12 Blogs of Christmas- Christmas Decorations- What to do with those old Corks!

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So now that screw caps seem to be slowly but surely taking over from wine corks there may be little point in putting this blog up- but for those of you plagued by the abundance of old wine corks in your house this one is for you! Turn those old corks into Christmas decorations. All you need is

– Wine corks
Thin ribbon
Decorative beads (with large holes)
Long darning needle
– Scissors
Carefully drill a hole through the center of the cork lengthwise using a small bit drill.
2. Slide one or more decorative beads over the loop of the tassle.
Cut approximately 1 foot of ribbon and slip one end into the tassle loop (above the beads) then bring ends of ribbon together.
Thread the ribbon (now attached to the tassle) through the darning needle and bring up through the center of the cork then pull till the beads and tassle are in contact with the cork.
5. Slip one or more decorative beads over the ribbon then knot the ribbon several inches up leaving a loop to hang from
Christmas tree branch.
Cut excess ribbon above the knot and use Fray Check (available at Joann.com) to prevent ribbon from fraying. You may also carefully use a lighter or match to slightly singe the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.
Glue the beads to the top and bottom of the cork to ensure they remain centered and in place.

So there you have it- hopefully you have enough time to get making them!


12 Blogs of Christmas- Nothing says Christmas quite like port!

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Christmas time, mistletoe and wine” I’m pretty sure Cliff Richard would have said port if it had rhymed. Maybe Christmas court, mistletoe and port…. Doesn’t quite work, does it??? Ah well back to the drawing board! Interesting fact about Cliff Richard- his calendar actually outsells David Beckhams every year (bizarre! but to be fair with photos like this how could he not… sorry if i just put you off calenders all together…). But enough about Cliff- we’re here to talk about Port and instead of boring you with all the details about Ports production, I’ve decided that what would be really useful is some drink recipes which use port- it’ll be a nice little festive surprise to your guests over the Christmas!

Our first one is Mulled Claret Cocktail- pretty easy but looks like it will hit the spot this Christmas. All you need is 5oz red wine (any will do… so long as its good wine!), 1oz Port, ¾ oz Brandy, pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, couple of cloves and lemon rind! Just heat them all up in a pot, serve in a mug and relax in front of the fire!

The next one is Rudolphs Red Nose- its pretty easy! Just use 1 part vodka, 1 part cranberry juice, 2 parts lemonade, and 2 parts Port! Mix well with ice and pour into glass- it will go down pretty well right after that big Christmas Dinner!!

Now Port is great but one recurring problem people seem to find with it is its high alcohol content. But there is a alternative- Montezovo Recioto! It’s a method whereby they dry out the grapes for a long time, which condenses the flavour and gives it that sweetness like a Port but without the Alcohol content! It would work pretty well in both these cocktails too- so feel free to experiment and don’t hesitate to put up some of your own ones in the comment box! Enjoy your Port/Recoito this Christmas- hopefull it will go a long way to warming you up!

12 Blogs of Christmas- White Wines for the Christmas Dinner!

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Now you know what red I’ll be drinking this year- and also for the record the thanksgiving dinner went so well that I’m taking over the cooking of the Christmas dinner this year. But I digress and in my last blog I felt White wine would earn another Blog all together. Why??? Because its time to address a problem in the wine world- Why has Chardonnay gotten such a bad wrap in recent years? The answer is simple (this is obviously just my opinion…)- Chardonnay was TOO good. It fell victim to its own high standards and as a result became over produced, and therefore the quality of grapes being used fell- and so here we find ourselves, in a world were people who like chardonnay do so in secret… tentatively asking us in store for a bottle of Chardonnay like it’s a crime. But do not fear if you love Chardonnay there is nothing wrong with you- you are merely one of the few who has been lucky enough to drink good Chardonnay. Now there are plenty of good Chardonnay to try in store so next time you’re in, be brave and ask us for a good bottle of Chardonnay we won’t guide you wrong and on Christmas day you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This Christmas I’ll be bringing home a bottle of William Cole Chardonnay for my family to enjoy!

Butttttt having said all that- there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a Sauvignon Blanc. Especially a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. And if that Sauviognon Blanc at your dinner table this year happened to be the Wild South Reserve then I don’t think you will have gotten things too wrong.

12 Blogs of Christmas- Red wines for the Christmas Turkey!

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You’ll have to forgive us for taking our time in getting a new blog up- we’ve been pretty busy this year… But rest assured we are well on our way to getting our Blogs up in time for Christmas!

