Sensational Sangiovese

We’re delighted to see Paolo di Marchi and his two wineries- Isole e Olena in Tuscany, and Proprieta Sperino in Piemonte – featured in last Saturdays The Irish Times magazine by John Wilson.

Paolo and his wines have long been favorites here in ely, from his supremely elegant style of Chianti Classico to his stunning (100% Sangiovese) Cepparello.

His son Luca –a winemaking genius in his own right- is now running Sperino, and producing wines of incredible finesse from Nebbiolo and other local grapes.

The Uvaggio from Proprieta Sperino is available in all three elys, the Chianti Classico in @ely ely bar & brasserie, IFSC and the Cepparello in ely wine bar in Ely Place.

Full article at http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/sensational-sangiovese-1.1673946

Paolo di Marchi

Paolo di Marchi

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Christmas Day Suggestions: a selection from our favourite wine-makers

Looking for inspiration for Christmas day dinner? Some of our favourite wine-makers have sent us the tradional dishes from their region with, of course, the best wines to drink with them! Our featured producers come from Rioja, Tuscany and Australia. Out of all the wine-makers who sent us in the Christmas traditions, the Hernaiz brothers who own Bodegas La Emperatriz in Rioja, is a Christmas we’d love to join in!

If you love cooking and want to learn some more why not do our cookery course which includes a wine and food matching lesson with award winning sommelier Ian Brosnan.

Rioja, Spain: Bodegas La Emperatriz
Eduardo Hernáiz, the owner of Bodegas La Emperatriz and his brother Victor recount their typical Christmas eve for us.

Christmas time in Spain is about family. In Spain, most people still live within close proximity of each other so it isn’t unusual to celebrate Christmas eve or Noche Buena as we like to call it, with over 20 family members.  Before settling down for dinner, I like to meet up with my closest friends at a local bar in Cenicero for a Christmas Champagne toast. After this, around 10:30 pm everyone in the family  comes together around the dinner table to eat a traditional home cooked meal.  Our Christmas eve dinner begins with a warm and tasty Consume soup followed by Cardo, which is a type of thistle that resembles a green Rubarb.  After this, we eat chicken that has been raised our own Finca La Emperatriz estate. It is normally stuffed with a meat, truffle and bread stuffing and baked in the oven until golden brown.

After this we eat Besugo, which is Sea Bream that has been cooked in the oven and then a light olive oil cooked with garlic and spicy dried chilies is drizzled on top.   We finish it with Polvorones de Navidad, which are a type of butter cake made with flour, butter and sugar that can be a bit of a powdery mess. We also eat Turron, which is a type of nougat with nuts as well as Marizpan both can be  quite sweet and delicious.  

Christmas eve dinner is all about family and we tend to stay at the dinner table eating until we can´t eat a morsel more.  At this point, usually well into the early hours of the morning, we head to bed, only to eat left overs the next day for Christmas Day.  Merry Christmas!

The 2 brothers and their families toast Christmas with the best wines from their estate Bodegas La Emperatriz, Rioja Alta ‘Pacela No1’ , along with other wines from their range.

Tuscany, Italy: Cantina di Montalcino
One of our favourite Brunello di Montalcinos comes from Cantina di Montalcino. Made exclusively from Sangiovese it is rich, elegant and spicy with cinnamon, figs, cherries and pepper aromas. Although Tuscany is famous for Chianti, Brunello is the certainly the king of the region: made from the best grapes available and aged in Slovenian oak for 3 years followed by 2 years in bottle before release. 2006 vintage is a open and expressive and has a sumptuous silky texture.  The traditional Christmas lunch in Tuscany is a 5 course affair with everything from veal ragu made with home-grown tomatoes, chicken liver pate and roast boar! Giacomo Alari of Cantina di Montalcino is a born and bred Tuscan and below is his typical Christmas dinner menu.

