Showing posts with label Supervalu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Supervalu. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Chicken Inn. All about Family and Flavour


The Chicken Inn. 
All about Family and Flavour
Civic recognition for the Mulcahys including
father Jack (left), mother Mary
 and Tim with citation.

The Chicken Inn has been in the English Market since 1955. They started cooking in the 1960s and at that stage a small rotisserie was sufficient to meet a fairly steady Saturday demand, a demand that grew during the summer when the holiday season kicked in and people regularly picked up a cooked chicken for the picnics.

They are still in the English Market of course and now have another base. Just last week, Tim Mulcahy, grandson of the founder John Lane, proudly showed me around their new facility at the Northside for Business Campus in Ballyvolane (just behind the fire station).

As demand for cooked chicken grew, the Chicken Inn bought in a special oven from the UK that allowed them cook slow and on the bone. And that oven has been transferred to Ballyvolane. Tim told me “the antique is going as well as ever”. Right alongside it is a new oven and each is capable of doing 375 chicken crowns at a go, all cooked on the bone by the way, “just 100% per cent meat, nothing added”. 

“Now we can do big orders with more confidence,” says Tim. “But we are not trying to get as much in and out as possible or as quickly as possible. It is still low and slow. We still are at the artisan stage, it is all about the flavour and that takes time and care.” The chicken is succulent. Check it out for yourself before you buy by sampling from the display plate at the market stall. (No retail at Ballyvolane, by the way!).
Ready to roll at new Ballyvolane facility


All about the flavour!
Both ovens cook with steam but in a different way. Water is fed into the new one from the top and directed onto the elements and then the steam is created. The “Antique”, now twenty five years old, uses a water bath to create the steam.

Tim gives huge credit to Denis, the man who oversees the cooking here. “He has been cooking with us for 49 years, has it down to a ’t’. He’s always had the touch and it is second nature to him at this stage”. Denis has seen huge changes during the decades and indeed is now in charge of the paperwork here as well.

And there’s a huge amount of it. Every single batch is tagged on arrival, each box of chicken has a label from the supplier and that label follows that batch all the way through - even gets cooked - to dispatch. And that means that each single chicken’s history (through reception, cooking, chilling) in the facility can be traced if need be. And that means reassurance for customers, both big and small.

“Our customers know what they are getting, they can rely on us. No one else is doing what we are doing. A big customer didn’t want any more plastic so we use greaseproof paper as a simple solution to packaging.” And because of the increased capacity and the increased ability to trace and track, the Chicken Inn has recently been able to secure two large local contracts.
Early days in the market

In the cooked/production area, the air is changed no less than twenty times per minute. You can’t move from one room to another willy nilly. If an opposing door is open, you won’t get access until that’s closed. It’s a bit like queueing to see the Last Supper in Milan. 

Cleaning is a constant. They also use a “fogging machine”. This reaches the spots that other methods can’t access, and it especially useful for fans and motors. And the regulations on hygiene - I had to get togged out with coat, hat and shoe covers - follow the chicken all the way through from inward delivery, through the different areas, to the blast chill (cold in there!) to their chill dispatch area.

New generation. Tim with daughters Judy
and Ali (right) at the Blas prize-giving.
Oh, the Chicken Inn continue to do their own spiced beef and turkey, that spice beef by the way is sold all year round. Tim told me a good yarn: “Only last week, a lady called and ordered, cooked turkey sliced, spiced beef and ham, for a confirmation lunch. And she told me she was going to tell her visitors, some from Dublin, that she’d prepared it all herself!”. Tim mightn’t be getting the credit but he took it as a great compliment!

And do watch out for their new product, which has been a while in development. Their Chicken Bone Broth, made here in a large stock pot in Ballyvolane, is now widely available in Supervalu and also from the market stall.

Tim had a lot of hoops to jump through as he set up the new facility, lots of help too though. “It is getting increasingly difficult, for small producers, to put a place like this together.” He showed me a “blucher drain”. He was quoted close to a thousand euro each and he needed 12! Luckily though, with help, he sourced them for a fraction of the original quote. The Chicken Inn has four people employed here, nineteen in total, 23 reasons to be proud.

Tim has great praise for the Northside for Business Campus, well placed for distribution on the North Ring Road. It is part of the Northside Economic Development Forum’s ‘Growing more than Apples’ initiative.  By working together the stakeholders aim to develop practical initiatives, with tangible outcomes, that support the regeneration of the 3 RAPID areas on the Northside. 

