Showing posts with label Wines Direct. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wines Direct. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Night Time Is The Right Time at 51 Cornmarket!

Night Time Is The Right Time

 at 51 Cornmarket!

French Toast for dessert. Oh La La!

You know nighttime is the right time

To be with the one to you love..

Eating the food you love

After a fine evening meal at 51 Cornmarket Street last Friday, we two happy punters were strolling down a crowded Pana. No evening sun, but the feel good factor seemed all around us. There was loud music playing. Very loud. Then I spotted an adult guy slowly pushing a buggy, with a child (about 2-years old) in the seat. And I realised the music was coming from a boombox in the undercarriage, Muddy Waters himself belting out Mannish Boy as we passed the Pav.

Fried Courgette Flowers, Ricotta, Green Mayonnaise & Tomato

No blues on this night though after that righteous feed from David and Anne at 51. Having established an excellent reputation with their lovely inventive lunches (and brunches) over the past couple of years, the duo aren’t content to sit on their laurels and have switched to the evening, challenging themselves and reaching higher to where they want to be and, if the past month is anything to go by, bringing their customers with them and indeed gaining quite a more admirers for their style.

And that style is local and seasonal where a whole string of local producers are given a turn on the plate whether they produce or supply vegetables, dairy, meat or fish. You may start with snacks and or oysters, move on to plates (anything from Fried Courgette Flowers, to fish of the day, to steak) and then finish with a fabulous dessert. 

And if you become a regular here, you won’t be bored. The menu is changed every few days, depending on what is fresh in the market and what is in season plus the surprises the growers and other producers come up with from time to time. The wine list is short but very well chosen, along organic and natural lines.

Super chips

I mentioned the courgette flowers and they featured in one of our main plates: Fried Courgette Flowers, Ricotta, Green Mayonnaise & Tomato (16.50), full of colour and flavour and totally delicious. A different kind of texture in our other mains: Beef Carpaccio, Parmesan, Egg Yolk, Organic Rocket (15.50). 51 are noted for their use of eggs and the yolk was put to good use here, adding moisture and flavour, almost like a sauce, in another superb ensemble.

And, of course, they have sides. And these include their House Chips & Béarnaise. Chips is a humble name for this little pot of delight. Heavenly is a bit of a cliche but it could well fit these fantastic fries and that Béarnaise was an inspired pairing. Not just a humble side and I would order them as a course on their own.

Yellow Courgette
All the while, we were sipping our wine. CL picked the Steininger Gruner Veltliner from Austria, floral and fruity and with a matching lively acidity. Gruner is always a winner with food and this one’s a champion. Very impressive indeed. 

My red, Cuvée Cantalouette by Tour des Gendres, is one I had come across before via Le Caveau. It’s a Malbec/Merlot led blend from Bergerac. The fresh fruit flavours are intense and there’s  a touch of gentle spice too. Tannins have a tender grip and this is an easy-drinking soft and balanced wine with good length. Really gorgeous, well made (typical of Tours des Gendres).

We had begun the evening, after a warm welcome, with two of the snacks (6.50 each). The Yellow Courgette, Garlic, Creamed Cheese & Mint Crostini and the Anchovy & Chickpea Crostini were easily shared and each got the thumbs up!


The meal finished with another big sweet thumbs up. In the past few weeks, we’ve had French Toast at breakfast, at lunch, and we made it a hat trick at 51 when we had it as dessert. The menu description is French Toast, Rum Butterscotch & Vanilla Ice cream. 

No wonder we felt real good as we said our goodbyes and headed out into Cornmarket Street past the diners and drinkers enjoying the outdoors by Benny McCabe’s establishments, along with the Cornstore, the Roundy and more. Nighttime is the Right Time as Ray Charles sang back in the day.

And then we were into a busy Patrick Street and, from the base of a buggy, the blues shouts of Muddy Waters. As another bluesman, John Lee Hooker, might say: Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. …I like it like that.

