A Whole lotta Rosé!!!

1 Comment

All that sunshine promised and another long weekend ready to come, what better time to pop a few bottles of rose in the fridge and sit out the back garden and enjoy our New Irish summer otherwise known as April!  There are now loads of great dry and fruity rosés available in Ireland, so its time to take the plunge and enjoy a cool glass of pink this weekend.

There are 3 methods to produce Rosé wine

1) Skin Contact: This is where the black grapes (normally making red wine) are pressed and the skin of the grape is left in contact for up to three days to extract colour and flavour. They are then disposed of and the remaining juice is fermented to make Rosé.

2) Saignée, or bleeding the vats: When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the grape must involved in the maceration is concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.

3) Blending, the simple mixing of red wine to a white to impart color, is uncommon and fairly discouraged in most wine growing regions, except for Champagne.

Tasmanian Wine- Back to the future!

Leave a comment

So a good long while back I did a blog on how climate change might be affecting wine, and essentially what wine makers might be looking for in their new areas! Well it turned out I wasn’t wrong and some have even started making the move. One of the first to start looking to new and exciting places are Brown Brothers- and guess where they’re buying up land??? Thats right Tasmania! So why here? well its quite simple really- its cool (as in climate wise, not smoking cigarettes around the back of the school when you were in your teens cool!)  Which is perfect for???  Yes, Pinot Noir and also Chardonnay! Which makes for some nice sparkling wine coming from Tasmania. So why Back to the Future? Well it was actually one of the first regions in Australia to be planted with vines and it was even the source of some of the vines for victoria… you could say they’re going back to their ROOTS…. huh?? get it??? roots?? as in plant… like grapevine…. Anywaysssss…. It’s still interesting to see not only big companies making this move, but also to see how public they are being about it… Things must be getting pretty bad when producers are actually moving… But at least they can… The old world will have to change some of its rules if it wants to keep up with this whole global warming thing! Anyways you can read the article here! enjoy! chat to ye soon!

The Messiah of Wine, or at least his tears

Leave a comment

Holy Thursday means the Easter Weekend is upon us, and why not try a religiously sounding wine this Easter, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio. The name Lacryma Christi comes from an old myth that Christ, crying over Lucifer’s fall from heaven, cried his tears on the land and gave divine inspiration to the vines that grew there. The sides of Vesuvius are deeply scarred by past lava flows, and its lower slopes are extremely fertile, dotted with villages and covered with vineyards. 

Ironically, while Vesuvius destroyed towns, its lava made the soil fertile. It produces dry and sweet white wines and prized reds. There are many wonderful wines produced with the same loving care as the ancient Romans. Vesuvian wine has been enjoyed since ancient times. Evidence of the area’s delight in wine was preserved by Vesuvius’ lava. It is said that even the god Bacchus found pleasure in the abundant wine and the company of those who lived at the foot of the volcano.

Lacryma Christi reds are dry, rustic and full-bodied in style, they are generally made from the local Piedirosso grape or a blend of them same and other Italian grapes grown on in the DOC area on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Has your wine got the x-factor

1 Comment

For any long time fan of the blog (hi Mum!) ye will know who I mean when I say the messiah of wine! For those of you who aren’t long time fans I am talking about Robert Parker Jnr- considered the worlds most influential wine critic! The man literally revolutionized wine- by standing alone as a wine critic he took the power out of the hands of the wine companies and put it firmly in the hands of the consumers.  But we’ll get to all of that in good time- in fact what I really wanted to talk about was his 100 point score that so drastically altered the wine world!

 Its pretty much like a school grading system- except for wine… every wine is giving a base of 50 points- which is half the battle really! Then general colour and appearance can merit up to 5 points, Bouquet and Aroma up to 15 points, flavour and finish up to 20 points and then “overall quality level or potential for further evolution and improvement-aging”- Basically the X-Factor!- can get up to 10 points! Well aren’t we a little Simon Cowell aren’t we???

