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Archive for 'Tipperary Food Producers Network'

Sam Neill and his trip to Tipp

November 4th, 2012

Irish born Kiwi Sam Neill is on his way to Tipperary for a whistle stop tour to promote his wonderful Central Otago wines. He will be out in McCarthys of Fethard at 2pm for a quick meet & greet followed by a reception in Red Nose Wine in Clonmel at 4pm. As well as Sam’s wines, there will also be some local Tipperary Food on offer, courtesy of James Whelan Butchers, as well as some delicious Cooleeney Farm cheese.


Sam is more well known for his acting and has appeared in such films and TV shows as Jurassic Park, Kane & Abel, The Omen, Dead Calm, The Hunt for Red October, The Piano, The Simpsons, The Tudors among many more. He is becoming very well known for his wines however and we are delighted to be importing them into Ireland.


Ireland is a place the Hollywood star holds close to his heart. Only in October past he visited his old home place in the North, where he lived until he was 7. His Irish roots still firmly intact, he recently claimed, “I got an Irish passport the other day. I love it. It’s the best thing in my pocket.”

Why not take a nice tour of the chateau with the proprietor himself …

If you would like to call on Wednesday at 4pm to Red Nose Wine to meet Sam, send us an email or drop us a line at 052-6182939 so we can have enough food. All lovers of great wine are welcome.

The ‘Social’ Media Wine Blitz

June 5th, 2012

The bank holiday weekend say a media blitz from Red Nose Wine. We were featured in no less than 4 national media outlets. The Irish Times, RTE Radio 1, RTE News website and RTE1 Television.

The Irish Times piece was all about our Chateau Bauduc Rose and the link can be found here.

Bauduc Rose Irish Times June 2012

Radio 1 – Morning Ireland

We were on the early slot with Radio 1 and the theme was Social Media in Business. You can listen to it here. The “Twitter veteran” comes in at 3.17m.

RTE Website piece

The full piece is here but Red Nose Wine gets a nice mention

“One month after Ireland was officially declared in recession, Gary Gubbins opened his business, Red Nose Wine, in Clonmel Co Tipperary. Despite what was arguably poor timing, Gubbins’ business is still growing and he says its thanks in no small part to social media.

He attributes his wines appearing on wine lists in Ballymaloe House and the Michelin starred Cliff House Hotel to building connections on Twitter. Similarly, he says social networking helped him to find better ways of doing business.
“I’ve forged some really good relationships. I import a lot of wines together with others, including Curious wines in Cork, Cases in Galway, and Simply in Dublin and all of that came about through Twitter.”

Gubbins blogs, tweets and posts on Facebook in order to further his business connections. Many other businesses are doing the same, and hundreds more want to learn how”

Coming up on Nationwide ...

Coming up on Nationwide ...

RTE Nationwide

I wonder how many of the average 500,000 Nationwide viewers were watching? Hopefully some of them will give us a call online or in person. I will try to get a cut of the actual segment but for the moment the whole show is on RTE Player. The social media bit starts at 12m and Red Nose Wine come in at 17m. The link is here.

Rachel Allen and The Tipp Food Producers

November 30th, 2011

Top TV cook, Rachel Allen, will be making a special “Trip to Tipp” next month to host a Tipperary Food Producers Christmas Cookery Extravaganza.

Up to 500 foodies are expected at the Clonmel Park Hotel on December 7th to see the celebrity chef create special festive dishes from the best of local Tipperary artisan food produce.

Tipperary food producers xmas launch 2

Rachel Allen, who is part of the world famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork and who is well known from her regular Television shows and for her bestselling cook books, will prepare a variety of delicious dishes for the Tipperary food showcase. As well as her unique take on traditional Christmas favourites, she will also be offering exciting new ideas using the finest of local ingredients.

Cheese & Wine – Tipperary Style

Tipperary Cheese and wine will be served at the informative Christmas Cookery demonstration. Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine, will be giving guidance on wines to accompany the variety of dishes from the cookery demonstration. Well known food blogger Imen McDonnell, will give a live butter-making demonstration.

winemaking  pic1.jpg

“I am very excited about coming to Tipperary to do this demonstration. Tipperary food has such a fantastic reputation and the local producers are doing great work to promote this wonderful asset. I will be doing traditional recipes but there will be a few surprises thrown in there too” said Rachel Allen.

