Mindfulness and wine

San Gimignano

Posted on: 5th September, 2016

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.

Mindfulness, focusing on one’s awareness of the present moment, calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings thoughts and sensations –perhaps with a glass of fine wine on hand? I was reflecting recently on some of those perfect moments when everything comes together, the situation, the company, a memorable wine, ideally all three.

When our sons were small boys we took the ferry to Roscoff and made our way by public transport across the coast of the wonderfully named Cotes de Granit Rose and spent our last night in the seaside town of Sables d’Or. After a trip to the local charcuterie where we picked up the ubiquitous baguette and pate and cheese and of course a bottle of French country red, we made our way to a picnic bench and ate while watching the sun slowly set over the Cote d’Emeraude drinking the wine from plastic cups (like Miles at the end of the great wine film Sideways). One of those never-to-be-forgotten moments.

On one of our Italian trips we took an apartment in the characterful Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano, famous for the many high towers, which were built to show off the wealth of local mercantile families. We decided to visit nearby Siena but unfortunately the skies opened, as they can do on the continent, and we saw little of Tuscany’s second most famous city. Feeling deflated we went back to San Gimignano where the sun miraculously reappeared and found a lovely ‘enoteca’ where we followed the owner’s advice and drank the most wonderful chianti from proper glasses as we gazed down on the typical Tuscan landscape below, cypress trees and all.

A number of years ago we met up with my sister from Connecticut and her husband to celebrate their wedding anniversary. We agreed upon Paris as Bill had never been and who needs any excuse to visit the city, which recently the ‘What’s Hot’ column in the Irish Times puzzlingly labelled ‘over­rated’. On the short walk from the Hotel des Carmes to the restaurant of choice we passed by Notre Dame and the evening bells started to ring. In La Rotisserie du Beaujolais they gave us a snug overlooking the cathedral and the Seine and we dined well and drank wonderful Morgon, one of the best crus of the Beaujolais region. More recently we reunited and celebrated again this time closer to home, in Deasy’s of Clonakilty, where we drank a great Californian Zinfandel called Gladiator, which was so delicious that when our visitors got back home to New England they immediately sourced it for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s wishing all our readers many such enjoyable mindful wine moments in the future.


Brolio, Chianti Classico. Sensational flagship wine for one of the oldest. Chianti producers, Baron Ricasoli. O’Donovans, Bandon, €24.

Baden Pinot Noir. A rare chance to taste excellent light German red, Aldi, Bandon, €9.99.


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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
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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 xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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