The  Northside Economic Development Forum itself is representative of Cork City Council, Cork City Enterprise Board, Cork City Partnership, Cork Chamber, Department of Social Protection, HSE, PLATO , The Revenue Commissioners, RAPID and the City of Cork VEC ad was set up in 2012 by the Cork City Development Board. Read more here  https://northsideforbusiness.ie/

1955 - John Lane started the stall in the English Market.
1960s - started selling cooked chicken.
1988 - suppliers to Michael Jackson concert in Cork
1992 - suppliers to Tall Ships, Cork
1993 - suppliers to Eurovision Millstreet
2010 - Their Honey Roast Ham won a Gold Star at the prestigious UK awards
2014 - awarded McKenna Guides plaque
2019 - new facility in Ballyvolane.

See Previous article on the Chicken Inn here



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

SuperValu Feature Spanish Wines. Offers until March 6th


SuperValu Feature Spanish Wines
Offers from 14th February until March 6th
Great case offer from Rioja (above)

Mosaic “Winemaker Selection” Priorat (DO) 2016, 14.5%, €15.00 (was 23.99) SuperValu

Full bodied red Priorat wines from a small region in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain), have been finding a much wider audience in the past few decades. So I was expecting good things from this Mosaic “Winemakers’ Selection”. And I got them.

Many Priorat wines are based on Garnacha (Grenache across the border). This excellent blend, while having 15% Garnacha, is mainly composed of Syrah (58%) while Carignan (20) and Cabernet Sauvignon (7) complete the mix.

Colour of this very accessible wine is purple. There are complex aromas with red fruits and spice featuring. Intense and full-bodied, moderate spice all the way, fresh and dry, tannins silky smooth with hardly a bite at all in a deliciously lingering finish. High quality here, and now at a terrific price.

A few tips from the winery: 
We advise decanting the wine a few minutes before serving. 
Suggested wine temperature: 15-17 ºC.Excellent with roasted meats. 
Ideal to match with pasta and rice dishes

“La Maldita” Garnacha Rioja (DO) 2016, 13.5%, €10.00 (12.99)

La Maldita refers to the difficulty of growing Garnacha and apparently means “little cursed one”. Don’t think our local translation would be that mild. If indeed, it is that hard to raise. I hadn’t heard it before. Wine-Searcher has a good opinion of it: “It is particularly versatile both in the vineyard and the winery, which may explain why it is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world”.

As you know, it is a regular part of the blend in Tempranillo dominated Rioja and is grown all over Spain with great success, particularly in Priorat.

In any case, what we have here is a really quaffable young wine. Colour is ruby and the aromas are fresh with balsamic and herbaceous notes. On the palate it is fresh and juicy with a terrific mouthfeel, the smooth tannins almost unnoticeable. Young and fruit driven, it has charm and drinkability. You’ll enjoy a glass of this, even a second one.

Condado de Oriza Roble Ribera Del Duero (DO) 2017, 13.5%, €10.00 (14.99)
Say “hola” to this impressive youth from Ribera Del Duero where they’ll tell you they make better wines from the Tempranillo grape than their Riojan counterparts. 

Wine has been produced in this beautiful wine region since Roman times, though it became well known outside of Spain only in the 1990s. Nature can be a tough taskmaster here where temperatures in summer can see big variations between the heat of the day and the cool of the night. And even more so between the summer (up to the mid 40s) and winter (down to minus 20).

Just two hours north of Madrid, there are about 300 vineyards following the banks of the Duero River in the Castilla y León region, a flowing swathe of land that’s approximately 115 kms long and 35 kms wide. A few years back, Larousse Wine described the DO as “truly the queen of the Iberian peninsula and the cradle of the greatest wines”.

This Condado de Oriza is one hundred per cent Tempranillo (also known here as Tinta del Pais) and has been aged in new American oak for six months, a style known as Roble. After the oak, it is kept in bottle in the cellar for another six months.
It has a dark ruby colour. Ripe darker fruits (plum, cherry) in the aromas, plus spice and fresh herb notes. Rich fruit flavours fill the palate, muted spice, hints of the oak, full bodied and the finish is strong and long.

Serve it at 16 to 17 degrees and pair, the vineyard advise, with lamb chops, pies, cured or semi-cured Manchego or Gouda cheese, as well as dates wrapped in bacon.

