Common Myths About Wine

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Getting your facts right

Whether you are a complete novice or a well-educated wine enthusiast, you may have come across some common myths about wine. Some have a smidgen of truth to them and some are based on superstitious beliefs. Here are a few common beliefs about wine and whether they are fact or myth.

1)      Screw top wines denote lower quality, MYTH

Many traditionalists think that because a wine has a screw top cap instead of cork it might be inferior.  This probably came from the idea that, the very first winemakers to produce wine on a large scale came from old world countries like France, Italy, and Spain. In these countries where traditional methods are followed for hundreds of years and many family generations meant that the use of corks have been associated with ‘top quality’. However due to advancing technologies, using a screw cap provides more reliability as there is no chance for the wine to become ‘corked’. That is not to say that corked wines are lesser than screw cap. They both have their pros and cons. Screw cap – prevents oxidisation and keeps the flavours of the wine fresher and vibrant for longer; cork – allows wines to age and develop over a long period of time, but runs the risk of being spoiled by the cork itself.

2) A silver spoon will keep your bottle of fizz fresh, MYTH

credit http://www.winefolly.com

Placing a silver spoon in the top of a bottle of sparkling wine does not keep it fizzy. The idea behind this is that since the silver spoon is a good conductor, it will stay colder and as a result, would keep the fizz colder and help to retain carbonation. However, this is no more than superstitious belief as the spoon does not stop the process of depressurisation. The only way that can make your sparkling wine last longer is to use a champagne stopper which prevents the air escaping or a vacuum stopper which removes the air inside the bottle and keeps the bottle pressurised.

3)      “Organic wines” are healthier, MYTH

Much like organic foods, the nutritional values of organic wines are pretty much the same as ordinarily grown wines. The only difference is in the way the grapes are grown and cultivated. Organic wines are made from grapes without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilisers and results in being more environmentally friendly. A similar belief is that organic wines do not give hangovers as they have less sulphites. All wines contain trace amounts of sulphites (a little more may be added) and they are what keep them from spoiling and allow wines to be aged for long periods of time. In fact there are even everyday product that contain sulphites such as dried fruits, potatoes, maraschino cherries, yet very few people suffer headaches from these products. If you keep getting hangovers and headaches from drinking wine, keep an eye on the alcohol level. A higher ABV level will have much more impact on how you feel than whether a wine has sulphites.

These are only a few misconceptions surrounding wine and there are no doubt many more. Make sure you have done your research to better understand wine and to help to pick a wine that you would not have otherwise chosen due to superstitious belief.

Learning Wine One Glass At a Time

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unnamedAs a novice to wine culture it can be very daunting to learn all the technicalities such as the geography, terminology and even the varieties of grapes is so huge. Nevertheless if you really open yourself up to the experience of tasting wine, the knowledge will follow, one glass at a time. I, myself have been a bartender for most of my career and know many things spirits and cocktails, however wine is so vast and complex I never gave it a chance to learn more until now.

This week I will be learning about Peique Tinto Mencia (2018) from the region of El Bierzo, Spain. Located about three hours northwest of Madrid, the terrain is mostly hilly and so the grapes are hand-harvested. The Mencia grapes are grown on vines between forty five and fifty five years of age on clay and sandy soil which surprisingly comes through in the tasting of the wine. Currently, it is run by Bodegas Peique with Jorge, Mar and Luis Peique looking after the whole operation.

The wine itself gives off a beautiful deep ruby colour. The aromas include hints of red fruit on the nose. Tasting notes include slight acidity at first which then evolves into a nice dry earthiness with subtle notes of blackberry in the background, before finishing with nice and easy tannins.  Medium bodied, overall a genuinely nice bottle of wine for those who enjoy dry and earthy notes in a red. A new drinker of wine, there is no need to over-complicate flavours. See what you can taste by comparing it to flavours you had before. If you have a bad memory like myself, jot down your tasting notes so you can compare it to futures wines.

Beat the January Blues with a little wine Education!

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Wine School 2

An informal and fun way to discover a whole world of wine!

