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

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

PepperBox Shiraz Will Spice Up Your Home Cooking

PepperBox Shiraz Will Spice Up Your Home Cooking 

PepperBox Shiraz SE Australia 2019, 14% ABV

€13.50 in Supervalu and Dunnes Stores; also available in Carry Out stores

“Bring your food to life with the spicy aromas and blackcurrant and cherry flavours of Pepperbox Shiraz. The wine's sublime intensity is hard to resist, especially if you are slow cooking, searing or grilling.” That’s the encouraging call from producers Casella to try their Australian Shiraz.

So let us try! The colour is a deep ruby. Aromas are rich, and peppery. And these aromas accompany superb flavours, ripe fruit character (blackcurrant and cherry) and smooth tannins, all the way to a spicy finalé, a peppery punch which is a trademark of Shiraz, especially Australian Shiraz. As the label says, “It’s what makes the PepperBox the perfect partner if you are eating chargrilled, seared, roasted or slow cooked…..”

Might be no harm to put a few bottles aside for the Christmas as it pairs well with most meats right the way through to chocolate desserts. Naturally intense, it is the perfect partner for great food and the ideal choice for get-togethers and special occasions with friends and family.

Specific parcels of fruit were selected across a variety of regions in South Australia. These parcels had a full, rich flavour profile and contained certain characteristics the winemaking team wanted to showcase. The fermentation of the fruit was across a span of 5-7 days at mild to warmer temperatures. Wines then spent up to 9 months in contact with a mixture of new and second-year oak prior to bottling.

PepperBox comes from sunny South Eastern Australia. It's a part of Casella Family Brands, the largest family-owned wine brand in Australia. Started in 1969 by Filippo and Maria Casella and is now run by their son John Casella.

While Casella had a long experience of wine in Italy, it wasn’t exactly an overnight success in Oz. But their turn-of-the-century partnership with a leading American distributor changed all that. Their spectacular rise to prominence in the US led renowned Australian wine writer AD Halliwell to call Cassella “A modern-day fairytale success story”. 

So there are good reasons to keep an eye on this relatively recently launched PepperBox which is aimed at “the more adventurous shopper who has a keen interest in cooking at home, and who is prepared to pay a little more for their wine to match this food and impress their hosts, or indeed for the guests to choose a wine to take round to their hosts and impress.”

I reckon they are pretty much on the bullseye with this Shiraz. Highly Recommended

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #45. Craft with ales, pils & stout from Rye River, Ballykilcavan, Yellowbelly and Bavik

CorkBillyBeers #45

Craft with ales, pils & stout from Rye River, Ballykilcavan, Yellowbelly and Bavik.


Rye River Nocturne Export Stout, 6.0% ABV, 500 ml bottle Pettitt’s SV Athy

In the dark of the night.. a nocturne worthy of an encore.

Rye River's Nocturne Export Stout is a midnight-hued duet of espresso and dark chocolate, with a hint of smoke that lingers like a tremble on the nose. The flavours are equally intense, with rich intense roast caramel gently blanketing the palate and extending into a lengthy finish. This is a stout that demands to be savoured, and it's sure to leave you wanting more.

This is one nocturne worthy of an encore. Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Malts - Carafa Special 2, Chocolate Malt, Munich 2 Malt, Pale Malt, Special W, Smoke Malt. 

Hops - Columbus

They say:  We love beer, so when we started out it was our plan to make great tasting beer that people loved. We've grown a lot since then, taking on more brewers and beer lovers, experimenting, tasting, talking, trying, failing, trying again, and succeeding.


Ballykilcavan Millhouse Session IPA, 3.5% ABV, 440 ml can Pettitt’s SV Athy

Ballykilcavan promotes this as a light, refreshing session ale - “our favourite barbeque beer! Low in alcohol, but double dry hopped for maximum flavour.”

Colour is a light orange, very hazy indeed with a small-bubbled white head. Aroma is a forward citrus. It is double hopped so the hoppy influence has the edge on the palate, light and crisp with refreshing citrus and a piney backbone.

Ingredients are Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Oats, Hops, and Yeast. The Barley and Water are sourced from their own farm where the family has been since 1639. The hops used, all from the USA, are Citra, Amarillo and Mosaic. The brewery says that the organic oats from the neighbouring farm, The Merry Mill, contribute to the “lovely balance”.

It is available in cans and kegs with an IBU of 48. Highly Recommended.


Yellowbelly Citra Pale Ale (APA), 4.8% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

I hadn’t come across a Yellowbelly beer in a long while until I recently picked this up in Bradley’s of Cork. They had a few cans of this popular pale ale in stock but that was it as regards Yellowbelly and it is also the only beer on the brewer’s website shop.

It has been “dry hopped to the gills with Citra” and it shows immediately both in the aromas and on the palate. The other hop used is Huell Melon and the malts are Pilsner, Munich, Wheat.

