Tag Archives: Wine

Dublin Wine Fest is full swing!

Right, so I finally emerged from under my pile of proverbial rubble. (Rubble of papers on Coffee, the environmental, health, and economic impacts of the trade and policies to improve prices and health of coffee farmers) – If this doesn’t sound fascinating to you, well, I guess we can’t be friends.

 

I have to lock all social media and distractions away when trying to write papers.  So that’s why i’m coming to you so late.  BUT, the first
Dublin Wine Fest has been getting tremendous support in the last week.

 

5 things you need to know about Dublin Wine Fest!:

1) It runs from the 20-25th of APRIL, blink and you’ll miss all the fun!

 

2) It’s a great way to see parts of the city that you haven’t explored. There are four HUBS (Georgian Dublin, City Centre, Liffey Side, and Green Luas)
The map identifies areas or travel routes that help you find a ‘local’

 

3) Each participating restaurant has a wine or drink feature and special meal offer this week!  Also lots of talks and tasting events happening!

 

4) There are fun competitions and prizes to be won!
 tweet about the best wine experience using #BestDublinWineExp or put it on Facebook.com/GreatIrish Beverages

 

5) HOW MUCH?  €5 wristband here will get you in for deals at 32 restaurants & bars
This isn’t all about drink, it’s food & wine, so get your wristbands and your friends let’s start at the end of the Luas line and end in town!

 

Prizes for voters include a €200 case of wine from O’Brien’s Wine, €100 case of six wines from The Corkscrew, a voucher worth €70 for The Cavern wine bar from Baggot Street Wines, and two tickets to ‘Wine Tasting Wednesdays’ Burgundy tasting (6th May) at Green Man Wines.

Looking forward to galavanting the city for all the wine in the city.

Here are a selection of ‘Wine Experiences’ that might entice you
Super Miss Sue Dublin Wine Experience: 
Shrimp & Oris: Small plate pairing of char-grilled shrimp and honey gyros with Ciu Ciu ‘Oris’ Pecorino/Trebbiano (€12, daily 2pm–7pm)

 

Whitefriar Grill Dublin Wine Experience:
Three-course early bird menu with paired wines (€32), plus a 10-question wine quiz where each correct answer docks 10% off your bill!

 

ely wine bar Dublin Wine Experience: 
A flight a night: let us lead you astray with a themed tasting flight of four different wines every night, priced at a 30% discount.

 

China Sichuan Dublin Wine Experience Offering:
Choice of starter pairings: glass of Fantini Fiano & Chinese Turnip Cakes (€12) or glass of Allegrini Palazzo della Torre & Tea-Smoked Jasmine Ribs (€15)
Stanley’s Dublin Wine Experience:
‘Skin-contact’ wine & brief history of wine-making seminar (5pm–6pm daily, bookings welcomed) including flight of skin-contact wines with pressed duck terrine canapé (€12)

 

disclosure: we’ve received two wristband for the week

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Food Fermentations at the Fumbally Stables

[SHORT, Quick Lovin’ ] 

April makes everyone feel they can ferment at home, easy-peasy! Just play with it !

**Take away** always taste and smell the fermentation as it progresses so you know if it is going off.

Last night I attended a Fermentations class at the kitchen in the Fumbally Stables.  This. place. is. sick!

I know the Fumbally as the hub of community, from yoga to learning to eat better, to actually eating better!!

There has been lots of interest in recent years about wild fermentations, especially in beer and wine.  Industrially these would have been uncommon because companies want to be able to guarantee an outcome; a certain amount of ‘alcohol’ or gas is being produced in the time expected.  Due to the manufactured nature of food, consumers expect the same bottle of wine or vinegar and flavour every time.  Well, if we shift our minds off that for a moment and let our expectation wild, you get a much more organic growth that is inherent to the environment.  the ‘mother’ culture (or starter) is shaped by the environment it’s in.
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[THE CLASS]

April Danann, a food and nutrition specialist from Cork came to talk to us about wild fermentations.  We got hands-on experience with all the different types of micro-cultures.  She is the fermentation geek, I’d say. She runs the fermented food and wellness stall ‘Rebel Foods’ at a few markets in Cork.

