tips, tipples & table talk – Week 5

This week’s post will have all the usual tips, tipples and table talk, but we thought we’d take this oppourtunity to highlight a more serious issue: It’s broken, so let’s fix it. Ireland has the highest tax on wine in Europe, 576% higher than the EU average (according to NOFFLA) and that’s before the 70% mark up some places add on. This summer, when we see so many overseas visitors to our fair isle, we must take a moment to look at our taxes, our margins,  how wine lovers from abroad must view our wine pricing when dining out – and how we can fix it.

Top Insta Pics of the Week

A picture speaks a thousand words and our ely customers sure are a snap happy bunch! Here are our top pick of instagram pictures we spotted from you guys this week.

Free wifi (so you can get snapping) at: ely bar & brasserieely gastro bar ely wine bar 

instagram collage

Taste tip of the Week: The ‘Wine with Fish’ Question

This summer, you’ll no doubt be enjoying some delicious fresh fish at home, as the main dish at a garden party or tucking in to it at one of our elys. With that in mind we thought we’d discuss which wine should accompany your fish.

People sometimes wonder whether the ‘white wine with fish, red wine with meat’ rule really matters. While we think that you should always drink the wine you want, we also believe that there are a few reasons for the customs and traditions that have developed around wine over hundreds of years.

Like all traditions, people will be tempted to break with them. And while there’s perhaps no harm in that, the fact is that most dry white wines go with fish, and most red wines go with meat. An exception might be a very rich fish dish, which can be
complemented by a light red – maybe a pinot noir or gamay-based wine.

Enjoy our superb-for-sharing seafood platter for 2 + btl Raphael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello, Valdeorras, €65 at: ely wine bar 


Tipple of the Week: The Caipirinha 

The World Cup is in full swing and Brazil is the talk of the town this week. Some comments are good, some not-so but it’s not their football skills we’re interested in. With all the good weather of late we’d be forgiven for sitting back on the terrace, relaxing and imagining we’re on the sunny strand of Copacabana while we sip on Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha.

What you need:

  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons fine sugar
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces of cachaça

Place the lime wedges and sugar into an old fashioned glass. Muddle well. Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour in the cachaca. Stir well and when drinking, stir often.

Note: It’s important to use real cachaça as it is the main driving force behind the cocktail! We use Brazilian sagatiba cachaça.

Available at: ely bar & brasserie



Talking point of the Week: Wine, Taxes, And Ireland’s Broken System.

“DUBLIN – Forest fires in Australia.

Heavy rains in Spain.

Hailstorms and heat waves in France and Italy.

Plus a cumulative 60% tax increase in the past twelve months.

No, these are not signs that the apocalypse is upon us.

They are just the factors affecting how a bottle of wine makes its way to your table – and what it costs when it gets there – when your table is within the city limits of Dublin, Ireland in particular.” – Cathy Huyghe, Forbes

Check out the full Forbes article and read ely’s wine value promise to you.

wine tax 2

Event of the Week: The Wildlife Photographer of the Year

For the first time ever, The world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is in Dublin and open to the public from Friday 27th June. Now in its 50th year, the competition has resulted in some of the most memorable and thought provoking images of the natural world. 100 award winning images from the 2013 competition will be on display at the CHQ Building, IFSC. This one isn’t just for nature and wildlife enthusiasts but travel, culture and photography fans will enjoy it too!

wildlife photographer of the year 2


ely wines for summer 2014 #006

ely wines for summer continues, and this week we’ve chosen an outstanding Italian to drag you out of that Pinot Grigio slump, and a classic all-round red that drinks well in the sunshine but also quenches those red wine cravings that weeks of sunshine and white wine leave you with!

