tips, tipples & table talk – Week 8

What to get the wine or beer lover in your life that has everything? An ely gift card of course! Joking aside, we’ve got some awesome quick and easy DIY gift ideas you can make at home. While we’ve been blessed with sunshine recently, we’ve highlighted a few of the things to do in Dublin when it rains (which it still does, quite a bit). This week’s tips, tipples and table talk also looks at the, now controversial, Poolbeg chimneys of Dublin’s skyline and we get a little bit cheesy with our how-to-guide to serving the perfect cheeseboard.

Travel Tip of the Week: What To Do in Dublin When It Rains

Good aul Irish summers eyh? While the weather has been relatively good of late, us Dubliners have certainly noticed the humidity in the air and with that, the heavy rainfall. When it rains it pours and yes, while we would always advise popping into any of our 3 ely venues, hiding out from the rain and letting us pour you a little glass of wine or craft beer, if you find yourself as a visitor to Dublin during one of these spells or just feel like enjoying your city, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a short list of awesome things to do in Dublin, come hail or high water!

  1. Visit the Little Museum of Dublin. Right in the heart of the city, this little museum is a must visit. Located on 15 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, the Little Museum of Dublin embraces and collects the fun, cute and quirky things that make this fair city brilliant. Super knowledgeable and always eager to know more, their guides tell you true Dubliner stories in a fun and informal manner.
  2. Visit the Science Gallery. With some really cool exhibitions, this is no nerdy spot! Continuously changing, challenging and altering our perception of the normal, this interactive attraction in Trinity College is always fun. The Science Gallery offers events, talks, debates and workshops, giving guests a chance to get involved.
  3. Go vintage clothes shopping. Dublin’s vintage clothing selection is always getting bigger and better and what a good way to spend a rainy day by getting lost in the days of old. Siopaella in Temple Bar, Om Diva on Drury Street and The Harlequin, 13 Castle Market are all close enough to land yourselves triple the amount of bargains in just one trip to the city.
  4. Visit the RHA Gallery. The 184th Annual exhibition runs at the RHA on Ely Place until the 17th August so plenty of time to check out some of the works at Ireland’s largest open submission exhibition. With 567 works by 354 artists, a trip to this fantastic gallery is an ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon.
  5. Relax and unwine-d at an ely wine tasting. Good company combined with wine, food and fun at an ely wine tasting is a nice relaxed yet educational way to spend a rainy evening. Held every fortnight, each with a different theme, the full list of upcoming ely wine tasting evenings can be found here.

rainy day in dublin

Taste Tip of the Week: Say Cheese

“Age is of no importance, unless you are a wine or a cheese.” 

Cheese is perfect for a formal dinner party or equally, for a casual night in with friends, and needs very little preparation.

When you’re putting together a cheeseboard, try to buy where you can taste; your eyes will never tell you as much as your taste buds will. The general idea is to serve a selection of cheeses which will offer you and your guests contrasting flavours and textures.

Our ideal mix would be:

  • A nice soft cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • A hard cheese
  • A washed rind cheese (they’re the smelly ones with the pinkish rinds),
  • If possible, a sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese.

But remember, it’s better to have one ripe and gorgeous cheese than five mediocre pieces.

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After you buy your cheese, be sure to look after it. Cheese is a living, breathing food and needs to be treated with some care to get the best from it. This is particularly true of the softer cheeses. Cheese should always be served at room temperature because serving it cold substantially inhibits the flavour.

Fridges aren’t as bad for cheese as they are sometimes made out to be. The main problem is their dry atmosphere rather than the cold temperature. If you do store your cheese in the fridge, always remove it several hours before serving and make sure your cheese is well wrapped in a breathable covering eg. wax paper.

There are no set rules for the serving time of your cheeses; some people like to have their cheese before dessert and others prefer it after, or instead of, dessert. It’s always good to serve something with the cheese which acts against any richness and clean the palate between cheeses. Fruit is really good for this or if you don’t have any to hand, serving with a chutney or fruit jelly will do.