So it is time to start thinking about what to do for the Christmas dinner this year. Now you’ll read plenty of articles this year about recipes to try out and what wine to use-but few people will have had a practice run quite as recently as me. This year for the sake of celebration I decided to have a thanksgiving dinner- just to see if I could pull it off. Well I was pleasantly surprised (and so were my guests) when nobody ended up in hospital with food poisoning. But what was even more surprising was how easy the whole thing was… Now I had a little help, but the main thing is to get the Turkey right- if you get that then nobody will even notice the other stuff! So I hear you calling out “what was that wonderful recipe you used that saved so many people the hassle of having to go to the emergency room with food poisoning????” The answer lye’s on Jamie Oliver’s website (Here’s the link). The only tricky bit is getting the stuffing in between the skin and the actual meat- but if you watch Bear Grylls then you’ll know not to use you fingers or else you may rip the skin- instead you should make a half fist and use you knuckles! Trust me it’s a disgusting feeling but it is 100% worth it when you sit down to eat it! (obviously goes without saying- wash your hands before doing this…)

So that’s the Turkey covered! And anything else you want on your plate is up to you! But in your wine glass we can help you there as well! Now at my little thanksgiving dinner I was the only one drinking red- which worked out pretty well for me! I tried 2 wines, both excellent- but one out shown the other. The 2 wines I had were Pinot Noirs- it is the best grape to go with Roast Turkey. The First was the O’leary- Walker Pinot Noir. Excellent wine and is available in store for €17.95, but is on special offer at 2 for €30. Well worth a try and really good value…. But its only downfall was that the second wine eclipsed it on the day. The wine in question is The Bill Pinot Noir- cannot emphasise how much I loved this wine- it worked with the Turkey so well and the fact that nobody else was drinking red made it all the better! The Bill is usually €19.95 but until the end of December it has 20% off, making it €15.96!

12 Blogs of Christmas- wines for mum and wines for dad!

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We’re edging ever closer to the big day now and i don’t know about you but its definatly starting to feel a lot like Christmas! So i Hope you all have your Christmas Presents bought and are realxing for the big day. If you aren’t one of the lucky few, however, who have gotten everything ready then don’t fear there’s still plenty of time- but you should probably start getting things ready soon…

So here we are to the rescue- to provide you with a whole host of ideas to get you through the next few days. Now we all know that everyone enjoys a glass of wine at Christmas- but we also know that nobody enjoys a glass of wine at Christmas more than a mum or dad, especially at the end of a long day. But this year we have a few more things to take into consideration- such as value for money, and also how freekin cold it is!! So for reds- i think they will have to be big and full-bodied. Malbec- the perfect grape for the winter thats in it. And lucky for ye we have a special offer of

2 bottles of Argento Malbec for €20.
Concentrated aromas of plums and black cherries. 8 months in oak has created rich fruit flavours which are rounded which are rounded by perfectly soft, supple tannins! Just the right wine to have after a long day running around town buying all sorts!
Now if its a white you’re looking for then New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are the way to go-and if its value you’re looking for then the Wingspan cannot be beaten! Special offer from now until the end of december at 2 for €20- try and it and i gurantee you’ll love it!

12 Blogs of Christmas- Some Thing for The Driver

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Dazzle your taste buds with this spicy festive treat. This scrumptiously fruity cocktail is perfect for the designated drivers at your party, though if you want to spice things up and appeal to everyone then why not add a drop of rum or your favourite winter warmer!

15ml Belvoir’s Winter Berries Cordial
35ml Pomegranate
35ml Cranberry
Fresh Lime
All Spice

Pour all ingredients into a high-ball with cubed ice and garnish with mixed berries

12 Blogs of Christmas- What wines to leave out for Santa!!

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So in a couple of weeks the big man is goin to be puttin on the big red suit and gearin up the reindeer for their big journey around the globe. But the question is what to leave out for the big man when he comes to drop off his presents. But first of all we would like to point out that if Santa was drivin the sleigh (which he’s not, the reindeer are…) it would have to be a non- alcholoic drink- for obvious reasons! But luckily enough he is going to be chauffeured around the place by his reindeer, so the big man can enjoy a glass or two on his big night (its not all about work you see)- a line of thought even Jackie Healy-Rae could get behind…. wait a minute… big red face… slightly overgrown around the waist… you don’t think??? could he be??? Well you have to admit the similarities are striking….

Ok so Jackie Healy-Rae… I mean… Santa Claus Comes down your chimney- He’s already been all over the world, he’s tired, and he’s probly very cold… so what could you leave out for him to cheer him up!! Well for these cold wet winter months, there’s only one thing for it!! A nice big full bodied red wine! Now you can’t get much more full bodied than a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Tempranillo. For Cabernets the obvious place to start is Bordeaux and we have multiple options when it comes Bordeaux wines. But for something slightly different try Cabernets from the coonawarra region in Australia. Coonawarra is synonymous with classy Cabernets, full of plum and blackcurrant fruit. So much so that sucess with other grape varieties in this region has been overlooked in recent years. The limestone geology also suits Chardonnays and Rieslings, but with Cabernets like these there is little need to look to far afield! We have 2 Cabernets from this region in store:

Reschke “vitulus” Caberent Sauvignon- €19.95
Vitulus is the Latin for Bull-calf. This wine posseses fragrances of violet and mint, with concentrated black fruits and blueberry flavours. Supple yet firmly fleshed, tender oak and great tannins- just right to put a smile on Santa’s face this Christmas!

Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon- €17.95
Casis and red berries mingle with a strong background of cherry oak, ground coffee, dark chocolate and mint. He may even stay for a second glas of this one!
So there you have the perfect wines to warm up Santa- or anyone else- on these cold wet winter months!! Hope Ye’re aren’t gettin too stressed out yet!! Merry Christmas!

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