Wines to welcome in summer


Posted on: 29th June, 2017

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.

We had some good friends visiting from Cape Cod earlier this month.

As a reunion celebration we dined in Dillon’s of Timoleague, always a pleasant experience. Choosing from the wine list was easy; they import their own German wine including a lovely light red, which paired well with all our orders. It got me thinking how lighter wines suit our summer cuisine more than stronger varieties and, as we have just had the longest and hottest day of the year, it could be topical to consider wines that go particularly well with summertime.

There are always exceptions of course; if you are having a hardy barbeque with a grilled steak then you might want to pair with a robust Australian Cabernet or a California Zinfandel. Generally however, we tend to match our lighter more varied summer diet with lower alcohol wines, which we often shun during the long winter. I’m speaking of whites in general, rose wines, sparkling wines and lighter reds.

Speaking of barbeques and picnics, you might also consider wines with a screw top, as more and more producers switch to this less traditional but more practical way of closing a wine bottle. No chance of the wine being corked, and a better chance of the wine staying fresh for a few days. No need to bring your corkscrew for the picnic!

Another tip – chill your summer wines lightly. Too cold and you miss out on the subtle flavours of your drink. I like my rose, for example, cool rather than cold. Also certain red wines are suitable for light chilling, Beaujolais from France, Bardolino from Italy for example.

Looking at my Hugh Johnson Pocket Guide, I see some tempting summer pairings. Smoked salmon with Alsace Pinot Gris, warm goat’s cheese with Sancerre, risotto with white wine from Friuli in northern Italy, haddock with California Chardonnay, curry with a dry rose from Spain. I’m getting hungry!


SuperValu has a rose wine sale on at the moment. The La Petite Perriere Rose made from the Pinot Noir grape is both delicate and delicious and great value at €8.

Lidl have some new Italians in; I loved the Rosso Refosco from the Friuli region, a great example of how a red can be light in alcohol and in colour but full of ripe cherries flavour. €8.99

Back to SuperValu, the Picpoul de Pinet is a perfect seafood match. Similar to Muscadet, on special at €10.

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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  ·  

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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