Keeping it Local

The evening has been organised by the Tipperary Food Producers Network, which is appealing to consumers this Christmas to support small, artisan food producers and to shop and buy local.

“For every €10 spent with local food businesses, €34 goes back to the local economy. But for every €10 spent with large retail multiples, only €16 is returned to the local economy. We have some of the best food on our doorstep here in Tipperary and we urge local people to support their local producers,” according to Chairman of the Tipperary Food Producers Network, Pat Whelan.


“This Christmas we are urging consumers to visit their local baker, butcher, farm shops, cheesemonger, retailers and farmers markets – all who provide top quality food at reasonable prices.”

Mr Whelan said the network is delighted to have someone of the calibre of Rachel Allen coming to Tipperary to do the Christmas Cookery Extravaganza. “She is a huge supporter of local food and we look forward to seeing her put her unique twist on the ingredients we have to offer here in our County.”

The Tipperary Food Producers network has 30 members who between them employ approximately 220 people with an annual turnover of over €24m. The network includes producers of meat, beverages and bread, soup, sweets, pastry, catering, dairy, cheese, farm shops, preserves and condiments, jams, fruit and vegetables.

Tipperary food producers xmas launch 3

Special Care Baby Unit

There will be fundraising on the night to raise money for the Special Care Baby Unit in Clonmel which is terribly underfunded for the wonderful work it does.

Tipperary Food Producers
Members of the network include Cashel Blue Cheese, Crossogue Preserves, Crowe Farm Meats, Cooleeney Cheese, Cloughjordan house, Baylough Cheese, Boulaban Farm, Brownes, Fine Foods Cashel, Hickeys Bakery, Mags Home Baking, Tipperary Kitchen, Inch House, James Whelan Butchers, Oakpark Foods, Ponaire Irish Handcrafted Coffee, Red Nose Wine, Russell Catering, Seymour Organic Farm, The Apple Farm, The Cookie Jar, The Scullery, O’Donnell’s crisps and The Auld Mill Bakery.

The Christmas Cookery Extravaganza is part of a strategy by the Tipperary Food Producers Network to develop into a regional brand. It is continually highlighting what Tipperary Food has to offer, and the natural linkages food has to the social, economic, tourism and cultural aspects of life in Tipperary.

Tickets for the event on at 7.30p.m. in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, on Wednesday December 7th, are €20. Those interested are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased from James Whelan Butchers or any of the businesses mentioned above. This is strictly a ticket only event and tickets will not be available on the night at the door.

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.

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



The Legend of The Languedoc

September 27th, 2011

2 Fantastic Wine Tastings / Dinners

Last April we had visit from Samuel Guibert and a very momentous tasting in Hickeys Cafe in Clonmel. Ever since this tasting, I have had many people asking about a return visit. I am delighted to announce that Samuel is coming back and bringing his world famous Mas de Daumas Gassac with him. And if that’s not enough to get you all excited, then I should tell you that we are having 2 events.

Samuel talks about his beloved Gassac wines

Samuel talks about his beloved Gassac wines

Tipp Food meets French Wine

We are having a wine dinner on Thursday evening October 20th with Samuel in fellow Tipperary Food Producers Network Inch House. Nora Egan’s Black Pudding is famous the world. Inch House is also very well known for its fine dining restaurant. This is a unique opportunity to sit down with a member of one of the iconic wine families of France and taste some of the best wines in the world. Contact Red Nose Wine on 052-6182939 or Inch House on 0504-51348 to buy tickets. Tickets are only €60 for 4 courses and a selection of wines including the Grand Cru Red & White. Places are limited.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine and Samuel Guibert in the Gassac Valley

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine and Samuel Guibert in the Gassac Valley

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Aime & Samuel Guibert

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Aime & Samuel Guibert

The Legend of Irish Food meets the Legend of the Languedoc

If you can’t make Inch House, then we are having a tasting the next day, Friday October 21st in one of Ireland’s iconic food destinations, Ballymaloe House. Red Nose Wine are co hosting the tasting with Curious Wines, our Cork friends in wine. The tasting will include a vertical tasting of the Grand Cru Mas de Daumas Gassac red, a unique opportunity to taste multiple vintages of this iconic wine. Tickets are only €15 and are available online, in the shop or also from Ballymaloe and Curious Wines.