€160 for 6 Weeks Limited to 8 Places

This course runs for 6 weeks, one evening per week, starting on Tuesday 2nd of October. The Wine Appreciation Course will give a comprehensive overview of the wines of the world. The various styles, vintages and the relationship of food and wine will all be covered. Each evening we will sample a selection of wines, notes will be provide. (Should you wish detail information that can be provide also) Each Class begins promptly at 7.30 pm and will run for one hour and half.

The next course, will begin at 7.30 on Tuesday January 28th, and will run every Tuesday until Tuesday 3rd of March.

Wine School Key Features:

  • Basic tasting techniques including putting words to wine
  • Tasting the major grape varieties
  • Discovering your favourite styles of wine

The Tasting Schedule

Introduction to French Wines

Introducing the various styles, grapes and wine philosophies of the leading wine producing country in the world. It starts from basics and it covers France’s principal wine regions and grapes.

Introduction To Australia & New Zealand

Australia is country that is emerging from a bit of an identity crisis, now looking to produce regionally distinct wines. We reckon Australia has never made better wines. New Zealand has nailed it’s flag to great Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Come and sample Clare Riesling, Marlborough Sauvignon among others.

Introduction To Argentinean, Chilean and South African Wines

Much like Australia these countries that boomed for one style of wine and are now looking to attract people with their regionally distinct styles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc,  Malbec, Carmenere, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Introduction to Spanish & Portuguese Wines

Spain the trendiest wine country at the minute. This course will acquaint you with Rioja, Rueda and Rias Baixas along with Tempranillo, Albarino and Garnacha. Portugal long in the Shadow of it’s bigger neighbour produces some stunning  Vinho Verde and Douro reds.

Introduction To Austria & Germany

Germany and Austria are fast become a customer favourites with their fruit driven stylish reds and crisp refreshing whites. This week is the one that surprises most!

Introduction to Italian Wines

This will introduce you to some of the major wine regions of Italy, a country that we could focus a whole six week course on and only cover one region. Areas covered will be Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany.

Places can be booked by emailing tadhg@woodberrys.ie or alternatively by calling 091-533706

A Rioja for all occasions: wine tasting

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9-1494360416Join us for Spanish wine tasting on Friday October 18th between 5pm and 7pm. Come and sample some great Rioja wine and their new competitors from Ribera del Duero, Jumilla and more as we travel along our very own wine road. We will be introducing some new

Entrance tickets are €5, which includes a €5 voucher redeemable against any wines purchased that weekend*. Tickets can be gotten here

*Voucher Valid until 20th October.

Back to school

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Wine School 2

An informal and fun way to discover a whole world of wine!

€160 for 6 Weeks Limited to 10 Places

This course runs for 6 weeks, one evening per week, starting on Tuesday 2nd of October. The Wine Appreciation Course will give a comprehensive overview of the wines of the world. The various styles, vintages and the relationship of food and wine will all be covered. Each evening we will sample a selection of wines, notes will be provide. (Should you wish detail information that can be provide also) Each Class begins promptly at 7.30 pm and will run for one hour and half.

The next course, will begin at 7.30 on Tuesday September 24th, and will run every Tuesday until Tuesday 29th of October.

Wine School Key Features:

  • Basic tasting techniques including putting words to wine
  • Choosing from a restaurant wine list
  • Tasting the major grape varieties
  • Discovering your favourite styles of wine

The Tasting Schedule

Introduction to French Wines

Introducing the various styles, grapes and wine philosophies of the leading wine producing country in the world. It starts from basics and it covers France’s principal wine regions and grapes.

Introduction To Australian Wines

A country that is emerging from a bit of an identity crisis, now looking to produce regionally distinct wines. We reckon Australia has never made better wines. Come and sample Clare Riesling, Orange Pinot and Mudgee Shiraz among others.

Introduction To Argentinean, Chilean & New Zealand Wines

Much like Australia these countries that boomed for one style of wine and are now looking to attract people with their regionally distinct styles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc,  Malbec, Carmenere, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Introduction To New Old World

Fairly new entrants to the Irish market Portugal and Austria are fast become a customer favourites with its fruit driven stylish reds and crisp refreshing whites. We will also take in a selection of German wines.

Introduction to Spanish Wines

Spain the trendiest wine country at the minute. This course will acquaint you with Rioja, Rueda and Rias Baixas along with Tempranillo, Albarino and Garnacha.

