Return of the Shiraz

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If there is one red variety Australia does, it’s Shiraz, but to often all Aussie Shiraz is tar with the same brush – big alcoholic fruit bombs. Part  of the reason we love Shiraz comes down to its vibrant fruity notes dark and red berries and plummy notes, it is general voluptuous and smooth with the wines on the cheaper end offering much more sweet fruit notes.  But is simply note a one size fits all variety. The variety produces various different styles depending on the region it is grown in the most famous two being Barossa and McLaren Vale. But it also inspires in  wines from many other regions where the climates vary extraordinarily and hence the styles do as well – think cool climate like NSW’s Orange and SA’s Adelaide Hills.

Generally speaking here’s what to expect

  • Barossa is big and bold flavours and body.
  • McLaren Vale  tends to a bit lighter with earthy and mocha notes.
  • Clare Valley tends to berry flavours with hints of Mint and Eucalyptus and again a medium to full style.
  • Orange is a beacon for producing cool climate wines of finesse and elegance in an old world style. Rich plum, and dark berries with pepper notes.
  • Adelaide hills another cool climate district that produces refined Shiraz with red berry flavours and cracked pepper notes.

But these are so general to be easily ignored, as  the individual wine makers look to craft unique interpretation of their own.

Three to try


1) O’Leary Walker Shiraz 2010 €19.95

A blend of 70% Clare Valley Fruit with 30 % McLaren Vale. Showing blueberries and blackberries of Clare with a little under one-third McLaren Vale Shiraz to rev it up. Mocha, dark fruits and oak on a firm palate, fine tannin profile promises this wine will age gracefully.

2) Logan Shiraz 2009 €21.95

Hailing from the cool Orange region. The Logan 2009 Shiraz is a deep but bright red colour. The intensely perfumed aroma has mixed berries, white pepper, dried woody herbs and Chinese 5 spice characters. The medium bodied palate has flavours of red berries, plums and tarragon before a long spicy finish.

3) Yalumba ‘Galway Vintage’ Shiraz 2011 €17.95

This Shiraz shows all the hallmarks of a traditional Barossa Red. It has a bright colour with crimson hues. There are aromas of mulberries, ground spice and liquorice all sorts that speak of its varietal and regional origins. The palate is ripe and generous with flavours of mulberries, dark chocolate and hints of beetroot. It finishes with cocoa powder like tannins that give evenness and generosity to the wine.

Verona – A wine lovers delight.

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A map of Bardolino & Valpolicella showing the location of Monte Zovo's 2 Estates

A map of Bardolino & Valpolicella showing the location of Monte Zovo’s 2 Estates

Veneto is one of the top regions in Italy for wine production, the area includes 20 DOC Zones and with in the region some of the best known DOC are located around the city of Verona. Bardolino, on the shores of Garda Lake, Valpolicella a little further to the East, and Soave further East still.The regions around Verona and lake Garda produce some of the most sought after wines including the rich and powerful Amarones, fresh and crisp Lugana and Soave whites and easy-going Bardolinos and Valpolicellas.  The importance of winemaking in this region can be seen by the creation in 1885 of the very first Italian school for vine growing and oenology. Also, Veneto was the first region to create a strada del vino or “wine road”. This wine-touring road features special road signs providing information on vines and the wines they are destined to become.

Our favourite producer in these parts is Monte Zovo, a relatively new winery founded in 2000 but owned by a fourth generation wine grower, the winery has vineyards in Bardolino and Valpolicella where the produce most of their reds from and some small holdings in Lugana to the south of Lake Garda, which they use to produce an excellent Lugana. The are also one of a small number of producers who still make Recioto della Valpolicella, a sweet wine made using the grapes that would be destined for the more expensive Amarone wines.