Broglia la Meirana Gavi di Gavi, Italy 2013

Broglia Pinot Grigio is so ubiquitous these days that it has become a brand in itself.
Many people simply order a glass without even asking what it is; because they know what they get will be light, fruity and inoffensive.  And that is fine if you see wine simply as little more than an alcoholic beverage of choice. But for those who drink wine because they  enjoy it for what it really is- a drink like no other, with massive spectrum of aromas, flavours and textures, inoffensive equals boring.
But fear not, because while Pinot Grigio may be the most visible on our shelves, the rest of Italy is producing some outstanding white. In fact, it is probably the most interesting white wine producing country in Europe today.
There are many wines we could have chosen here but we’ve decided to go with one which seems to slip under the radar a little too often. Produced from the Cortese grape, Gavi di Gavi is one of Italy’s most highly rated white wines. Bone-dry, with lovely crisp apple, citrus and fresh almond flavours, this is flavoursome, refreshing and full of flavour.  Why not remind yourself what wine can really taste like.


Les Deux Cols ‘Cuvee Alize’ Cotes du Rhone, France 2012                                           

les_deux_colsThis is made by our good friend Simon Tyrrell, and reinforces our belief that Cotes du Rhone continues to overachieve when it comes to quality and value.
Produced primarily from Grenache, this is a classic style, bursting with bramble fruit, spice and black pepper; it is full of flavour yet wonderfully soft. Good Cotes du Rhone – and there is an abundance of it – is probably the perfect all-round red wine, light enough to drink on a warm summers evening, yet flavoursome enough to satisfy those red wine cravings!


Check out ely wines for Summer 2014:

ely wines for Summer #001

ely wines for Summer #002

ely wines for Summer #003

ely wines for Summer #004

ely wines for Summer #005

ely wines for Summer #006

ely wines for Summer #007

ely wines for Summer #008

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.
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. See more at

ely wines for Summer 2014 #005

Now this is what we call a summer! To celebrate some truly glorious weather we have chosen something very special, a little summertime treat if you will, and an outstanding everyday white which will suit all budgets, occasions and company! Enjoy!

Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc 2013
picpoulThe Languedoc region in the south of France would not be the first place you’d think of to find a wonderfully crisp and refreshing white, but that is exactly what you get with Picpoul de Pinet. Produced from a grape of the same name- Picpoul- this is sometimes referred to as this generation’s Muscadet, and it’s pretty easy to see why. These are not massively complex, multi-layered wines; these are simple, fresh, racy wines with lovely citrus acidity and a refreshing dryness. It is perfect with simple seafood- think oysters, mussels etc. Best served with sunshine!



Taittinger Champagne NV, France

taittingerFeel like treating yourself? Go ahead, you probably deserve it!
Champagne Taittinger is one of the very last of the family run Grand Marque Champagne houses, and also one of the very best. Their reputation is based an outstanding range of Chardonnay dominated wines, from the NV all the way to the utterly sublime Comtes de Champagne – one of my all time favourite wines!
They are also the official Champagne of a little football competition happening right now in Brazil or somewhere, so the new look bottle is emblazoned with 3d holograms of footballs and trophies. But it’s what’s inside the bottle that really counts. Because of the higher proportion of Chardonnay (40% with the two Pinots making the other 60%) this wine is all about elegance, freshness and finesse. The nose delivers white peach and flowers, with just a touch of toasty brioche. The palate shows more apple, lovely citrus acidity and a lightly toasty finish. Champagne may not be an everyday drink, but a day like this deserves it. A day like this deserves Taittinger.

Check out ely wines for Summer 2014:

ely wines for Summer #001

ely wines for Summer #002

ely wines for Summer #003

ely wines for Summer #004

ely wines for Summer #005

ely wines for Summer #006

ely wines for Summer #007

ely wines for Summer #008

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.
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. See more at

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 4

Summer has officially arrived in Ireland and not a moment too soon (we were getting worried there for a few weeks). From World Cup wines, BBQ craft beers to the perfect picnic snack – hopefully this week’s tips, tipples & table talk will have you sorted for the sunny weather. Enjoy it while it lasts folks!

