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Fathers Day Wines and Bloomsday rambling

June 16th, 2017

Its a long time since i wrote a blog. ( btw – you can skip half way down to get to the offers if you don’t want to indulge in the ramble ) I usually do the MailChimp shots with a photo or an offer or whatever else comes to mind on a Thursday evening or sometimes Friday morning. My radio ‘career’ on Tipp FM has taken me from the articles i used to like writing for The Nationalist. The odd piece for the Sunday Business Post aside, my inner James Joyce ( it is Bloomsday ) has been stifled. In the words of Freddy Mercury, “I want to break free”

Red or White?

One of the most popular gifts for Fathers Day is wine. It is a quick and easy fix and a lot of Dads really like wine. I know its a terrible and often untrue cliche that Men like Red and Women like White wine. I am a Dad and like wine. However, i do like Red, White and Rose, but its my job to, so maybe I’m not the best example. However, one thing is true. When people are buying wine as a gift for a man, 99 times out of 100 they will buy Red wine.

Buy me some Burgundy

While it is very nice to own a wine business, one draw back is that everyone is afraid to buy me wine. If they bought some cheap supermarket rubbish they would have good reason to fear my wrath, but nobody should ever be afraid to buy me a good bottle of Burgundy ( another subtle Bloomsday reference for all of you Joycean scholars ).

bloomsday-greetings

I’m partial to a good vintage of La Tache, but who isn’t. Alas, it never happens and I fear Fathers Day may pass me by once more, but it should not mean that the Fathers in your life should go without. With that in mind, i have 4 Red Wines to tempt you with. And I picked these wines with me in mind. 2 from France, 1 from New Zealand and 1 from Italy.

The Wine Offers are here

France

Domaine des Anges has long been a favourite of mine. I harbour dreams of cycling up Mount Ventoux some day and falling into the lovely pool in the vineyard afterwards. The Red is normally €17.99 but down to €14.99 to treat the Daddy in your life. Buy it here

Ventoux_M

I met the lovely Vicky at a wine show a few years ago and she makes equally lovely Fleurie – a perfect summer wine. You could even chill it a little if it gets too hot this weekend ( but don’t tell Vicky ). Normally €22 but down to €17.99 – Buy it here

New Zealand

If any of you bothered to google la Tache you will see it is a silly price, but we do have a lovely New Zealand Pinot called the Better Half and it is also a great little summer wine. Not too heavy and full of sweet strawberry and macerated cherry flavour. Yum. Normally €19.99 but down to €16.99 which is a great price for New Zealand Pinot ( especially in the current currency environment ). Buy it here

Italy

Last but by no mean least, we have something special. A magnum ( which means a double size bottle ) of Barolo. This is a wine for putting away and opening in 5,10 or 20 years. Maybe when the kids go to college. We are down to our last 6 in the shop, and when they go, they are gone. Normally €65 but all Daddys should own some Barolo so we are giving this away for €50 – Buy it here

Me looking smug in the vineyards of Barolo

Me looking smug in the vineyards of Barolo

Happy Bloomsday and Happy Fathers Day this Sunday to all the heroes out there ( I know the mothers are the heroes but just give us this one day ( and buy us some wine ).

By the way, i deliberately didn’t put on wines that are €12.99 down to €9.99 because we fathers deserve a treat. Don’t be insulting us with cheap wines :)

Life is much too short to drink bad wine

Sam’s Back – well his wines are

December 2nd, 2013


Two Paddocks Returns

We have been fielding calls and emails and conversations about Sam Neill’s gorgeous Two Paddocks wines from Central Otago in New Zealand since they sold out last February. Its a tiny vineyard but also one that is of a very high quality and we only get a small amount of it. Lots of people want to sell this wine and we are delighted that Sam decided to work with us. Hopefully he can come back to visit us again. We enjoyed his visit last year.

sam-gary

So you can buy his wines online or call into the shop. Don’t forget you can try the wines this Thursday at our Christmas Wine Fair. Book your tickets here.

