The world’s biggest wine fair – Vinitaly 2012

The world’s biggest wine fair took place again in March 2012 in Verona, and just to get a feel of the sheer size of the event, I’ve included a few facts and figures.

Almost 160,000 visitors from 110 countries attended over 4 days. 4,200 exhibitors presented 20,000 wines in a convention space that covers 95,000 sq metres (that’s 24 acres!).

Visiting a wine fair like this requires preparation as 4 days won’t even get you half way around. And one must be clinical in planning, first deciding which regions to look at, followed by which wineries to visit, and, finally how much time to allocate to each. As a plan, it works in theory.

The reality however is very different. First of all, this is Italy, and things work at an Italian pace, so having plans and schedules can often just result in frustration. When you get a sense of the actual size of the place, you realize that your schedule can’t possibly work, and then you arrive at a stand to find it teeming with tasters. Finally, when you are surrounded by so many beautiful wines it’s very easy to have your head turned!

I was fortunate to have two experienced guides in Ben and Mauro. Both from Liberty wines, importers of some of the finest Italian wines on the Irish market, and both on a first name basis with every winemaker we met. Mauro, being a specialist in Italian wines, speaks the language fluently and I cannot overemphasise how much this helps!

It’s always difficult to taste wines first thing in the morning, so choosing the first visit is probably the most important decision of the day. We started with Livio Felluga. A family run winery in Colli Orientali in north eastern Italy, they produce white, red and sweet wines. Of an 8 wine tasting that included the flagship white, and multi award-winning Terre Alte, my personal favourite was the Friulano- a local variety full of delicate golden apple and floral flavours, with a fresh, crisp finish. It proved a great way to start the day! We focused on whites for the morning, and came across some really interesting and surprising wines. The 2011 Lugana from Cà dei Frati had just been bottled but was already showing like a little stunner, precise apple and pear flavours with an intense minerality. The 2010 is on the market already, and gives a good idea of how the 2011 will develop with some time in bottle.

Vinitaly Verona - Italy 2012Next up was Vie di Romans. Using both native and international varieties, they produce of some of the finest white wines I’ve tasted in Italy. Both the ‘Dessimis’ Pinot Grigio, and the ‘Piere’ Sauvignon Blanc are wonderful examples of the elegant complexity that can be achieved with these grapes in the right hands.

The big surprise for me, and certainly one of my finds of the trip was Villa Bucci. From an unassuming stand, the modest and humble Mr Bucci was showing just 2 whites and one red. Both whites were Verdicchio Classico, one Superiore, one Riserva. The Superiore was superb, lovely purity and balance. The Riserva was a revelation- from 40 year old vines, aged in large oak barrels; it was nutty, smoky intense, with a wonderfully silky texture and incredible ability to age. As if to prove the point, he opened the 2000, and the 1988. The 2000 was comparable to the finest aged Burgundies, and the 1988- at 24years old- was surely at its peak but retained a freshness to balance the richness of its years.

We ended the evening with a visit and tasting at Bellavista. To just call it a sparkling wine from Franciacorta would be to do these wines a great injustice. Meticulously crafted from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of the highest quality, fermented in both old oak and steel, and with the 2nd fermentation in bottle, these wines compare to champagne of the highest quality, yet retain a unique and distinct personality. The Cuvee Brut, vintage Gran Cuvee Brut and Gran Cuvee Saten Blanc de Blanc are amongst the most elegant and balanced sparkling wines produced anywhere. That, coming from a committed Champagne lover, is saying something.

Cookery Classes in Dublin 2012 at ely bar & brasserie

Our line up of cookery classes with wine and food matching continues for 2012!

March

Wednesday 14th: Forgotten Favourites €49 per head
Why not treat your mother to a night of forgotten favourites in Irish cooking, where we put a modern twist on the recipes you grew up with!

Tuesday 27th: Perfect Easter Sunday Dinner €49 per head
Our Executive Head Chef will demonstrate how to cook the perfect 3 course Easter Sunday Dinner for all the family, and our award winning sommelier will taste you through the ideal wines to serve with it.

April
Tuesday 3rd >> Easter chocolate delights
€45 per head
Our expert pastry chef, Montacer Mansour will teach you how to create those mouth watering chocolate desserts, that will have your friends and family owing and aahing!!

Tuesday 24th >> cheese and wine matching €45 per head
Ian Brosnan, our sommelier will present an evening on the tricky task of pairing cheese and wines, focusing on what works best, and why!

May
Tuesday 8th >> superfoods, super bodies €45 per head
Some foods are so good for you they are classified as ‘super foods’. In this cookery class we’ll take a look at the super food category and teach you some delicious and interesting recipes for them.

Tuesday 15th >> play date perfection €45 per head
How to entertain the little ones and parents without stress! Healthy quick bites for all, with of course a lesson on ‘what wines we love’ by Ian Brosnan, for the Big people only!

Tuesday 29th >> summer dinner party €49 per head
This excellent class on selecting, preparing and cooking fish is ideal for those who would like to gain some confidence in cooking with fish in the kitchen. We’ll also give you a lesson on the matching wine with fish and fish based dishes.

Ryan Stringer - ely Head Chef

June
Tuesday 5th >> BBQ night €49 per head

With both the Euro finals and the Olympics this summer, our BBQ class is the perfect way for you to prepare for a summer of entertaining friends at home! Our class will include preparing meat, fish, vegetables and marinades for the BBQ to give you the wow factor, followed by super wines for a summers evening.

July
Tuesday 4thUSA night €55 per head

Thought America was only famous for beef burgers? Think again! At ely’s USA night we’ll teach you a repertoire of fun and funky dishes from across the American continent, we’ll finish the evening off with a lesson on American wines and beers.

