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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.

A Spring Wine Sale

March 15th, 2012

As Led Zepplin once roared, its been a long time since Rock’n'Roll. We have not been as active as we might be on the old internet of late, but we had been busy finding new wines which will make their way onto the factory floor so to speak in the next few weeks and months.

Ahead of all this, we have a sale, and rather than try dump all the old stuff that we are trying to shift, we are offering some of our very best wines. First come first served.

Spring-Sale

These are the wines on Sale :

Spain
La Mano Mencia ( now €7.19 )
Pago Malarina Rioja (now €8.79)

France
Gassac Classic Red and White (now €7.19)
Grandiose Cabernet Sauvignon (now €7.19)
Clarion Rhone Red (now €8.79) / 58 Guineas Claret (now €7.99)
Malis Cotes de Rousillon (now €7.99)

Chile
Santa Alicia Merlot Reserva (now €7.99)
Santa Alicia Sauvignon Blanc Reserva (now €7.99)

New Zealand
Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc (now €11.99)
Waihopai Sauvignon Blanc (now €10.39)

See you online or in the shop where we will have some of these wines open for the tasting.

Irish Winemaker comes to the famous McCarthys of Fethard

November 14th, 2011

McCarthys of Fethard has long been a mecca for the great and the good. The wall shows a liteny of stars who have come to visit the famous pub and restaraunt. They have all eventuallities covered because as well as Food and Drink, they have a hotel and are undertakers.

Graham Norton and Jasper in McCarthys

Graham Norton and Jasper in McCarthys

Martin Sheen films inside the famous McCarthys

Martin Sheen films inside the famous McCarthys

They can now add Irish winemaker to that role of honour now as Ciaran Rooney will be coming to visit on Thursday November 24th. Red Nose Wine are proud to show off the critically acclaimed wines of Domaine des Anges alongside great local food in one of the best kept food secrets in Ireland. It has long been a mecca for the famous, with its authentic old school pub, but they produce some absolutely great dishes from the kitchen, and I have had some great meals out there in recent times.

interior_night_mccarthys

An Irish Man in France

There are many old Irish names associated with the great chateau of Bordeaux, but the latter day Irish Wine Geese found themselves moving a little further south and one of the great modern Irish vineyards is based in a wonderful little part of Provence. It is called Domaine des Anges and Kilkennyman Gay McGuinness owns it and Dubliner Ciaran Rooney makes the wines, and they have been fantastically received all over the world. They have been very popular in Red Nose Wine since we started taking them in.

Ciaran Rooney

This promised to be a fantastic and informal night where wine and food will be the stars of the show. It won’t be formal dining. This allows us to keep the price down and for you to get a much more adventerous menu to match to the wines. Platters of Tipperary tapas will be sent out to accompany Ciaran’s wines. We will also serve the very rare Seraphin ( 100% Old Vine Grenache ) wine. 2009 was its first vintage and they only made tiny amounts. The wines are organic to boot.

Gary Gubbins climbes the hill above Domaine des Anges

Gary Gubbins climbes the hill above Domaine des Anges

For those of you not familiar with the vineyard, it is basically “over the hill” from Chateaneuf du Papes and its Reds reflect the style, especially in its entry level offering. I would suggest the Archange is more like a nothern Rhone in style and the high altitude definetly helps here, but its whites are where the real surprise occurs. Countless critics from Oz Clarke to Jancis Robinson and Tomas Clancy have raved about these wines. I haven’t even told you the best bit. They are fantastically priced and a real bargain from €12.50 up Retail.

Tickets can be purchased from Red Nose Wine or from McCarthys, but places are limited and with all the food and wine included for only €35, this could sell out very quickly. Tickets can be bought online.

20% Sale on Irish Wine

March 17th, 2011

Since it is St Patrick’s weekend we are delighted to show off one of our favourite vineyards, which also happens to be Irish. Domaine des Anges is set in the beautiful Ventoux region that saddles Provence and the Rhone Valley. Kilkenny man Gay McGuinness owns the vineyard and Dubliner Ciaran Rooney makes the wine. The wines are organic and have received rave reviews from all over the wine world and have been a huge hit with Red Nose Wine’s customers. To celebrate St Patricks weekend and all things Irish, we are delighted to offer 20% discount on these wines.

