Wine

Some unusual wines to try out for this week

Ireland was always very brand-conscious up until recently and it took the arrival of the German discounters and the recession to shake us up a little.

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Beer of the week: Cotton Ball Indian Summer Beer, 4.7% ABV; 500ml — €3.99

The Cotton Ball pub in Mayfield, Cork, was founded in 1874 and in 2013 they joined the Irish craft beer revolution and began successfully brewing their own beers for selling as draught and more recently in bottle — other pubs should take note!

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Recommended this week are clean and fresh 'natural' wines

April has been declared ‘Natural Wine Month’ by Le Caveau wine merchants in Kilkenny which specialises in organic, bio-dynamic and ‘natural’ wines.

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Beer of the week: The Rising Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 47% ABV, 70cl — €75

A limited edition whiskey (1,916 bottles) from Tipperary Boutique Distillery founded by Clonmel farmer Liam Ahearn and his fiancée Jennifer — with blending and selection refined by her whiskey expert father Stuart Nickerson. 

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Alcohol levels of this week’s wines are all 13% or above

Despite all the words this page has expended on a myriad of wines, the reason we are interested is because they all have one thing in common — “the power to banish care”.

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This week’s wines have minimal sulphur, but be warned that these may taste a little different

We need to talk about sulphur. You might have noticed that most bottles say ‘contains sulphites’ somewhere on the label.

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Beer of the week: Metalman Orange is the New Black, 4.3% ABV, 330ml — €2.95

Stockists: Bradleys, No. 21 Group, Stacks, Ardkeen, World Wide Wines, Mchughs, Drink Store

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This week's wines all work well with Chinese food, particularly spicy dishes

Easter Saturday is not necessarily the time you would expect me to be writing about spicy foods but my favourite Easter dinner is a rich yoghurt and spice marinated slow-cooked lamb dish called lamb raan, and it was thinking about this that led me to tackle once again the issue of wine and spice.

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Beer of the week: Galway Bay Irish Red Ale, 4.4% ABV; 500ml, €2.99 - €3.25

Galway Bay Brewery now has 11 pubs in Galway and Dublin and will be opening in Limerick in June. 

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Centra’s new “Wines We Love” range are all under €15

Is that wine worth its price? This is a question I am frequently asked, mainly regarding expensive Bordeaux.

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Beer of the week: Bo Bristle

This week’s beer of the week is Bo Bristle IPA, 5.0%; ABV, 50cl — €2.99-3.39.

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This week's wine selections include four tasty wines from California and two bargain wines from O’Briens

It is now 40 years since the Judgement of Paris when a blind tasting of Napa Valley cabernets and chardonnays scored higher than many famous names from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

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Spirit of the week: Thin Gin

Made by Blackwater Irish Spirits in Waterford who produce Muldoon Whiskey Liqueur, this won the Gin Trophy at 2015’s Irish Whiskey Awards.

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Leslie Williams has plenty of praise for Spanish wines

Here I go again, praising the wines of Spain.

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Austrian wines you've been missing out on

Austrian wine has come a long way in the last 30 years and if you haven’t been exploring their wines you are missing out.

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Wine: A focus on New Zealand's red wines

New Zealand is a tiny wine producing region in world terms but has managed to carve out a hugely influential niche for itself with their unique take on Sauvignon Blanc.

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Wine: Beautiful Beaujolais

Springtime is here and at this time of year I crave fruit in my wine and there are few fruitier or more pleasurable wines than a good Beaujolais.

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Wine: Off-Licence of the Year Awards

The results are in and the 2016 National Off-Licence of the year is a shop that features regularly in my stockist list — Baggot Street Wines.

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Wine: January is a month for experimenting

January is a month for learning new things and many off-licences are offering wine courses this month and early next month.

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Wine: Tackling 'dry January'

There has been a lot of publicity about the new UK alcohol guidelines and much discussion about the benefits of a “dry January” these past few weeks. I’m not convinced.

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Wine: Lingering tastes of 2015

Now that we are properly into 2016, I have had some further thoughts on wine experiences I enjoyed last year.

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Wine: Torn between the past and the future

The new year is upon us and at this time of year I always find myself a little betwixt and between — torn between the past and the future, memories of the year just passed, mixing with the anticipation of the one to come.

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Wine: Looking into Ireland's spirit industry

In my last column of 2015 I was going to go focus on the wine highlights of the year but in fact there have been far more landmarks in the spirit world here in Ireland.

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Wine: Some ideas for last-minute Christmas gifts

Just a few days left to pick up some last minute presents and to prepare for Christmas.

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Say cheers: the wine to buy this festive season

The thing I love most about the Christmas meal is that for once I am not the only one fussing and worrying about what wine to serve. 

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Wine: Enjoying a festive port

Recently I gave over my column to the joys of sherry and wrote about how well it goes with food. This week it is the turn of port. Port and sherry are drinks we wrongly associate with Christmas when in fact they work all year round.

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