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The Easter Article ( albeit a little late )

April 5th, 2013

What did you give up for lent? I gave up caffeine, sugar and bread. It was part of this regime I am partaking in with a bunch of lunatic warriors I started training with last summer. We swing Kettle Bells and do Crossfit challenges and all seem to share a slight addiction to pain, but with lots of gain. I can’t wait for my cup of coffee on Easter Sunday, served in bed ( hint to no one in particular ).

I was supposed to give up alcohol as part of it, but decided that coffee was enough of a sacrifice. I’m not super human, some times I barely even feel human, but that’s a different article. I do know that some people did give up the drink ( does wine really count? ) for lent. However, your day is nearly here. Easter Sunday will see you ready to enjoy a very nice bottle with the dinner. I am here to offer you guidance and support.

Easter offers a great excuse to trade up and enjoy the finer wines with your dinner. We will be closing the shop on Good Friday, so you’ll need to be in Thursday and Saturday to buy your special wines. While chocolate can of course be matched to wines with varying levels of success, I think lamb is a more suitable delicacy to pair up for that Easter Sunday dinner.

Lets blame the Greeks for everything

Lamb has some classic pairings that are already engrained in the wine vocabulary. There are a number of reasons for this. Going back thousands of years, to ancient Greece and into old France, Spain and Italy, the most popular meat was lamb. The sheep often grazed in the vineyards so the pairing was almost instinctive. Go to Greece (or even your local kebab shop) today and there is quite a lot of lamb on the menu. But add to this practicality, and the fact that the flavour of the lamb lends itself perfectly to wine.

I have my own favourite combinations when matching wines to lamb. It often depends on the cut of lamb and how it is prepared. If money is no object, then I would suggest a Pauillac from the Medoc region of Bordeaux. If your budget can’t stretch to a 1st growth Château Mouton Rothschild or even a 5th growth Lynch Bages, then there are plenty of substitutes.

Claret Anyone?

There are lots of really good value Bordeaux wines out there and it is the dry tannic nature of the Cabernet Sauvignon that reacts so well with the lamb. In fact we just took in three new Bordeaux’s ranging from €11.99 to €13.99. But why Cabernet and why Bordeaux?

For some it is the minty herbal nature of Cabernet that pairs so well with the lamb, and others think this is a load of rubbish. Pinot Noir tends to show off different sides of the lamb, so if it is not overly lean, I think the Pinot Noir can offer some great flavours.

A good rule of thumb is that a chewier meat should be matched to a chewier wine, and by this I mean a younger tannic wine. The meat will make the wines seem smoother than they would be on their own. Other wines that go with Lamb for much the same reasons are Spanish Rioja’s and Italian Chianti or Sangiovese varieties. The really great news is that I have a huge selection of all of the above at all prices.

If you wanted to get some great value for your purchases and were willing to step off of the road a little and go to a region that is not quite as famous, you can really do well. I’m talking about swapping your Rioja for a Navarra or for a Valencia. Try a Tuscan Sangiovese instead of a Chianti. You’d be surprised how good they can be. One of my best wines is a humble Cotes du Rhone but it is made by the man who makes my Chateauneuf du Papes and it punches way above it weight. Grapes find their expression in both the place and the winemaker’s guiding hand.

What about those white drinkers

For the white wine drinkers, I think you will be fine if you go with a heavier style wine. The Archange wine from Domaine des Anges is a perfect example of a full bodied oaked wine that would sit wonderfully with lamb. You could also try an oaked Chardonnay from Burgundy or possibly even the white wines from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s estate in Provence, Chateau Miraval. Brad and Angie have recently gotten involved themselves.

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As mentioned the last time, we are finalizing plans for another wine course. This time we are looking at a few different options. We plan to repeat the classic 5 week course on a Thursday night but we are also looking at a slimmed down ½ day version, more than likely at the weekend.

Depending on interest, we have also investigated the possibility of some Magical Mystery Tours. This basically means a mini bus, a foodie destination with lots of wine to match. You do the drinking, we organize the driving. We can’t do it if we don’t get the numbers, so get in contact and express an interest ( if you have one ).