The Wines
There is the new Riesling at €19.99. Featuring the Proprietor’s Grandfather, Sydney Neill – Wine Merchant, on the label, Picnic Riesling is our perennial favourite and a wonderful introduction to the pleasure of Central Otago Riesling. We think it is just as much a dinner wine as a luncheon – equally enjoyable at home outdoors as at the Captain’s Table.

Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling

Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling

There is the Picnic Pinot Noir at €24. Once again a perennial favourite – the wine to enjoy everyday and a wonderful introduction to the pleasure of Central Otago Pinot Noir. With all fruit sourced from Two Paddock’s own vineyards, Picnic Pinot Noir is made in a diminutive style aimed to reflect the characters that Central Otago Pinot does so very well – black and red cherry fruit, spice and a generosity that keeps you reaching for the next sip.

Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir

Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir

There is the Premium Two Paddocks at €36. This wine won Outstanding Gold at the IWSC in 2012
Two Paddocks flagship Pinot Noir – an estate grown, barrel selection from the Neill family estate vineyards in Central Otago. These vineyards are high-density planted in a range of clonal material and intensively ‘man-handled’ with nearly all vineyard practices carried out by hand (with the exception of compost spreading). As in the vineyard, the wine is hand crafted using traditional methods including a 25% whole bunch fermentation in French oak cuvees and hand plunging. It is then aged in French barriques for 11 months, using a mix of older and new (25%) barrels.

Two Paddocks Pinot Noir

Two Paddocks Pinot Noir

And, then we have a tiny ( and i mean TINY ) allocation of the limited edition Last Chance Pinot Noir at €50. The Last Chance is a beautifully sited small terrace perched in bright clear air above the Earnscleugh Valley, carefully planted with well-tended Burgundian clone Pinot Noir. It nestles amongst a small cluster of the world’s most southerly vineyards and takes its name from the watercourse that runs through its heart, hand dug by goldminers in the 1860s, The Last Chance.
last-chance-PN

So, we hope you get to try Sam’s wonderful wines and we are very proud to sell them.

Lets have one more name dropping photo and then we’ll stop

Sam meets the famous Galilieo on his visit to Tipp last year.

Sam meets the famous Galilieo on his visit to Tipp last year.



Life is much Too Short to drink bad wine

New Wine just arrived from Australia

October 18th, 2013

We are starting to see the new wines arrive in ahead of Christmas and a steady flow of them are expected between now and December. First up is Johhny Q and his great selection of wines from South Eastern Australia.

The Johnny Q Collection

The Johnny Q Collection

John Quarisa of Australias Johnny Q Wines describes himself as a light-hearted, down-to-earth, easy going type of guy. He visited us in The Regal Centre recently and he lives up to his own appraisal. The wines are very much the same. They are easy going and easy to appreciate and also easy on the wallet. Great wines that are made for fun.

Johnny Q visits Red Nose Wine at The Regal Centre

Johnny Q visits Red Nose Wine at The Regal Centre

The list of wines we have are :

The 30 Mile Shiraz, which is has a Beautiful deep colour in the glass, with a swish, sweet nose of blackberry, vanilla and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is round and smooth, with gorgeous jammy flavours and hints of baking spice and chocolate. Very big and bold, with ripe, peppery tannins. You can buy it here.

30-Mile-Shiraz

The 30 Mile Cabernet Sauvignon which has a frank nose of blackcurrants and charcoal leads on to a firm wash of cedar, spiced plum and earth. Fairly savoury, grown-up style, with good weight, crispness and dusty tannins. You can buy it here.

30-Mile-Cabernet-Sauvignon

The Johnny Q Shiraz Viognier is opaque purple, with a big nose of blueberry jam and new leather. The fun continues on the palate, where sweet tannins meld with lush fruit, star anise and eucalyptus to give an overall impression of indulgence and wanton abandon. You can buy it here.