The seated tasting will be followed by a separate wine dinner in Ballymaloe House, at 9.00pm, where 4 courses will be served with a selection of the Daumas Gassac wines including the Mas de Daumas Gassac Red. Tickets for the wine dinner are available only from Ballymaloe House and are priced at €85, including 4 courses, tea/coffee and wine.

I am very much looking forward to meeting Myrtle and Darina and all of the Allens again. I had a great time on my last tasting there.


The Day I met the King

September 23rd, 2011

The media is a funny fish. Nobody talks about you for months, and then in the same week, you get on TV and have the biggest DJ in the country plug your wines all week. I covered the TV appearance in my last article, but I didn’t tell you about Ray Foley.

Ray Foley and his wine guy

Ray Foley and his wine guy

For those of you who listen to Today FM from 12.00 to 2.30 every day, or watch TV3’s “Take me out” dating show, you will know Ray and his very personable style of broadcasting. He comes across as very down to earth on Radio and TV, and that’s exactly what he is like in real life. What follows is the story about how I got to meet the King of the Afternoon, as he known to his listeners.

Twitter is to blame

Last year I was happy on my holidays in France and took a very random check of Twitter, where I noticed a friend of mine suggesting as an online wine merchant for Mr. Foley. He was looking to get a case sent out and he put out the call. I followed up Eimear’s tweet with some of my own and Ray ended up buying wine for me. I became Ray Foley’s wineguy.


During the week of the Long Table Dinner Ray and his team were having their own version of Come Dine with Me, where they took turns to have each other over for a meal. I tweeted that if he sent me on the menu; I would match and send up the wines.

Ray began to talk about it on air and brag that he had his own wine guy. He sent on the menu and I chose wines and had them sent up. He gave me a regular plug on the Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday morning saw me rise late after the equal success and excess of the previous night’s Long Table Dinner.

Panic on the streets of Clonmel

I tweeted Ray as I forced down my porridge and intravenously injected my coffee. “Did the wine get there OK”? A quick tweet came back and said “Not yet”. The hangover sweats were joined by the blind panic sweats.

I called the courier and was told that after the wines were collected on the Tuesday, the van was ploughed into by a car as it approached the depot. Was it a rival wine company or a simple twist of fate? I got myself together and showered and got to the office very quickly.

I rang Ray and explained what happened. On a seperate and slightly disturbing note, it is quite scary the amount of people who asked me for his mobile number after this whole thing gained momentum. If Ray is reading, fear not for it will never be released by me. Anyway, Ray was very nice about it and said he would use other wines and give me a plug when my wines got there.

The Stalker goes to Dublin

I had a choice. I could have crawled back to bed or I could seize the initiative. I had been getting such great publicity all week that I was not going to let it lie. I told Ray I would deliver the wines later that day to his house in Dublin. He tried to talk me out of it but I insisted and said I would be happy to do it. He may now have been worrying about my potential as a stalker.

I drank a lot of water and ate as much as I could. I rang my friendly butcher Pat Whelan and got one of his famous ice boxes. These are what he uses to transport meat nationwide and keep it fresh and cool. If it worked for Wagyu steak, it would surely work for chilling white wine ahead of Ray’s dinner that night.

As I started my journey, Ray’s show was in full swing and he told the sorry tale of the courier and his wine ‘crashing’ to the nation and I was getting major props and kudos from his crew in the studio for offering to get up the wine myself. We are now talking in radio street vernacular that some of you might need to translate.