In the last article I mentioned Cheltenham and the few horses I chance every year. I’m delighted to tell you all that I ended up winning the Dalys Bar tipsters competition much to the horror of some of the more seasoned tipsters. I owe some of my genius selections to a Clonmel man living in Twickenham. Thanks Nigel.

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

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 new 50 EURO Mix Case now Online

March 12th, 2013

A great little mix case of 6 wines is now on Sale in house and online. We listened to our customers and these are among the wines they wanted to see on offer. We picked 3 Reds & 3 Whites from some of our favourite vineyards. Normally €63, this is your for only €50.

The Reds

One of our best selling red wines comes from the Languedoc and the Gassac family of wines. The Gassac Classic Red is just that. A Classic at a great price.

Cuvee Jean Paul Rouge – Staying the south of France but moving over to the Vaucluse this is a little cracker that has proved a party favourite since it arrived.

58 Guineas Claret is a great introduction to Bordeaux. A Merlot dominant blend ( Cab Sab is the other variety).

The Whites

The sister to the Classic Red, the Gassac Classic White is for the white wine drinker who likes a little minerality and complexity in their wines. Another firm favourite, especially among the Sauvignon Blanc lovers.

The Spanish wine revolution goes on and this little cracker from the Penedes region has made many a happy party happier. Mont Marcal make a great Cava but their white wine is a little star.

For all of you who enjoy the holidays in Portugal, the Montaria Blanco offers a more complex and food friendly wine. If you want to test your dinner guests with “Guess the Grape”, this is the one that will win you the money.

Get this mix case while its hot. We will change the wines in the future but for now… enjoy.

Wine Dinner – Anges in Tipp

November 13th, 2012

We are delighted to welcome over Florent Chave, chief winemaker at Domaine des Anges to Tipperary for a night of wine, fun and food in the famous McCarthys of Fethard. You can buy tickets here.

Florent Chave of Domaine des Anges

Florent Chave of Domaine des Anges

This Irish owned vineyard has long been a favorite of our customers and what better way to start the Christmas run in than with a tapas style wine night.

interior_night_mccarthys

McCarthys of Fethard has long since been a famous pub, so much so that they have been afraid to change the interior since 1847. As well as a great pub, it also hosts a great restaurant and a great wine list. They take the vine very seriously here, so book your tickets now for this event sold out very quickly last year and we expect this one to follow suit so get your tickets now.

domaine-anges-logo1

Tickets are only €40 and can be booked online or via Red Nose Wine at 052-6182939 or email info@rednosewine.com – Book now. A night not to be missed.

Article – Horses for Courses

May 24th, 2012

The communions are in full swing as I write this on a sunny / cloudy Saturday morning. I passed a good few white dresses and stressed parents on the way into work this morning. We have a five year old’s birthday to contend with but it seems less daunting than the communions.

Knobbly knees and Dairy Milks

My memory of my communion is my neighbour buying me a red confirmation rosette instead of a white communion one. Everyone noticed and laughed outside St Marys church. At least my mother didn’t dress me in shorts like some of the lads. The sight of the knobbly knees brigade deflected away from my Red rosette. There were no wine laden dinners in those days or €50 notes in a card. Careys Lounge was the post communion setting and Dairy Milk the reward for making the big step on your spiritual journey.

Anyway, memory lane is an indulgence the good wine public of Tipperary won’t suffer too much longer, so I better talk about wine. I want to compare wines to the breeding of horses, if I may. I recently joined the FUSE initiative, which is an networking organisation among businesses in the South East of Ireland. They organised a breakfast meeting in Coolmore this week and I jumped at the chance to attend.

I had never been there and have long been fascinated by what they do. I was lucky enough to attend the Ryder Cup in Ireland a few years ago and it was organised to such a word class level, it made me really proud to be Irish. Coolmore had a similar effect.