She demystified the technique behind the science – and/or vice versa depending what you were getting from it.  We made each of the following: Sourdough, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and vinegar drinks.

It turns out April had a previous life in microbiology & worked in a similar capacity to me in Canada. Woohoo! This is the interesting part of the story for me.

For myself, after a whole semester of fermentations & degree of studying microbiological and biochemical pathways, I can confidently say that I actually have NO idea about fermentations.  Well, i mean there was the failed kimchi, the bread pickles, a few batches of beer and bread; and brief stint in wine-making.  I have so much to learn about sourdough and keeping these little organisms happy 😉
I am happy share that I’m a proud owner of a sourdough starter (yet to decide on a name for my new baby), and some vinegar mother that I can proliferate! Gut microflora here we come.
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*if you’re interested in any of the procedures or tips we learned in class let me know below and i’ll do another post on those =) 

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Uncovered a gem in Blackrock – Blackrock Cellar

[SHORT, Quick Lovin’ ]

23 Rock Hill, Blackrock, Co. Dublin

Likelihood to return: be back fo shizzle! easy, just take the Dart!

Chillness: 4 chill chairs!

Highlights: the view

Our friends invited us to join them on their usual beer-trek yesterday and gave us a lift out to Blackrock. Just behind the Supervalue in Blackrock, we uncovered this wine and beer store that you HAVE to know about! They have a few hundred beers in their selection with the backdrop of the sea.

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Three things I think are most important in a wine shop:

1) Selection & Variety

2) Knowledgeable, friendly staff

3) Beautiful Sea view… no, just kidding.

We were wowed by their immense collection of beers, it was one of the best we’ve seen in Dublin thus far. The other highlight was their Spanish wine collection. Since our trip to Spain, we have been intrigued by the different Spanish wine regions producing great value wines and I’ve been on the look-out ever since. – and I mean look past Rioja.

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Are you Irish? You know that sense of familiarity you feel when you meet other Irish people abroad and you’re like ‘do you know… so and so?’ and you find not only do you have six common friends and four coworkers, you’re also related through distant cousins who married each other. Haha well, one of the gals, Sarah is originally from Vancouver Island in Canada! so although I don’t know any of her friends and we aren’t at all related it was great to chat about the different wine-cultures in both Canada & Ireland.

consensus: both expensive. excise tax is a killer.

Irish Beers alone!

Irish Beers alone!

Here’s our haul. Where do you get great beer in Dublin? Drop a comment below!

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New Tasting experience – Ely Wine Bar

Details Below: How to Win 2 tickets to taste almost 100 wines of the Rhône Valley!

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Ely Wine bar has been a name in existence to me since my first week in Dublin.  One of my friends was telling me how she’d been taken to the gastro bar on Grand Canal dock for a date, and I thought wow great view! However, since then I hadn’t made it to dine at any of the three locations. We all know where Ely Bar & Brasserie is in IFSC, but maybe it’s just the circles I run in, but we don’t get down to IFSC that often … unless its for sushi.

On a recent unexpected occasion, Jeri extended a fantastic welcome to us to join Ian, their sommelier & wine manager for a chat through some of their French wines.  Delighted, I brought my husband; who, to his credit has a single blog post on his wine blog 😉 and dabbles a little in the wine world of WSET accreditations just for the ‘lols’.  We love tasting events and relish any opportunity to discuss, deliberate, and expose our palates to more; more wines, more tastes, flavours, and descriptors! We love it all.

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Ely Wine bar is located on Ely place, just a jaunt up from Baggot Street.  The intimate setting of the wine bar is in a Georgian house that looks a little like you’re walking into a solicitors office.  It opens to a bar and double Georgian doors  into a dining room with tall windows and a high ceiling, just how you expect those houses to be – and this, is why I love Dublin.  Enough detour, back to the wine.

