Turin and wine glasses

Posted on: 7th April, 2014

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.

Turin, Torino in Italian, is a beautiful city, Baroque as opposed to Renaissance, reflecting the glory days of the House of Savoy which ruled a great chunk of France, Switzerland and northwest Italy for centuries. Did you know that Turin was the firs capital city of a united Italy? Armed with recommendations from Federico, a friend and wine shop manager in Dublin who hails from Turin, we set off for a city break via Milan on the away and return parts of the journey. Because Turin does not attract the volume of tourists as say Venice, Florence or Rome, you can visit the fabulous palaces, art galleries and churches in comfort. If you do visit, don’t miss the stunning baroque Chiesa San Lorenzo, much more beautiful than the main cathedral where the famous Shroud of Turin is kept. Apart from the wonderful piazzas, arcaded pedestrian streets and glorious architecture, Turin is located in the foothills of the majestic Alps and you can take a one-hour train journey, as we did, and find yourself in a beautiful Alpine village, Bardonecchia in the evocatively named ‘Milky Way’ or Via Lattea range of mountains, gazing at the highest French peaks in the distance.

We ate in two different small trattorias and drank excellent wine from the Piemonte and from the less famous Dolomites region. One night I ate pizza and couldn’t resist a bottle of Pio Cesare Grignolino at €15. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a fine wine for pizza, but at that price I couldn’t resist. When I ordered it, the waitress swooped away the plain tumbler glasses on the table and replaced them with large special glasses for this particular wine. Special glasses were also produced in the second excellent osteria, L’Acino, (bunch of grapes) which had a small but particularly good wine list, and a most friendly and knowledgeable host.

All this got me thinking about wine and glasses and why ideally, there are different glasses for different wines.

In general wine should be served in a fairly large transparent glass narrow at the top to best capture the aroma of the wine. It should be fine glass and clear to allow inspection of the colour, and finally, one should only pour half a glass, again to allow the aromas to develop. Red wine is served in larger glasses than white, to allow one to capture the deeper and more complex aromas. Bordeaux should be served in a particularly tall glass with a wide opening, Burgundy in a slightly shorter glass, but with an even bigger opening. Sparkling wine calls for a flute shaped glass in order to best display and preserve the bubbles. White wine is served in smaller glasses than red because they are better for keeping the wine cool while consuming.

All the above are simply guidelines. The days of strict rules and wine snobs are numbered. Because our cuisine is ever changing, wine matching is more complicated. The best wine writers today list recommendations not rules, and insist wine is there for our pleasure, ‘a miraculously digestible infinitely various delight’.*

More about wine etiquette later, but for now I will relate an experience I had recently in a well-known restaurant in Kinsale.

I chose my wine from the list the waiter brought over to show me, he got my approval, and then said ‘that’s good because I have already opened it.’ Oh dear.

* Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2014.

Wine Recommendations:

Here in West Cork we are starting to benefit from the Super Valu takeover of the Superquinn chain. First we have the availability of their award-winning sausages and now some of the wines from Superquinn’s annual French Wine Sale are starting to filter through to Super Valu shops.
Try the Domaine de Christia, Grenache Blanc, Vin de Pays de Christia. A luscious white unusually made exclusively from the Grenache grape, and tasting of the Mediterranean. (on special at €12.99)
Valdemadera Gran Reserva- 2008: From the largest wine-growing region of Aragon, this is a velvety smooth and delicious red. M & S Cork city, (€14.79)
1489 Chianti Riserva. From the Chianti sub region of Colli Senisi, specifically from around the beautiful Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano (and hence the ancient tower on the label) Curious Wines, Cork. (€11.19 if you buy two!)

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

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  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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