Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No wine shop? No problem!

If you are thinking of heading down the country to your idyllic country retreat and the only cloud on the horizon (apart from the obvious ones) is the lack of a decent wine shop, fear not, because we are on hand to help you out.

We offer next day delivery to anywhere in the country and, as a summer special, if you order a case, we will deliver it for free. Just call us on 01 2353054 and we will do everything over the phone.

Whether it's Ballymoney or Ballbunion or Ballygobackwards, we will not let you go thirsty!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We had this the other night

We got a late text inviting us down to a friends house for a drink on Sunday night. We had a bottle of Domaine Hamelin Chablis Premier Cri "Beauroy" 2007 in the fridge and the in-laws ready to babysit, so we hopped on our bikes, Chablis in Pam's basket, and pretty much free-wheeled the whole way down to the waterfront (the cycle back up the hill was a long way off at that stage).

Our thoughtful friends had some nice Brie and another unspecified cheese ready and it was all very pleasant. Hamelin's Chablis always has a nice balance of typicity and drinkability that makes it an excellent example of its type. 2007 wasn't a stellar vintage, but Hamelin always seems to get great consistency in their wines. The 2007 Beauroy was delicious, steely and mineral as you would expect, but with nice ripe fruit and very good balance. Really good.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Arrivederci - Italian wines on sale this weekend

With Ghana, South Korea, England and Uruguay among the qualifiers due to play this weekend, my plan to do amazing World Cup tastings is falling down around me.

Italy, the current World Champions, were turfed out of the World Cup unceremoniously by Slovakia this afternoon, a result which will result in much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the streets of Rome, Milan etc tonight.

To cheer them up in our own little way, we will be doing 10% off all Italian wines this weekend, lots of nice ones on tasting.

To those of you eating out, Beaufield Mews are doing the same thing except on French wine. Their list is already good value, so this is worth seeking out. And yes, I am blatantly plagiarising their idea!!

Some wines amaze...

We have been lucky enough to have been part of the couple of "Bring out your dead" wine tastings where people are asked to bring a bottle or two of wine that they have had for ages that might be over the hill. Or it might be brilliant. These occasions are always good fun and usually throw up some surprises about the longevity of wines.

I have written before about how Pieropan Soave has lasted 2 weeks in the fridge, still drinkable when we came back after our holidays. I got another such surprise with a wine called MArques de Allela 2005. This is a simple, light (11.5%) wine made in the hills outside Barcelona, meant to be drunk young, chilled and with fish. It always reminded me of a Spanish Picpoul with its twist of lemon and memories of seaside.

As far as I know, this wine isn't available in Ireland any more, but we found a bottle lurking in the fridge in the shop. I didn't want to sell it as, at 5 years old,  I assumed it was over the hill, but the colour seemed intact, so I took it home and it was as fresh as a daisy, delicious, light summery white.

Not so with the Ridge Chardonnay 2003, all of which seems to be completely oxidised. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dalkey Book Festival Report

What a great weekend! There was a great buzz around the town, the weather was great and everybody was in good form and having a good time. All the events were sold out and, while I didn't get to many of them myself as I was working, the reaction seemed to be very good indeed.

We had two events in the shop - the poetry reading on Saturday had the shop packed out with people to listen to readings by two local poets - Katie Donovan and Bernie Kenny. Later, John Wilson (Irish Times) did a brilliant tasting, laced with literary quotations and he had the 70 or so people well entertained and well watered with 7 wines. The favourites (going by the sales afterwards) seemed to be Verus Pinot Gris, Baudry Chinon and Basciano Chianti. Many thanks to John for doing such a great tasting.

Thanks also due do David McWilliams and his wife Sian Smyth for doing an amazing job organizing a world class event in such a short space of time, The Dalkey Business Group, the writers involved and of course, residents, customers and friends who turned out in great numbers to make the event a success.

Looking forward to next year already!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dalkey Book Festival - Activity this weekend

We are all busy getting ready for the festival this weekend, there is a great buzz around the town and a really amazing line-up of writers, talks and events right throughout the weekend.

Needless to say, we have some activity this weekend that may be of interest:

Saturday 3pm – Poetry reading by Dalkey poets Katie Donovan and Bernie Kenny – refreshments will, of course be supplied if you want to come along.
Saturday 6.30pm – Irish Times Wine tasting with John Wilson – quite a few people have already booked in for this, thanks. John has picked 7 of his favourite wines from our range and will do a light-hearted tutored tasting for us. This will take place in the courtyard behind the shop as the weather looks set to be nice for the weekend.
We are also doing 10% discount off EVERYTHING for the whole weekend – Friday to Sunday inclusive.
For all other details on events including such names as Maeve Binchy, Ross O’Carroll Kelly, Mark Little, Robert Fisk, John Connolly, Joseph O’Connor, Conor McPherson, David McWilliams and many more, see
The other event that I think will be great is the Midsummer BBQ in Fitzpatrick’s on Sunday evening – contact Fitzpatricks on 01 2305400 for details and to book a ticket.

I really hope you can support Dalkey and the festival and come along for a great weekend!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Irish Times Tasting this Saturday 19th June

John Wilson, wine writer with the Irish Times, is doing a tasting for us this weekend in the shop. The tasting will feature a selection of John's favourite wines from the shop which have been recommended recently by the Irish Times.

This is a free tasting, but call us on 01 2353054 if you would like to come along as we will need to prepare according to the numbers.

The tasting is part of the festival happening in Dalkey this weekend - see for a full programme.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Tasting - Italy v New Zealand

Our selective World Cup tasting whereby we only choose matched whose wines we like to tase for this weekend is as follows:

Italy - Casa Emma Chianti Classico


New Zealand - Muddy Water Sauvignon Blanc

It has a score draw written all over it....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec "Le Haut Lieu" 1995 - one day offer

Huet Vouvray is probably the most affordable truly WORLD CLASS wine. I have about 12 bottles left of the dry version from 1995. 15 years old, this wine is fully mature and there is a little bottle variation. Some bottles are magical, some are great, some are heading towards the tired end of the spectrum. None are less than interesting, however.

At this stage of their development, the flavours are tertiary, vegetal, mushroomy very very complex, but you need to be prepared for it and be ready to get your head around it.

However, it does need to be consumed soon so I want to move them on. This is a genuine 1/2 price deal on amazing wine. Normal price is €30 - you can get a bottle for €15 today and tomorrow (Wed/Thurs).

First come, first served!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Domaine La Cabotte Cotes du Rhone "Colline" 2007

We found this wine at Vinisud - a wine fair in Montpellier - earlier this year and agreed to taste with them partly because of the name. My partner in crime in terms of wine importation is Liam Cabot, you see, so it had a certain resonance. To make matters worse, thye even have a Cuvee "Gabriel", must remember to order some of that next time.

Anyway, we were amazed by the wine - rich, ripe crushed blueberries on the nose, soft smooth tannins, lush fruit on the palate, soft and elegant and very pleasant to drink.

Produced biodynamically by the almost impossibly French-sounding Marie-Pierre Plumet d'Ardhuy, this is very, very good Cotes du Rhone and quite a bargain, in my humble if biased opinion.

Friday, June 4, 2010

World Cup Tastings

The first of our world cup-themed tastings kicks off this weekend with a random selection of South African wines. Will we be able to avoid France? Probably not....with the wine so good, you have to let bygones be bygones.

Keep watching here for future tastings - I saw Italy are to play New Zealand at some stage. The tasting will be more interesting than the football...