Wine World Cup: Group B – Spain v Chile – KO: 20.00

Rafael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello Valdeorras Spain v De Martino Chardonnay Limari Valley Chile

Spain’s native white grape Godello goes up against the might of Chilean Chardonnay in today’s Wine World Cup play-off. Both have their strengths.

The Chilean Chardonnay has an abundance of ripe tropical fruit and wonderfully creamy palate. Spain, however, has history on its side – the first written record of Godello goes back to the 1530’s. Lean, crisp, but with a lovely peachy fruitiness. We’re going to back this one as the winner this evening – and enjoy it on the sunny terrace!

Games showing at: ely bar & brasserieely gastro bar 

world cup wines

We’ve also noticed quite a few of you who just want to grab a drink and a bite in the evening, chill out and avoid world cup fever.

ely wine bar is officially a football free zone.

infographic world cup football free zone

Taste tip of the Week: Summer Pesto

The perfect accompaniment to any summer picnic or lunchtime snack, our taste tip of the week is so easy to make yourself. Sure, it could be quicker to buy your own at the supermarket but trust us, homemade pesto is always worth the effort.

What you need:

  • 200g toasted pine nuts
  • 200g fresh basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Summer Pesto

How we do it:

  • Put the pine nuts in a small pan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until golden brown – be careful not to burn them.
  • Put the basil, pine nuts, garlic and a good pinch of salt with 200ml olive oil into a food processor until it
  • reaches a creamy consistency.
  • Add the parmesan and pulse again.
  • Serve with extra pine nuts, basil leaves and parmesan.
  • To store, spoon into a screw top jar, or preserving jar and cover with 1 tbsp oil, this will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Stir into freshly cooked pasta for a summer salad, use as a dip, or spread over bruschetta – however you like your pesto! 

For more recipes, see ely’s award-winning cookbook here.

pesto bowl

Craft Beer(s) of the Week: BBQ Brews

There’s nothing like that smell of char-grilling in the air and with this heatwave we’re experiencing, we hope to smell a lot of it this week! Why not take a break from the token summer beers and ciders, that have usually been marketed with a bikini clad lady and the slogan “ice cold refreshment”, and pick up an equally refreshing craft brew. Here are our top BBQ brews of the week:

  1. Longboard island lager, Kona Brewing Co. – Light, grassy with floral hops. This one is crisp, refreshing and easy drinking. Great warm weather beer. Surf’s up!
  2. Coopers sparkling pale ale, Coopers Brewery – A good one for its versatility, it can be enjoyed in either cool or warm weather. Slight citrus flavour which for us, was quite unexpected for a pale ale. The fresh, fruity taste will satisfy any cider drinker.
  3. Hollows alcoholic ginger beer, John Hollows – Not too tangy, not too sweet – this is grown up Goldilocks’ top choice. The few real ingredients make one of the best ginger beers we’ve come across. Seriously refreshing and made from the finest ginger root, this makes for fantastic summer beer drinking.
  4. Craigies Irish Cider (Ballyhook Flyer) – What would a summer session be without at least one cider? We always love a cider with wine influences and this one has a wonderful balance between fruitiness and dryness. Its savoury qualities make it a great one to enjoy at BBQs, while still being light enough to have with food.

Available at: ely bar & brasserie, ely gastro bar 

craft beer bbq brews

Contact us for your semi-private BBQ options on our waterfront terrace.

BBQ collage CHQ


tips, tipples & table talk – Week 3

Fathers. For many of us at ely, these are the people who taught us how to farm (Erik & Hugh Robson on the ely family farm pictured below), how to cook, how to pull our first pint, how to taste our first pint, to walk us down the aisle and to hold our hands through the times when we were to become fathers ourselves.

To all dads, granddads, great-granddads and those who act as father figures, we thank you!