The Great Galileo

I am way off the point now, but in an attempt to be succinct, Coolmore is a world leader, and sets worldwide standards for others in their industry to try and reach. It is an example of what the Irish can do well, but it is coupled with an execution and vision that sets it apart. I came out of the visit very inspired, and I got to meet Galileo. I was hoping to meet Dylan Thomas as he made me some nice money a few years ago. I owe him at least a lump of sugar.

A fine Tipperary Stallion

A fine Tipperary Stallion

Hey Camelot – who’s your Daddy?

A good friend on mine in London, originally from Clonmel is an avid follower of Ballydoyle and the great Aidan O Brien. He has put a ‘small’ wager on a horse called Camelot in the Epson Derby. The horse is favourite so why is that strange? He placed the bet ante post at over 20-1. I have a very nice case of wine set aside for his hopeful winnings.

Who's your Daddy

Who's your Daddy

Communions, stallions and very little wine – what are we to do. Those familiar with Coolmore will know about a horse called Northern Dancer, and his son Saddlers Wells. My mate Galilieo is a son of Saddlers. The breeding in this line of horses has created a roll of champions that is the envy of the racing world. Wine is quite similar, but slightly different.

The 1855 classification in Bordeaux tells us what were the great wines of that year, and bye and large, they still hold true. They were broken into five groups with the 1er Cru at the top. One of these five is Chateau Margaux and it was regarded the very best estate in Margaux back then, and still is. Chateau Latour and Lafite are still seen as the standard bearers for Paulliac. Their ‘breeding line’ has stood the test of time.

Chateau Margaux – the Coolmore of Wine

Chateau Margaux - the Coolmore of Wine?

While I appreciate that vines don’t breed as a stallion and brood mare might, the fact exists that the same vines are consistently producing great wines year after year. Over 150 years after their greatness was recognised, they are still the standard bearers. While the root vine and terroir are a part of this, there is also constant reinvestment and the attention to detail is staggering.

There are many examples of vineyards within the list that didn’t maintain their attention to detail and have fallen back into mediocrity. While they maintain their place on the list, the prices paid for the wines reflect their true standing.

The manicured vines of Chateau Margaux

The manicured vines of Chateau Margaux

Equally, if I go out and look for a pieball pony and breed it with any old willing mare, there is a good chance its offspring will not challenge Camelot or any of his siblings at Epsom. I could go and buy a few hectares in the south of France and go and make wine. I can be as meticulous as I like, but if that land is not suitable for making great wine, I will join the many who live in the pleasant world of mediocrity.

That is not a bad place to be, as long as you know where you are. I must stress I am talking about the top end of wine here. This should not take from the fact that most of the wines we drink and gain pleasure from do not fit into this elite group. It should be stated that previously unheralded parts of the world have created superstar wines. The Languedoc is now producing some of the finest wines in the world. They are a fraction of the prices of the top Bordeaux and Burgundy. Seabiscuit does exist in the wine world.

If Seabiscuit was a vineyard

Places like the Terrases du Larzac always had the ‘breed’ in the land, but it was never properly harvested. Bulk wines are all about volume, while fine wine is all about concentration. These two cannot co-exist so when serious wine makers came in, they brought execution and vision. The latest scores for La Peira have just been released and they are touching 100 points. I have tasted most of the top Bordeaux wines, and La Peira is a serious contender.

Jeremie Depierre shows me the cellars in La Peira

Jeremie Depierre shows me the cellars in La Peira

Many more experimental winemakers will go and get clippings from the great estates of the world transplant them to their vineyard. Aime Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac did this back in the 1970s in his now famous estate. People thought he was mad, but he grafted Burgundy Pinot Noir, Bordeaux Cabernet, Piedmonte Nebbiolo and many more to create a unique vineyard that was eventually described as the Grand Cru of the Midi.

The great Languedoc pioneer Aime Guibert and his son Samuel

The great Languedoc pioneer Aime Guibert and his son Samuel

A very fine affair in Ballymaloe

While his Grand Cru red is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, there are 19 or so other varieties that Samuel Guibert describes as the salt and pepper. Samuel’s mother Veronique co founded the vineyard with Aime and she has written a book based on cooking among the vines in the Gassac Valley. I am honoured to co host an event for the launch of this book on August 2nd in Ballymaloe.

