Cahor steals the show

Our Wine Appreciation Course at ely winebar is in it’s 3rd week. The theme for this week – to everyone’s delight – was Red Wines of the World. At ely we like to take an alternative approach by showcasing wines that are slightly off the beaten track. The line up for this week proved a great success as we tasted our way across the globe. To compliment the food, Mark and Louis in the kitchen served up a delicious Duck Leg Confit with sautéed potatoes and a Frisee salad.

We opened up the evening with a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley. The table was pleasantly surprised with how elegant and savoury the wine was. The following two wines were big American numbers, the Bogle  Zinfandel from California and Le Mision Cabernet from Chile. They had big expressive sweet fruit which went down swimmingly.

We then went down to the South West of France, the gastronomic capital, to experiment with some food matching: Cahors, the original home of Malbec, a St Emilion from 2003 and a Minervois made from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. It was agreed that they all tasted amazing with the meaty, juicy duck leg.

And the favourite? A unanimous decision: the Cahors with it’s damson and lavender aromas, earthy tones and more-ish finish. Argentinean Malbecs are good, French Malbecs are great!

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Noemi goes to Spain

Last week Noemi, our Italian ragazza, was invited on a fantastic trip to Spain by one of our favourite importers, Simon Tyrrell. Noemi had a jam-packed tour taking in the wonders of Bodegas Emperatriz in Rioja and then moving east to the experimental producer, Castell d’Encus, in Costers del Segre who make delicious and very unusal whites such as their Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend. Next stop was the  “nutty professor” Sergei Ferrer-Salat who is a key figure in  Priorat and producers the Ferret-Bobet. The wines are driven by Sergei’s commitment to quality and he treats the winery like a laboratory, experimenting all the time!

It was 3  hectic days in Spain. “And how was the weather”, I asked Noemi, “it rained everyday, it was like Ireland followed us to Spain!”

Every cloud has a silver lining: as we can’t take all our customers to Spain, we have decided to take Spain to our customers! This Thursday we are holding a Spanish tasting night at ely wine bar, Ely Place.

The wines featured will give a taste of Spain with an alternative twist.  On the whites we will first go south for some Fino Sherry and then North to Rueda where white wines are made from the fresh and zesty Verdejo grape.  We also look at tempranillo’s potential in Sardon del Duero and savour a Garnacha ‘Vinas Viejas’.

All served with some delicious tapas!

The tasting runs from 18.30 – 20.30, but do call ahead to check for availibilty.

No sunshine guaranteed!

Thursday Night is Tasting Night

Over the last few Thursdays we have been exploring some delights in the winelist with our customers. Last week was Languedoc, and we matched the juicy reds from Minervois, Corbieres and Coteaux du Languedoc with a delicious Cassoulet dreamt up by our Exec Chef Ryan Stringer. The reds went down a treat, but what our customers really enjoyed were two little surprises: the first was the zesty white Picpoul de Pinet from Jourdan Felines. The wine is so renowned for it’s refreshing qualities that Picpoul actually translates as lipstinger! The second was a sweet red wine, a Vin Doux Naturel, made from Grenache called Banyuls. Agruably it is the only wine that pairs well with chocolate and our customers tried it with one of our yummy handmade chocolates!

This Thursday we will be taking an alternative trip through New Zealand. Sauvignon Blanc has stolen the show for kiwi winemakers and we will look at a slightly more interesting example, a lightly oaked one from Martinborough. We will also take a look at what Central Otago can achieve with Pinot Gris, Hawkes Bay’s take on Cabernet/Merlot blends and, of course, a Marlborough Pinot Noir!

Tastings run from 18.30 – 20.30 every Thursday and include 4 wines and dinner for just €30. Spaces are limited so call in advance to reserve your place. Ph: 01 676 8986.

Thursday 7th October – New Zealand

Thursday 21st October  – Spain

Thursday 28th October – Australia, featuring a guest speaker

Thursday 4th November – Bordeaux, featuring a guest speaker (€35 per person)

Thursday 11th November – USA

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