over to you – you taste 6 wines over the course of the evening – but you’ll be on the move: a different table, a different wine, different co-tasters. And here’s the fun part… taste all the wines blind (i.e. we won’t tell you what each wine is) - it’s up to you to work with your co-tasters to try to guess based on the information provided at the start. There’s a prize for the person who correctly identifies all 6 wines. 

Price €30pp - includes Prosecco reception, introduction to wine tasting, taster of 6 wines & canapés.  

The O'Briens Wine Festival - Winter Edition returns and we cannot wait to welcome you and our winemakers back to Dublin and Cork! With over 300 wines to try and over 60 of the world's best winemakers in attendance, this is a wine lover's event not to be missed!

Clear your diary for Saturday 17th November - Sunday 18th November in Dublin at the The Printworks, Dublin Castle and Thursday 15th November in The Clayton Hotel, Lapps Quay, Cork.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bauduc’s Superior Red Double

Bauduc’s Superior Red Double

Summer (2014) tasting at Bauduc

Chateau Bauduc Close de Quinze 2012, Bordeaux supérieur, 14% abv, €18.99 at Red Nose Wines

This single vineyard blend, of Merlot (85%) and Cabernet Sauvignon, is supple and fruity, a classic Bordeaux, produced by English couple Gavin and Angela Quinney in their lovely vineyard, Chateaux Bauduc near Créon, in between the Garonne and Dordogne.

This is a very dark red, almost black, with ripe red fruit on the nose. It is a Bordeaux supérieur, for sure, but with a certain restraint, sophistication even. There's no mistaking its fruit, supple and pervasive all over the palate, right through to a delightful long and dry finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Château Bauduc 'Les Trois Hectares' Rouge, Bordeaux supérieur 2010, 13.5%, €28.00 Curious Wines & Red Nose Wines

“We only make Les Trois Hectares red in really good years, like 2010. The grapes come from the three best parcels of Merlot and the wine is aged in new and one-year old French oak barrels.”

I tasted this Merlot last June during a very pleasant visit to Gavin and Angela at Bauduc and it was marvellous. Now, in depths of winter, it still comes up trumps, full flavoured and elegant. No difficulty in seeing why the 2006 was the top selling red at Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelin star restaurant in London. Indeed, the Ramsey tasting crew had left the chateau just before we arrived.

Another Very Highly Recommended red from the outskirts of Créon. Indeed, if you are on holidays in the area, why not make a visit. But do contact them before you do so. Better again, why not stay there as they have a large house, with pool, to let in the grounds! Info here

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gavi: a wine off freshness and simplicity

BRICCO DEI GUAZZI GAVI DOCG 2010, 12.5%, €11.99 Red Nose Wines

This is bright in the glass with a light honey colour. Micro bubbles cling to the glass. The nose is delicately aromatic. On the palate, it is fresh and fruity (more apple than melon for me) with a whisk of acidity.

This dry white is made in Piemonte, in the north west of Italy, and the grape, apparently native to the area, is 100% cortese.

Quality of Gavi can vary a bit but most are cool, clean and crisp. That excellent book Vino Italia says: "Gavi is usually a wine of freshness and simplicity, which may not be fashionable but is often pleasurable.”

And that pretty much sums up this lively Red Nose offering, another alternative to add to your white wine rota. Enjoy with pasta, salads, fish and shellfish.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Icon of French winemaking coming to Ballymaloe

Colm McCan, sommelier at Ballymaloe, has been in touch to tell me they "are very much  looking forward to Samuel Guibert's first visit to Ballymaloe".

Icon of French winemaking coming to Ballymaloe

Legend of the Languedoc, young French winemaker, Samuel Guibert, of Mas de Daumas Gassac, will present the story of this great Wine Estate at a wine tasting at Ballymaloe on Friday 21st October, 7pm, with a selection of their wonderful wines, from a Sparkling Rosé, several different White Wines, and several different Red Wines. As a finale, the informal tasting will include a vertical tasting of the Grand Cru Mas de Daumas Gassac red, a unique opportunity to taste multiple vintages of this iconic wine.