Here are some of our Favourites from Monte Zovo

1)  Monte Zovo Ca’Linverno Rosso 2009, Verona, Italy    Was: €20.95 Now: €17.95

Ca’linverno Rosso Veronese is a unique wine which born from an idea of Diego Cottini, Monte Zovo’s founder. It is the result of a long and exact production, invented more than 20 years ago by the Cottini Family. The grapes; Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara are dried in a two steps divided drying process. The first step is a period of natural drying upon vine, until the middle of November. The second step is drying inside natural conditioned rooms, as in the traditional straw mat method. Twenty-four months of ageing, in French oak barrels, complete the production process of this Rosso Veronese.  Balanced, vigorous and complex in its flavours this wine spreads the passion of the Family who created it. Love Ripasso then this is a must try!!

2)  Monte Zovo Valpolicella DOC 2012, Verona, Italy      Was: €14.95 Now: €12.50

A classic able to satisfy the demands of all kinds of wine drinkers. It originates from the noble lands of a centuries-old estate that lies east of Verona and once belonged to the marquises Maffei. Today it is the property of the Cottini family, who carefully select the grapes in the vineyard, scrupulously following a quality control procedure based on low yield and respect for the natural qualities of the grapes and wine obtained from them. After harvesting, the grapes are swiftly fermented so they are able to become a fresh wine with characteristic cherry aromas in harmony with all the taste components of the wine. Monte Zovo Valpolicella is very much one of a kind, a wine able to make any occasion truly unforgettable.

3)  Monte Zovo ‘Le Civaie’Lugana 2012, Verona, Italy      Was: €17.95 Now: €14.95

Trebbiano di Lugana grapes, which are used to produce the Monte Zovo Lugana are carefully selected in the historical area of Lugana’s DOC following a strict selection process. Monte Zovo’s Lugana is characterized by great balance and quality thanks to the peculiar exposure of its vineyards and thanks to the peculiar characteristics of the ground on which its grapes grow, that is stony and rich. Its flavours and aromas are fresh flowers and citrus and stone fruits. Dry and bold, it is perfect combined with fish and seafood dishes.


Brr – Its time for Winter Reds

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The temperature according to the iPhone is 4c out there. Time to uncork a couple of those wonderful winter reds and light up the fire! We’ve a couple of favs when it comes to winter reds below are top 3.

1) Monte Zovo Ca’Linverno Rosso – Big brooding Ripasso style red from Verona with a dollop of Cabernet added to the blend that gives a nice raisiny spice edge that reminds you the days are closing it. Trust us once you go Ca’Linverno you won’t go back. We highly recommend this with a bit of dark choc. €20.95 reduced to €17.95 until Dec 31st. Save €3

2) Yalumba Scribbler Cabernet Shiraz – Winter warmers like BBQ wines are generally big robust and flavoursome, all three qualities of the excellent Scribbler. Silky smooth palate that is bursting with juicy red cherry and spicy fruits. Soft and elegant with a lovely long finish. €21.95 reduced to €18.95 until Dec 31st. Save €3

3) Blue Cutting Road Cabernet Merlot – It wouldn’t be winter/Christmas @Woodberrys without this old favourite!! This wine has got it all big warming flavours wrapped up in a palate that is as smooth as hammered silk! Blackberry, blackcurrant turkish delight notes to beat the band. Don’t believe us try it!!! €14.95 reduced to €12.50 until Dec 31st.

From the mind of Diego Cottini – Ca’linverno Bianco Veronese

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The idea for the Ca’linverno White wine, was born from the mind of Diego Cottini, owner and winemaker at Monte Zovo. While Diego has produced a wonderful Ca’linverno Rosso from dried Veronese grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon for some years now,this is his first vintage of Ca’linverno Bianco. Born of the same experimentation and intuition. The wine is the result of a blend of aromatic white grapes, Sauvignon Blanc and the much maligned Muller Thurgau, joined with Garganega grapes the main grape of Soave.

These wines are then allowed to dry on the vine, a technique devised by Diego Cottini and up until now only applied in the production of Ca’linverno Rosso wines.The grapes that go in to the making of  this wine originate in the vineyards higher than many others near Verona and are left to fully mature on the vine branch.