Darina Allen and her team in the famous Cookery School are having a long table dinner in the grounds of the school with Madame Guibert’s book being the inspiration for the menu. The Grand Cru wines are going to be served as the Allens and the Guibert’s talk and taste their way through a feast of food and wine. Get your tickets quick as this is a small intimate event.

Who’s coming to Epsom?

So, I will be cheering on Camelot on June 2nd and hoping to move a case of La Peira to my ante post hero. I may have to consider going over to Epsom to make sure all runs smoothly. Now there is a plan worth pursuing. We could organise a bus from McCarthys in Fethard. I’ll bring the wine if someone else brings the tickets.

The new Loyalty card scheme is proving very popular. The Silver cards are free, and after 10 stickers ( earned every time you spend €25 ) you get FREE WINE. You also get a Gold card and at the end of that, there is even more FREE WINE, and you move on to the revered platinum card. The May sale if still on, so call in for 20% off the Languedoc and South Africa.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog, visit our All New Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RedNoseWineFanPage or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

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 Night They drove old Dixie down

October 28th, 2011

There is no relevance between this title and this blog, but I did want an excuse to insert the You Tube clip from this classic song from The Band.

I was involved in two very special evenings recently, when Samuel Guibert from Mas de Daumas Gassac came over to see us, We had a dinner in Inch House ( which I will cover in a subsequent Tipp Food blog ), but we also went down to Ballymaloe House and a tasting followed by a wine dinner. It was a great night and we had a huge crowd in Ballymaloe’s fantastic Grain Store venue.

Before that, we went over to the Cookery school where Samuel adressed the students and then we caught up with Darina Allen for a quick chat.

Samuel Guibert, Darina Allen and Gary Gubbins

Samuel Guibert, Darina Allen and Gary Gubbins

Smile Lads, they might turn up ...

Smile Lads, they might turn up ...

They did ... A big crowd in the Grain Store

They did... A big crowd in the Grain Store

Samuel Guibert on stage

Samuel Guibert on stage

Let me tell you a story about wine

Let me tell you a story about wine

Tomas Clancy interviews the great Myrtle Allen

Tomas Clancy interviews the great Myrtle Allen

We also launched the en Primeur offer on the night. You too can buy these great wines for a fraction of the cost. Details are here.

Buy Wine from the Barrel and save save save

October 26th, 2011

Following the visit of Samuel Guibert to Ireland last week, we’re delighted to offer our second En Primeur campaign of Mas de Daumas Gassac.

WHAT IS EN PRIMEUR?
En Primeur is a way of buying wines while they’re still in barrel, well ahead of bottling and release, and with considerable savings on the final retail price. You pay the En Primeur price for the wines in advance, then pay for the excise duty, VAT and transport costs upon landing in Ireland. Transport is provided on a groupage basis with other clients so works
out much more cost effective than trying to organise on an individual basis.

I went down to Gassac to check that the wine was evolving

I went down to Gassac to check that the wine was evolving

checking the 2011 vintage with Samuel Guibert

checking the 2011 vintage with Samuel Guibert

A message on the 2010 Red from Aime Guibert :

2010 VINTAGE REPORT FROM AIME GUIBERT – “A TREAT!”Ever since the end of fermentation, it’s been quite clear that the 2010 red Mas de Daumas Gassac is an outstanding vintage – powerful and oozing flavours.
The moderate summer, with no burning sun but equally not a drop of rain, was responsible for the delicious savors. Then, in early September, when the grapes were already ripe, a few scorching days ‘roasted’ them, resulting in a lightly ‘caramelized’ taste.

A splendid vintage, very full and rich, bursting with ripe fruit; it’s already a delightful drink, but will develop beautifully as the years go by. Born of a vineyard that’s over 30 years old, the 2010 vintage can thus be enjoyed while young, but you can be sure it will age magically if you put it down in a good, cool cellar.