Described by Gault & Millau as “a Lafite in the Languedoc”, “the only Grand Cru of the Midi” by Hugh Johnson and “Exceptional” by Robert Parker, Mas de Daumas Gassac have been the benchmark for Languedoc wines for over 30 years.

Tutored wine tasting with Samuel Guibert, Friday 21st October, 7pm, at The Grain Store, Ballymaloe -  tickets €15, are available in advance, and on the night at the door, and advance booking is advised from either or The Grain Store at Ballymaloe 021 4651511, or 083 3631468

The tutored wine tasting will then be followed by a separate wine dinner, with Samuel Guibert, in Ballymaloe House, at 8.30pm, served with a selection of the Daumas Gassac wines including the Mas de Daumas Gassac red. Wine dinner €85, including dinner and wines; advance booking essential, telephone 021 4652531 or

In association with well known Munster wine merchants, Gary Gubbins of ‘Red Nose Wines’ and  Mike & Matt Kane of ‘Curious Wines’, who are co-hosting this special wine event with Ballymaloe

Ballymaloe House
Co Cork
Tel: 00353 21 4652531
Fax:00353 (0)21 4652021

Friday, August 5, 2011



My call to Gary Gubbins at his Red Nose Wine premises in Clonmel last week began with a lovely cup of Pónaire coffee made not far away in Annacotty. Pónaire, by the way, is the Irish for bean and Gary also sells this prize winning coffee here but, of course, his main business is selling wines.

The company motto is: Life is much too short to drink bad wine. Gary works hard at ensuring his Tipperary customers, along with his on-line fans, get that little something extra.

It would be easy to go for their big producers and the well known brands but small producers around the world put a great deal of hard work and time into their wines and often come up with gems. Gary spends quite a deal of his time searching out these good wines for his discerning customers whose opinions are sought and respected.

I agree with Gary here. I have spent extended holidays in France over the last three summers and have seen the hard work and care that goes into producing wine on these usually small family run farms. It is good to be able support them and their counterparts in other countries. Important too, if wine is not to go the bland way of mass produced beer.

Gary’s shop customers can taste before they buy: “Tasting is a large part of our communication mechanism and we have a wine tasting area open every day in our retail wine warehouse, with between three and five wines to sample on any given day.”

Needless to say, I sampled a few and I’ll be letting you know about some of them in the near future. In the meantime, why not call to the shop or have a look at the website.

There are bargains to be had, particularly among his new Australia wines, all subject to a 20% cut for the month of August. I like the look of the Bleasedale Range from Langhorne Creek but famous wines areas such as the Barossa and McLaren Vale are also represented in Clonmel.

If you have a special occasion coming, Gary can cater for that too. He has champagne and Prosecco and don't forget the connoisseur’s corner. So why not call in to the Business Park in Clonmel and sample that coffee before or after a tasting.

Monday, May 2, 2011



Heading south to Provence at the end of the month and felt the need to get in a bit of wine practice.

Headed south (a wee bit shorter) to Karwig Wines of Carrigaline the other day with that mission in mind and I picked up three reds from the Irish owned and Irish managed vineyard Domaine des Anges, in the Mont Ventoux region of Provence.

 More about des Anges here.  By the way, if anyone has any tips for Provence – wine or otherwise - I’d be delighted to hear from you. I’ll be based near Arles.

The three reds, also available at  Red Nose Wines and maybe other independents, may well come from the field of angels but the pleasures they give are rather earthly (not that I’ve had any experience of the other side!)

Domaine des Anges Le Tricolore Ventoux AC, 2008, Grenache/Syrah, 13.5%, €11.60 (Karwig Wines)
Of the three wines, this is probably the most user-friendly, satisfying both the novice and those more acquainted with the slightly deeper side of wine. Colour is medium red and the nose is fruity (woodland fruits mentioned on label!) On the palate it is light and spicy, dry enough to give a nicely balanced easy drinking wine.