The wine is requires about 20 minutes to breathe when opened, something we would recommend for bolder whites under cork. But once it opens up it has a bright juicy citrus and tropical fruits with a streak of minerality and hints of white blossom, bitter almond and stone fruits. The palate is on the full side;  generous, revealing apricots, citrus fruits, flowers and minerality. Generous acidity and a rich texture enforce the elegant finish this wine has. 

Movember @ Woodberrys

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As some of the more eagle-eyed customers in over the last few days may have noticed some thing has change about Tadhg’s appearance and no he didn’t get a hair cut – he did lose some hair however! We have signed up for Movember all three of us and you can help us in our charitable endeavour by donating to team Woodberrys here.

We are also going to donate €0.50 from every bottle sold this November to a collection of Mental Health Charities. Given recent tragic circumstances in Galway we look to do what we can do for our local community, and if that means resembling Tom Selleck (We kill for his mustache at the minute) for the month, so be it. It is important that everyone has a voice, and one which is heard. Our aim in Thomas Woodberrys is to enhance the awareness of mental health and raise some much-needed funds for the relative agencies.

Winter Wine Fair is Back!

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Some of Last Years Spannish Line Up
The Annual Woodberrys Wine Fair is Back!

Picture Wine Fair 2012

Woodberrys Annual Winter Wine Fair takes place on Friday, 29th of November, from 5.00pm to 9.00pm.

This is our biggest tasting session of the year and not to be missed. We’ll be tasting 100 or so of the best wines available in Ireland today! We advise three tours of the room the white walk, the red run and sparkling and fortified shuffle at the end. As always it’s an informal affair where you can try the wines and ask us if you need any extra info. This is a great chance to try some of the new wines that have arrived over the last year or even last few weeks.

The tasting will be in the beautiful Connemara Suite in The Meyrick Hotel, centrally located on Eyre Square, with the Christmas Market out front, Buses to get you to and from the Hotel right at hand and a spacious car park right beside the hotel in the Old CIE bus yard.

The Vitals: Picture 2 Wine Fair 2012

Friday 29th November 5pm-9pm

Connemara Suite, Meyrick Hotel

Tickets: €15 or 2 for €25

For any further information or queries drop us an email, or give us a call on 091-533706

2013 Novello has Arrived

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Vino Novello, Italian for ‘young wine’, is a light, fruity, red wine produced throughout Italy. Novello is similar to its French cousin Beaujolais Nouveau in taste, body and color, but is produced using multiple grape varieties with a more liberal fermentation process. Novello is officially released for sale November 6. Vino Novello is lightweight with low alcohol content (usually not more than 11 or 12%) and with sweet and fruity aromas. The wine is made to be drunk young, Novello does not have tannins. In some places in Italy, tradition says the last day to consume Novello is “I Giorni della Merla”, the days of the blackbird, said to be the coldest day of the year (29th-31st January), but the wine can be drunk right through the spring if one chooses. Vino Novello is made from a different process than normal red wines, called Carbonic Maceration. Although many experts criticize the process, Carbonic maceration is a technique of wine making by accelerating the fermentation process, developed in France in the ’30s. The grapes are placed in large barrels or vats. They are then closed off and the oxygen is eliminated by pumping in CO2. The natural yeast migrate from the skin of the grapes into the pulp looking for water and oxygen and the fermentation takes place. The fermentation process for producing Novello is about 20 days. The whole bunches are placed within a designated 50 to 70 hl tubs, in which after producing a vacuum of air is blown CO2 at 30 degrees Celsius for 7–14 days. The clusters that are located on the bottom of the tanks are crushed by the mass of grapes and release the juice. Yeasts indigenous to the pulp from the peel migrate in search of oxygen and water, triggering a process of intracellular fermentation. At the end of the cycle, the ‘red wine’ is slightly crushed and further fermented for 3-4 days. The minimum alcohol content is 11%, the deadline for bottling is 31 December of the same vintage year.