The Archange and Tradition Red & whites

The Archange and Tradition Red & whites

Domaine des Anges Red
The wine is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah. Rich raspberry flavours with touches liquorice and chocolate on the nose. Subtle woodland fruits and the palate, followed by silky tannins leading to a full, rich finish. – Down from €12.50 to €10

Domaine des Anges White
The wine is a blend of 30% Roussanne, 30% Grenache blanc, 20% Clairette and 20% Bourboulenc. 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.
Down from €13 to €10.40

Domaine des Anges Rose
The wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault. It is pale salmon pink and the nose is a delicate mix of woodland fruits with touches of liquorice. The fruity notes return in the mouth, with a rich creaminess and a soft but lively aftertaste – Down from €12.50 to €10

Domaine des Anges “Archange” Red
The Archange is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache coming from three vineyard blocks each over 50 years of age. Rich intense flavours of black cherry, spices, liquorice and tar on the nose. On the palate, cherries, spices and violets fill the mouth in unison with elegant, ripe tannins – Down from €19 to €15.20

Domaine des Anges “Archange” White
100% Roussanne. The wine comes from a single block of 0,75 hectare planted 25 years ago. A complex nose of honey blossom, lemon zest and toasted bread. The full round palate has both citrus and floral flavours underlined by subtle spicy notes from the oak fermentation. The wine has a surprising length and complexity on the palate. – Down from €21 to €16.80

domaine-anges-ciaran2

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

Domaine des Anges

The L’Archange Red is a huge step up in quality and this Syrah dominated wine from old vines is a star. A Northern Rhone Syrah is one of the iconic wines in the world and usually has an iconic price to match. The likes of Jaboulet La Chapelle can put you back some serious money. The L’Archange is under twenty and offers spices such as nutmeg and clove complete with ripe blackcurrant and plum on the nose. The palette explodes with rich, ripe fruit and a refreshing note of lemon thyme all supported by spicy tannins. The finish is full, round and lingers long in the mouth. I cannot wait to try this with Befanis fillet of beef on November 24th.


 

Del Boy Trotter’s favourite wine

While comparisons with its Fancy Dan Red Wine neighbour over the hill are the most obvious, the critics would tell you that the real stars are the white wines. Tomas Clancy from the Sunday Business Post thoughts is closest to my own on the top wine. “For me, the star of Domaine des Anges, it makes only 750 cases a year as it is a single vineyard wine. Barrel-fermented Rousanne, letting the wine sit on its lees, and ageing in oak provides the kinds of kid-glove treatment you expect of a flashy and expensive Burgundy”. High praise indeed. This is an allocation wine for me. That means I can only get a very small amount every year. I have six cases to get me to the next vintage. We’ll drink at least one of those at the dinner, so hurry up.

 The Hills are Alive…. with Acidity

White wine from Provence is not supposed to taste like this, and the reason that it does? The vineyard is situated on a hillside facing Mont Ventoux, “The Giant of Provence”, which rises to 1912m in altitude. The mountain has a profound influence on the climate of the vineyards with cool evening breezes refreshing the vines in summer after the day’s intense heat, and so enabling the vines to maintain high natural acids and elegant tannins.

In fact, the best white wines from traditionally warm parts of the world nearly always share this altitude and cooling effect. The great white wines of the Loire Valley and Burgundy are much more northern so the climate gives them this coolness that acidity demands.

 Hollywood is coming

As I write this, tomorrow sees another new wine departing the vineyard for Red Nose Wine. I wrote about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s vineyard in Provence earlier this year and I am delighted to say that the wonderful Chateau Miraval is on the way. This is another Provence wine that sits high up in the hills, beside my old favourite Chateau Margui. I am delighted that Ciaran Rooney will be the star of Red Nose Wine’s first wine dinner and we are planning more. Will Brad and Angelina attend one of these? If they do, it will be first refusal for the people who attend the other ones.

Chateau Miraval

Chateau Miraval

If you want to taste Domaine des Anges but can’t make the dinner, don’t forget we are having our very first portfolio tasting in Hickeys Cafe at the Westgate in Clonmel on December 9th. There won’t be the usual winemaker talk and taste format. We will have a huge amount of wines open and it will be very informal as you taste what you want in a very social atmosphere. There will be food and maybe even some music – I will need to restring my guitar. I will have everything opened from the 8 Euro everyday wines to the seriously complex superstar wines. Book your tickets now.