I made it up to Dublin and his house. I didn’t expect Ray to be there himself but he was, and invited me in to the kitchen. I explained all about the wines and he was particularly interested in Chateau Miraval, which is owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I got my photo taken with Ray ( and the van ) and was on my way home.


The next day as they dissected Ray’s ‘Come Dine with Me’ dinner, they gave more great publicity to Red Nose Wine. They did a great piece on Brad and Angie being stuck in on a Saturday night and grabbing a bottle of their Miraval wine. They fight over the remote as Angie refuses to watch Friends.

So a big thank you to Ray and his plugging of my business. I will of course be introducing The Ray Foley collection of wines. For a list of Ray’s wines, be sure to call in to the shop and I’ll tell all.

I am very often quoting lyrics from songs from Mr. Dylan or Mr. Cohen among others. Sometimes they are relevant to the article, and sometimes they are not. This week I would like to quote Mr. Phil Lynott. “When you came in my life, you changed my world”.


Don’t forget to log onto the blog at, visit our All New Facebook page at or follow the ranting on Twitter –

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

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Harry Potter and The Long Table Dinner

September 14th, 2011

Pat Whelan became Professor Albus Dumbledore and waved his magic wand on the Tipperary Food scene and turned the Senior Refectory at Rockwell College into the Great Hall of Hogwarts. The annual Long Table dinner was a massive success and a fantastic showcase for the positivity that exists in Tipperary.

Rockwell College Long Table Dinner

TV Debuts

However, before this wonderful event can begin to be described, I simply have to tell you all about my TV debut. Myself, Dumbledore, TJ Crowe, Una O Dwyer, Cate McCarthey of The Cookie Jar, Nora Egan from Inch House and Nuala Hickey were on TV3’s Ireland AM the morning of the dinner.

The TippFood gang at TV3

The TippFood gang at TV3

We had a 5am start and because we were ‘on air’ at 7.30, I wasn’t allowed to talk about wine. It was all about the Tipperary Food Producers and while everyone else spoke about their products, I had to cook them live on air. The pressure was immense and I think the fact that I was still asleep really helped. I woke up about an hour after we went ‘off air’.

The floor manager kept telling me to get more sizzle, but what he failed to comprehend was my cooking started at 7am for the teaser (that’s the section at the start of the program where they tell you what’s coming up later and go for a live feed). If I went for the sizzle at the start, we would end up with a cremated mess by time Alan Cantwell came around to say hello.

With the exception of one piece of Inch House Black Pudding that got away from me, I think I kept it all sizzling quite nicely. I would imagine that TV3 noticed too and I can foresee a new cookery show. A slightly greying man talks about and enjoys various glasses of wine as he cooks for various celebrities.

A star is born

A star is born

We were finished before 8 o clock in the morning, but still had a lot to do, so it was the long road to Tipperary and the preparations for the Long Table dinner we spoke so eloquently about on TV.

When Rockwell became Hogwarts

People started to arrive early and the Long Hall in Rockwell was soon crammed with expectant guests. Italian Prosecco from Red Nose Wine and Sparkling Apple Juice from The Apple Farm accompanied a symphony of canapés which were made from the very best of Tipperary Produce. I brought a lot of Prosecco and we very nearly got to the end of it. A clean glass became the thing to find.

We hunted the merry men and women from the Long Hall into the Great Hall, otherwise known as the Senior Refectory where three lines of tables were adorned with candelabras and lilies and as people found seats, the food began to arrive. I am sure Pat Whelan will describe them better than I could, so I will stick to the wine. Suffice to say that it was immense and a credit to the quality of product available in this great county.

A great atmosphere and a great night

A great atmosphere and a great night

I have mentioned Mas de Daumas Gassac before and we served their Classic Red and White. Some of you met Samuel Guibert during his tasting last year, and his brother Roman spent a year in Rockwell. They make organic wines that are famous the world over, and they were a great match to the bounty from Tipperary. Incidentally, if you want to try some more Tipperary Food, these wines can also be found in Inch House and McCartheys of Fethard.