The wines in the tasting were all from France.  The goal was to see some of the lesser known French varieties or regions.  So the following are what we tasted:

[1] 2013, Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc
[2] 2013, Hugel ‘Gentil’, Alsace
[3] 2010, Domaine Charles Jouguet Chinon ‘Cufee Terroir’, Loire Valley
[4] 2010, Chateau Lab Baronne, Corbieres
[5] 2009, Domaine Moureau Madiran

The benefit of ‘off the beaten path’-wines are that you can get a quality and hand-crafted bottle of wine for more affordable prices.  This, in contrast to the usual big name ‘Burgundy’ or Bordeaux wines.

As is with most wine tastings, I think the discussion is as deep or shallow as the participants’ knowledge and interest.  Ian led us through the discussion and threw in some tidbits like to answer questions like ‘what the legs on a glass of wine mean’, etc.  [Answer: they glycerin content of the wine, which in part, has to do with sugar and alcohol but not always correlated with quality] As part of the tasting, we took a food break with charcuterie boards, calamari, and other tasty treats.

IMG_1687Ian has a broad base of experience working with wine, at one point he mentioned working at Chapter one.  Ian, Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with us! We look forward to the new exciting selections to come!

ELY EVENT: The next event is Rhone Week Ireland on the 3-8th November. Ely is hosting a tasting where guests will have the opportunity to taste of 100 wines from the Rhone valley! and get this, I have 2 tickets for you to bring a friend or date, or that really special foodie oenophile… ie, please take me if you win.

Follow @lovemesaysfood on twitter. Retweet this post and tag a friend to bring, and name one variety of grape typically used in wines produced in the Rhone Valley.  Winner will be announced on the 29th of October.

For those who are more advanced and want to appreciate their wine with a bit of pzazz, they also have a Four-week wine appreciation course 
Every Tuesday (starting 13 Jan – 3 Feb, 2015)
Every Wednesday (starting 14th Jan – 4 Feb, 2015)

And if you work for a swanky office, and your management look to team-build. Click Here to build a very strong team 😉

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Catalunya, Spain obliterates my liver – Week 1

I wrote this a week ago, but never ended up posting.  Welcome back everyone!

I’ve been wanting to share where we’ve been the last week.  A quick blurb, Sunday we had a 6am flight that we nearly missed! So we were almost not at all in Spain.  We started in Barcelona seeing the sights of the Sagrada Familia & Gaudi.  I’m glad that this time around we have guided tours, the last couple times I have been unmotivated to explore the city beyond the hop-on hop-off bus.

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This time, beyond just a great design city I’ve begun to understand the catalan culture, modern design and I am finally learning to appreciate  Gaudi’s influence on design throughout the city from the residences to the garden (Parc Guell) and the iconic Palau de la Musica Catalana.  I  am more and more in awe of his mimicking of nature as seen in his tree-like pillars of the Sagrada Familia.

 

This trip is focused mainly on food & wine, which makes it perfect!

Wine count: 17

Food count: one michellin star, and three samplings of modernist catalan cuisine so far!
Gelonch, Alkimia, Tickets, here we come.

 

Here we have a little taste of our goodies from La Boqueria, the market in Barcelona, which looks amazingly unchanged since last May when we visited. As S’ dad said, even the fruit stands are selling the same mangoes in the same place! Also a a sampling of our food and wine from Tickets, and foreshadowing of PRIORAT!

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From Barcelona, we headed to the Priorat wine region through the hills of Montsant (holy mountain).  We have seen the town of Falset, and stayed in the cutest little town Gratalopps.  With its narrow cobblestone streets and hilly landscape, you really get a feel for the landscape and how hilly this area really is.  The wines in this region are known to have high minerality and low producing vinces.  It was amazing to see each and every one of the wineries has vines that are terraced in to the hill.  What’s even more spectacular, are the sights and the drive up to these little towns.  The towns are all tiny, hilly, red-toped & nestled in the between rows of terraced vineyards, olive groves, and other nut trees.  I’ve never seen anything like it; arid and winding.  More pictures to come and we’ll try to share each special meal or winery with you!

