The Volvo Ocean Race

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With the arrival of the boats from The Volvo Ocean Race we have decided to tie this posting in with the festivities that are happening around town. Two wines that have recently arrived all the way from South Africa like the Boats themselves are Winery of Good Hope’s Shiraz and Chardonnay. Both of these great wines come from South Africa and the winery shares its name with the Historical Cape of Good Hope, a point that the contestants in the Ocean Race sailed around last November after their second stop-over in Capetown.
The Winery of Good Hope, as the name suggests encompasses everything characteristic about the New South Africa. A diverse cultural and racial mosaic, combining indigenous South Africans with Northern and Southern Hemisphere adoptees – a blending of ideas, of values and of purpose. The Winery of Good Hope’s distinctive wines originating from the most established vineyards of the Cape and wines from the most over-looked or undiscovered sites, the exciting cutting-edge micro-climates from previously ignored locations across the Cape. The Winery of Good Hope produces approachable, classy and elegant wines.Primed with Southern-Hemisphere fruit these are very affordable, highly drinkable, all occasion wines.

The Winery of Good Hope Chardonnay

This unoaked Chardonnay sets-out to give you an easy-drinking yet classy wine, at an excellent price. It has wonderful freshness, elegance and depth and no sickly-sweet or artificial flavours. The wonderful citrus zest and mineral tang of its aromatics and bedded in the fruit and seductive texture characteristic of good Chardonnay. For those of you who despairingly thought that Chardonnay had to taste like butterscotch, this will restore your faith in this wonderful grape, go on give it a try!.

The Winery of Good Hope Shiraz


This wine is fruit focused, generously constructed; with smooth layers of red fruits with some smoky oak nuances. It has a balanced style that promotes drinkability, but which releases flavour, spiciness, individuality, balance and freshness. This wine is a great crowd pleaser, it is suitable to have with a meal or to sip away as we wish the ‘Green dragon’ crew ‘go n-éirí an bóthar libh’ as they head off for Sweden.

Woodberrys and The G-Hotel Food and Wine Evening

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On Thursday 14th of May we held a food and wine evening with The G-Hotel. The whole evening was a resounding success from start to finish. We would like to thank all those who came along for braving the rain and more importantly the new traffic lights at Moneenagesha which caused some havoc delaying our starting time. Although some prosecco helped lighten the stress levels!

As I have said we great evening with some fantastic wine tried and delicious food prepared for us be the award winning chef Stefan Matz of The G-Hotel and Ashford Castle Hotel. We would like to thank Stefan and his entire team in the kitchen and Orla and her dinning room staff for giving us such a wonderful evening.

As mentioned, the first wine up was Mionetto’s Prosecco brut, which was served with mixed canopies, at our informal reception where we all got to down to the nitty-gritty of discussing to great Irish loves the weather and traffic (which was just as bad as usual). But when this lovely crisp sparkler arrived, with it’s refreshing bouquet of apples, we were soon anticipating the evening to come.

The first course up was an exquisite pan seared fillet of turbot and Oyster Chard starter which was partnered by a stunning Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy. Chateau des Rontets ‘Clos Varambon’ 2005, which was many people’s wine of the evening. This 100% chardonnay based wine and it displayed melon and peach aromas and undertones of minerality.

Following on from this was a delicious starter of succulent char grilled free range chicken on a barley of summer berries. We decided to pair this with Cune’s ‘Imperial Reserva’ 2001 and beautiful Rioja with a bouquet of ripe berries and hints of liquorice. The palate had great balanced acidity and a continuation of those exquisite ripe berry flavours. This wine was another crowd pleaser that was a fabulous match with the gorgeous chicken dish.

The first main course up was a mouth-watering fillet of beef cooked to perfection with an almost melt in your mouth quality, together with red wine cooked beef cheeks (A signature dish of Gordon Ramsey, we are told). To go with this we had lined up one of the most popular wines of Christmas 2008, the wonderful ‘Ghan Sleeper Reserve’ Shiraz 2003. The Sleeper is made from old vine Shiraz grapes grown in the relatively unknown Southern Flinders area north of Adelaide. This wine displayed a big perfumed nose displaying notes of blackberry, cassis and liquorice. The palate has an intriguing mix of dark fruit flavours, leading to a long lasting finish. This was a surprising favourite for many, although a lot of peeple think of Aussie Shiraz as big and brooding, the elegant finish and softness of the fruit of the Ghan Sleeper was a winner on the night.

The next course was braised shoulder of lamb and a reed cooked rack of spring lamb, this was paired with The Bill Pinot Noir 2007. This lovely wine is made using hade picked pinot noir grapes and it displayed exceptional aromas and length on the palate of dark red fruits and hint of rosemary that complimented the lamb perfectly. This wine came close second for many people, as their wine of the evening.

Then the part we were waiting for- The desert a seductive ice cream of local honey and warm crumble of preserved apricots which was perfectly matched with Yalumba’s botrytis viognier 2006. This wine shocked many as they were expecting a big sticky wine and what the got was a delicately sweet wine with an inviting bouquet of exotic tropical fruit and ripe mango flavour and a long after taste of mango and tropical fruits, a truly fantastic desert wine.