The king of wines

Wine Lidl Barolo

Posted on: 3rd November, 2015

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.

Which city was the first capital of a united Italy? Rome, Naples, maybe Florence? Actually it was Turin although Florence did serve as the capital for a short period before Rome finally assumed the honour. Turin has a colourful history. The major city of the Piedmont, (foot of the hills) it became the main city of the French House of Savoy who ruled the area for hundreds of years. The Piedmont was also the hotbed of the Risorgimento, which eventually led to Italian unification. The first King of Italy was Victor Emmanuel II who had previously been Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia and Piedmont.

Incidentally Turin makes for a wonderful short city break, with its Royal Palace, beautiful piazzas and miles and miles of arcaded walks lined with famous coffee houses. And all nestled right up against the Alps. The 17th century Church of San Lorenzo is a baroque masterpiece.

The Piedmont has claims for being the most important wine-growing region in all of Italy. Most notable is Barolo, ‘Italy’s greatest red’ according to wine doyen Hugh Johnson. Also know as ‘the king of wines, and the wine of kings’ ever since King Carlo Alberto of the Piedmont expressed his fondness for it, Barolo is produced in a small area located

in hills above the small town of Barolo itself and in ten surrounding villages.

Made exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape, the young Barolo is particularly tannic, only softening after years of aging. It must be aged at least three years before release or five years in the case of a riserva, although most experts would wait at least 10 or 15 years in order to allow the wine to develop its wonderful aromas and tastes of forest fruit, roses and tobacco.

The best Nebbiolo grapes go towards the making of Barolo, but you can often find very drinkable Nebbiolo varietal wines at a fraction of what you would pay for the noble Barolo. There are other notable reds from this region also known as the Langhe. Barbaresco, which is also made from Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, which is a personal favourite, lighter and meant to be drunk fresh and young, and Barbera d’Alba, which comes from the famous ‘foodie’ town of Alba.

A good bottle of Barolo will cost around €40 although sometimes you can spot a bargain in wine sales.

Recommendations: Lidl – Barolo, recently included in the Guardian’s ‘Six Best Aldi and Lidl Wines’ and currently priced at €15. Won’t be the stunner you would expect from the more aged and pricey Barolos but is a nice introduction to the wine all the same. Aldi – Lot 09 Toscana. A merlot from Tuscany, unusual and delicious, tasting of mulberries and cherries. €13.99

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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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