Enjoy a great glass of wine and a cheeseboard, at ely wine bar.

ely winebar cheese board

Tipple Tip of the Week: DIY Gift Ideas

Do you ever struggle with what gift to get the beer or wine lover in your life? They’ve already got a whole shelf of Riedel, Tipperary or Waterford Crystal wine glasses. The over sized German beer-stein glass has had its fun. When that occasion does come around, this time why not make something yourself?

Heartfelt, personal and usually low cost and simple – As Blue Peter would say, here’s one we made earlier:

Step one, drink wine and craft beer. Not a problem? We thought so. Step two, keep and collect all the bottle caps and corks. We are trying it keep it low cost though, so another idea is to get down to any of the three ely venues (or another good bar) who would be more than happy to give you their excess bottle caps after a night’s shift. Wine corks might be that little bit more difficult to source, but a good wine bar should have a few in stock, otherwise you can buy corks in bulk for relatively low cost online.

You’d be surprised by what you can make – everything from coasters and posters to magnets, picture frames and trays.

See how to make bottle cap gifts here and wine cork gifts here.

Wine corks bottle caps DIY

Table Talk of the Week: The Poolbeg Chimneys – Should They Stay or Should They Go?

The suggestion from ESB that the resources needed to maintain the unused Poolbeg Chimneys could be better spent elsewhere caused some controversy among Dubliners this week. The red and white towers have stood at the Poolbeg area of Dublin Bay since the 1970s and have raised the demand that these chimneys be protected. With many, both domestic and foreign, voices saying that they are an iconic part of the Dublin skyline, others argue that the towers are an “eye sore”, agreeing that the resources to keep them there could indeed be better spent elsewhere.

This is a topic that pretty much all Dubliners will have an opinion on, there is no smoke without fire (as they say), and no doubt will be very keen to share it. At ely, we love them – those red and white striped chimneys are one of the few genuine icons of the Dublin skyline. They are the first thing you see of Dublin when you fly home, or the last bit of Dublin you see before you leave. They are like two ever-present sentries standing guard over our city. Where some might see ugly, we see a certain “industrial charm”.

ESB say that a decision would be made on the future of the Poolbeg chimneys by the end of this year [2014]. Demolition is among the options being considered.

See a collection of images, memories and feelings about Poolbeg chimneys via thejournal.ie here.

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ely wines for Summer #009

In celebrating Bastille Day (week) we have chosen a couple of French classics for this week! We appreciate that these are at the higher end of the price spectrum, but they are an absolute treat!

Meursault ‘Les Vireuils’ Domaine Chavy-Chouet 2010

chavy-chouet
Romaric Chavy is the 7th generation of his family to run this winery. Their vineyards are evenly divided between Meursault and Puligny Montrachet with holdings in many of the finest vineyards in both. Romaric has a clear vision of the style of wines he wants to produce, with the emphasis on freshness rather than creaminess, and minerality over oak. As a result, the wines see only 25-30% new oak, and minimum battonage. The 2010 ‘Les Vireuils’ is a perfect example of his vision- the nose is subtle yet complex, with aromas of white flower and citrus. The influence of the oak only becomes apparent on the palate, not as a flavour but as texture, rounding out the lemon-fresh streak. As the wine opens, the inherent richness of Meursault becomes more apparent, but never overcomes the precision and finesse of this superb wine. Just try to drink it slowly.

With food… Go all out and have a bottle of this with the amazing seafood platter in ely Winebar. Lobster- check… Dingle Bay brown crab.. check.. Carlingford oysters, prawn cocktail, tempura squid and much more.