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Rainy Yesterday’s Highlight

I had the pleasure of going out with my wonderful cousin, Christina, who was invited to the unveiling of Vin Room’s brand new fall menu.  With the new season, this menu brings a familiar and comfortable feel for me especially with the fusion of asian elements of soy short ribs.  In shock of the drastic change, don’t be too alarmed yet, they have kept four or five popular items on the menu.  I had the same reaction, the first questions was “ NOoo, What about the lobster nachos?!”

Maintaining the tapas- style dining, the new menu has Eastern and Asian influences.  The new Executive Chef, Claire Cameron, will lead kitchen team with previous experiences from private catering and studies at Dubrulle Culinary Arts (Vancouver). The Calgarian chef is young and upbeat!  I really enjoyed her pizzazz for new dishes, true love for food, and excitement in experimenting with the different cultural foods.

In future, we’ll have to do a dinner and actual tasting! ( … to come.) Just hearing about Claire’s new ideas to come, I look forward to the new outlook she will bring to the city’s food offerings.

Sorry, no photos this time around.


Fave Dishes of the Evening

“I thought she said Thai” -Back ribs:  tangy, topped with a sweet and salty pickled soy sauce, and embellished with thin apple strips.  At first glance I thought they were mustard seeds, and upon trying them it was a great blend of flavours!

Lamb Kabobs (in Meatball-form!): meaty and filling, creamy tumeric sauce that resembles Mediterranean or Greek. Bold, but not too bold.

Chicken Yakitori: mellow, soy-ginger sauce marinated, tastes of home-style

Wine selection

Red: Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria (blends of nero’d’avola & frappato)

Medium body and bold taste with light spice and fruity berries.

Next time:

Grilled Cheese

Brie, poached pear, foie sauce

Mussels

Lemongrass, chili, mint, cilantro

High Country Bison Flat Iron Steak

Roasted beets, sautéed greens

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New neighbors: Sunterra!

Last week, we welcomed a new place for food enthusiasts and healthy/organic lovers alike.

Sunterra had a Grand Opening to blow onto the Downtown scene!  There were samples of artisan breads, cheeses, baked goods; and best of all, wine.  Although no coffee, I didn’t really expect to see coffee make an appearance.

Starting from the first floor, there is the bakery, deli, and a selection of gelato.  So key!

I look forward to what Sunterra will be offering at their “Community Table” which is a fully equipped teaching kitchen for demos and classes.  I like this idea because it’s creating sustainability (ie. cooking skills) and capacity building, so you aren’t stuck buying processed/prepared food all the time.  This is a start to healthful eating!

For all the people who want to learn to make quick meals, or elaborate gourmet ones, this is for you.  Now you can buy good food, and cook it too!

Now that Sunterra is just around the corner, there’s a closer place to pick up everyday goodies; and a hangout where you can eat and enjoy the food we all love. On the top floor, there is a self-serve cafeteria-style, but they have also included the two large tandoori/woks for the curries and asian/thai dishes.    It’s a conglomerate of all the Sunterras in town.

The top-two best additions this time around is an upstairs wine bar/patio, and a crepe station!  If that doesn’t top it off, I don’t know what does.

I fell in love with one of the lamps in the lounge. Long ago I saw it in Domicile on 11th- Brought in from the Westcoast, it adds a nice rustic and relaxed-modern feel to the chilling area.
Worth checking out!

Highlights: apricot stilton cheese, perfect sweetness with the sharp pungent stilton.  mmm!

UPCOMING: Prairie Regional Barista Comptition this weekend!

Sunterra Market - Keynote on Urbanspoon

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