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 – A Soave kind of wine

October 29th, 2010

Bulls Blood

Last year around this time I wrote a piece on a Hungarian wine known as Bulls Blood. It was supposed to be a tip of the hat towards Halloween with the Blood reference. At some point I must have thought that I would consider bringing the wine into Ireland. Well that’s not going to happen anytime soon I am afraid. The market is not quite ready I think. We have a few more bottles of Merlot and Pinot Grigio to sell. It’s a shame as it is a really good hearty wine.

The Irish Times agree

I was interested to note in the weekend edition of the Irish Times that John Wilson covered the same ground as I did recently when breaking down the price of a bottle of wine. The only slight difference was that he has the final margin a little higher than I had. Maybe I need to put up the prices. Thunderbolts and Lightening, I think I am selling my wine too cheap. When this gets out we will need to install the crowd control grids again. All joking aside, I encourage you to look up Saturdays Times online and read about the pricing of wine in this country and how the government are talking such a huge cut. When the budget comes out, we may need to revisit it, so get your wine before Mr. Lenihan sucks the soul from the country.

I now banish this mention of the evil day to the toilet of inevitability. Instead, I will return to some of the characters I met on my recent trip to Italy. I deliberately took a little break from introducing them, as I was conscious of diluting what was a really educational and delicious trip to Italy. In some ways I am saving the best for last, as the remaining two winemaking families are iconic and have been for many years. Their very names evoke the heart of Italian white wine excellence.

The Hills of Soave

The Hills of Soave

Soave People

The Italian region of Soave got a bad name for a number of years as a change in Italian law expanded the region from its historical base in the hills around the medieval village of Soave. An historical and small area around a little village expanded into a huge area of commercial high yielding vines. So, now much like Burgundy, it is very important to know and trust the producer.

The KIngs of Soave

The KIngs of Soave

The very first bottle of wine to call itself Soave came from the Pieropan estate in the early 1930s. Founded by Leonildo Pieropan in 1890 and subsequently run by his two sons, Fausto and Gustavo, it was the youthful enthusiasm of his grandson Leonildo, known as Nino, that revolutionised it. Nino and Teresita run the company now and have been joined by their sons, Dario and Andrea.

Screwcaps and Classicos

Despite this link to tradition, they are pioneering screwcaps on classified Italian wines. They are determined that screwcap is the way forward and their Soave Classico wines reflect this. However, they were forced to reluctantly abandon the Classico denomination to achieve this. When you buy a bottle of Pieropan Soave you are actually getting a bottle of Soave Classico. Forget under cost rubbish wines, that is real value.

Jane Boyce MW listens beside the old bamboo drying Table

Jane Boyce MW listens beside the old bamboo drying Table

The mighty Oz is a fan

Oz Clarke ( who was in the first Superman film ) agrees and says “when the right grapes were grown in the right vineyards and turned into wine with skill and care, Soave was, and is, one of Italy’s loveliest white wines. This has a comehither scent of ripe apple and soft leather with just a whiff of tobacco and white peach. The flavour is subtle yet delightful: a tiny nip of grape skin tannin is easily disarmed by scented lemons and stones, a whisper of violet, a dash of creamy softness – succulence in pastel shades.” Flowery words indeed from Mr. Clarke, but good Soave is known as the Chablis of Italy and anyone who has tasted great Chablis will absolutely love this.

Darius Pieropan gives us the tour

Darius Pieropan gives us the tour

That restaraunt in Verona

A few people have asked me about the restaurant in Verona that I mentioned in a previous article. It is called Trattoria al Pompiere and has a website at www.alpompiere.com. If you are planning a trip to Verona, I would very much recommend this little piece of heaven. I can still taste the Amarone Risotto. It is a few steps from the Romeo and Juliet balcony, so if you need romantic inspiration, may I suggest a meal here followed by a squeeze under the balcony. If he or she is not butter in your arms at this point, you still have the ancient open air opera, which is about three minutes walk away. “Buona Fortuna”.

A good table in Verona

A good table in Verona

Food Extravaganza

There has been a huge uptake in tickets for the Food Extravaganza in the Clonmel Park on November 10th. Held in conjunction with Bord Bia, this promises to be a great evening. Jane Boyce MW will be on stage and matching wines to the food that Pat Whelan among others will be preparing. A lot of companies are using this as a team building night out and for 15 Euros it is great value. We want to show you what is on your doorstep and I think you will be amazed. Jamie Oliver and Richard Corrigan make TV shows about people like those in the Tipperary Food Producers. I urge you to come along and see what the term Taste the Difference really means.