  • Restaurants who support local matter and should be supported. Just consider this list of suppliers to 51, all real people - note those first names:
  • William at Caherbeg Pork, Rosscarbery
  • Tim at McCarthy's Butchers, Kanturk
  • Helena at Skeaghanore Farm, Ballydehob
  • Adrian at Ballycotton Seafood, East Cork
  • Ted at Gulfstream Fish, Kenmare
  • Jamie at Haven Shellfish, Oysterhaven
  • Paddy at Kilbrack Farm, Doneraile
  • Malachy at Annabella Farms, Mallow
  • Brian at Cork Roof Top Farm, Coal Quay
  • Tom at O'Briens Eggs, Whitechurch
  • Ger at Olives West Cork
  • Brian at Brian's Wine, Cork
  • Colm at Le Caveau Wines, Kilkenny
  • Barry at Killahora Orchards, Glounthaune
  • Fionnuala at Wines Direct, Westmeath

And here’s why Anne and David support local:

"Our ethos is simple. Seasonal local food served with the utmost respect and appreciation for where it came from. We cook from the heart and entirely from scratch in our kitchen at the back. Our suppliers are very close to our core and we know you'll enjoy their treasure as much as we do”.

Anne & David

Monday, May 3, 2021

Stunning Umbrian Wines Showcased at Online Tasting by Greenes Restaurant

Stunning Umbrian Wines Showcased at Online Tasting by Greenes Restaurant 

With his family vineyard overlooking Assisi, the city associated with St Francis, the patron saint of animals and ecology, perhaps it is no wonder that Roberto Di Filippo uses animals in the vineyard and that it is biodynamic. Perhaps Francis enjoyed the odd glass of wine!


“We were one of the pioneers of organic wine in Umbria,” said  Roberto during the weekend’s superb tasting helmed by Fionnuala Harkin of Wines Direct and Frank Schiltkamp (Somm and Restaurant Manager) of Greenes Restaurant who were hosting the event.

Di Filippo are based in Umbria. Roberto told us that Umbria is in central Italy and is the only Italian region without a coastline. It is in the very centre of the country and while it may not be the best known for wine, it had no doubt learned much from neighbours such as Tuscany and Marche. Perugia is the capital but Assisi is probably its best known city, a city that Di Filippo overlooks.

“Organic since 1994,” continued Roberto. “By 2009, we moved into biodynamic farming. Horses and geese arrived, tractors and chemicals were the past. Year by year we are seeing a big impact on soil and crops. Horses are my passion. Tractors can compact the soil so much, up to one metre deep. The system now is efficient and, for the majority of time, the horse is cheaper than the tractor.”

Another part of the horses' work

All the while, Fionnuala was showing a series of slides that matched what Roberto was talking about. Then he moved onto the first of wines, the white. “This is 100% Grechetto, the most typical white grape in Umbria. It is harvested in two turns and then blended. The earlier harvest gives freshness and mineralogy while the second gives full body and complexity.”

“Thanks to that double harvest, the aromas are fruity and fresh and with its acidity it will go well with tuna meat, fish, seafood, cheese and vegetables.” It was agreed generally that the wine was matching well with the salami, cutting through the fat.

“Why are those hands on the label?” asked Fionnuala. “They represent what we are - farmers. Without these hands you cannot drink the wines!”

The second wine, La Conversino (named after a local area, nothing to do with conversation!), is red and Sangiovese (80%) dominates. The balance is made up of other local and some international grapes and that part of the blend varies from vintage to vintage.

I saw this pair of horses at work in North Cork a few years back.
I was amazed at the precision of the large animals at work.
Here, they are cutting corn but another horse drew a scuffler through drills without putting a
foot wrong (and those hooves are large).

“It is a ruby colour,” said Roberto, “Not really deep. Aromas are fruity, it has a good balance, soft tannins, a good combination for many types of food, excellent with meat.” “Ideal for the lighter style of game,” said Frank. “Stunning with pheasant.”

And finally a tip from Roberto: “When you come to Umbria, book into a nice Agriturismo in the countryside. Take your time. Have nice food. Not just countryside, we have cities and mountains too. And don’t forget the truffles. - they are cheap!”