 

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009

Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Chateauneuf-du-Pape might not strike you as a summer wine, and in most cases you’d probably be right. In fact, it’s a wine that many of us associate with winter, or even Christmas. But that doesn’t have to be the case. While some Chateauneuf is big and burly- all power and strength – there are some which are much more refined. Janasse is one of the latter. Put simply, it reminds us of why Chateauneuf-du-Pape is held in such high esteem. A blend of 80% Grenache with 10% each of Syrah and Mourvédre, its defining characteristics are elegance, purity and concentration. There are more famous names and more expensive wines produced in this region, but none match Janasse for quality, consistency and value.

With food…. Just keep it simple. Have some organic Burren beef from our family farm. A 28 day dry-aged fillet with mushroom wellington and horseradish mash in ely Bar & Brasserie should do the trick!

Check out the 8 previous parts of 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 http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 6

In honour of this Friday, the 4th of July, we reviewed some un-brew-lievable (sorry) American craft beers along with one for you to enjoy in the summer sunshine, the easiest fro-yo recipe ever, in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk. We also look at 50 Shades of Grey in Ireland and no, not the book: Why you you should be visiting the uniquely stunning Burren, Co. Clare this summer.

Craft Beer(s) of the Week: Red, White and Brew  

Independence day is upon us this Friday 4th of July,  so we thought it only fitting to put our star spangled banner of approval on our favourite American craft beers. There are now over 2,700 craft breweries operating in the U.S, the highest total since the 1880s according to the Brewers Association, which made our decision a tough one, but here it goes: Our top American craft beers of the week.

  1. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout – Which is the stout that us Irish folks love to drink? Just can’t quite think of the name right now but it is because of our love for this stout that makes it difficult for others to get a look in. However, this Californian stout is seriously interesting with a thick, rich and full body along with hints of chocolate and coffee. When the waiter offers us the dessert menu, we simply say we’ll have another one of these.
  2. Brooklyn Lager – Some might argue that, hang on, this isn’t really a craft beer anymore but that’s where some might respond that hey, this is the original craft beer… of New York anyway. According to Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Lager is New York’s “hometown” beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Light bodied, this craft beer is easy, drinkable and can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
  3. Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – The team at ely are huge fans of the Flying Dog Brewery and their classic pale ale is still one of our favourite craft beers out there. Fantastic summer drinking, its floral citrus aroma runs all the way through and can also be found in its well balanced taste. 5 out of 5, wonderful stuff!
  4. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – This beer from the folks at Lexing Brewing Co. (Alltech) is a whopping 8% but what we like about it is that it’s surprisingly drinkable and smooth, despite its high alcohol volume. True to its name, you can certainly taste the bourbon but it’s accompanied by a lovely, nutty oak taste along with dark fruits, figs perhaps. Not a beer for a big night out but for a relaxing, much like the beer, well balanced evening.

 beer collage blog

WIN an Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling craft beer & bourbon hamper worth €250 at ely bar & brasserie’s 4th July BBQ this Friday. Click here for details.

hamper alltech 2

Taste tip of the Week: Frozen Yoghurt Berry Cup

Fresh, fruity and good for you – this quick ‘n’ easy frozen treat offers delicious and guilt-free indulgence this Summer.

What you need:

  • 200g mixed nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • 500g mixed berries (fresh or frozen) plus a few fresh berries to serve
  • 500g organic plain yogurt, chilled
  • 2 tbsp good quality honey
  • mint leaves, to serve

How we do it:

  • Toast the nuts by placing in a frying pan over a medium heat and tossing until golden brown – take care not to burn.
  • Put three-quarters of the fruit in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  • Add the yogurt and honey and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Taste for sweetness and add more honey if necessary.
  • Layer the yogurt with the remaining berries in tall glasses, bowls or cups and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • To serve, top with toasted nuts and some mint leaves.

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

berries

Travel tip of the Week: The Burren, Co. Clare

“The Burren? Sure that’s only rock, there’s nothing there!”

