Eat, drink and be married

Posted on: 6th February, 2017

Category: The Wine Buff

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.

When it comes to choosing wine for your wedding reception there is really only one major decision to make. Should you go along with the hotel’s recommendations and choose from their list or should you go independent and make your own choices of wine? After that there are a number of smaller points to consider.

The advantage of going along with the hotel list is obvious – the ease and the convenience. Choose from the list and leave everything to them. Job done.

However, there are advantages to choosing and bringing your own wine to the event. First and foremost you get to choose whatever wine you like. You most likely will have to pay corkage, which should be around €10 per bottle, maybe a bit more for the bubbly. When negotiating the corkage don’t be afraid to haggle and the chances are you might get the hotelier to come down a bit in the price.

Most good outlets will let you purchase on a sale or return basis. One little tip here I came across is that if you are availing of this make sure they don’t put too many whites in the ice buckets, as the labels could get damaged and the unused ones back might not be taken back.

Personally I’m not a big fan of the ice bucket in any case, as I believe the wine tends to over-chill and lose some of its flavour.

If you choose your wine carefully you are quite likely to get better value even with the corkage, for example there are many good wines for around the €10-12 mark, so you are still likely to pay less than the ‘house wines’ on the hotel list.

For quantity, most experts recommend calculating a half bottle per person. As for which wine to choose, the first tip is to wait until your menu is decided, which will allow you match the wine to the menu choices.

I consulted with a good friend, Federico, who manages one of the O’Brien’s Fine Wine shops. He said New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is very popular for the white, as you have a good range to choose from and it is generally light and lively. For red, the important rule is nothing too light and flavourless or too heavy and strong in alcohol. You don’t want your guests falling asleep over the speeches! That leaves as popular choices, Valpolicella from Italy, young Rioja from Spain and medium-bodied French wines, but probably not Burgundy, as they tend to be overpriced. Bordeaux from some of the lesser regions such as Castillon can be a good choice in both style and flavour without the big price tag.

Finally, when choosing your bubbly, keep in mind Champagne may be the most famous but it is also the most expensive. There are many areas of France producing lovely sparkling wine at a fraction of the cost of Champagne, not to mention Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Catalonia in Spain.

Finally the websites of leading wine merchants offer sound advice on choosing wedding wines.

Have a look at O’Brien’s Fine Wines in Douglas, the excellent Curious Wines in Cork, or Bubble Brothers in the English Market. The latter advise that choosing your wedding wine should be ‘a pleasurable experience before things get too busy’.

Hear hear!

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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9th April, 2018  ·  

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