Crostini con Fegato di Pollo – Crostini with Chicken Liver Pate
served with a young Chianti

Maltagliata con Vitello – Ragu of Veal with Maltagliati pasta
served with Chianti Riserva

Capon con Salsa Verde – Chicken with Salsa Verde
Arista con Patate Arrosto – Roast Loin of Pork with Potatoes
served with Brunello di Montalcino

Cantucci con Vin Santo – Almond Biscotti soaked in dessert wine
served with Vin Santo

Giacomo Alari will also be presenting our Italy wine tasting night on the 22nd February. Tickets are limited, please contact wineclub@elywinebar.com for more details.

Bolgheri, Italy: Poggio al Tesoro
Poggio al Tesoro is located in Bolgheri – home of the Super Tuscan. Originally made famous back in the late 1970s with wines such Tignaello and Sassicaia, the area has the ideal soil and climatic conditions to grow international varieties such as Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz as well as the Italian Sangiovese. ‘Sondraia’ is one of our favourites from Poggio al Tesoro and it easily rivals a top French classic: made from the typical Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc it’s plush, warm and full, with velvety, ripe tannins giving structure to the ripe, plummy fruit on the palate.  Lovely touch of rosemary and eucalyptus on the finish! The head winemaker, Nicola Biasi (pictured below) recommends Wild Boar Stew with Sondraia and has kimdly given us his family recipe!

2007 Poggio al Tesoro ‘Sondraia’ with Spezzatino di Cinghiale – Wild Boar Stew

Ingredients:
800g wild boar (or pork)
500g tomato passata
2 garlic cloves
1 celery stick
1 onion
2 carrots
2 bay leaves
500ml of red wine, preferably young Chianti
Chilli
Salt
New season Tuscan olive oil

Marinate the meat in the red wine, chopped garlic and vegetables, bay leaf and chilli. After 8 hours, remove the meat and vegetables and conserve the marinating juices.  Heat up some olive oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables.  Add the meat, season and brown for a few minutes on a high heat.  Add a ladle of the marinating liquid and let it reduce down. Turn down the heat, add the tomatoes and cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan. If necessary add some water or more of the remaining liquid. Season and serve hot with a glass of Sondraia.

Adelaide Hills, Australia: Shaw and Smith
Shaw and Smith was founded in 1989 by cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith. Martin Shaw is one of the original flying winemakers and Michael Smith is not just Australia’s first Master of Wine, he is also a Cordon Bleu trained chef!

This Christmas Martin Shaw will be having: Snapper Ceviche with mint, watermelon and fetta salad to accompany 2009 M3 Chardonnay. What a delicious dish to have with 2009 M3: it’s one of the most iconic Chardonnays made in Australia and with it’s cool fruit, restrained use of oak and a depth and elegance that is only comparable to a Puligny Montrachet. This skill in wine making perfectly captures the new approach Australia has taken in the last 10 years. If you are looking for a white wine to have this Christmas, we recommend this! 

Thanks to all of our producers for sharing their Christmas traditions with us.

Want some inspiration in the kitchen? Why not do our cookery course? We kick start each lesson with a glass of bubbly and afterwards serve up the dishes alongside a selection of wines whilst award-winning sommelier Ian Brosnan gives a food and wine matching lesson. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for your mom, sister or girlfriend! Please contact wineclub@elywinebar.com for more details or call Michelle Lawlor on 01 676 8986 for more details.

Explaining Italian red wines with ely wine bar, Dublin

Italy can be as confusing as France when it comes to knowing what you are drinking. There are over 1,000 indigenous varieties in Italy and the wines produced in the cool northern hills of the Alto-Adige are wildly different from those made in the baking heat in Puglia down south.  Although it might seem confusing trying to understand the grapes and appellations of Italy, it’s an utterly rewarding task!

Broadly speaking there are 3 characteristics found in all Italian red wines: cherry fruit, refreshing acidity and firm tannins. The reason Italian wines make such great food wines is the combination of mouth-watering acidity and firm tannins which are the ideal components when matching food with wine. Below are some of the great Italian red grapes, and if these whet your appetite, then join us at our key Italian red grapes tasting on the 28th September 2011.

