The king of wines

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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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.
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16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.
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13th February, 2018  ·  

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