We still remember when we first advised one of our overseas customers to go and visit The Burren, Co. Clare during their round trip of Ireland, and the quote above that somebody quipped in with. Now, while the person did have a point about the rocks (The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘Boíreann’, meaning a rocky place), they were wrong about the ‘only’ part. When you think of Irish landscapes, you picture every shade of green while in the Burren, you find 50 shades of grey with only a bit of green thrown in. This strange beauty is what makes the Burren so uniquely stunning and gets our recommendation for Travel tip of the Week.

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The Burren’s unusual landscape, created by limestone erosion from the rain, plays host to a truly unique ecosystem of alpine, arctic and Mediterranean plants, see Burren Beo for moreDue to this rich wildlife, the area allows for some of the best farming in Ireland along with delicious seafood (à la Burren Smokehouse) and proudly, The Burren is home to the ely organic family farm. The area’s large amount of butterflies, animals, flora and fauna wonderfully and amazingly all survive in a land that appears to be composed entirely of rock.ely family farm_Burren farmland_low res

The Burren, also rich with historical and archaeological sites, is an ideal location to combine a trip with the nearby Cliffs of Moher or perhaps, for a stop off along the way. Colours of the Burren change with the light, weather and season, making it a fantastic place for the many artists who visit to set up their easels for the day.

To learn more about visiting The Burren, Co. Clare visit: www.burrennationalpark.ie 

ely family farm_Burren farmland_collage

 

ely wines for Summer 2014 #001

Despite what you may think when you look out the window, summertime is upon us. So, as always, we at ely have chosen some wines for your summertime enjoyment. They won’t just be whites- reds, rosés, sparkling and sweet all deserve their day in the sun, so to speak. We have chosen wine which we think best reflect that summertime feeling- fresh, easy and fun.

Nothing too serious here! These are wines to be enjoyed al fresco, ideally on one of our sunny terraces! So as soon as you see that sun emerge from the clouds, get down to ely and try a glass of one of these wonderful wines!

Paparuda Pinot Noir, Timisoara, Romania 2012    

A new wine to our portfolio from a country where wine production is taking giant leaps forward in terms of quality. The winery is situated in the western part of the country, close to the town of Timisoara. It is produced by a Romanian/English couple who have enlisted the help of an Australian consultant.

The flavour profile lies somewhere between traditional Pinot Noir and very good Gamay. Lovely fresh red berry fruit, soft and juicy on the palate, this is a rare example of a Pinot Noir bargain.

If you are looking for a red to drink chilled, or just cool, look no further than this.

Raphael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello, Valdeorras, Spain 2013

For quite some time now we in Ireland have been exposed to the joys of Albarino, either on holidays in Spain where it is wonderfully priced, or here, where it can often be just too expensive for what it delivers.
But now there a new grape on the scene – Godello. That is just the Irish wine scene- the earliest recorded mention of it in Spain goes back to 1531!

The grape was on the verge of extinction in the 70’s but has since undergone a significant revival. It is most widely grown in Northwest Spain, the region which is also home to Albarino. But while once Godello was considered second best, it is now widely accepted to be a far superior variety.
Similar to Albarino in terms of flavours- ripe melon and peach, but with lovely citrus acidity- it has greater body, complexity and aging potential. Raphael Palacios is probably the current master of Godello, producing some of Spains best white wines such as ‘As Sortes’ a stunning, barrel-aged Godello reminiscent of great white Burgundy.  ‘Bolo’- one of our favourites- emphasises the freshness and minerality of this fantastic variety.

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

ely wines for Summer #009

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 http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings

The sun’s out: it’s white wine time

“Longer, brighter, sunnier days call out for white wine, and Italy has moved way beyond Pinot Grigio to produce some of the most interesting, varied choices” John Wilson 

A wonderful article by John Wilson from the Irish Times,  which echoes our sentiments exactly!