Chianti, Brunello, Vino di Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano: Sangiovese is the principle grape grown in the rolling Tuscan hills. In its ubiquitous Chianti form it is both sweet and sour, with cherries, cranberries, redcurrants and hints of rosemary and thyme. Chianti at it’s best is complex and layered with both red fruit and herbs, our favourite producers include Fontodi and Isole E Olena. Brunello is the big daddy of Tuscany and must be with 100% Sangiovese, it is a rich, complex and elegant glass of wine – with a savouriness of herbs, tomatoes and hints of violets.  The 2004 and 2005 vintages have both been exceptional and it you shop around you should find great examples of these. Vino Nobile and Morellino both make great Sangiovese and represent good quality and value for money. What should you eat with Sangiovese – roast leg of lamb stuffed with garlic and rosemary. And pretty much anything with a rich to tomato sauce!

Barolo: If Tuscany is the heart of the great Italian reds, Piedmont is the soul. The wines of Barolo, in the heart of Piedmont, are often likened to Burgundian Pinot Noir for their elegance, complexity and savouriness. The grape in Barolo is Nebbiolo and its typical characteristics are very high acidity and lots of tannins with perfumed and delicate flavours of damsons, red cherries, mulberries, dried fruits and herbs.  With bottle age the tannins mature and the wine becomes very light in colour with a silky texture. Our current favourite is made by Cantina Giacomo Borgogno e Figli. It is a wine that  will make you fall in love with Italy if you have not already done so! Try with braised pheasant and red cabbage, or with some really stinky cheese!

Barbera: Also native to Piedmont is Barbera. Lighter in colour than Nebbiolo and less serious, yet it punches above its weight with those yummy cherry red fruit and earthy tones. The distinguishing characteristics are  high tangy acidity and a light colour. Very much in fashion with the Pinot Noir drinkers of the world! Barbera is grown across Piedmont with the most famous towns being Alba and Asti.  Barbera d’Alba tends to be more serious and complex than the fresh and bright Barbera d’Asti . Our current favourite is Vigne Marina Coppi’s Sant’Andrea 2008. What to eat with a glass of barbera? We’d suggest a pepperoni pizza!

Valpolicella and Amarone: From around the region of north-east Italy, in the Veronese hills, Valpolicella is made from a blend of 3 local grapes:  Corvina, Molinaro and Rondinella. In it’s most common form, Valpolicella is one of the lightest, simplest wines you can get in Italy, but these wines are certainly worth exploring. Unique to Veronese wine is a style called Amarone. Made using the best quality Valpolicella grapes and allowing them to dry out over the winter. Rather than making wine with fresh juicy grapes as normal, Amarone is made with grapes that resemble raisins. This creates serious intensity and body as well as wines that are high in both alcohol and natural sugars, with delicious flavours of dried figs, prunes, cherries, spice and herbs. There is another process unqiue to Verona, the ‘ripasso method’ wines are made by fermenting standard Valpolicella on the skins of grapes used to make Amarone and are often referred to as baby Amarone. Fancy a truly great Valpolicella, try Allegrini’s Palazzo della Torre, a single vineyard Ripasso method Valpolicella. Try this and you’ll never look back!

Negroamaro: Never heard of it? Bet you’ve tasted it before! Negroamaro is one of the grapes in Salice Salentino, from Puglia in Italy’s heel. It is perfumed, earthy and quite robust – especially if it is going to withstand the baking heat of Southern Italy! If you are looking for great value for  money the wines of Southern Italy are the perfect place to shop. Other local varieties include Primitivo and Malvasia Nero. As cliche as it sounds, the best dish to have with this is pasta salsiccia, pasta with spicy sausage!

Contact wineclub@elywinebar.com for more information or to reserve your ticket at one of our wine nights!

*** UPCOMING EVENTS 2012***

7th December: Sweet, Stickie and Fortified Tasting
19th January: Bordeaux
26th January: Great Whiskeys of the World
2nd February: Chateauneuf du Pape
16th February: Southern France
22nd February: Italy

 

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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