Johnny-Q-Shiraz-Viognier

And last but by no means least, a wonderfully affordable Pinot Noir
The Enchanted Tree Pinot Noir is very soft and juicy style of Pinot that shows a perfumed nose of strawberry and rhubarb jam. The gentle palate has soft tannins, medium weight and more generous, fruity flavours – think plum and cherry cola. The sappy finish is impressively long. You can buy it here.

Enchanted-Tree-Pinot-Noir

So why not call in to see us and taste some of the wonderful new wines from the enigmatic Johnny Q

photo 3

Sam Neill – The Big Interview

November 19th, 2012

Firstly, thank you very much Sam for taking the time to come over to Ireland and in particular Red Nose Wine to help us launch your wonderful wines on the Irish market.

Sam Neill visits Red Nose Wine

Sam Neill visits Red Nose Wine

Q1 – I will try and get the obvious questions out of the way quickly. What was the first wine that you had that changed your perception of wine from a commodity to something more profound
A Gevrey Chambertin drank in Lausanne Switzerland – it was like Gods hand came out of a cloud and changed the course of my life.

Q2 – What is the greatest moment you enjoyed with a bottle/glass of wine, and where was it? I always find surroundings & company can have a big influence on this.
The first time we served our own wine at a dinner party to a bunch of my thoroughly disgraceful and undeserving friends – a great wine like that is wasted on them frankly.

Q3 – If you were a singer instead of an actor, who would you be and why?
Brian Wilson without the psychedelic drugs thank you very much, although Carl was the better singer.

The Beach Boys

Q4 – If you were to have written any song, what would it be and why?
This week I would say ‘Don’t talk, put our head on my shoulder’ a wonderful version I recommend is by Anne Sofie von Otter and produced by Elvis Costello.

Q5 – When I lived in France, I was told that after people’s flirtations with other regions, all roads eventually lead to Burgundy, and Pinot Noir. Where does Central Otago fit into this odyssey?
When you have got to Burgundy, stay on the same road and it will eventually bring you to Central Otago, and everything we do originates from Burgundy – vines, methods we use to grow those vines and to make the wines subsequently – it all comes from Burgundy, but that wine take a very subtle change of expression at the other end of the world.

Sam meets the great Galilieo at Coolmore

Sam meets the great Galilieo at Coolmore

Q6 – Can you tell us about your latest film project, and did you know that your co-star already has a connection with Red Nose Wine. Have you tasted Domaine des Anges - Cillian Murphy’s father in law make this wine?
Yes, I am doing a 6hr project for BBC 2 called Peaky Blinders alongside your man from Cork Cillian Murphy. A fellow wine enthusiast

Q7 – Why weren’t you in Lord of The Rings?
Actually I was unavailable – no loss for them.

Q7 – What are your plans for Two Paddocks long term? Are you looking to spread the good news all over the world or just the lucky countries, like Ireland?
There is not enough to go around the world but I am always happy to see it in places where people truly love wine, so more of that please.

Q8 – Lastly, you were born in Ireland, and lived for a few years up North before leaving for New Zealand. With this strong connection to Ireland, and your great standing back in New Zealand, could you possibly ask that the All Blacks take it easy on us the next time we play them. The last one really hurt.
I’m always happy to please but now you have gone too far.

Thank you very much, and it is a pleasure to represent such a truly wonderful collection of wines. The feedback so far has really been superb. Sam’s Two Paddocks wines are available online or directly in the shop. You can follow Sam on Twitter at his @twopaddocks handle.

Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks has arrived

October 26th, 2012

I used to love horror films as a kid and it was hard enough to scare me. The only ones that really got to me were the ones that messed with your mind. The Omen films really got to me as did Psycho, but who would have thought that Damien Thorn himself would end up making wines which are simply phenomenal, and very well priced when compared to other wines of that quality – Central Otago is regarded the best place in the world for Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy, so we are delighted to be bringing them into Ireland.

Sam Neill and the fruits of the vine

Sam Neill and the fruits of the vine

They have 2 Pinots Noirs and some Riesling ( which we hope to have over in the next shipment ). The first Pinot is The Picnic Pinot and this is rich ruby in colour, with hints of brambles, plums up front, with a distinct herbs and spice in mid palate with the savoury undertones that are distinctive of the vintage. This wine shows good length and depth in its youth and will develop more complexity with bottle age.