“Castillo de Embid” Crianza Cariñena (DO) 2012, 13.5%, €8.00 (11.99)

From the family vineyards of Ignacio Marin comes this invigorating blend of Temranillo and Garnacha.  It is a bright ruby and the legs are slow enough to clear. Cherry features in the aromas, with a touch of oak also. Fruity and juicy on the palate, velvety with excellent acidity plus a long-ish finish with smooth tannins. Quite an engaging amalgam of the two grapes. Another good value drink from the Specially Sourced list.

Cariñena is just one of several DO titles used for the wines of Aragon, northern Spain. A wine labeled crianza has spent one year in oak barrels. The producers suggest serving at between 16 and 18 degrees and pairing with red meat roasts, strong cheese.

Abellio Albarino Rias Baixas (DO) 2017, 12.5%, €10.00 (was 14.99).

Liked the colour of this immediately, an inviting medium gold. It is hand-harvested and ideal with shellfish and fish and also recommended for lightly spiced Asian chicken dishes. The medium intense aromas are of white fruit. It has a smooth character on the palate, intense fruit (pear, apple and peach) with refreshing minerality. It is zesty and well balanced and a favourite of mine.


Castaño GSM Yecla (DO) 2016, 14%, €10.00 (was 12.99)

This is another of Supervalu’s Specially Sourced series and a most enjoyable one. Smooth and restrained throughout, the fruit comes from the winery’s family owned vineyards in Yecla in south east Spain.

it is a blend of the Mediterranean varieties, Garnacha (15%), Syrah (25) and Monastrell (60), the GSM you often see in southern France. Monastrell, known as Mourvedre in France, is the most widely grown red grape in the small Yecla DO.

This GSM has a dark ruby colour. Ripe fruits on the nose. Balanced and rounded on the palate with juicy fruit (plum, cherry), a touch of spice, good acidity too, and a lingering finish. This barrel aged blend (4 months), was one of the best of my samples and is well worth a try.

On the Case!
As usual the Supervalu buyers have come up with a very attractive case deal, featuring a velvety Crianza from Rioja. Normal price for this six bottle deal is ninety euro but during the Spanish sale you can get it for €50.00. Not to be sniffed at! Though you probably will have a nose or two at the aromas before enjoying!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Bubbles for your Valentine! SuperValu cut the price of courting.


Bubbles for your Valentine
With the saving on this Pierre Darcys champagne, you'll be able to buy the flowers as well. Double those brownie points!

If music be the food of love, play on, a famous bard wrote. Add a few bubbles though….

And it’s easy to do it these days as SuperValu cut the price of courting with a  selection of sparkling wines all reduced (you’ll have a few bob left over for the flowers) for the day of love. So go pick your Cava, your Champagne, your Prosecco. There’s even an alcohol free one.

Barciño Cava Brut NV, 11.5%, €13.99 (was 25.99) until February 13th.

This vibrant wine is named after Barcelona “the city we love”, say the producers. It is bottle fermented, using the Methode Traditionnelle, same as is used for Champagne.

It is a very light gold colour - see those non-stop fountains of bubbles rise. Modest aromas are light and fresh. The palate, with those fine bubbles, is bright and zesty and then that classic fresh bread finish. This lovely Cava will help start the celebrations as an aperitif. Why not try a few tapas with this well crafted wine?

Graham Norton Prosecco Frizzante 11%, €10.00 (was 12.00) until February 13th.
Light gold is also the colour here and again there are lots of bubbles but this time they don’t hang around. This is a Frizzante (gently sparkling) not a Spumante (fully sparkling). You’ll also note a different closure on it - use your normal corkscrew to get started.

While it is nowhere near as bubbly as the Cava, this calmer bottle is very very pleasant indeed. Graham’s light and fresh Frizzante could well turn a midweek party up a notch or two. Anyone for pizza and prosecco?

Two wandering Kiwis and the Irish comic are behind the GN wines, "honest....without the BS" they say. All of the previous GN wines are from down under and this Prosecco's an exception, made with 100% Glera grapes from the home of Prosecco in NE Italy.


The McGuigan Frizzante is also on offer, down to €10.00 from 14.99, again until the 13th. I remember Neil McGuigan introducing it at a dinner in the Trident not too long ago - he just loved getting the most out of the pronunciation!  

“It comes in a resealable bottle,” he said. “It is produced from Semillon grapes, it is easy drinking, for everyday”. Nothing wrong with easy drinking on Valentine’s either! It is fresh, soft, scented and grapey, with delicious lightness and good length. Best served chilled.


