Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reasons to be happy

A random list of places to buy, drink and a few importers...people keeping the wine world in ireland vibrant and interesting...

Where to buy wine - curious, red island, bin no 9, gibneys, parting glass, red nose, wine centre, jus de vine, redmonds, vintry, 64 wine, mitchells, listons, our own little place in Dalkey, Denis in Delgany, all the Deveneys

Restaurants worth a visit - cafe paradiso, dalis, ouzos, chapter one, the greenhouse, cliff house hotel, all the elys, chapter one of course, one pico, il vicoletto, l'ecrivain, talbot 101, Three Qs, Liberty Grill, Electric, Beaufield Mews for best value wine, Ballymaloe , Town Bar

Importers to work with - Tyrell & Co., Searsons, approach, ourselves and the Cabots of course, Wicklow Wine, Le Caveau, Vinos Tito, classic

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

So why can't we have a drink on Good Friday?

It's like one of those phantom sensations you hear about - you know when someone's leg is amputated but they can still feel an itch in their foot. So it is with our licensing laws on Good Friday which prohibit the sale of alcohol for the whole day on Good Friday. Just when we thought we have shaken the Catholic church off our back, we get reminded just how dominant the Church was in this country. The Angelus is another daily reminder for us to pause from our hectic life, take a moment and reflect in solemn silence on just how screwed up this country was by the Catholic Church.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the day off. The panic buying that usually happens the day before more than compensates for the day lost in sales and yet hardly suggests that people are taking the whole fasting thing too seriously. However, there is nothing that will drive an Irish person to drink more than an official edict that says you can't have a drink. So people go to all sorts of lengths to get a drink - having house parties, going on train journeys, heading's madness.

People often say to me "It's only one day in the year - would you relax!!!" Well, guess what, I can not drink any day I like - it happens most weeks that we can control ourselves for 24hrs - sometimes even more! What I don't like is being told that I can't have a drink - especially for spurious religious reasons. I'm as religious as the next man (there is nobody next to me!), but should we have somebody's religious views imposed on everyone? I am all for religious freedom - if you want to wear a burkha, sacrifice a goat, meditate in a cave, go to Mass, become a Scientologist or a Jehovah's Witness - go for it, knock yourself out - just leave me out of it, thanks very much. In return, I will leave you in peace as well.

Also, whether I drink myself or not, I would like to feel free to conduct my business whenever I want and not be told I have to close on a certain day because of some random diktat by a bishop in the 1930s.

So, come on Ireland, grow up and change this stupid law.

I will get Carol to work.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

20% Discount Deal for April

When I was but a lad growing up above a pub in Co. Wexford, the two days in the year when the pub wasn’t open were Christmas Day and Good Friday. It meant no packing shelves, no cleaning ashtrays and it meant my father got a rare day off. I thought that was why it was called “Good” Friday…ah the innocence of youth!

Of course we are closed on Good Friday, but we will be open as always on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday and then closed again on the Bank Holiday.

Easter is always a time to think of the new spring lambs bouncing gaily in the fields….with that in mind I have put together an offer of wines to go with lamb. Bordeaux is, of course, the perfect match, and what could make it taste even sweeter?

20% off, that’s what.

I have also picked one of our favourite whites in the shop Domaine Reverdy Sancerre – don’t be fooled by the pretenders in Sancerre – this is the real deal – concentrated, fresh and mineral, amazing wine. And then we have the Lanzos red and white – easy, gluggable wines from Spain that are great value at their normal price, let alone with 20% off.

So here is our April offer – buy any 6 (can be mixed) of the following to get 20% off:
Chateau La Brande, Cotes de Castillon – this is our smart buy from Bordeaux’s right bank. The vines are across the road from the more swanky Saint Emilion Grand Cru, the wine gets exactly the same careful treatment and yet it sells for a fraction of its more illustrious big brother. RRP - €16 – April 6 btl price €12.80

Domaine Reverdy Sancerre – crisp, bone dry, elegant, concentrated with a long mineral finish, this is definitive Sancerre. RRP €20 – down to €16.

Lanzos Tempranillo – soft, juicy, fruity Tempranillo. As a bonus, it has sheep on the label so you can feel extra guilty munching on your Spring lamb! RRP €11 – down to €8.80

Lanzos Sauvignon Blanc/Viura – aromatic, fresh and fruity with real character. RRP €11 – down to €8.80.
Hope to see you soon.