The best little wine shop ever…

Posted on: 6th October, 2014

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: Tony Eklof

Following on from last month’s article, I have decided to open my own little wine shop in one of West Cork’s colourful little towns. It will specialise in wines not at the moment readily available in the area. This will be a wine shop like no other. No Jacobs Creek or Yellow Tail from Australia, no Casillero del Diablo from Chile, and definitely no Pinot Grigio from anywhere! Not to worry, if these are among your favourites as they will continue to be available in just about every supermarket.

In our German section there will be no Blue Nun or Black Tower, wines so bad they are probably responsible for the dearth of quality wines from the Rhine, Mosel and Nahe rivers. I was once treated to a meal in a tavern in a small village outside of Heidelberg and can still remember being blown away by the excellence of the white wines served up that night. Our shop will also feature lovely Gruner Veltliner white wine from nearby Austria.

From France you will find fine wines from the south-west, Bergerac, Fronton, Buzet and my personal favourite, Pecharmant. Our rose will come from the Rhone rather than the Loire, from Tavel to be specific. And of course Bordeaux, from the great appellations including Pessac-Leognan which seems to combine all that’s best of the Cabernet based left bank and the Merlot based right bank wines of the River Gironde.

We won’t have massed produced cheap Chianti in our Italian section, but we will have good value Chianti Colli Senisi from Siena and a selection of great wine from the Classico villages with Isole E Olena as our star selection.  From the north we will feature Nebbiolo and light, fragrant Dolcetto from the Piedmont and will try to introduce you to unusual reds from the Dolomites and from the Veneto region. From the south will come great value Sardinian and Sicilian wines including some grown right on the side of Mount Etna.

On our California shelves out go the sickly sweet ‘blush wines’ such as Blossom Hill, ‘the UK’s most loved wine’ and in come great Cabernets and Zinfandels from areas such as Sonoma County and the Napa Valley. Nothing from the largest producer Gallo, probably because of my memories of a country wide boycott of the company in the 70s because of its treatment of farm workers. Instead, we will try to source some of the Pinot Noirs made famous by the great film Sideways.

Our shop will have a section with lesser known wines, made with the Touriga National grape in Portugal, or the Aghiorgitiko in Greece. New tastes for the tired palate!

One last thing, we will have a selection of quality half-bottles.

Why are they so hard to find, and why do they not cost half the price of a full bottle?

What is the name of the street for this shop? Fantasy Road!

Recommendations:
Dolle Gruner Veltliner – Gorgeous white from Austria. €11 from Super Valu. (limited supply)
Chateau Peyredoulle Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux. From a great value appellation of Bordeaux, €12 in the Dunne’s Stores French Wine Sale.
Chateau Pontet-Caillou Pessac-Leognan. €19. Lidl. A wine suitable for laying down for Christmas.

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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
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email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
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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  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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