Pierre Darcys Champagne Brut NV 20 euro (was 49.99) until Feb 13th

IWSC Silver Medal 2015 (pictured top);  Judges' verdict: “Pale lemon-yellow, steady streams of small bubbles ; fresh, delicate aromas showing green apple and hints of red fruit behind, fresh bread; well-balanced with bracing acidity, richness across the mid-palate and lingering crisp finish. Harmonious wine.

Also on offer are the AG Blanc de Blancs and the AG Brut Rosé (each at €10.00, down from €17.99) and the non-alcoholic Freixenet Legero Sparkling at €7.00.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest. Wines, Spirits and Beers Events


CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest
Wines, Spirits and Beers Events

Arthur Mayne’s Burns Supper
Some wee walkies too.

A night of literary celebration awaits as the annual Burns Supper returns to Arthur Mayne's! 

This year we've teamed up with Chivas Regal and 3 of the other Cork Heritage Pubs Mutton Lane The Old Town Whiskey Bar at Bodega and Oval Bar to bring you a night to remember! 

On Friday January 25th the trail starts here in Arthur Mayne's! recite your favourite Burns poem and join us for a glass of Chivas Regal 12 year old and a piece of fresh haggis! 
See poster for details

Eight Degrees Tasting
Beer tasting at Kilbarry SuperValu, Tramore Road, Waterford.
Time: 14:00 to 19:00
Cans: Sesiún, Citra, Hurricane, Full Irish 
On offer at 3 for €10


TODAY FRI AT 2 PM
Kilbarry SuperValu · Waterford

Wines Direct
“Celebrate the end of your 'Janvier Sec' (we can't even say the words in this parish) in style with the return of our Mystery Box. Once again we have created a limited number of very special cases, heavily discounted and with Free Delivery included.” • 12 Bottles • 6 Red • 6 White • No Doubles • No Duds. €150. Details here https://winesdirect.ie/the-mystery-box.html 

SuperValu Offers You Bubbles for Valentine’s
SuperValu have a bunch of bubbles on offer just in time for Valentines Day. The one I fancy is McGuigan’s Frizzante. I remember Neil McGuigan introducing that at a dinner in the Trident not too long ago - he just loved getting the most out of the pronunciation!  

“It comes in a resealable bottle,” he said. “It is produced from Semillon grapes, it is easy drinking, for everyday”. Nothing wrong with easy drinking on Valentine’s either! It is fresh, soft, scented and grapey, with delicious lightness and good length. Best served chilled. And it is down from €14.99 to €10.00!


Spanish Wine Week including Two-day Tapas Competition in Kerry.
Part of Spanish Wine Week 8th -14th April 2019

Brittany at The Friary!
Cider and Crepes

 Let's all celebrate Brittany once again. Sat Feb 9th - 6.00pm! Details https://www.facebook.com/events/2925144140830855/

In a galaxy, not so far away, there is a country, proud and full of culture.
For one night, let's celebrate this wonderful land… Brittany! 

Gorgeous single estate cider and apple liqueur imported directly from Château de Lézergué, delicious salty and sweet crêpes made by the “bretonniest” of the bretons Cyril Kerboul, all of this wrapped with the best music that Bretagne can offer (and obviously with no partiality at all). [*edit DJ Arbraz*: extreme partiality intensifies]

Kentoc'h mervel eget bezan saotret…
Breizh da viken!*
Let's all celebrate Brittany once again.







L’Atitude WINTER WINE SERIES

MOUNTAINS, ISLANDS,
VOLCANOES & COASTS
Thurs Feb 7th 7.00pm

VOLCANOES

The Winter Wine Series focuses on the landscape around where grapes are grown and how it influences wine style. In this second tasting we will look at volcanoes and how volcanic soil structure creates a unique environment that influences grapes. There are many examples of interesting wines produced on volcanic soils – ranging from Etna to Santorini, Tenerife, Chile, Oregon and Madeira, to name but a few. We will present a selection we think really reflect their volcanic origin.

Join us and Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau , Kilkenny as we taste our way though our selection of favourite “Volcanic” wines.

