When a ‘fiasco’ is not a disaster

fiasco

Posted on: 7th July, 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.

Chianti is surely one of the most recognisable names in the world of wine. It is both a wine and a wine-growing region.

With some people, it will still conjure up memories of Italian restaurants with red and white check tablecloths, and wine in a straw basket or flask, known as a fiasco. There was a practical side to the wine baskets, namely they protected the bottles during shipment. Most producers now bottle chianti in more standard bottles although I have noticed recently the fiaschi making something of a comeback on the shelves.

Chianti can range from light and fresh with cherry and strawberry flavours, to older more complex wines with hints of tobacco and coffee. Not surprisingly, good Chianti is the perfect partner for fine Italian cuisine.

The main grape used in the production of Chianti is Sangiovese although traditionally it was blended with a small amount of other local grapes such as Canaiolo or even Malvasia bianca, although white grapes are no longer allowed. In recent years some of the top producers have experimented with using less traditional grapes from France, although in the premium growing areas, by law, the wine must consist of at least 80 per cent Sangiovese grapes. Some modern Chianti consists of 100 per cent Sangiovese.

The Chianti growing region covers a large portion of Tuscany with the finest area squeezed in between Florence in the north and Siena in the south. At its most basic, Chianti DOCG is a fresh, fruity, somewhat astringent easy drinking wine. Wines from the finest growing area are classified as Chianti Classico and carry the familiar Black Rooster on the label. The Classico region is clustered around four villages or ‘communes’, Castellina, Gaiole, Radda and Greve-in-Chianti. This is a popular area for wine tours, with many of the wineries having their own restaurants and offering accommodation set amongst some of the most scenic Tuscan countryside. The finest Chianti Classico wines I have tasted come from the producers, Isole e Olena, Antinori, Coltibuono, and Carpineto.

Looking for value, keep an eye out for wines from a number of  sub-regions, such as  Chianti Rufina from the foothills east of Florence, or Chianti Colli Senisi from Siena.

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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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