Di Filippo Grechetto Umbria IGT 2019, 13%, organic. €15.75

Lovely light gold colour (the brightness can vary from year to year). Delightful fresh and  fruity nose and you get more of the same, including a wash of citrus, on the palate before this rounded wine, with its tangy acidity, finishes pleasantly, medium-long and well. Very impressed with this one. Not just second glass appeal, more like second bottle! The producers recommend matching it with fish, white meat, fresh cheeses.

Fermentation is in stainless steel with wild yeast, and resting on lees in stainless steel until bottling. Very Highly Recommended.

Di Filippo “La Conversino” Rosso Umbria (IGT) 2019, 13.5%, organic, €14.75

A bright mid ruby is the colour of this Sangiovese dominated red. Aromas are quite intense, red berries prominent. Quite full-bodied and elegant as we move along on a fruity palate with enough acidity to maintain harmony all through. This is soft with beautiful embedded tannins and a medium long finish. The other grapes in the blend could include Barbera and Sagrantino but will vary from year to year.

Di Filippo suggest pairing with typical Italian pasta dishes, boiled meats, fresh cheese. Other suggestions are Pasta and Pizza, Hard Cheese, Game, Beef and Lamb. Quite a wine, full of resilience; as the night wears on and course follows course, this and its fruit core just gets better and better. Very Highly Recommended.

The cheese and charcuterie from Greenes was, as ever, top class, the portions generous.

Gubbeen cheese, Smoked Scaramoza cheese, Durrus, Young Buck blue cheese.

Gubbeen salami, Gubbeen chorizo, Gubbeen venison, Serrana Ham.

Olive tapenade, Tomato pesto, Basil Pesto, Humus, Olives, Capers, Gherkins, Onion

Compote and bread.

I may have been busy taking notes but it was a relaxing evening. Frank welcomed us on Zoom and struck the right note at the start: “Treat it casually and enjoy. Don’t be waiting for us. Sit back and enjoy as we go along.” We did! We could have been with friends in Umbria.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cheers #25: Rascals Brewing. Wines of the World Burgundy Focus. Virtual Tour of Chateau Feeley. O'Briens Spanish Sale. Blacks Distillery. Wines Direct.

Cheers #25: Rascals Brewing.Wines of the World Burgundy Focus. Virtual Tour of Chateau Feeley. O'Briens Spanish Sale.  Blacks Distillery. Wines Direct. 

The Candyman Makes The World Taste Good

Rascals Brewing: "The Candyman is on sale now. Grab yourself a case of 24 or go for the mixed case with one of our core beers. This is our new chocolate salted caramel stout. Golden Promise forms the base malt, while Cara malt and Crystal malt are used generously for rich caramel flavours. We add chocolate wheat for a smooth mouthfeel, a deep brown colour and hints of black coffee and bittersweet chocolate. There's even a smidgen of salt in the boil. It’s a humdinger, if we may say so ourselves."  Details here

Rock On. Stay Safe. Message from Wines Direct! 

Inside Track on O'Briens Current Spanish Wine Sale

with Lynne Coyle MW

"As our Spanish Wine Sale launches, we are reflecting on that fact that, in wine terms Spain really does have it all. From crisp refreshing whites, through sumptuous red berried full flavoured reds and silky Rioja with a peppering of sparkling and solera aged wines, there truly is something for everyone and a fun journey of exploration to be had."

From Cava to Sherry, from Albarino to Godello, there is something for all palates. More info here.

Burgundy Bargains from Wines of the World

Sale Price:€224.00 Original Price:322.00

This is a case of Burgundian wines all with the Pinot Noir grape. Domaine Faiveley is a wine producer in Burgundy, France situated in Nuits-Saint-Georges and established in 1825. Faiveley owns 120 hectares of vineyards in Burgundy, which makes them one of Burgundy's largest vineyard owners, also one of the top producers! Details here

Chateau Feeney. Vineyard Tour?

The vineyard is looking beautiful decked out in Autumn colours. For the latest photos follow us on instagram or on facebook and Caro at for our latest photos. 