Give the gift of ely this Father’s Day, Sunday 15th June



Craft Beer of the Week: Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale

This take on the classic English Golden Ale is a great option to accompany a barbecue’d burger. The slight fruity flavours of Monty Python’s Holy Grail offer light refreshment while the caramel buttery taste surprisingly compliments beef quite well. Easy drinking for the Summertime and according to Black Sheep Brewery, our Craft Beer of the Week “has been tempered by burning witches”, so that’s always good – right?

Available: ely bar & brasserie


Tip of the Week: Summer Wedding

ely’s executive head chef Ryan Stringer is getting married this weekend! For those of you who too, have an upcoming summer wedding planned, here are a few of our last minute tips from our wedding coordinator at ely bar & brasserie on the things you may have overlooked.


Your summer wedding has been purposely planned for the weather to be on your side but don’t forget, this is still Ireland and she’d be a grand aul’ country if only we could roof her. Whether your venue is indoors or outdoors, you and your guests will probably have to be outside for some part of the day and may not have thought to bring  umbrellas. Always handy to stock up on a few for your guests, many stores sell relatively inexpensive ones. If there is still a shortage of umbrellas and it does rain on the day, for goodness sake, cover the bride!


If you’ve purchased new shoes for the big day, make sure to break them in in advance. In the summer the weather is obviously warmer, sometimes even very hot, resulting in feet swelling from the heat. Throw in any anxiety or nerves you might have and trying to fit comfortably into a brand new shoe can cause serious pain and discomfort later. Nobody wants to smile through gritted teeth on the dance floor! While cold feet on the day of your wedding is never good, equally so, neither is hot feet.


If you are having a garden wedding or reception where there is lots of grass, try to ensure that the grass isn’t freshly cut on the day before, or on the day of the wedding. A few days in advance is perfect. Keep in mind that in the summer, many people can suffer from hay fever allergies and freshly cut grass can irritate those that do!


For those planning a city summer wedding, keep in mind that the weather can play a huge part for traffic problems! If your church or wedding venue is located near the coast, keep in mind that on the rare scorcher of a sunny Irish day, all routes to the coast are usually heavily congested. Similarly, when the weather is particularly bad, traffic can also come to a standstill as drivers take particular caution on the roads. Just remember to keep an eye on the forecast (which you most likely will be doing anyway) and make sure to remind your guests to allow for plenty of sufficient travel time on the day.

Ask us about holding your unique wedding at ely wine bar or ely bar & brasserie today.

wedding collage blog

What’s on this Week

The Dublin LBGTQ Pride Festival  kicks off this Sat 14th June with plenty of fun happening in the city for all. Enjoy smooth live jazz from The Cormac O’Brien Trio from 2pm this Sun 15th at ely gastro bar. Food lovers can flock to Taste of Dublin at The Iveagh Gardens, Thurs 12th – Sun 15th June and lovers of food can also get involved in Street Feast on Sun 15th June. Street feast is really a cool day of community lunches where you can get to know your neighbours, meet new friends and enjoy some good grub in the process.

In case you missed it

The Dublin Diary reviews ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place.

“I wasn’t expecting to be shown downstairs to a snug little bar area with a brick-lined restaurant beyond. I was gobsmacked! The place just oozed charm and character … Ely Place is warm, comfortable and relaxing.”

You can read the full review here.



ely wines for Summer 2014 #004

Another week, another two fantastic wines for you to enjoy this summer. These two are for the real wine lovers amongst you, from two of the most interesting and dynamic wineries around today.