The photo of the Domaine shows where three flags hang outside: the Irish and French tricolours and the EU standard. Funnily enough, there is no sign of the producers name on my bottle and le Tricolore is not listed in the website wines. Grape Varieties: 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.

Domaine des Anges, Ventoux AC Rouge 2006, 14.5%, €12.75 Karwig

Colour is medium to dark red while the nose finds a discreet red fruit mix. On the palate it is subtle and tender, smooth, rich enough with fruit, the tannins discreetly do their work to balance it up and there are moderately spicy notes in the long finish. A well made wine for sure, a friendly wine for drinking with friends as it hinted in the literature.

Karwig tell us that the grape varieties are 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah. “A rich, deep, garnet colour. The nose a mix of raspberries , cranberries, chocolate, liquorice and subtle notes of thyme and rosemary. The flavours carry through on the palette, with tannins are that are full, ripe yet velvety smooth. The finish is soft, round and long.”

Domaine des Anges “Archange”, Cotes de Ventoux, 2006, 14%, €19.20, Karwig Wines

This blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache is best of this well made trio and has been highly praised. It is more complex than the other two. Colour is a rich dark red with a pleasant nose of black fruits. In the mouth, it is fruity, juicy and spicy, a really smashing wine. The Syrah has spent 12 months in French Oak barrels of which a quarter are new. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011



The team at From Vineyards Direct have come up with really attractive offers to bring even more cheers to the Easter Weekend. Orders received prior to 1pm on Wednesday will be delivered prior to 6pm on Thursday, just in time for the weekend.........and don't forget, one can't buy any alcohol on Good Friday !!
 Dominique Geary is happy that  “our selection of five wines will suit all budgets and will  happily marry with traditional  Easter Fare”.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Chateau Laulerie

Over the years Bergerac winemakers have been overshadowed by those of neighbour Bordeaux. When talking up an underdog, it does no harm if you have a couple of heavyweights in your corner. I have.

Hugh Johnson: Bergerac is a good value Bordeaux lookalike.
Robert Joseph: The second class status of Bergerac today owes more to the efforts of Bordeaux merchants to discriminate against it than to the quality of its wines.

Maybe then we should look at Bergerac wines more often and, in fairness, quite a few of our independent wine importers do their bit but are up against the long standing big names of Bordeaux and as we know the big names are usually the big sellers.

As you may guess, I like my Bergeracs, including local stars such as Pecharmant reds and the high class desserts wines of Monbazillac and Saussignac. But there is an opening in the ordinary entry level wines from Bergerac as often your basic Bergerac is better than the basic Bordeaux. Certainly as good.

I enjoyed a couple recently.
Chateau Laulerie, Bergerac 2006 (Merlot-Malbec-Cabernet Franc) 12.5%, 12 months in oak, including six in new oak. Deep red in colour and a promising fruity nose. On the palate it is fruity enough (plums) and reasonably well balanced; it is medium bodied with discreet tannins and a longish finish. PR: 85.
Chateau La Sabatiere Bergerac 2007 (Merlot – Cabernet) Louis Roche Collection bottled at Chateau Monbazillac, 12%. Ruby coloured with red fruit on the nose. It is juicy and slightly spicy, medium bodied and smooth with soft rich tannins and a reasonably long finish. PR: 82

A few days earlier, I tasted a 2006 Claret and a Superieur from the same year and then a 2004 Superieur (from Chateu Meaume, Reserve du Chateau), all Bordeaux. The first two were reasonable wines and the third had more to offer and was possibly on a par with the Bergerac Laulerie.

So if these entry level wines are of much the same standard, what is the incentive for the consumer to switch to Bergerac? The answer to that should be lower prices as Bergerac doesn't command the same level as Bordeaux. So watch out for Bergerac reds (and the whites also) and you should save yourself a few euro without sacrificing quality.

Got my Chateau Laulerie on Brittany Ferries on the way home from the Bergerac area where I had purchased the La Sabatiere (in the boutique at Chateau Monbazillac, a recommended visit if you are in the area). I don’t have a full list of local stockists but know that Karwig Wines and Red Nose Wines carry some Bergerac  wines.