Brewed with the finest German and Belgian malts, fermented with a super clean American ale yeast, the resulting beer should be enjoyed as fresh as possible to appreciate the grapefruit and pine aroma and clean finish.

Hazy yellow is the colour here, and a white head (size and length depending on how you pour, probably best if on draught). The mix of ingredients here is really well-judged resulting in a really well-balanced beer where the Citra hop takes centre stage.

Not too surprised that this American Pale Ale from the southeast is still around. They regard it as a flagship beer. Citra Pale Ale can be enjoyed year-round on draught or in can from your favourite bars, restaurants and off-licences. It was voted Best Beer in Ireland  in the 2019 Beoir Awards


Bavik Super Pils, 5.2%, 330 ml can Bradleys

Highlighting its World Beer Awards Belgium Gold at the top of the label, Bavik continues in like vein: “..only one Pilsner remains uncompromised, brewed for quality and consistency. No adjustments. Never pasteurized. Slowly Brewed. Cold Maturation. Crystal clear. It’s Bavic Super Pils or nothing!”

Looks good though in the glass, a bright light gold  (it has been filtered until clear) with a soft white head. The aromas are hoppy, modestly so, nothing overpowering. Once it hits the palate, you feel the softness and appreciate the crisp character. Full-bodied for sure and deeply refreshing as the delicate and refreshing taste of hop bitters embellishes the beer at the finalé.


This little red can, a retro style of theirs, certainly delivers. One for your shortlist.

They say: “Bavik Super Pils obtains its unique taste and aroma from its exceptional brewing process. Our pilsner has not been diluted, we only use aroma hops, guarantee a long and cold maturation process, and pasteurization is out of the question. Those four elements result in this unique pilsner. Never compromise on taste! Moreover, we brew Bavik Super Pils in perfectly hygienic conditions, so pasteurisation is not an option. This way Bavik Super Pils keeps its unique light hoppy taste. Win win!”

Unsurprisingly, this pils continues to scoop awards. Brewers De Brabandere have stuck to its traditional recipe for five generations and, as always, time and quality prove the most important factors in producing a good beer.

Friday, September 15, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #44. Craft with an excellent quartet from Galway Hooker, Ballykilcavan, Kinnegar and Vedett

CorkBillyBeers #44

Craft with IPA and Pilsner from Galway Hooker, Ballykilcavan, Kinnegar and Vedett


Galway Hooker Sixty Knots IPA, 5.5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Centra Victoria Cross

Amber is the colour of this IPA from Galway Hooker. The earthy malts come through more in the aromatics than the hops and continue to contribute, now adding a touch of spice, on the full-flavoured palate while the hops get their turn with citrus and tropical flavopurs. The finish is certainly bitter but no more so than you'd expect from the style and, overall, Sixty Knots is well-balanced.

Highly Recommended.

A pioneer of the modern craft beer movement, famous for its innovation and quality. Galway Hooker, whose early production was actually in Roscommon, has developed a reputation as one of Ireland’s leading breweries. “Our ethos is to brew natural, full-flavoured, high quality and preservative-free beers. We like to think our beer helps to share the culture in all of us.” 

This IPA with an ABV of 5.5% and an IBU number of 60 certainly fits well in their portfolio. The brewers say it is well suited to seafood, cured meats or dessert dishes and, on Instagram, declare that “Galway Hooker IPA & Oysters are a perfect combination” and a Galway company would certainly know that! It is widely available in cans and bottles and also in kegs and draught.


Ballykilcavan Long Meadow IPA, 5.00% ABV, 440 ml can, Pettitt’s Athy

This IPA from Laois, named after a 300-year-old field on the farm, has a gold colour, with quite a wash of red onboard as well, all under a slightly off-white soft head. 

Aromas are mild, with the malt doing its own sweet thing and the hops, Azacca and Amarillo, contributing tropical and citrus plus a touch of herbal. The flavours are strong and hoppy (tropical and a touch of pine). Smooth with a terrific balance and one to savour.

Very Highly Recommended.

The water and barley also come from the farm and the IBU is 60. Local beer guru Susan Boyle reviewed this in its early days and declared: Ballykilcavan Brewery is a pioneer in Irish farm-to-glass brewing, and Long Meadow IPA is a beer to return to again and again.


Kinnegar Black Bucket Black Rye IPA 6.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This is one of the impressive line-up of core beers at Kinnegar. They call this Brussels Beer Challenge gold medal winner “The bigger, darker brother to our Rustbucket Rye”.

I made my first acquaintance with this in 2018. It is indeed rather special. Looks black in the glass but a closer inspection reveals brown as well; the head is coffee-coloured. Aromas are mostly of the roasted malt (big and rich);  the spice of the rye makes quite an impression on the palate and there’s fruity flavours (tropical mostly) from the hops.