Aimé GUIBERT
Véronique, Samuel, Gaël et Roman GUIBERT

Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2010

Red 2010

A very late spring and long summer lead to one of the latest harvests – picked by hand as usual – in the past 10 years with a reasonable yield. The 2010 resembles its big brother 2009 as the very ripe fruit is balanced by the sharp acidity that makes the wines from the cool Gassac Valley distinct and rich.
The 2010 red will impress many by the elegance it delivers now with a long finish that lingers on the palate. For those with patience, we recommend waiting 5 years to start enjoying the more evolved, earthy undertones that emerge with age.

Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2011

white 2011

The first flower appeared around the 10th of May showing signs of an earlier harvest than 2010, but with a cool month of June and a very moderate month of July, picking was in early September. With a dominant blend of Viognier, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Petit Manseng, the Daumas Gassac white continues to provide an explosion of apricot and passion fruit aromas in its youth. With a superb density and freshness in the mouth, the emphasis is on fruit and minerality.

Mas de Daumas Gassac Rose Frizant 2011

rose frizante

A fresh naturally sparkling wine made from a single fermentation and no dosage, the Rose Frizant has fine bubbles and a fruity finish. It is made using the younger Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the Grand Cru vineyards.

Pricing

The duty and VAT are at current rates and hopefully this won’t change in the budget. You never know, the duty or VAT might go down, which will of course make this cheaper again.

Call on 052-6182939 or email us on info@rednosewine.com to order now.

The 2010 Mas de Daumas Gassac red, and 2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac white and Rosé Frizant, will be ready for release in February/March of 2012. You can now purchase them En Primeur through Red Nose Wine.

Final orders for Mas de Daumas En Primeur 2011 must be received by Monday 7th November 2011.

When Rachel Allen met Red Nose Wine

October 18th, 2011

Red Nose Wine had the great pleasure of visiting Ballymaloe House recently for a photoshoot with Rachel Allen and our friend Michael Kane from Curious Wines. Colm McCan, Ballymaloe’s Tipperary born sommelier gave us a great welcome.

It was all to publicize our upcoming tastings / wine dinner with Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac on Thursday Ocotber 20th in Inch House and Friday in Ballymaloe. Details of which are here

Here are some of the pictures.

This wine lark is great fun

This wine lark is great fun

Picking a nice wine for dinner

Picking a nice wine for dinner

Dinner in the wine cellars of Ballymaloe

Dinner in the wine cellars of Ballymaloe

winemaking  pic1.jpg

Cheers

Cheers

Wines of the Week – Spanish Red and Irish Organic White

August 12th, 2011

Wines of the week

Wines of the week

We have 2 new wines of the week and they include a real star wine from the Irish Vineyard in France. I am of course talking about the much loved Domaine des Anges in Provence. The new vintages have arrived into Red Nose Wine and we are giving the 2010 White a push by slashing the price back to €10.49. This organic wine has a nose of pears and lemons with a touch of tropical fruits. A full, rich, creamy, well-balanced palate with notes of pears and pineapples leading to a long finish, both lively and elegant.

To match it we have the very popular La Granja Tempranillo Garnacha, aka The Zebra. This is an everyday drinking soft rounded juicy red wine, with rich ripe raspberry flavours. It is a great match for barbeque roasted pork chops, spare ribs, sausages, grilled vegetables and cheeses and only costs €6.99.

Tipperary Food Producers

November 17th, 2010

Oh what a night!

What a night was had on November 10th in the Clonmel Park Hotel. Nearly 500 food ( and wine ) lovers descended on Tipperary in a great show of support for local food and local business. Myself and Con Traas of the Apple Farm could not pour the wine and juices quickly enough as the crowds were three deep at the bar.

Jane Boyce MW and Pat Whelan discuss wines to go with Pat's recipes.

Jane Boyce MW and Pat Whelan discuss wines to go with Pat's recipes.

A Master of Wine

The whole night was a great success and I was delighted to have someone like Jane Boyce MW matching artisan wines to artisan food. There are only 4 Masters of Wine in Ireland so it was a real coup to be able to convince her to travel from the North. She has a real warmth when she speaks about wine and does not talk down to her audience. The comments I received about her were all very positive and a number of people want me to do a dedicated wine night with Jane in the future.

