ely Big Tasting March 2014

So the first Big Tasting of 2014 has been and gone, and, thanks to all of our suppliers and all who attended, it was a fantastic success. As usual, we asked for your feedback, in particular on your favourite wines, beers or ciders of the evening. We got lots of feedback, most genuine, some humorous, and some downright illegible! Must be something to do with the wine…While wine is the main attraction of the Big tasting, we have expanded it to include Irish Ciders, Craft Beers, and the best of Irish Cheese. So a massive thanks to the one and only Sheridans Cheesemongers and Emma, for their contribution on the evening. Thanks too to Barry Rownan, our Beer-man for joining in on the fun, and the holy trinity of Irish Cider- Craigies, Stonewell and Longueville House (watch this space for a BIG Cider Tasting).

Obviously, we couldn’t do any of this without the help of all of our wonderful suppliers, so rather than naming you all here I’ll just buy you all a pint!

Anyway, after reviewing all the feedback and counting votes we have chosen a top three of the tasting, and as usual, it’s full of surprises. Certain wines always show well- Bollinger Special Cuvee and Taittinger Nocturne appear on almost every list, as does the Warres Otima 10yr Tawny port. But the three that came top this year were fairly unexpected. So, counting down, at number….

NYETimber3 – Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009, England. An English sparkling wine???

But of course. These wines have a massive reputation across the water, and have been slowing building a loyal following here in recent times.

Nyetimber are quite possibly the best, and this vintage is a stunner!
Ripe, rich and biscuity, with a lovely, lemon fresh acidity, this is not just a credible alternative to Champagne, this is a world class wine in its own right! The secret is out.


Xestal2. Bodegas y Viñedos Gancedo ‘Xestal’ DO Bierzo

From the little known but soon- to-be-massive region of Bierzo in North West Spain, this wine is 100% Mencia and the vineyards are between 60 and 100yrs old.
The wine is a deep purple colour, with raspberry, strawberry and a fantastic earthiness on the nose. The palate is even better- medium bodied, slightly tart red fruit and a touch of cedar and oak, but perfectly balanced.
This is a wonderfully distinctive and unique wine, and its popularity at the tasting shows that wines with character and personality can also be crowd-pleasers!

And finally, the wine that most of you voted as your favourite of the tasting. While I may have been a little surprised that it came out top, I’m also absolutely delighted!


1. Wagner Stempel Spätburgunder, Rheinhessen, Germany 2011

A GERMAN RED WINE! Yes, those Germans just keep surprising us… While everyone in the wine business can- and will- wax lyrical about those amazing German Rieslings, Spätburgunder doesn’t get quite the same attention. Hopefully that’s all about to change.
First things first- Spätburgunder is Pinot Noir. The name may not be quite as sexy, but this is Germany, and they don’t really do sexy names. But they do make damn sexy wines! German Pinot (or Spätburgunder) tends to be quite light in colour, but with wonderfully intense flavours and incredible finesse. This wine, from the fantastic Wagner-Stempel winery encapsulates all that is great about Pinot as a variety, and Germany as a wine producer- delicate but beautifully flavoured, with raspberry, cherry and redcurrant flavours. It is softly perfumed, silky textured and utterly delicious. Do yourself a favour and try this wine. Not only will you forgive the unsexy name, you may even come to love it!

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening. Each week a guest speaker will present a selection of wines from the given region and we’ll serve up a supper dish to match. All wine tastings take place at ely bar & brasserie and start at 7pm sharp.

Thursday April 17th – Wines of the Northern Rhone. ely bar & brasserie, IFSC €45

Thursday May 8th – Italy’s traditional Grape Varieties. ely bar & brasserie, IFSC €45

Thursday May 22nd – Alsace. ely bar & brasserie, IFSC €45

For more info visit http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings


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