Quite a complex beer, a lot going on in this bucket, but the balance is excellent. an outstanding drop and Very Highly Recommended. The Rustbucket, by the way, is an “old reliable”, and is well into its second decade now. 


Vedett Extra Pilsner, 5.2% ABV, 330 ml bottle Bradleys

A pretty damn good blond premium lager.

Vedett doesn't pull punches: “Got a thirst that can’t be beat? We’ll see about that! Because Vedett Extra Pilsner is brewed to quench even the most stubborn of thirsts. Offering full-bodied refreshment from start to finish.”

Colour is a pretty ordinary straw with a clean white head. There’s a pleasing hoppiness and a slight malty aroma. All fairly modest, so far. And then, its big character, its complexity, its depth of flavour and refreshment emerge on the palate. A superb balance of malts and hops, the lengthy finish and a refreshment touched with a little bitterness spell satisfaction in capital letters. Ready to go again. Yes, please.

Here’s the official version: “After all, who can resist her seductive straw colour and pearly-white head? Her smooth, malty character with subtly balanced hops? Or her lingering fruitiness with subtle notes of vanilla?

Whatever your weakness, this premium Pilsner offers full-bodied, thirst-quenching refreshment from start to finish. With a slightly bitter aftertaste to keep you on your toes.”

Geek Bits

Malt: Pale Barley Malt & rice

Hops & Spices: Saaz-Saaz, Styrian Golding, Hallertau Magnum

Serve: 3 degrees

IBU 26. 


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Spice is the Variety of Life. Athula's Sauces are superb

Spice is the Variety of Life. 

Athula's Sauces are superb.

Spicy Veg

Three ways (at least) to spice up up your veg and meats.

A few weeks back, Athula of Athula Fusion Foods, gave me a couple of bottles of his new range of #srilankanstyle sauces, now available in selected SuperValu Ireland stores.

It is not too hard to work out what to do with the Athula Tomato Ketchup which is flavoured with Sri Lankan spices, spices straight from Athula's own farm in Sri Lanka and used in both sauces.  


His Tomato Ketchup is sweet, acidic, mildly spicy, and fragrant with a thick, pourable texture "goes excellent with various foods". We tasted the ketchup and immediately gave it the thumbs up, a winner for sure. The "Devilled" Sauce though is a step up in heat (even though pineapple has been added to tone it down a little).

So we got the old brain box working (lots of recipes on the net, of course) and came up with a few combinations that worked out very well indeed. This first one is very simple. Called to the local SuperValu here in Mayfield and bought a pack of Pecan Nuts (though many other nuts will do equally as well). 

Hot Nuts
1 - Select the amount of nuts you want. Using a small bowl, pour in a fifty fifty mix of the two sauces for your first attempt. You'll probably add more of the Devil in future attempts! Use just enough sauce to coat the nuts.
2 -Spread them onto a baking sheet.
3- Preheat the oven to 140-160 degrees, and bake for around 30 minutes until the sauce dries and coats the nuts. 

This is a beauty, perfect with a bottle of beer or just as a snack. And don't worry if you have too much. Use the remainder on the day after. 

Hot Veg
You'll like these spicy vegetables. Use Sweet Potato, Peppers, Carrots (that have been blanched in advance), Cauliflower, and Parsnips, either all of them or just one or two. It looks as if the "softer" ones, such as cauliflower and sweet potato, pick up the sauce best. Again experiment with the amounts and proportions of the sauces until you have settled on what suits you. 

Toss the veg in olive oil, shake on salt and pepper and then toss in the sauce, same as the nuts. And then marinate for about an hour.

Again lay them out on a tray and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes (can also be done in the BBQ but time will vary!) and then enjoy. Can be used on their own or as a side dish.  Super tasty and delicious.

Hot Chicken Tonight!

Here's another simple recipe, this based on a tray of chicken wings. These need to be prepared in a marinade of grated garlic, grated ginger, a dash of olive oil, and enough of the sauces (again we used both, we used three Devil to one of the Ketchup) to coat them. Once coated with the sauce(s), keep in the fridge for half an hour or even longer if you have the time. By the way, the Devil is hot but not off the scale hot!

Then transfer them to a hot oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Have them on their own as a mid-day snack or use a salad and make a main course from them, a very tasty main course!

If you get through two or three of these recipes, you'll have a good idea of the proportions of the sauces that suit your palate and you will be good and ready to move on to the tempting dish that Athula himself made when launching his new range at the Cork Summer Show. Check out his Devilled Chicken Sri Lankan Style recipe and video here.