A Very Tasty Wine Dinner

Red Nose Wine are starting to put final dates on our own more intimate wine evenings and we will be having an Irish winemaker in France over on November 24th. Ciaran Rooney of Domaine des Anges will host a wine dinner in Befanis restaraunt in Clonmel. They menu looks superb and I have never had a bad meal there. €45 for food and wine and a peek into the world of winemaking in Provence.

I am then planning on having an open house portfolio tasting on December 9th which will involve lots of wine open and little or no talking. I will pick the cream of the wines and open them up for a tapestry of wine. Be sure to get on the mailing list to get the information when it is hot off the press. Tickets will be limited. The competition for the Icon Wines from the Languedoc closes today, so if you are not Liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter – do it today. Winners will be announced on Facebook & Twitter.  

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”

Domaine des Anges Wine Dinner Nov 24th

October 27th, 2010

Christmas is coming and the goose will be a miserable looking effort after Brian Lenihan gets us in his radar for the Budget. So before all of that, Red Nose Wine makes a galant effort to bring a little continental flavour into your lives.

As you all know, the Irish travel well, and have made great success of themselves across the globe. We all have the relations who made good in America. To this day Irish names resonate across the wine world. Bordeaux in particular has Lynch, Kirwan, MacCarthy, Barton and Phelan stil commanding prices and respect across the world.

Another Irish Family done good

Another Irish Family done good

The latter day Wine Geese found themselves moving a little further south and one of the great modern Irish vineyards is based in a wonderful little part of Provence. It is called Domaine des Anges and Kilkennyman Gay McGuinness owns it and Dubliner Ciaran Rooney makes the wines, and they have been fantastically received all over the world. They have been very popular in Red Nose Wine since we started taking them in.

Ciaran Rooney

After that rather long winded introduction, what’s the point. I am delighted to announce that Red Nose Wine is having a wine dinner with winemaker Ciaran Rooney on Wednesday November 24th in Befanis Restaurant in Clonmel Co. Tipperary.

Menu

Menu

This promised to be a fantastic night where a menu of fresh in season food will be prepared to match the artisan and organic wines of Domaine des Anges.

Gary Gubbins climbes the hill above Domaine des Anges

Gary Gubbins climbes the hill above Domaine des Anges

For those of you not familiar with the vineyard, it is basically “over the hill” from Chateaneuf du Papes and its Reds reflect the style, especially in its entry level offering. I would suggest the Archange is more like a nothern Rhone in style and the high altitude definetly helps here, but its whites are where the real surprise occurs. Countless critics from Oz Clarke to Jancis Robinson and Tomas Clancy have raved about these wines. I haven’t even told you the best bit. They are fantastically priced and a real bargain from €12.50 up Retail.

Tickets can be purchased from Red Nose Wine or from Befanis, but places are limited and with all the food and wine included for only €45, this could sell out very quickly.

Article – Cheap or Expensive Wine – what do you really prefer

August 31st, 2010

Maradona and the fan letter

Where to now on our rocky road through the technical aspects of tasting wine? Do we have to endure more statistical nonsense about sweetness and acidity? All we really want to know is if the wine tastes good. And so shout the gallery from the rooftops of my imaginary fanbase. Is anybody reading? Does anybody care? Well I can tell you that someone is reading because I got a fan letter. I am not sure they were supportive of the articles or not as it was a bit of a rant, but I am framing it and putting it on the toilet wall with my signed Maradona shirt. To answer the earlier question, yes we do have to endure more wine talk. It is a wine column after all.

Margaux or Pinot Grigio?

And so on to all things grapey, if such a word exists. I appreciate the recent articles may be a little heavy in terms of the technicalities behind wine tasting, so I think I will talk about something a little less taxing. To be honest, it is exhausting writing in that detail, so we’ll all take a week off. The break will do us good and we’ll be ready to talk about something magical or mystical next week. So what to fill the pages of the paper with in its place? I’m banned from talking about France for a while yet, and I have a few things on Italy planned soon. I think use the information we have been amassing these last few weeks should be used, so I will approach a sensitive subject on wine. Do people pretend to like complex and expensive wines because they think they should, when really they would prefer the cheap €10 euro bottle instead? When I attend family gatherings there is often a silent assumption that I will bring something nice to the table. I personally prefer to use up their current stock of Red Nose Wine so they will be forced to buy some more. In any case, I have often arrived with what would be referred to as a serious wine, with layers of complexity. It takes every amount of self control not to recite poetry on the spot; such is the inspiration within this liquid gold. It usually goes in two directions. One person claims to see the light and bows down in adulation before the alter of this most wondrous creation. The other finds it too tough and sneaks away to return with a nice and easy Pinot Grigio. The question is – who is right and who is wrong and is it fair to strip it down like this.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine at Chateau Margaux