Cullen Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ‘Mangan Vineyard’, Margaret River, Western Australia 2011
CullenWhat is there left to say about Cullen and their wines? World leaders in carbon neutral and naturally powered agriculture, Australian pioneers in Biodynamics. On top of all this, they produce some of THE FINEST WINES IN THE WORLD! But I’m sure Vanya Cullen would say that they are all connected. The remarkable health of the vineyards, the quality of the grapes and the purity and precision of the wines are a direct result of the changes Vanya has implemented in the last decade.
This wine is a perfect example of what makes Cullen wines so unique. What at first seems and straightforward Sauvignon Semillon blend turns into something far more interesting- cut grass, lemon and lime on the nose give way to more tropical fruit like white peach on the palate. The Semillon adds weight to the palate, and the perfectly judged use of oak adds a wonderfully distinctive smoky finish. The wine is kept fresh and almost racy by its long, crisp mineral core. If you really like wine, you need to try this. At least once.

G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba, Langhe, Piemonte 2012
This estate was established in 1972, by Aldo Vajra’s father, Giuseppe Domenico. The vineyards had been in the family since the 1920s, but it was only with the advent of DOC, and the increase in interest for Barolo in the early 1970s, that viticulture became economically viable. GD_vajraAldo has gradually increased the area under vine to the current 40 hectares, ten of which are planted with Nebbiolo for his Barolo, located in such prized vineyards as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. The vineyards are situated about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne, in the commune of Barolo, on the western border of the zone. This is also where he grows his Dolcetto, which is a grape Giuseppe suggested is often considered an ugly duckling in Piedmonte but he likes to think of it as a moody teenager- it needs constant attention and showering with love in order to fulfil its potential. This one certainly does – it possesses a wonderful depth of colour, a fragrance of blue and black berries and a herbal hint on the finish. There is a crisp, dark berry acidity, ripe but firm tannins, and a long, savoury finish.

Check out ely wines for Summer 2014:

ely wines for Summer #001

ely wines for Summer #002

ely wines for Summer #003

ely wines for Summer #004

ely wines for Summer #005

ely wines for Summer #006

ely wines for Summer #007

ely wines for Summer #008

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.
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. See more at

ely wines for Summer 2014 #003

The weather has been really good here in Ireland and we hope that you got to enjoy some of the wines we chosen so far. We already looked into Paparuda Pinot Noir from RomaniaRaphael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello from SpainWagner Stempel Riesling from Germany and the great Franz Haas Pinot Nero from Italy. Here goes two more wines for your summertime enjoyment.

Nyetimber English 2009 Classic Cuvee

The concept of an English sparkling wine may be relatively new to us, but in fact these wines have a massive reputation across the water, and have been building a loyal following here in recent times. NYEtimberSouthern England shares the same soil type that runs through Champagne, and while the temperatures are ever so slightly cooler, it is still warm enough to achieve perfect ripeness in the grapes.

Of all the sparkling wine producers in England, Nyetimber are quite possibly the best. The range is fantastic- the Classic Cuvee and Blanc de Blancs are both vintage, there is a delicious Rose, a single vineyard and even a demi-sec. They grow only the “holy trinity” of sparkling wine grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Our current favourite is the 2009 Classic Cuvee! 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.

Cote_de_BrouillyDomaine Decelle-Villa Cote de Brouilly, Burgundy, France 2012

Two outstanding winemakers – Olivier Decelle of Mas Amiel & Ch. Jean Faure, and Pierre Jean Villa from Cote Rotie and Condrieu- joined forces to create this exciting new Domaine. Having taken over an abandoned cellar in Nuits St. Georges, they started producing wines from their own plots and from bought grapes. Their style, whether from Burgundy or Beaujolais leans very much towards elegance and finesse.

Their Brouilly is classic Beaujolais at its best – beautifully perfumed with red summer fruits – think fresh strawberry and cherry – matched to a wonderfully silky texture. Soft, elegant and extremely refined, this will make you fall for Brouilly all over again.

Check out ely wines for Summer 2014:

ely wines for Summer #001

ely wines for Summer #002

ely wines for Summer #003

ely wines for Summer #004

ely wines for Summer #005

ely wines for Summer #006

ely wines for Summer #007

ely wines for Summer #008

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.
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. See more at

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