Autumn means French wine sales

Wine_Saint Emilion

Posted on: 5th October, 2017

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: Tony Eklof

Tony Eklof, originally from New England, has settled in Clonakilty after a career as a librarian at University College Dublin. His knowledge and passion for wine has been inspired by frequent visits to the wine growing regions of the continent, particularly Italy and France.

Historically the wine sales in France this time of year were a means of clearing out the old vintage before the release of the new. Superquinn is credited with bringing the annual sale to Ireland. When I lived in Blackrock, County Dublin I used to look forward to the sale each year, and now that SuperValu

has taken over the chain, the tradition has carried on albeit not on as grand a scale.

Before making some recommendations I thought I would offer a little refresher about the finest of all French regions, which may help you choose your sale wines. For my money Bordeaux still makes the best wine in the world, so I am always looking for good value here. The great wine critic Robert Parker described Bordeaux wines as ‘having intensity of flavour without heaviness’.

The region is split by the great Gironde estuary, the left bank being synonymous with the Medoc and Haut Medoc. Wines here are cabernet sauvignon dominated and their finest expression is found in the towns of Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac and St-Estephe.

Across the Gironde on the right bank wines are merlot based, with St Emilion and Pomerol the most famous production areas although great value can be found in Fronsac, Cotes de Castillon, and two of my personal favourites, Cotes de Blaye and Cotes de Bourg. Near the city of Bordeaux itself the Graves region is also worth a mention with its finest expression being the wines of Pessac-Leognan.

Dunnes Stores sale has stepped up a notch from previous years, with Chateau Begadanet 2014, €13 a fine example of a classic wine from the Medoc. Chateau Chantemerle 2014 €18 has a classic left bank composition, 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 35 per cent merlot with small amounts of cabernet franc and petit verdot. Also well worth a mention from outside the Bordeaux region is Visan L’Enclave Nord Cotes du Rhone, a glorious expression of wine from the southern Rhone Valley. Great value at €11.50. Think black olives and ripe fruit.

Over in SuperValu, I like the Chateau Manon Des Brumes, a dry white from the aforementioned

Blaye region and a steal at €9. Another white worth mention is the lovely Domaine du Hout Bourg Muscadet, €10. An annual favourite of mine back in the reds, Chateau Moulin Lafitte, is merlot based and very elegant with spice and red fruit, €12. Further value can be achieved if your selection is in SuperValu’s three for €25 or two for €20 sections.

Finally, keep an eye out for the Lidl sale, which started on September 25 and is sure

to feature some great value from the classic Bordeaux regions.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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