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine at Chateau Margaux

Days of Wine & Roses

I am not talking about the times when you are tired and want an “easy” wine by choice. I am talking about the wine when someone else is buying and money is not a major option. We can all close our eyes and remember the days of wine and roses. As the old song goes, “The days of wine and roses laugh and run away like a child at play. Through a meadow land toward a closing door. A door marked “nevermore” that wasn’t there before”. I think that’s a good summation of the Celtic Tiger actually. Sometimes bitterness can add to the wine, but we’ll get back to the subject at hand.

For all the people who buy cheap new world wine. Are they wrong to like it? Should they aspire to something more. For me, and this is only my opinion, they are right and wrong at the same time. If they like it how can they be wrong, so in this regard they are right. However, as human beings we all should aspire to something better, and the Celtic Tiger proved where this can lead. With regard to wine this doesn’t have to more expensive, and negative equity probably won’t kick in between the purchase and consumption of the bottle. In fact, the ‘better’ wine can often be cheaper. If you recall the sugar article, the added sugar in a lot of the cheaper wines masks the true integrity of the wines, so a bad wine can be very drinkable. We all like a bit of sugar, and the global popularity of Coca Cola and chocolate can attest to this. I know I used to have a problem with Coca Cola ( I don’t want to use the abbreviated version in case there is a whole other misunderstanding ). I would drink a bottle of it without thinking and absorb the sugar at speed. I now only rarely have it, unless I am on holidays in the country I am not allowed to speak of. They still serve it in the tall glass bottle with ice and lemon. I can almost taste it. Maybe I still have a bit of a problem.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola

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Taste the Difference

The true essence of a wine is when it reflects the people who make it and the land where it comes from. If that is a wine style you don’t like, then that is fine. However, I do think we should all be drinking a wine in its purest form, and that doesn’t ecessarily mean organic. It means there is nothing added or taken away from the essence of the fruit, be it a very cheap wine or a hugely complex monster. There is always a temptation to say wonderful things about complex expensive wines as many people feel they should. I love it when people come into the shop and tell me they know nothing about wine and want me to recommend a wine. I try to determine if it’s for food or if they like it sweet or dry, and the vast majority of the time I will give them a cheap, cheerful but authentic wine. It is usually a cheaper wine because if they are not used to drinking it, the expensive one will be wasted. I love it even more when regular wine drinkers around the 9-11 euro mark ask me for something special. When you go above 12 euros towards the 15 euro mark you should be getting wines that really make you stop and think. No amount of added sugar can replicate this experience and I never tire of people coming back and telling me about tasting the difference. It took me a long time to appreciate the really complex wines and I am still learning and that is a really great part of the job. Ultimately you must enjoy the wine. It should not be hard work so I understand why my Pinot Grigio loving relation likes it so much. However, the same person will not be found hiding when a good bottle of Red comes around. I think it is much easier for the amateur wine taster to appreciate a fine red, compared to a fine white, but it could be argued that some of the world’s most interesting fine wines are white.

Kilkenny team sponsor a case of Wine

By the time you (hopefully) read this, the hugely popular Tipperary Food Producers Long Table dinner will have happened. I am supplying the Kilkenny owned Domaine des Anges for the dinner in The Old Convent. I asked the owner, Gay McGuiness to sponsor a case for the night, and he kindly agreed, but on condition. If Kilkenny win the All Ireland, I pay for the sponsored wine, and if Tipperary wins, he does. So, for all of you, who enjoyed this wonderful organic wine from Provence, be sure to shout for Tipperary on September 5th, or I will be broke. Please visit the website www.tipperaryfoodproducers.com to see highlights from the night.

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”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Aug 25 2010

Article – A Room with a View

August 3rd, 2010

The tour continues ( and not a bicycle in sight )

I promise I will not mention France for a number of weeks when this series of articles conclude. It is very difficult to be in the middle of this wine tour and not write about who I meet and the land they work. This is the reason I got into this line of work and what I hope distinguishes me from the commodity wine sellers. I travel to source the wines and sit around the kitchen table with the winemakers. They usually have to wipe their hand in their pants before shaking mine and I appreciate their connection with the land. It’s all about reducing the links in the chain from the land to the ultimate consumer, you. The next time you are picking your wine in the supermarket, ask the assistant about the winemaker’s thoughts on the vintage for the wine you are buying. Irish Americans often talk of searching for a sense of place. I think wine is also searching to express the place it comes from. I am surrounded by completely different wines, people and terroirs where I write this article. This is why I like French wine so much and why up until 15 years ago it was the first choice of much of Europe and the US.