The Two Paddocks Premium blend is made from three vineyards – Gibbston, Alexandra, and Redbank at Earnscleugh, this wine is a quintessential cool climate Pinot Noir. As in the vineyard, this wine is hand crafted using traditional methods and aged in small French oak barrels for 11 months, using a mix of older and new (25%) barrels.

The vineyard has a great blog with lots of things like videos and the staff’s Top 10 songs of all time as well as guests Top 10 ( Vinnie Jones is one as well as lots of actors and musicians ) – I would LOVE to get on that list – I’d have Dylan, Cohen, Wilson, Waits, Mitchell, Morrison Van, Morrison Jim and many more … I like the video where he opens a case of wine ( Joni Mitchell style ).

sam-truck

We are hopeful that Sam will get a break in his filming schedule to come over to Ireland and officially launch the wines himself, so keep tuned for details… hopefully, maybe, please Sam… I’ll play a Beach Boys song on my guitar if you come …

Article – Wedding Wines

March 2nd, 2011

“The Bells, the Bells”. I can hear them ringing in my head. That may be due to the amount of wine tastings I have been attending lately, but I think it is due to the wedding season being upon us. I was at a very lively wedding fair in the Clonmel Park recently and it was abuzz with innocence and youth.

I remember it well. I was married in Minella back in 2004. My wife never asked me to go to a wedding fair though. She knows me too well. I turned up and the hair was combed. My promise fulfilled.

Wines for all occasions

I love supplying the wines for weddings as people really care about the wine being good but are also on a budget. This is where small independent importers come into their own as we can offer consistent ‘direct from the vineyard’ prices for serious quality wine. The happy couple can also taste the wines and be confident in their selection. This approach has also worked for christenings, communions and confirmations.

But apart from all the obvious self promotion, the thing that people want to know about wedding wines ( apart from the price ) is what to serve. As much as I love Riesling, I would not serve it at a wedding and as much as I adore Pinot Noir, it is too expensive and most people won’t get it.

happy-bride

Its all about the bride people

I am going to abandon my normal position on being adventurous in your wine choices. In terms of large gatherings where the wine is very much down the agenda in terms of the day’s priority (It’s all about the bride), I would suggest being conservative. My advice is stick with a crowd pleaser, and I am not talking about the bride. Stick with what is popular and goes well with beef or salmon.

Sauvignon Blanc is popular for a reason but closing in on its popularity is Pinot Grigio. These are the two white varieties of choice at the moment. The poor old Chardonnay grape cannot get a look in but it’s a pity as it is great match with that old stalwart of Irish weddings, Salmon.

Chilean Merlot still seems to lead the charge with the reds but the French Languedoc Syrah-Grenache blends are doing very well as that whole authentic earthy style sits well with the Irish palate. Cabernet Sauvignon is still doing well as it goes so well with that other classic, beef.

We want the finest wines available to humanity

You can’t ignore the price issue and to be honest when it is a large gathering and costs are already astronomical, price is important. However, If you want to spoil your guests, I am ready to serve. I am still waiting for Richard E Grant to jump in the door of the shop and scream “We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now”. For those of you not familiar with it, it’s a scene from one of my favourite films, Withnail and I.

 

To sum up, keep it simple and keep it cheap with wedding wines but don’t poison your guests. They are bringing you presents after all so you need to treat them well. If the wine is bad they will tell everyone and they may not come to your next wedding.

Enough with the bloody politics

This is my last political commentary – I promise. By the time this is published, we will have a new Taoiseach. Hopefully at that point, we can move forward as a united country and build a future that works for Ireland. I think that maybe I should run in the next election.

As Jackie Healy Rae famously said that he represented “the people who eat their dinner in the middle of the day”, I could represent the people who drink wine with it. I should probably distance myself from those who drink wine in the middle of the day.