One of the highlights of the night was the Singing Waiters and the clue is in the name. A fight over wine turned into an operatic battle of three wonderful voices. The Italians would always say that good food needs good wine, but opera just brings it to a new level of pleasure. I might have made that up but the opera we witnessed in Rockwell added a new layer to the atmosphere. After the food ( and wine ), I think it must have been most people’s highlight.

The singing waiter and the wineman

The GIY Guy

We also had Michael Kelly, the founder of Grow It Yourself (GIY) as a special guest, and he gave us a great talk on the harvest, seasonal food and the simple pleasure of growing your own food. I was in college with Mick, and was delighted to see his little adventure grow into something so positive and empowering. We have been enjoying the bounty of our little garden and also my father’s more sizeable venture these last few weeks.

Mick Kelly GIY

I know the work that goes into these nights and I would like to thank Pat Whelan and his team for their energy and vision in turning these events into a reality. I sat beside Tom Hayes and his wife Marian and enjoyed some good political banter. Every year we ask local representatives to come along and support the event. Tom and Marian come every year and it is greatly appreciated.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at, visit our All New Facebook page at or follow the ranting on Twitter –
For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Article – A Taste of Japan

April 15th, 2011

To celebrate the increase in the ECB base rate, and as a tip of the hat to better times ahead, I am going to indulge in some luxury this week.

2 Juicy Ones

I was the very grateful recipient of two of Pat Whelan’s famous Wagyu steaks recently. I could pretend that I bought them, but in the wine world if a reviewer gets a free sample they are obligated to say it was a sample. I am assuming it is the same for food, so I hear by declare I was a happy guinea pig for the Rolls Royce of Steaks.

What is Wagyu and what does it have to do with wine? I decided not to waste the opportunity to taste one of these world famous pieces of meat and opened a very special bottle of wine that I had been saving. The best of food deserves the best of wine, and I will try and explain how a very fine Bordeaux tastes while matched with this very unique cut of beef.

Ahh… Bordeaux

I opened one of my favourite Bordeaux wines, the fabulous Clos du Marquis, which comes from the famed village of St Julien in the Medoc area of Bordeaux. It is the second wine from Leoville Las Cases, which is a part of the second growth wines from the 1855 Classification.

Leoville Las Cases - Bordeaux

Leoville Las Cases - Bordeaux

These are the wines you buy for a small fortune and keep them for a few years and they turn into a large fortune. As stated, the wine I opened was the second wine from one of these giants, and I got it as a present, before the chanting starts – “There’s no recession in that house”. I can assure you there is. Incidentally I do sell it as well and it is a steal at €56 Euros. If I could sell a few cases, it would help with the whole recession thing.

The Farmers Market

Anyway, the wine was opened and the carrots and parsnips courtesy of Paddy Stokes from the Farmers Market were prepared as well as spuds drizzled in olive oil, salt and pepper and popped in the oven. I am a big believer in letting top quality food and wine speak for itself, so no sauces for steak of this quality. The wine would be the sauce.

Let me explain a little bit about about Wagyu for those of you not familiar. Wagyu literally means Japanese Cow, and that is where this breed originates from. They are known for their unique textured flavour. The cattle are raised on a traditional diet of organic grains to give an authentic fullness of flavour and tenderness. According to Pat’s very informative website, during cooking the high concentration of inter-muscular fat or marbling melts and marinates the wagyu beef from the inside.

Is Wagyu cheaper than the cholesterol pills?

The really good news is that the “studies have shown Wagyu has major health benefits as part of a balanced diet. The high level of unsaturated fats and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which is said to boost the immune system and also helps lower cholesterol as part of a balanced diet to fight diseases like diabetes and heart disease”.

Whatever about that all I know is that I never tasted anything like them. There was a texture to the meat that was very different to fillet or sirloin. There is a layer of fat that runs through the cut, and it instils a slow release flavour that lingers long, just like a fine wine.

The wine … at last

Speaking of wine, I think it is time that I described it and more particularly why someone might pay good money for the top stuff. Top end Bordeaux, from the Left Bank or Medoc is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Merlot and/or Cabernet Franc on the side.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine in the Barrel room of Leoville Las Cases

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine in the Barrel room of Leoville Las Cases

There are Proteins in beef and the tannins found in Red wine, and in particular Bordeaux, soak up these proteins and helps bring out the flavour. The tannins are those things that make your mouth go all dry when you drink the wine without food. Hence, heavily tannic wine needs aging or food.