A Gift From The Spirit of Kinsale

Blacks doesn`t believe in ghosts to much but we are big believers in a well matured spirit. We also love a good celebration, the opportunity to combine the two means we are in the mood for a Halloween giveaway. Starting today new or existing members who invest in a new cask (any type) will receive a free community share (worth €500) in the Halloween community cask. Only 15 shares are available and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. This offer closes on the 31st October, HALLOWEEN. Info here

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Cheers #23: O'Briens Winter Wines. Wines Direct Rock. Rascals Beer Offer. Sarah Jessica Parker. Napa Fires.

Cheers #23: O'Briens Winter Wines. Wines Direct Rock. Rascals Beer Offer. Sarah Jessica Parker. Napa Fires. 



O'Brien Wines are putting the spotlight on warming winter drinks right with a few suggestions from Paul Barry.


"We are big fans of hot toddies here in O’Briens but why not try out some mulled cider? Gently warm the cider and add a slice of orange studded with cloves a cinnamon stick for a little spice and you have one of the most aromatic and invigorating alcoholic drinks. Longueville Medium-Dry from Longueville house in County Cork is a great choice for this and you can pick it up on offer at 3 bottles for €9. More suggestions here.

Let's Rock On. No stopping Wines Direct!

As Covid-19 continues, we at Wines Direct would like to share with you actions we are taking to provide the best service given the current restrictions without compromising safety. 


  • Free Nationwide Delivery.
  • Wines Direct preferred delivery partners are adapting to these ever-changing circumstances and are working through lockdown as an essential service provider. 
  • Drivers routinely clean and disinfect their vans.
  • Contactless delivery is in place.
  • Our warehouse is fully stocked, and additional precautions have been put in place to ensure our warehouse staff, who diligently work to fulfil your orders, are kept safe.
  • Our entire team is adhering to social distancing, and we are restricting the number of staff in our building, while our online team continues to work primarily from home. 

Virtual Wine Tasting by Wines of the World

Sarah Jessica Parker

Our next virtual tasting on Oct 23rd will be another fun one! We will have a special guest joining us for this one!

We have included 6 wines in our surprise wine case - 3 different wines (White, Rosé & Red) - 2 of each wine.

More here

Some news for you - Sarah Jessica Parker’s wine collaboration with Kiwi winery Invivo & Co, Invivo X, SJP, has been awarded ‘Best Launch of the Year’ by the 2020 Drinks Business Awards.

Check out a mini clip here from SJP

Rascals Brewing on the ball

So, level 3 it is then. We must go on. We can’t go on. We’ll go on. And we can make things a lot more bearable with a special offer just for you! Exclusive to newsletter subscribers, we’re offering FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in the country for any order placed before Monday (12/10)

Just enter BAGOFCANS in the discount code box on your shopping cart and you’re away in a hack. Buy the beer here

Fires leave Napa harvest on a knife edge

When Judd Wallenbrock woke up Sunday morning, he saw the first patch of blue sky he'd seen in weeks over Napa.

"I couldn't believe it," the CEO and president of C. Mondavi & Family, says. "And I started thinking of how lucky we had been, of all we had. Of what our neighbors were going through, emotionally and financially." More from on the damage here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

John Wilson's Selection. Chateau Feely Harvest. White Hag Magic. Wines of the World Double. And more on wine, beer and spirits in Cheers #23

John Wilson's Selection. Chateau Feely Harvest. White Hag Magic. Wines of the World Double.

And more on wine, beer and spirits in Cheers #23 

Wines Direct Talk Wine With John Wilson.

 And Come Up With A Great Selection!

Renowned Irish Times wine critic John Wilson knows a thing or two about great wine, so when he gives any of our wines the nod our customers take note. We recently had a chat with John and decided it would be cool to share with you a selection of wines he has recently featured and that we think you'll also find worthy of attention. Click here to see the selection.


AT Chateau Feely

In this post Caro Feely shares some photos and impressions of harvest 2020.