This week I met with some like minded importers from around the country at a little wine sampling / dinner in Ely Bar in Dublin. Lots of progress was made and a serious plan put in place for the year. We were able to confirm our new shared Spanish wine collection which starts at €8 Euros per bottle.

New-Wine-Collection

Don’t miss our current 20% Sale on Languedoc wines. Now that is value.

Who wants a coffee?

As mentioned last week, Red Nose Wine is delighted to announce we have taken delivery of our first coffee. We are constantly expanding our range in wines, but we are now giving you another reason to call in. The coffee comes in full beans and ground bags and comes from Tipperary Food Producer Tommy Ryan of Ponaire. They have a fantastic roasting facility and have a range of flavours to choose from. We will be adding more quality coffee producers to the range in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

Please have a look at our Facebook site and ‘Like’ Us so we can share all the photos with you. Feel free to share this page with your friends and enemies.

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Article – Wine Aromas and Love

February 18th, 2011

I suppose there is only one thing to discuss this week – the candidates for the upcoming election. Only joking. I would not subject you to that, and I really wouldn’t know what to say. There is a lot I would like to say, but there is a Clonmel man who writes very well on the subject for the Sunday Business Post so we will leave it to Pat.

Hands up in you Hate this!

We will discuss love and all of its promises. Much like an expensive wine, sometimes it can promise much but deliver little. Oh cynical little me – blame it on the terrible film with the dancing Prime Minister, “Love Actually”. We’ll talk about the expensive bottles in this little comparison and let us forget about Hugh Grant and that lady who used to be in EastEnders.

In case you haven’t guessed, Valentine’s Day is the subject of this article and we will weave the beauty of wine through the mystery of love and see what kind of an omelette we can create. In case you are wondering I am not writing with a glass in hand. I just feel like waxing lyrical. Let us tarry not, yet progress to the romance and the grape.

20% Off Rose & Bubbly until end February

20% Off Rose & Bubbly until end February

Rosé – You know you want it

Rosé is an obvious choice for a tipple to share with the better half and of course sparkling Rosé is even more tempting. Samuel Johnson memorably quipped “The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with champagne.”

Rose

Rose

All manner of terribly wonderful things happen under the influence of the bubbles.

However, we are still in winter ( regardless of what some might say about Spring ) and red is the colour of love and also of wine to drink by the fire. As we get a glimmer of hope that Spring might be coming, it’s the last of the choc ices and in this instance, the choc ices are big spicy Reds.

A little Pepper ?

Shiraz is great for a night in by the fire as it normally has a little pepper to it and is rich and warm and cosy. One should be cosy on Valentines night. I need to be careful what I write here as it is very easy to be inappropriate and I need to remember my audience. “Hello Mrs. Byrne”. “That’s not what I meant”. “I was talking about other people”. “I really was talking about wine”.

There has been research carried by Dr. Max Lake that the aromas of certain wines can spark arousal. This is very sensitive and powerful information and if I print it, Mrs. Byrne could be proven right. The theory is that certain wine aromas can replicate the scents of human pheromones (which signal attraction in the brain).

Do you want the theory behind it or a list of the wines? We live in a fast moving world and my gut tells me to list the wines, but the engineer in me really wants to tell you why. To quote Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Let’s look around for a minute.

 

My compromise is that I will give a one line explanation and then list some of the wines. “In general, Lake found that the earthy scents of red wines (like leathery, musky, etc.) come most close to resembling male pheromones. Female pheromones are best represented by the earthy side (sweaty, yeasty, doughy, etc.), in white and sparkling wines.” That wasn’t too painful now, was it?

Romantic Wines

According to my source, some wines to consider for your little romantic night could include Pinot Noir, Saint Julien Bordeaux (Cabernet blend), French Syrah or Italian Valpolicella style wines in Red. The whites recommended included an oaked Chardonnay and a New Zealand Riesling. The last wine suggested was a Rosé Champagne (what else would it be?). The full list, the wines themselves and the link to the article are available in Red Nose Wine.