Tickets €20. Booking Essential





Richy’s BYO Offer
Clonakilty restaurant Richy’s are offering a helping hand when dining out. “Feeling the crunch after Christmas? Why not save some dosh by bringing your own wine to Richy’s! T&C's apply. Available 14th Jan - 28th Feb 2019. Corkage €5.”
Franciscan Well’s Cask Ales and Strange Brew Fest
Our favourite festival of the year....The Cask Ales and Extraordinary Brew Festival running from Jan 31st to Feb 2nd. Yellow Belly, Rising Suns, Metalman and West Cork Brewing are just some of the brewers at the festival and will compete in the Beoir Cask Competition to see who can come up with the most extraordinary beer under categories: Best lager, best "pale', best stout and best specialty. Judged by The national Beer enthusiasts club, winners will be announced on the Saturday of the festival. Live music, performances & Pompeii pizza! Admission is free

  


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest: Wines, Spirits and Beers. A Wolf in Town!


CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest
Wines, Spirits and Beers


At The Bierhaus Cork, this Thursday, 7.30pm
Wicklow Wolf X Anspach & Hobday (London) Tap-takeover
Meet the Wicklow Wolf Team & Anspach & Hobday owner/brewer (Jack Hobday) 
3 Beers from Wicklow Wolf 
3 Beers from Anspach & Hobday 
1 Collaboration beer 
Tastings promos on the night! Details on the Bierhaus Facebook page.

and if you want more Wicklow Wolf then you’ll find them teaming up with their friends Dungarvan Brewing Company at Dungarvan’s Merrys Gastro Pub for a 6 Course Beer Dinner, celebrating Irish Craft Beer on Friday the 23rd November.


Spanish Wine Evening at Rostellan Chocolate
Friday, November 30, 2018 at 7 PM – 9 PM
An evening of tasting 6 varieties of Spanish Wine with cheese and pates. Alejandro from Heart of Spain will present this event which promises to be a fantastic evening. Strictly limited tickets are on sale at an introductory price of €25 each. Contact Peter at 087 2908774 to purchase a ticket.

SuperValu Case Deal

Kate Barry of Barry & Fitzwilliam has been on to tell me about the terrific Villa Maria Case Deal exclusive to SuperValu.

6 different bottles of Villa Maria wine per case.  The RRP for the pack is €105 – it is on offer in selected SuperValu stores at €70.00

The Buy 6 Save €10 starts next Thursday 22nd November and will run until December 24th -  hence this will bring it down to €60.

Please note the Villa Maria Case Deal is a limited offer and once it’s gone it is gone!!

Mezze & wine pairings night in Ardkeen Quality Food Store. 
Join us at the Barista Bar in Ardkeen Quality Food Store on Saturday 24 November for a Mezze & wine pairings night. Husband and wife team Dvir and Nicola of Mezze (Waterford locals) will prepare an authentic Middle Eastern feast with shared plates using the amazing locally sourced produce from Ardkeen Quality Food Store. Experience casual authentic Middle Eastern dining, ideas of how to use local produce to prepare bright and vibrant foods, and learn which wines work best with Middle Eastern flavours - all chosen by resident expert Julie Ward.

Tickets include 4 course vegetarian meal with wine tastings and must be purchased in advance. 


Les Gourmandises have a Malbec wine & dinner on November 27th (7.00pm); details on their Facebook page.

Premium Irish whiskey tasting and 4 course tasting menu at Cronin’s Pub.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 7:30 PM – 10 PM
"Join us in Cronin's Pub, Crosshaven for a premium Irish whiskey tasting and 4 course tasting menu. We will be joined by Irish Distiller's whiskey ambassador Michael Cowman. Each whiskey will be paired with a specially prepared tasting menu from the Mad Fish Kitchen at Cronin's Pub.

Be amongst the first to taste the newly launched Red Spot, 15 Year Old Single Pot Still, which was discontinued in the mid-1960s and now rejoins Green Spot and Yellow Spot in Irish Distillers’ Spot Whiskeys range. It has been created using an old recipe handed down by the Mitchell & Son family of wine merchants, who created the original Spot Whiskeys in the early 1900s. We will be tasting this alongside Yellow Spot 12 Year Old.

This will be a night to remember! Starts at 7.30pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance."

Cillian of Mescan Brewery has a special for you

Westport’s Mescan Brewery
“Delighted to announce the release of our Christmas beer, Beoir na Nollag!

We made a version of the beer 3 years ago and it was a huge success. This year's beer follows the theme but it's a new recipe. It's a strong dark beer 8.8% which was brewed in the spring and was cold conditioned in bulk for 6 months before transfer to Irish Whiskey casks for 2 months of barrel ageing. It was then dry hopped and bottle conditioned. 