Twitterati

I remember being at a Tipperary Food Producers meeting last year and I tried to explain Twitter to the group and the power of social networking. I am not sure everyone took me too seriously but Pat Whelan was definitely listening and he now has double my number of followers. He had the great idea to invite a panel of Twitter folk ( Twitterati ) and bloggers to cover the event. They sat alongside the Transition Year students participating in the Food Connect program and the hashtag #tippfood was a buzzing as the night went on.

The Tipperary Food Producers were genuinely humbled by the support from the public and we hope to build and improve on this going forward. Thanks to the Bloggers and Twitterati for their hard work. Keith Bohanna caught me after the end of the night for a few quick words. You can see the interview here

Article – A Tipperary Taste of Provence

November 15th, 2010

Red Nose for the The Frontline

This is the second attempt at this article. When I wrote the first, it was on the back of hitting a creative wall and not knowing what to talk about. Inspiration, for use of a better word dragged me into a political and social rant. I will shelve that article and save the argument for when Pat or Miriam ask me to rant in the centrally approved forum that is RTE 1. Until that happens, I will bring you sunshine and rainbows with a side of wonderful wine.

Pat Kenny tries to get Red Nose Wine on the show !!!

Pat Kenny tries to get Red Nose Wine on the show !!!

Tipp Food goes on and on

If you buy the paper on Wednesday you are no doubt very excited about tonight’s Tipperary Food Producers Extravaganza. If it is later in the week, you are in awe of the wonderful food (and wine) on your doorstep and can’t wait to tell everyone about it. Alternatively, you missed the show and are avoiding all of your friends who were there, as they keep reminding you of how good it was. Wherever you fit in this little jigsaw please keep local business in your thoughts this Christmas. We need your support.

Jane Boyce MW and Pat Whelan discuss wines to go with Pat's recipes.

Jane Boyce MW and Pat Whelan discuss wines to go with Pat's recipes.


The Twitterati and Food Connect Program cover the Food Extravaganza

There are even more events to look forward to in the run up to Christmas. I had lunch last week with Gay McGuiness, the Kilkenny man who owns Domaine des Anges, the organic vineyard that lies in beautiful Provence, just over the hill from Chateauneuf du Pape. We are delighted to announce that the winemaker, Ciaran Rooney will be visiting Clonmel on November 24th and taking part in a wine dinner in Befanis.

Domaine des Anges Dinner Poster

Domaine des Anges Dinner Poster

Kilkenny & Tipperary meet again

Myself and Fulvio have been trying to organise a wine dinner for a long time, so I am delighted that it is with one of my own personal favourites. Places are limited and selling very well so if you want 5 different wines and a 4 course dinner for only 45 Euros, please contact Red Nose Wine or Befanis to get your ticket. There will be special prizes on the night as well.

I wrote about my visit there this summer, and will not wax lyrical about the room with the view this time. I will talk more about the wines and why they are constantly being reviewed as among the very best in France. Tomas Clancy gave them a huge write up in last week’s Sunday Business Post (although he forget to mention Red Nose Wine), and Oz Clarke has them in his 250 Great Wines book every year. My old friend Jancis Robinson is also a big fan.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Gay McGuiness at Domaine des Anges

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Gay McGuiness at Domaine des Anges

As well as the quality, the most consistent message from them all is the value. These are very well priced and if you don’t want to pay for Chateauneuf du Pape or White Burgundy, then you would do a lot worse than try these. They have been one of my big success stories this last year.

Some Tasting Notes

The Reds are based around Syrah and Grenache, the classic Rhone Valley varieties. The Classic cuvee (i.e. the cheap one) is dominated by Grenache just like its illustrious neighbour in Chateauneuf. The nose is a mix of raspberries, cranberries, chocolate, and liquorice with subtle notes of thyme and rosemary. But will we like it Gary? I believe that you will if you like full bodied wine with a long silky finish. I think it tastes much better when decanted and there is not a lot of 12 Euro wines you can say that about.

Domaine des Anges