When you match this tannic wine to a beef as complex and textured as Wagyu, this marriage of proteins is so much more pronounced. The tannins were neutralised and the fruit expression in the wine came to the fore. That almost buttery tenderness in the beef is filled with this fantastic expression of blackcurrant and red cherrys from the wine.

Here comes the Bulls%$*

Without sounding too full of rubbish, the wine and the Wagyu seemed to blend together and a kind of calm came over me. I felt I was walking in Japan among the cows with the vines of Bordeaux in the background. I think I’ve taken it too far. I can see Pat cringing.

My review of the Wagyu, for what it is worth, is that it is a sublime piece of meat that tastes like no other I have had. I would love to retry it in a barbeque as I imagine the flavours would be even more pronounced. If you ever have it, be sure to match it to a good wine. This beef deserves it.

The Chileans are Here

I must admit that both the wine and the Wagyu are a treat, as they are not the cheapest things on the menu, but the good news is that Pat also has Wagyu burgers and I have a new range of Chilean wines that I bring in direct from the vineyard. Once again, there are some great matches to be had, especially as BBQ season approaches.

As a proud Francophile, it has taken me nearly two years to find a Chilean wine I would commit to the larger quantities that are required to import direct. I found it in Santa Alicia and their wines come in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Carmenere. The prices start at €7.99 and then move to €9.99 for the Reserva range and it is only €12.99 for the Gran Reserva range. The Cabernets in particular are superb and a real alternative to the more expensive French variety. Try the discount case of 12 which has a little of everything and is only €99.99 ( from €124.88 )

Communion, Confirmation and Christening & Weddings

So, call in for a taste as we will have these wines open over the next few weeks and will be doing some really special deals on case prices, which are perfect for the three Cs, Communion, Confirmation and Christening. It’s also great for the big W.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at, visit our All New Facebook page at or follow the ranting on Twitter –
For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Apr 13 2011

Grow It Yourself ( Food that is, not wine – buy that from me )

April 8th, 2011

This is a blog about a very good idea that really took off. Michael Kelly wrote a book about jumping off of the Celtic Tiger merry-go-round and his hellish Dublin commute. He bought a house by the sea and grew his own vegetables. His 2nd book was about Growing It Yourself and from it came the GIY movement that is growing at an exponential rate. What is little known is that he also recorded an album and I have a copy ( signed !! ). I will take bids online. He has now completed 2 items on my bucket list.

We started GIYing last year (and by we, I mean my wife does everything) and we ate very well from a small raised bed in the back garden. We haven’t taken to pigs and chickens yet, but I have good thing going with TJ Crowe and Pat Whelan and other members of the Tipperary Food Producers Network. I don’t want to rock the boat. I am sure TJ would do the job on the pig for me. What struck me about everything we grew was the flavour and how easy the ‘crop’ grew. We had to water it when we had that 4 day sunny spell last summer, but other than that it was fairly easy to manage, or so my wife says.

The next generation GIYers

The next generation GIYers

Anyway, what has all of this got to do with wine? Most of my very best wine experiences have had some superb food involved. I remember an all day and all night dinner in Tuscany with many bottles of Brunello and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Trips to Provence and the Languedoc always involve as much food as wine. Most of the artisan winemakers grow their own food as well. They have huge respect for the land and all of its bounty. If you can at all, get invited to a winemaker’s house for dinner. They love showing off many vintages of their wines, and matching them to all manner of food. You may not want to eat for a week after it however.

Andrea Felluga hospitality

And now the point of this blog and the good news. We are delighted to join the growing band of GIY Friends who offer a discount to members with the Friends of GIY cards. It is only €15 to join and you get a range of great deals as well as a wealth of information on Growing your own. We are offering a 10% discount in-house and online.

Life is much too short to drink bad wine, and tasteless, imported & over-processed food.