The flavour profile is malty, with dry fruits, warming alcohol and sublte notes of whiskey, wood and hops. Over time it will demonstrate an evolving complexity as it matures farther in the bottle so it's a beer that can be enjoyed now or cellared for later drinking. 
We only bottled 1,000 litres but we hope not to run out before Christmas!”

And, speaking of Christmas specials, Eight Degrees have two beauties. Check them out here 

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 https://jeansmullen.com/WineDiary/Index/1393

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: www.rhonewineweekireland.com

SPEED TASTING at L'Atitude

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…..you 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.



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Two Organic Beauties from Le Caveau. Plus Wine Briefs


Sokol Blosser Evolution Lucky No. 9 White Blend (Dundee, Oregon, USA) NV, 12%, €24.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

This is worth trying; it is excellent, in the same way that Gentil from Alsace vineyards can be surprisingly delicious. Gentil are multi-grape blends and so is this non vintage white. The grapes used are Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, Sémillon, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner. It is a non-oaked wine and was introduced in 1998 and this is the 19th edition. 

Evolution No. 9 is a play on the Beatles number Revolution No. 9. Sokol Blosser say the white was created out of the desire to make a fun wine, one that would accompany the modern predilection for "yoking different kinds of food together" and is “very much more than the sum of its very disparate parts”. Pair it with spicy Asian, Indian, Mexican and Caribbean foods. Or with a jambalaya.

Pioneers Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser planted their first vines in 1971 in the Dundee Hills. Their vineyards are farmed organically; local organic straw, organic cow and horse manure, grape pomace from the crush and organic rock phosphate contribute to the composting. The insect population is kept in check by a resident flock of bluebirds.


It has a pale straw colour but the juice looks really good and clean in the bottle and you’re thinking this is a good one, your opinion reinforced by the fairly intense mix of lush and tropical aromas. Again that same amalgam of fruit on the smooth palate, a touch of sweetness early on but there is excellent acidity in there too that ensures a satisfying crisp finalé. Very Highly Recommended. The Evolution Big Time Red, was first released in 2012, and is on my list!

Alfredo Maestro Viña Almate Castilla y León (VT) 2016, 14%, €14.45 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

The Tempranillo grapes for this wine are grown in Peñafiel in Ribera del Duero but, according to Spanish Wine Lover, it has always been sold as VT Castilla y León. Le Caveau say the wine is raised for four months in neutral French oak; it is unfined, unfiltered and very low SO2.

Colour is a dark ruby. Aromas are quite complex, ripe red fruits prominent. Red fruit flavours too on the generous palate, while a touch of spice heightens the pleasure of this easy drinking young wine. Highly Recommended. This is Alfredo’s flagship wine and Spanish Wine Lover rates it “as outstanding within its type and style”.

From the beginning, in 1998, Alfredo farmed organically, his mantra: “Wine made with only grapes, well-kept vineyards, and healthy land.” With more land and experience now at his disposal, Alfredo is one to watch as the story of his pure and elegant wines evolves.Look out for more well-made wines from the man "known as the 'magician of the Duero’, a prominent exponent of the natural wine movement in Spain.
Wine briefs
SuperValu's current wine sale continues until October 10th and is headlined by their mix and match offer of 6 bottles for €50.00. Plenty of choice so I had quick look and here's my half-dozen, three white and three red.

1  ABELLIO ALBARIÑO
ARESTI TRISQUEL SAUVIGNON BLANC
BURDIZZO VERMENTINO TOSCANA 
HOMMAGE DU RHONE VINSOBRES
CHATEAU HAUT BERTINERIE RED
CASA DE LA ERMITA CRIANZA

O'Brien's have dozens of wines of offer also for the month but what really caught my eye is their Organic Wine Masterclass on October 18th. Details below:

Introduced by expert Sommelier François Pages from Gérard Bertrand, guests will be led through a selection of Gérard Bertrand’s finest wines, including the exquisite single-vineyard, Clos d’Ora. Learn about the organic and biodynamic philosophies that are at the heart of each Gérard Bertrand wine and the meticulous attention to detail in the cellar.

The Masterclass will begin at 7.30pm and a light cheese board will be served to accompany the wines. 


Tickets: €25 - Available online HERE

There'll be a discount on the night for any orders placed on Gérard Bertrand wines.
Date: Thursday October 18th
Time: 7.30pm
Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 2.


A week earlier, SPIT – out of the Ordinary wines from artisan wineries represented by four independent wine companies, GrapeCircus, Nomad, VinosTito and WineMason - will be held on October 11th in The Chocolate Factory (Dublin). Details here.