Venue: ely bar & brasserie, IFSC
Time: 7:00 sharp

To make a booking or for more information please contact Ian cookclub@elywinebar.com, call 01 678 7867 or visit our website.

ely’s cookery course in Dublin: How to host the perfect dinner party

 

 ely’s cookery school – sharing chef skills

‘Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilised pleasures’ Michael Broadbent

Improve your culinary skills in 2012. Our cookery school teaches essential kitchen techniques and recipes used daily in our 3 restaurants, to bring the ely experience home. Our cookery course is one with a difference: we’ll not only teach you chef skills, award winning sommelier, Ian Brosnan, will do a food and wine matching lesson each evening so you can taste the perfect wines with the evening’s dishes!

From the beginning the ethos at ely has been simple: we want to serve good quality, simple food that works well with our wine list. Focusing on using locally sourced and seasonal produce in a creative and fun way, Ryan Stringer, our Executive Head Chef, will demonstrate how to prepare and cook a 3 course meal using the best of Irish produce.  Ryan will guide you through the process from sourcing the raw ingredients, preparation, timing and presentation of your dish. So whether it’s selecting the right cut of meat and doing it justice or mastering the art of the pastry chef, ely’s cookery school has something for everyone!

ely has always prided itself on its award winning wine list. After the demonstration, we’ll serve up the prepared dishes whilst Ian Brosnan, award-winning sommelier, presents the ideal white and red wines to serve with your food, explaining the principles of food and wine matching.

Wednesday 18th January:    Skillful Starters
Wednesday 25th January:    Main Course Perfection
Wednesday 1st February:     Delicious Desserts

Venue: ely bar & brasserie, IFSC
Time: 7pm sharp
Price: €45 per head, per night

Book for all 3 and receive a complimentary copy of ely’s cookbook.

To make a booking or for more information please contact wineclub@elywinebar.com or call 01 678 7867.

Wine Course in Dublin, January 2012

Our 4 Week Wine Appreciation Course is now available for booking, please see below for course dates and times.

ely’s 4 Week Wine Appreciation Course is great for those who love wine and would like to learn a little more. We examine how wine is made, where it comes from, why we like it and why sometimes we don’t. ely provides a fun, fresh and sociable approach to wines tasting: deciphering jargon, how to get value and the best out of a bottle. To read a review of our wine course please click here. Starting from January 2012 award winning Sommelier, Ian Brosnan, will be teaching all our wine courses. We look forward to welcoming Ian to the team!

The topics include:

principle red grape varieties
principle white grape varieties
sparkling, dessert and fortified wines
food and wine matching
understanding labels

Each evening we will taste 6 wines with a retail value of €15 – €50, serve a supper dish to match the wines and provide full course notes. The course is held at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC on Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm.

Cost: €160 per head

Dates:

January 17th, 24th, 31st and Feb 7th 2012
and
February 21st, 28th, Mar 6th, 13th 2012

For further details please contact Michelle Lawlor at wineclub@elywinebar.com or call 01 678 7867, you can also book the course on line at our website.

We have lots of wine tastings on all the time. Check out our website to see the line-up!

Wine tasting in Dublin, September 2011

The BIG tasting, 22nd September 2011

Taste over 70 wines from across the globe at ely‘s BIG wine tasting.  Our February tasting was such a great success that we’ve decided to do it again. Experts will be on hand to guide you through the tasting and you can taste as many or as few as you like. We will also have a selection of artisan beers, ales and ciders at the tasting to get you in the mood for Oktober fest in Georges Dock. This is a great way to kick-start the weekend and a fantastic opportunity to taste some of the great wines of the world.

Tickets: €20
Venue: ely bar & brasserie
Time: 6pm and 8pm

Contact wineclub@elywinebar.com or phone 01 678 7867 to make a booking.

Wine tasting in Dublin: a Masterclass in Europe v the Southern Hemisphere

Wine Masterclass
New World v Old World

On the 11th April ely bar & brasserie will present a masterclass in global wine styles featuring guest speaker Michele Jordan.

Michele Jordan has worked in the wine trade for over 20 years and represents some of the world’s most highly acclaimed winemakers. Through the evening Michele will talk us through the key differences between Europe, Australia and New Zealand, explaining why Europe looks towards Australia and New Zealand for emerging styles and why Australia and New Zealand are starting to emulate their European counterparts.

Ever wondered why wines from the Southern Hemisphere taste so different from those of Europe, or why New Zealand now rivals France on world class production of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The masterclass will feature 4 flights including a comparison of Sauvignon Blancs from Australia, New Zealand and France, Pinot Noirs from Australia, New Zealand and France and look at Italian varietals emerging from Australia!

Ticket price: €45
Date: 11th April 2011
Venue: ely bar & brasserie, IFSC
Time: 7pm

1ST FLIGHT
2009 Poggiotondo Bianco, Tuscany

Alberto Antonini, Poggiotondo's winemaker

Alberto Antonini, Poggiotondo's winemaker

2010 Mitolo Vermentino, McLaren Vale

 2ND FLIGHT
2010 Delta Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc
2010 Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills

2009 Sautereau Sancerre, Loire

 3RD FLIGHT
2008 Delta Hatters Hill Pinot Noir, Marlborough
2008 Shaw & Smith Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills
2004 Domaine Lafarge Volnay, Burgundy

4TH FLIGHT
2008 Poggiotondo Chianti Superiore, Tuscany
2007 Greenstone Sangiovese, Heathcote
Greenstone Sangiovese

For more information or to book your place please contact Michelle Lawlor on 01 678 7867 or email wineclub@elywinebar.com.

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