Italian whites

Pieropan Soave

Italian whites are now amongst the most exciting in Europe, and certainly the most varied. They are also great restaurant wines- irrespective of the different fruit flavours of the wines, they tend to be crisp, fresh and dry, making them a natural pairing for many dishes. In fact, two of the wines featured are available in ely – the Pieropan Soave, and the Vesevo Falanghina.

Falanghina

Beneventano Falanghina

The Falanghina in particular has been a massive success – a clear sign that customers are willing to try new and exciting wines. We also list Gavi, Verdicchio (superb!) Grillo, Pinot Bianco and the ‘big brother’ of the Pieropan family ‘La Rocca’. But that is just a tiny fraction of the varieties grown in Italy, so this section of our wine list is constantly changing- look out for Vermentino, Fiano, Arneis, Friulano, Greco, Pecorino, Zibibbo and many more soon!

Why not book in to our Italian Varietals tasting on June 5th to find out more!

The most exciting thing about Italian wines- and Italy is THE most exciting wine country in the world- is the vast array of grapes that they grow. There are hundreds of varieties grown across the country, and probably many more that we haven’t even heard of – you could drink Italian wines every day for a year and never have the same grape variety twice!! However, you walk into a supermarket here and you’ll most likely see 10 types of Pinot Grigio and a Chianti. We are going to taste the real Italy, wines with genuine character and a real sense of tradition.
Register now for the wine tasting & supper at €45 

Castell d’Encus Tharlan 2010

From Costers del Segre in the far north east of Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, at an altitude ranging from 800-1000m, Castell d’Encus is making extraordinarily elegant wines. From the intense Ekam Riesling, the refined Cabernet based Quest to the almost Pinot like Tharlan which is in fact 100% Syrah. Grown at 1000m in cool conditions and fermented in rock vats and stainless steel and then aged in French oak, this is a very subtle and restrained Syrah.

The site was first established by monks in 1100 and since identified for its outstanding potential given the high altitude, meaning less problems of high sugar levels and low acidity in the grapes, and also better development of flavour and aromas. The Tharlan is bright and ripe, without being over the top. This is an exciting new style of Spanish red.

Press Reviews: 95 points, Robert Parker’s ‘The Wine Advocate:

image“The brilliant 2010 Thalarn is a pure Syrah that is partially fermented in rock vessels and stainless steel and aged in barrel for 10 months in 70% new oak. It has an incredibly intense bouquet of small black cherries, cassis, blueberry and a touch of peppercorn that is very well-defined, but extremely primal.

The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins and a satin-like texture. It possesses outstanding focus and precision plus wonderful minerality and clarity towards the finish that exudes finesse, handling the new oak so that you barely notice it. This is an exceptional Syrah that should age magnificently.”

Exclusive to ely wine bar in Ely Place.

We’ve just received 3 cases of this superb wine and it’s highly unlikely that we will see it again in Ireland given its limited production and international acclaim. You won’t find it anywhere else in Ireland and if you like the subtleties of Burgundy and the flavours of the Northern Rhone then this is a wine for you.

For more information please visit www.elywinebar.com 

ely wine tasting evenings April / May 2014

alsace Italy rhone

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
The wines of the Southern Rhone may be more recognised- Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Rhone etc. – but anyone in the know will tell you that all the excitement is up North. Sensational whites, many of which remain just below the radar for most of us, are matched by outstanding reds- this is the spiritual home of Syrah! This is undoubtedly a ‘fine wine’ region, producing some of the greatest wines in France, without ever reaching the astronomical price tags of some other French region. It is a wine lovers dream!
Register now for wine tasting & supper €45

Thursday May 22nd – Alsace
This is quite possibly the most interesting and varied white wine producing region in the world. Home to a wide range of grape varieties, many with the potential to produce wines of Grand Cru status. Add to that some of the world’s greatest sweet wines. However, Alsace still suffers from being misunderstood, much the same as Germany. While there are many Germanic influences, the wines of Alsace are utterly unique and deserve your utmost attention!
Register now for wine tasting & supper €45

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

 

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