"We started almost a week earlier than ever and finished a week earlier than ever. Whirlwind is the best way to describe this harvest.
The photo below is the harvest kickoff hurrah! Merlot for Feely Sparkling Brut Rosé.
We started 24 August and finished 11 September." More details here


The 2019 vintage in Austria aroused great expectations right from the start. Now, reviews from experts throughout the world have confirmed it: the wines of this vintage are truly among the best that Austria’s winegrowers have been able to produce in recent decades. More here

Get Your Pumpkin Magic from the White Hag

We've done it - after years of thinking about it, talking about it and looking at it, we've gone and made a Pumpkin Pie inspired beer!
Pumpkin Ale is a huge seasonal favourite in the US, where a bunch of our brew team grew up making and drinking these beers.
While there have been a fervent few in Ireland who have committed to making seasonal celebration beers popular, the pumpkin ale has been neglected until recently.
See More

Wines of the World 

Two offers to consider:

The Top Varietals Mix (Case of 6) is a mixed case of our top varietals and top sellers - a mix of the old world and new world, the best of both. Check details here.

The Celebrity Mixed Case (Case of 6) is a mix of Graham Norton and Kylie Minogue Wines from the New World and Old World. More here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Duo of Delicious Whites: Riesling and Grüner Veltliner

A Duo of Delicious Whites: Riesling and Grüner Veltliner

“Straightforward and elegant,” is how Georg Lingenfelder described this wine while speaking in Cork late last year. Georg represents the 14th generation of the family in wine in the Pfalz and this year is their 500th anniversary!

The 2018 is a straw yellow in colour. It certainly has the typical Riesling aromas (citrus-y). 'Trocken' on the label means this is a dry Riesling, yet it bursts with bright citrus and red apple fruit, all the time remaining elegant with a stony minerality, a high acidity and a lemon-fresh finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Georg told us that Pfalz is in the south west of Germany. “One of the driest and warmest areas but still a cool climate. Wines can be more full bodied here in good years. 2018 was warm and dry and some of the 2018 are not too heavy. All hand-picked, all wild fermented, we rely on the natural yeasts that are all around our cellar.” 

The wines with the Lingenfelder’s house on the front label are single plot. This Riesling has the house on the front, so the fruit came from a single plot, quite a small one in this case. “We are right next to the Rhine but our vineyards are not too steep - easier to work there. We use sustainable methods, lots of other plants between the rows. This gives bio diversity, very important to us.”

Georg is enthusiastic about local and authenticity. And the commitment continues so that the next 14 generations “get a chance to live off the land as well; without herbicides, without irrigation, only minimal fertilisation and lots of biodiversity”. And we, the consumers, get the opportunity to drink excellent wines like this one.

Steininger Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (DAC) 2018, €17.25 Wines Direct

This Grüner Veltliner (Gru-Vee) is a light golden yellow. Ripe apples aromas, herbal notes too. Juicy fruity (melon) on the palate, with crisp acidity, complex and elegant all the way through to the minerally finish. This harmonious easy-drinking wine is Very Highly Recommended. Well priced too, by the way.

Importers Wines Direct suggest pairing it with Rich Fish, Light Fish and Shellfish, Hard Cheese, Fresh Greens. In fact, Gru-Vee is very versatile at the table. 

Not too long back, I was impressed by the way it handled a dish of Fresh monkfish, Malaysian noodles, pancetta, chilli and black pepper jam and julienne of vegetables in Jacques (one of our top local restaurants). 

And it also married amazingly well with Halibut, Sea Radish, Bacon, Pepper Dulse and Elf Cap in Greene’s (another classy Cork venue); lots of flavours in both dishes but no bother to the Steininger.

This wine is indeed an excellent ambassador for Grüner Veltliner from the Kamptal. The winemakers say the Kamptal’s three types of soil (primordial rock, loess and clay), are ideal for Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Zweigelt. 

The climate too, of course, not to mention the family. “The vine absorbs these impressions and reflects them in the wine and gives each wine its personality and character. Behind every wine are also the people. Making good wine is a way of life, as well as a fascinating task. You need experience and a lot of feeling.”