We have 20% off Antonutti’s Vino Novello 2013 €14.95 reduced to €11.96

Or you can buy 6 for €70.00

My Funky Monte Zovo Corvina

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The title is an homage to a very Famous turkeys – Parody of a song.  Diego Cottini, wine maker of Monte Zovo has always had in mind a tribute to the prince of  grapes of Valpolicella, Corvina Veronese. That is what this wine is a tribute. Vinified alone, after a thorough manual sorting, gives the nose aromas of plum, black cherry, sour cherry and blackberry. Due to its natural structure of the Corvina gives great texture in the mouth and good alcohol. 12 months of aging in oak barrels conclude the process of this special wine that goes well with red meat dishes, roasts and cheeses.

 CURRENTLY ON OFFER @ €13.56 A SAVING OF 20% (€16.95)





Tadhg’s Treats

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Tadhg's Treats

Our water themed wet friday Riesling treats. Enjoy them with all manner of seafood and shellfish. They work great with Thai inspired dishes too.

Logan Wine Dinner With Kappa Ya

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First up a big thank you to Junichi, Marty and all next door in Kappa Ya for a great evening. The food was top class and matched every one of Peter’s wines beautifully. Below is a copy of the Menu and tasting note on the wine.


Fresh Oyster with Ponzu & Daikon radish sauce with hint of Kanzuri

Weemala Brut N.V.

A fun pairing to kick-start the evening; this lovely fresh sparkling wine compliment the spicy fresh oysters


Kombu marinated Lemon sole Sashimi and Wakame salad.

Weemala Riesling 2012

Many people’s favourite combination, sashimi not sushi is raw fish and the Lemon sole was pickled nicely in the kombu, the Riesling was a great match fresh and vibrant. But what would we expect from the wine that was vote best Riesling in Oz @ last years Summer of Riesling. Lime blossom nose with lemon sherbet palate.

 Mini open sandwich of breaded deep-fried Pork & fresh Cabbage salad with Fruits sauce.

Weemala Pinot Gris 2011

Again another competitor for best dish and the Pinot Gris held its own nicely with its pear and apple notes matching well to the pork and fruit sauce.

Chicken Sushi and fresh Greens.

Logan Chardonnay 2011

Not a favourite dish for many but the wine was a winner it match really well with the Teriyaki chicken sushi and was in demand for refills. Very elegant a fresh style that has only a 50% oak aging to mellow it out a bit nice crisp crunchy apple and stone fruit flavours with a hint of vanilla.

Irish Smoked Mackerel with Grated Daikon radish and Watercress.

Weemala Pinot Noir 2011

 The shock red of the evening everybody loved this combination and the smoked local mackerel converted many a mackerel nay sayer. Light and fruity red with love fresh cherry and raspberry and hint of spice on the finish.

Irish Beef Steak and Chips with Kappa-Ya original dressing.

Weemala Shiraz -Viognier 2009

 Funky is the name of the game with this wine using 100% wild yeast it has a bouquet of raspberry and violets with spice. Full rounded palate with sour cherry and bitter currant and lovely silky mouth feel a nice twist on the classic Shiraz Viognier.

Bluefin Tuna belly steak with rich cream, blue cheese and Miso sauce.

Logan Cabernet Merlot 2009

 Tuna steak outshone the more traditional beef in people’s opinions, and the Cabernet Merlot along with the Chardonnay proved to be the star wines. Big bold juicy blackberry nose. The palate is to die for soft and supple yet powerful and concentrated.

Kouji Malted Rice and Ginger Ice-cream and Sicilian Lemon Sorbet with Earl Grey Chiffon Cake.

Logan Moscato 2010

 The cake stole the show here, the ice cream and Moscato played second fiddle and complimented it beautiful. The hint of fizzante in the semi sweet moscato uplift the dish and the flavours of lime, orange zest and ginger worked beautiful.



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