Wine

Wine: Ballymaloe Litfest line-up announced

Still another full week of January to go but I recommend you cheer yourself up by checking out the line-up for the Ballymaloe Litfest which has just been announced.

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Recommended bargain wines for cash-strapped January

Lebanon has rarely been out of the news since the 1970s but through all the years of political turmoil and refugee crises, there has always been one annual event to celebrate: the arrival of the new vintage of Chateau Musar.

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Wines to test your palates

New Year Resolutions are usually tedious things such as “visit the gym more than once a week”, “pay off the Visa bill every month” etc. This week I am proposing some pleasurable resolutions which will be no hardship.

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Wine: Some light wines for post-Christmas period

I am in denial. January can be such a depressing month that I find the best way to get through it is to pretend it isn’t happening and drink light crisp wines like it was summertime.

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Recommended wines for Christmas

Aperitif wines are always useful for when guests drop in unexpectedly, and definitely have some inexpensive prosecco in the fridge (more on fizz next week).

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Champagne for Christmas

I hope you can forgive the increase in prices on the column this week, I promise it is a once-a-year event, and only because I want to talk about Champagne.

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Give a decent bottle of wine as a present this Christmas

The key to successful present buying I believe is to find something that the recipient wants, but which it did not occur to them to buy for themselves.

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Wine: Some good Bordeaux offers for Christmas

Up until recently my favourite wine trivia question was “what is the world’s most planted grape?” 

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Wine: Sales are up on Vintage Port

The rumours of Port Wine’s demise have thankfully been exaggerated. While the market is overly seasonal in nature (that is, Christmas), and sales are down, sales of one style are definitely up.

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Spanish wines are hard to beat right now

Christmas is coming, but first things first – we are now in Game Season and we should start to see pheasant, partridges and wild ducks appearing in good butchers this month. 

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Weekend Wine

Firstly, this week I want to thank those readers who came to our Californian Wine Evening in Meades 126 Wine Bar on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett Street last month. 

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Wine: English Sparkling wine wins Gold Star Awards

Michael Noonan decided to spare the wine community in Ireland further pain in the recent budget so I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.

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Wine: Colombelle L’Original, Plaimont, Cotes de Gascogne 2013

Terroir is one of those frustrating French terms that is beloved of winemakers and wine-writers but remains little understood by most of the wine-buying public. 

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California produces some of the world’s best wines

California produces more wine than any country outside Europe yet very little of it seems to make its way to Ireland. 

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Weekly wine tips

Readers of this column may be getting tired of my raising the issue of excise duty on wine but bear with me for just a few sentences. 

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Monte Velho Branco, Herdade do Esporao, Alentejo, Portugal - €12.99

The Indian Summer we have been experiencing in recent weeks is not just putting us in better form, but also the winemakers across Europe. 

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Wine: Alpha Zeta Soave 2013, Veneto, Italy — €12.99

HIS WEEK I am focusing on Waterford which held its annual Harvest Festival just a couple of weeks ago with a strong focus on local food producers and of course on wine. 

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Wine: Ciu Ciu Piceno, Bacchus 2013, Italy — €11.99 - €13.25

I mentioned last week of the sad death of Paddy Keogh of Wines Direct at the young age of 64 from a relatively short illness. 

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Wine: Henri de Richemer Marselan, Cotes de Thau, France; €12.99-€13.99

THE sad news of the death of Paddy Keogh of Wines Direct was announced recently and this column would like to extend sympathies to his family and work colleagues. 

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Wine: Picpoul de Pinet 2013, Languedoc — €10 (was €12)

SEPTEMBER has become wine sale season it seems. Last week I wrote about the Lidl French wine sale and some of their Bordeaux bargains — this week it is the turn of Dunnes Stores.

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Wine: Chateau Moulin de Citran 2008, Haut-Medoc — €14.99

EVERYONE begins their love affair with fine wine somewhere, I was unlucky enough to have mine start in Bordeaux. 

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