Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Tasting

So much for the weather getting better - it's snowing in Dublin today. Might leave the weather reports to someone else. It's like when, in a previous life, I tried to do a BBQ promotion, only to bring on the wettest summer on record.

Anyway, regardless of the weather, we are having a great Easter Wine Tasting in the shop over the next 2 days (Wed & Thur) featuring wines we think would be good choices over the Easter holiday or just because we want to have a nice tasting. Wines on tasting will include:

Felton Road Pinot Noir - because we want to
Pesquera  - on promotion
Chateau Noaillac - on promotion
Michel Ecard Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru  - again because we want to
Pavillon Saint Jacques Lalande de Pomerol - lamb, yummy
Palazzo della Torre, Allegrini - super yummy
st. Michael Eppan Riesling - crisp and fresh
Reverdy Sancerre - new vintage 08 is amazing
Verus Pinot Gris - Slovenia's finest

and many more - it's gonna be great!

Monday, March 29, 2010

As promised - some great April offers

April Special Offers – REAL SAVINGS ON REAL WINE

Degani Valpolicella Classico 2008 – save €3, now only €9.99
The wines of Aldo Degani seem to get better and better each year and this Valpolicella is a perfect quaffer for Spring. Light, fruity with lovely pure cherry fruit, this is dangerously easy drinking. A good crowd pleaser.
Chateau Noaillac Medoc Cru Bourgeois 2006. Was €16.99, now €14.99
If spring lamb is on your menu this month, good Bordeaux is the perfect match. This is lovely, medium-bodied with just the right structure and fruit to make it a perfect food wine. Decant or open for a couple of hours and this is great value at this money.

Pesquera Ribera del Duero Crianza 2006 – RRP €25, now €20
Sometimes a wine just has everything and this is one of them. The granddaddy of them all in Ribera del Duero continues to dazzle. This is full-bodied, rich with leather and spice and ripe fruit all wrapped up in a smooth texture and long length. Very special wine.

Verus Pinot Gris 2008, Slovenia – RRP €19, now €15
Want to try something not only different, but delicious? This Pinot Gris from a really good producer is great stuff – medium bodied with really nice balance, clean fruit flavours and a long finish.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Looking forward to Easter

Is it just me or are there more people than normal who are off the booze for Lent? Now fiving up vodka or kahlua or that weird blue Bols stuff is one thing, but giving up wine? Seems a bit extreme. I presume the country hasn't been struck down with a new strain of religious fervour, so what is it?

In any case, with the weather finally a bit milder, the daffodils poking their heads out of the ground and the clocks going forward tomorrow night, I am finally looking forward to Easter.

Easter means lamb and lamb means nice red - typically Bordeaux, Chianti or a Rioja or Ribera del Duero from Spain. I will have more information on Monday regarding great deals for Easter (and beyond) on cracking wines such as Pesquera, Chateau Noaillac and a nice Italian, yet to finalised....

More on Monday.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Birthday celebrations - St. Patrick's Day

On the Grapevine will be 11 years old on Wednesday. It has been quite a journey - it seems like only yesterday when we were madly varnishing floors and packing shelves as we took a big leap into the unknown, with neither Pam nor myself having had any experience in the wine trade prior to opening the shop.

On another level, we have immersed ourselves so completely in it since then, that our previous lives seem quite distant. The arrival of 3 children and various other ups and downs have made the 11 years go past in something of a blur.

And so, here we are. To celebrate the occasion, we will have various bottles open for tasting and we will offer a free glass of champagne to anyone who would care to join us.

As well as all that, we are doing 20% of EVERYTHING for the day.

Real deals on real wines - there is a theme developing....

Hope to see you there, we will be open from noon till 6pm.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great wines

We had company over the weekend and drank some very nice stuff. Pam, as usual, excelled on the food front. I was in charge of pouring. Friday night started with Lamiable champagne, which continues to impress, every time I try it. Small family grower, grand cru vineyards, very easy on the system. Then we had L'Eglise Clinet 1995, a top Pomerol from a good vintage. nose promised great things, but the palate lacked something. It was very good, don't get me wrong, Pam loved it, but was it worth the money? Next up was Domaine Pegau Cuvee Laurence 1998. I loved this, it was still relatively youthful but full of complexity, length and balance. Very nice.

On Saturday, we had a bottle of prosecco to get us going and then upped the ante quite considerably by going on to Zind Humbrecht Clos Hauserer Riesling 1996. Rich, exotic (as you would expect), but again quite youthful, certainly full of fruit. Bit of residual sugar just added to the balance. Long long finish. Chasse Spleen 1989 was next up and this was perfect Bordeaux and really showed up the Pomerol from the night before at a fraction of the cost. To make sure we had a good night's sleep we went on to Noon Eclipse 1997 (?) a monster from Australia that probably got 100 points way back when. This is grenache based and weighs in at 16.3% alcohol. The nose was intriguing, I wouldn't have got it as australian, maybe the alcohol vapours were fooling me into thinking of Amarone. Not a food wine, but one for sipping and thinking about. Great wine and a delight to taste, but not my thing.

Many thanks to all contributors - there are few things I enjoy more than enjoying good wine and good food with good company!

Good news for the ladies

More good news for the ladies here

Vinisud Report

Vinisud is a bi-annual wine fair held in Montpellier and features all the wines of Languedoc, Rhone and southern France in general. There is a smattering of wines from other regions, but the focus is the south of France. It is always well run, not too big and Montpellier is no great hardship to visit, so it is one we like to go to.

As well as catching up with producers we already work with, we were on the lookout for some new wines, at the cheaper end of things, needless to say. So, while everyone imagines us standing around sipping Cote Rotie and Chateauneuf du Pape, the reality is rather more mundane and a lot of time is spent scrabbling around the Vin de Pays end of the market.

Anyway, we found some useful options at the house wines level and some interesting Rhone wines as well. We never make a decision at the wine fair; we insist on getting samples back to Ireland and we will do a big blind tasting of the samples against each other and against their peers in the market and, only if they perform well in the blind tasting, will me make a decision to import. It's a bit long-winded, but it works and we haven't made too many bad importing decisions as a result.

The mood at the fair was very upbeat with lots of deals on offer and everyone keen to do business after a poor 2009. It was a relief to get some optimism into the head - I recommend a weekend out of the country....

I will report on the results of the blind tasting.