So obviously the higher the better… pretty sweet deal really- he drinks wine and rates it and gets paid to do this… Is it a good thing though? Well in one way yes! You see I’ve realised that wine is like cricket- people love it, its associated with an upper-class even though it really isn’t that sort of a thing anymore and if I just took the time to learn about it I’m sure I would get into it… But you see I A/ couldn’t be bothered and B/ I wouldn’t even know where to start… Well when Parker introduced his rating system it allowed for a little bit of enlightenment to happen on a much bigger scale than ever before, and education is one thing that spreads like wildflower! But what sort of education were they getting? What wines tasted nice and how much should be charged… and this is great but like anything it became susceptible to manipulation… Winemakers would hold back on their prices until Mr Parker had tried their wines- if he liked them they knew they could charge a bucket load for them. Also because of this wines were being made specifically to suit Robert Parker and therefore there wasn’t a whole load of variety out there…

So what now for wine critics? Well first off , while he’s still probably one of the more influential, he is certainly not the only one with influence so all is not lost! Second of we now have every single bit of information at our fingertips with this whole internet thing! Which means everyone has the means to be educated and wine is now accessible to the world! So instead of being educated to a very limited degree (like Robert Parker did for us) we can now find out about  different styles, about different varieties and different regions all at the touch of a button- yes it truly is a wonderful age to live! So this brings me onto one final point… A lot of ye will already have heard of him… some of you may not have but he’s definitely worth checking out… Gary Vaynerchuk! This is the ultimate example of how powerful a tool the internet is if its done right! Now some say he’s a little annoying but to be fair the guy is passionate, he knows his stuff and he does his best to present it in the most humourous and light-hearted way! And trust me I’ve seen a fair few of these wine video bloggers and the vast majority of them will do nothing short of send you straight to sleep! So essentially the info is out there now- if you want it! And the only way for the power to truly be with the consumer is if they know what they want- so if you like wine then take the time to learn about it! Its well worth it!

Easter Lamb and Wine

Leave a comment

It Easter once again and that means lamb, and for once we bow our heads to tradition, Lamb is best, no MUST be served with red wine. To throwing  a bottle of chilled white, pink or sparkling wine on the table; is to do neither the wine or the lamb justice, it will just taste WRONG.

Serve me with a lovely silky Rioja

Easter Being a time for a treat why not splash and treat oneself to a Special red for Easter Lunch maybe a Paulliac or St. Estephe or a Rioja Gran Reserva, but what ever you serve be sure its red and have that lamb jump for Joy!!

Wine from our Bailout Buddies

Leave a comment

We have been a big fan of Portuguese wines for a while now, and with the bailout out expanding to our Iberian friends maybe its time we tried a few of their excellent wines. Portugal like Italy has many indigenous varieties and makes full use of them.

Most people are familiar with Port the fortified wine produced in Northern Portugal from vine yards along the Duoro/Duero river. And many people have tried cheap and cheerful Vinho Verde while on holidays there but Portugal really does have some classy wines produced in regions like Douro and the rather expansive and hot Alentejo region.

The Alentejo is the heart of Portugal, centrally located with rolling hills pushed up against the border with Spain (who may yet Join the bailout gang). This broad, relatively sparsely populated region has historically, been an agricultural region so the lands were ready to be switched over to vines. The area is a blend of modern techniques and ideas with tradition still to the fore front. Indigenous grapes like Argonez and Touriga Nacional grow side by side with Syrah and Cabernet, and all are used together to produce some impressive and robust reds, perfect for your Average Irish spring, with both rain and sunshine playing hide and go seek.
 
Our recommendations is the excellent Herdade dos Grous Tinto, a blend of 30% Alicante Bouschet, 35% Argonez (Tempranillo), 20% Touriga Nacional and 15% Syrah. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 9 months. 

Win a bottle of Prosecco!

Leave a comment

To win a bottle of Prosecco just go to our facebook page   www.facebook.com/pages/thomas-woodberry-wines an answer the question posed. The winner will be drawn at random this evening friday 8 April at 6.50pm. And you can collect the bottle in store. The competition is open to all however you must have a way to collect the bottle from us in the shop. Sorry.  

Older Entries