One can of course be very obvious and share a bottle of Chateau Valentine, which I do believe is sold in Clonmel and online and is very reasonably priced. If you don’t stay in then enjoy the night out and remember my tips as you look over the wine list.

Peppa Pig and vomiting baby

You should always remember where this romance can lead and as I started this article late on a Wednesday I was interrupted by a vomiting 2 year old who then came down stairs and in between pukes, tried to get me to put Peppa Pig on the laptop. As much as I like Peppa, I really have seen every episode many times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I knew there was a good reason to buy all of that Champagne when I lived in France.

 

To all of the mortgage laden couples with small children. Enjoy the stolen kisses between Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly, and when the kids are asleep, open up that special bottle and sit back and enjoy Valentine’s Day. We deserve it more than most.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

Please have a look at our Facebook site and ‘Like’ Us so we can share all the photos with you. Feel free to share this page with your friends and enemies.

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

The SALE goes on

July 2nd, 2010

The weather remains, and the poor old barbecue is wrecked. It never knew work like this before.

SALE SALE SALE

SALE SALE SALE

The sale has been very popular and the 20% and 15% wine have really been well taken up. If I am to pick my own stars among that batch, I would say

The Pont de Brion Graves - down from €15 to €12 and from the mythical 2005 Bordeaux vintage.

The Chateau Margui Blanc – down from €18.50 to €14.80 and in many a Michelin Star restaurant the world over.

The Michel Bailley Pouilly Fume – down from €19 to €15.30 – we had this last weekend and it drinking perfectly. High end Sauvignon from the Loire.

In Red, the some of the standouts include :

Twiggy - the famous Montepuliciano d’Abruzzo wine withe a piece of vine on the bottle – down from €17 to €14.45

The Cantina di Montalcino Sangiovese – Chianti without the price – down from €14.50 to €12.33

The famous New Zealand Muddy Water Pinot Noir- down from €28 to €23.80

This is all about while stocks last, so now is as good a time as any to stock up. Beat the recession pricing.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget Twitter Blind Tasting ( #twebt) on Sunday night at 9.
You can still buy your mystery bottle for €14.

Gary

Offer – Buy 6 get 1 Free – New Zealand Wines

May 27th, 2010

Red Nose Wine are launching a very special and innovative new style of weekly promotion.
We strive to have the wines at the best prices we can, so there really isn’t a whole lot left to discount.
What we can do however, is offer you free stock. So, we will offer a different type of offer every week.
We will bring specific countries, areas, grape varieties, and styles together and give you the chance to get free wine.

THE OFFER

 

Each week, there will be 3 Wines on Offer – of a shared theme.
Buy 6 get 1 free
You can mix and match the wines
You can choose all the one wine OR any mix of the 3 on offer each week.
You must choose a total of 6 in order to get the free one
It won’t suit you every week, but we’ll keep it fresh.

To start with – the 3 wines this week are :

New Zealand – A Taste of the Exotic

New Zealand Vineyard - Nelson

New Zealand Vineyard - Nelson

Tussock Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – Tropical, Delicious and Only €13
Greenhough Pinot Noir 2006 – Ripe black cherries & dark chocolate : Only €16
Waipara Springs Premo Dry Riesling – Fresh lemon zest & crisp green apples : Only €14.50

Buy 6 bottles : all of one, or any mix and get a 7th bottle free.

The details

Just order as normal online – pick a mix of the six online and tell us which one you want free
( if you get 12, you will get 2 free ).
Or you can pick your mix of 6 offer wines and any 6 other wines to make up a case.
The choice is yours.