My palate feels itchy – it must be La Clape ( boom boom )

Even though I am technically in one region as I write this (Languedoc), the wines are changing so dramatically over the course of a mile. I was a vineyard yesterday near Narbonne, in a region known as La Clape. An unfortunate name, but very good wine. The vineyard stretched from the gorse hills that sit above the main house, down to the Mediterranean Sea and the style of wine changed dramatically, even with the same grapes. The hills saw very concentrated intense wines that required oak aging and needed food. The vines by the sea were exposed to the wind more and were much softer and fruit driven. 500 yards in distance but a million miles in style.

View through the vines to the Mediterranean Sea

 

 

 

View through the vines to the Mediterranean Sea

A Tipperary – Kilkenny Clash before September

This week I want to tell you about 2 vineyards in particular. One is a wine I already bring in and is owned by an Irish man (from Kilkenny – unfortunate when discussing hurling) and is called Domaine des Anges. In fact you can enjoy it in Befanis restaurant in Clonmel as well as Red Nose Wine. It lies in the shadow of Mount Ventoux, which means the mountain of wind. The vineyard is less than 30 minutes away from another wine village called Chateauneuf du Pape. You may or may not have heard of it, but its wines are well regarded but can be pricey. Domaine des Anges is not pricey at all. Mr. McGuiness offered me a room for the night and while I would have slept anywhere, I got a gorgeous room in his very classic old style Mas. The view was amazing and the shutters halted the morning sun but the breeze was allowed to sneak through into the room. After the heat wave of the Riviera, I was delighted to ignore air conditioning and sleep a peaceful nights rest. Of course this could not be achieved without a long discussion over various bottles of wine with the patron. I would like to tell you I retired to the bed before midnight but I would be lying. There were important matters to discuss, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were. For the sake of closure, I think it involved Mr. McGuiness promising me the use of his gorgeous house to write my book. For those of you who have similar merry aspirations, there is a fantastic house for rent on the estate, complete with swimming pool and the nearby wine cellar is a plus. We can discuss the rent over a bottle of Domaine des Anges, Red, White or Rose. I should mention that his family were staying there with him and all made me feel very welcome indeed.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Domaine des Anges in the background

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Domaine des Anges in the background

The following day I did indeed visit Chateauneuf du Pape, but the day after that I went in search of the next big superstar wine. The morning was spent with a genuine superstar wine, Mas de Daumas Gassac. Those of you who met Samuel Guibert in April will be glad to know his public invite to visit the famous estate still stands.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac in France

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac in France

After my meeting with Samuel I went to meet two winemakers that are being talked about in the same breath as some of the big money Bordeaux wines were 50 years ago. Every major critic the world over is going crazy over a little wine called La Péira. Most of you will not have heard of it as it is mainly talked about within the trade. Suffice to say it is very sought after. I met the winemaker Jérémie Depierre and followed him down a very remote road to an unmarked building in the middle of nowhere. The wine has become so famous so quickly they have not even finished the building and are showing no sign of welcome anywhere. I have been ‘down this road’ before in Bordeaux and it was not worth the hype so I was not getting too excited. Then I tasted the wines. It was one of those wow moments. The entry level wine was spectacular and the middle wine even more so. The main wine itself was actually too complex and until it gets some age in the bottle is virtually undrinkable. In saying that, by the time it gets the necessary age, this wine will have multiplied in price by a huge amount. It is only made in tiny amounts and if I do end up bringing it in, it will be in minuscule amounts and it will be a case of get it while it’s cheap.

Jérémie Depierre of La Péira

Jérémie Depierre of La Péira

As I finish this article on a Saturday night by the sea, the room next to me is playing Otis Reading, “Sittin’ on a Dock of the Bay”. From my Bay, in the south of France, I bid you adieu and if anyone wants more information on any of the wines I mentioned, please call in, and I’ll wax lyrical to the point of boredom. Next is Carcassonne, then Bergerac and then Bordeaux.

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”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist July 29 2010