Friday, July 28, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #34. Craft Pale Ale with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Lineman, Sullivan's

CorkBillyBeers #34

In the wild: Elevation at Lynam's Laragh

Craft Pale Ale with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Lineman, Sullivan's 



Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale, 4.8%, 440ml can SuperValu Mayfield

Golden Pineapple Delight

This light gold, slightly hazy beer pours with a mild hoppy aroma. The first sip reveals juicy pineapple flavours that lead to a moderate, yet noticeable, hop bitterness. The bitterness is balanced by the sweetness of the pineapple, making for a very refreshing and easy-drinking beer.

This beer is a sessionable crowd-pleaser, and it's no wonder that it's the brewery's best-seller. You'll have no trouble finding a can of this beer, and it's easy to find on draught in its home county.

A Beer for All Occasions

This beer is perfect for any occasion. It's light enough to enjoy on a hot day, but it's also flavourful enough to pair with a meal. Whether you're having a barbecue with friends or just relaxing at home, it is a banker.

This refreshing and flavourful beer is Very Highly Recommended.

They say: An incredibly drinkable Pale Ale bursting with juicy fruits of pineapple and grapefruit from an abundance of hop additions. Refreshing.

Geek Bits

Food pairings: roasted or grilled meat.

Cheese Mild or medium cheddar.

Serve at 8 degrees. It is unfiltered, unpasteurised and the IBU is 40.

Hops: Mosaic, Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso

Malt: Pale, Cara Ruby, Melano, Wheat.


Whiplash Body Riddle Pale Ale 4.5% ABV, 330ml can, No 21 Coburg Street

Label Pic via Whiplash

A Citrusy Treat

The Whiplash Body Riddle Pale Ale is a light and hazy gold beer with a fluffy white head. The aroma is a blend of citrus fruits, with lemon, grapefruit, and orange leading the way. There are also hints of pine and herbs, which add a touch of complexity.

The flavour is even more citrus-forward than the aroma, with lemon and grapefruit dominating. There is also a touch of sweetness from the malt, which helps to balance out the bitterness from the hops. The finish is dry and refreshing, with a lingering citrusy flavour.

The Body Riddle Pale Ale is brewed with a blend of Lemondrop, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Ekuanot hops. These hops all contribute to the beer's citrusy flavour profile, while also adding a touch of bitterness and complexity.

This beer is perfect for a hot day or as a sessionable beer to enjoy with friends. It's also a great beer to pair with food, as the citrus flavours can complement a variety of dishes.

But don't worry. There’s more than citrus here with the other hops, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Ekuanot all getting into the action and helping in the balancing act.

Lots of hops but no domination - IBU is a very presentable 26 - making sure you get flavour galore without scaring away the newbies. Absolutely enjoyable, from start to finalé. Not too much more to say about this gem but, with me, that’s often a good sign. I’ve made up my mind early and the verdict is a major thumbs up for the little can. Best of goods in small parcels.

Very Highly Recommended. Good for a session too!


Pic via

Sullivan’s Pale Ale, 4.7%, 500ml bottle SuperValu Mayfield

They say: Fermented using our Sullivan’s yeast and our ‘No-Rush’ brewing process for a delicious, classic balance.

Complex, Refreshing!

This Kilkenny Pale Ale is a beer that defies expectations. The colour is more amber than gold, and the aromas are more resinous than citrus. The evergreen effect continues on the palate, with fruit flavours (peach, apricot) having a say, even a touch of marmalade. The malts are of course also in evidence, but they are not the star of the show.

This beer is complex and refreshing at the same time. The resinous hops provide a touch of bitterness, which is balanced by the sweetness of the malts. The fruit flavours add a touch of complexity, and the marmalade note gives the beer a unique flavour profile.

There's a lot to like about our Kilkenny Pale Ale. Very Highly Recommended 

Geek Bits

Traditionally brewed with Vienna and Pale Ale malts, chill-hopped with Amarillo hops.

Malts - Irish Ale, Vienna.

Hops - Magnum, Admiral, First Gold and AmarilloBrewery:


Lineman Fluid Dynamic Extra PA 4.8% ABV, No 21 Coburg Street 

Mid gold is the colour of this Extra Pale Ale from Lineman, a beer that has been around for a while. It is slightly hazy but no problem in spotting the fountains of bubbles rising to the white head. Returning to a previous tasting, I’m glad to see I mentioned that it “could well have wide appeal”. 

Still going strong with citrus and pine in the aromas and with flavours from citrus to mango to pine with a peppermint hint thrown in for good measure on the palate.  Unpasteurised and unfiltered, the beer is a soft and pleasant one on the palate, brewed deliberately using barley and wheat malts to make it light and clean and let the hops take centerstage but without taking over.

It is named Fluid Dynamic and the hops chosen were the all-American trio of Citra, Idaho 7 and Chinook. They give it quite a supple touch yet it is well balanced with barley and wheat malt helping a light clean beer emerge that lets the hops shine through, a hefty drink to have in hand in the summer and autumn hours between sun and dark.

Very Highly Recommended.