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Article – Confirmations & Communions

March 6th, 2010

The churches are getting ready and the new clothes are being bought in households up and down the country. The boys and girls of Ireland are preparing for their first holy communion and their confirmation. Mammy and Daddy are weighing up the options of a bouncy castle and a house party or maybe they will fill up the local pub. The pub is definitely my memory. There are pictures of my grandfather and myself having a drink in Carey’s Lounge circa 1981 – I was on the Lilt in case you are wondering. Bars of chocolate from Ma Welch’s shop and a 50pence piece were the presents of choice, if you were lucky. I am not sure how that would go down now. The level of expectancy may have grown with the Celtic Tiger. We have all seen the shows highlighting the fake tan and the horse drawn carriages for the princess and the huge bouncy castles that literally squeeze into the back lawn. I still like Dairy Milk and now and again, I have been known to nostalgically sip on a Lilt. I think though, you will see a little bit of restraint crawling back into society and the humble ham sandwich might make a comeback.

Whatever about the castles, I know that the increase in the popularity for wine will not fall back into the history books. We have a taste for the good stuff now and a person’s palate has a memory and there is no turning back now. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. With this in mind, my topic for this week is wines for a large family gathering where you don’t really want to break the bank. A communion, christening or confirmation would fall into this category. There are a few do’s and don’ts that I will attempt to cover and also suggest what wines might best suit this occasion. I am sure my colleague in the Tipperary Food Producers Network and in the Life section of the paper, Pat Whelan will have a plethora of food on offer for any of these auspicious occasions. Assuming the food in question is something along the lines of pork, chicken or beef, and with a curry, tomato or casserole style sauce, you can have some fun with the wine selection. God forbid we get some weather and attempt a barbeque. I am assuming fish is too hard to time successfully for a large group. Greater chefs than I will manage it in style, I have no doubt.

What you want to avoid for a mixed gathering of people, whose wine tastes you are not fully aware of, is being too adventurous. I personally do a serious background check on any potential friend or future family member and their wine tastes. I had to break off all communication with numerous friends and family over the years for careless comments made about certain wines and regions. But then I am very passionate when it comes to wine. One wine to potentially avoid is Chardonnay, and for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it can be a wine that people love or hate, and the cheaper versions of it are not quite as good as the cheaper versions of other varieties. If you are spoiling your guests with Chablis, Macon or Burgundy, then Chardonnay is an option, but if you want to keep it under €10 Euros a bottle, avoid the cheap stuff. Sauvignon Blanc is more neutral, but not always a great wine for a buffet style. It can be too dry for the general public. Another tip – never drink it the day after a wedding, as it will exploit your dodgy stomach at every opportunity. I would love to suggest my favourite white wine style, Riesling, but it is not for everyone. So, with a budget in mind and a large group to please, I would suggest Pinot Grigio, as it is easy drinking and is both dry and fruity at the same time. I will be doing a big promotion for the upcoming communions and confirmations with an easy drinking €8 euro bottle of Pinot Grigio one of the main attractions.

And then there were the Reds. I do not mean the mighty Reds of Old Trafford, or even the other mid table variety. I refer to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz or maybe even Malbec, but not Pinot Noir. Much like my beloved Riesling, this might also be a step too far. I did serve it at my wedding though, and got many compliments, but whether it can justify the price is a point of contention. I think you can be a little more adventurous with the Reds, and a blend is always a good option. Bordeaux Cabernet/Merlot can be too dry, but the spicy Shiraz/Grenache from the Languedoc offers a fruity vibrant red that should stand up nicely to most of the sauces. Unless you are having a barbeque, I think some of the bigger Australian Shiraz wines are too big. The softer Chilean Merlots are another option of course, but they might be more suited to sitting down to dinner, as opposed to the rough and tumble adventure that is balancing fighting children, trying to the sneak a peek at the match on TV, holding a plate and enjoying a wine. The joys of a family buffet dinner where seats are a luxury for the under forties and time passes so slowly. I will have a range of these reds as part of my promotion – coming soon to a local newspaper near you. Full details will also be online and deliveries nationwide. Now that the sales pitch is over, whatever occasion causes you to break bread with family and friends is a good one, and I hope yours passes without incident and that you enjoy a nice glass of wine to celebrate a very important part of a young person’s life. My grandfather passed away in 1986, but I still remember the Lilt in Mick Careys Lounge and being allowed to sit on a big stool beside my Grandad.

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For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Mar 4 2010

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