Introduction to Italian Wines

This will introduce you to some of the major wine regions of Italy, a country that we could focus a whole six week course on and only cover one region. Areas covered will be Piedmont, Valpolicella and Tuscany.

Places can be booked by emailing tadhg@woodberrys.ie or alternatively by calling 091-533706.

The course is sold as a complete 6 week course with full payment of €160 required to secure a place.

Sensational ‘Sanroc’

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sanroc_bolognani

Or biggest selling Gewürztraminer is the sensational Bolognani ‘Sanroc’.  The picture on the label is evocative of the “Bear of Vigolana”, which is a dark shape that appears on the snow-covered North Wall of the Vigolana mountain, which stands over the vineyard.

Sanròc: an exclusive vineyard on the South-Eastern hill of Trento, in San Rocco, on the edges of the Bindesi forest, bordering above, with the famous Aquiloni nature trail, which was specifically created to allow even partially-sighted persons to autonomously enjoy this natural oasis. The Sanròc is Bolognani’s premiere white, which is planted in rows (guyot) of only Gewürztraminer grapes, which they attentively grow caring for their environment. In mid-September the grapes are hand-picked and the best bunches selected to make into wine; the wine is then rested on its lees for eight to ten months, which highlights its character. It is bottled at the end of summer and after at least eight to ten months of ageing in bottle is released.

 

Intense and full of flavours such as rose water, lychee, orange blossom, melon and jasmine. While rich this wine is balanced by the fresh aromatic flavours. Ideal for fish-based platters, especially seafood, or simply on its own, to enjoy the flavour of a great white wine.

Normally €24.95 but currently on promotion with 20% at €19.96

La Dolce Vita – An evening of Italian Wine Tasting Evening

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Join us on what will hopefully be a sunny July evening for a tasting of some of the best Italian wines available in Ireland. We will have over 20 stunning Italian wines open from Alto Adige in the North all the way to Salento in the heel of Italy. Customer favourites like Pinot Grigio, Prosecco and Valpolicella, to exciting wines such as Traminer Aromatico, Vernatsch, and regions and styles making a comeback like Soave and Orvieto.

Tickets are €5 per person but are redeemable as a €5 off voucher on the night against purchases. Tickets can be booked here on Eventbrite.

Soave – a superb Summer sipper!

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Soave (“swah-vay”) is a small Italian village near Verona and Venice which is famous for its white wines made mainly from Gargenega grapes. It is full of citrus fruit flavours, like melon and it has a touch of almond. As great as Soave is, and it is great as a Summer sipper it is much maligned by years of cheap bulk crap served in Italian restaurants in Ireland!

Coffele‘s delightful Castel Cerino Soave Classico exuberantely draws in the taster, keeping its excellent harmony and elegance. With the passing of each year, its youthful quality changes and becomes more mineral in the flavour and complex in the taste. Exclusively from their  organic hillside vineyards in Castel Cerino, in the heart of the historic Soave Classico zone, which range between 490-1470 feet above sea level.

Coffele-CastelCerino_2018

The wine is a brilliant, straw yellow, with hints of green when young. The aromas are subtle and fresh, suggesting white flowers, from hawthorn to cherry blossoms, underpinned by fresh apple, white plum, sage, and minerals. On the palate, the wine is dry, with structure and good balance. The long finish has attractive almond notes. Makes an ideal aperitif. Also perfect with fish and shellfish. Goes very well with delicate pasta dishes, especially risotto with peas or asparagus. €17.95

 

 

Grüner Silvaner – The Hipster Grape!

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2018-gruener-silvaner-gutswein-qba-weingut-juergen-hofmann-dfbGrüner Silvaner is making a comeback. Best known as a component of Liebfraumilch and production boomed in the 1970s to the detriment of quality. But now its on the way back like vinyl and vintage clothing. he white variety is amongst the oldest cultivated vines in Europe, and is known as the Sylvaner in Austria and Switzerland, and Silvaner in Germany. The crossing is Traminer x Österreichisch Weiß, and is often called the ‘Österreicher’, or Austrian. Yields neutral to fruity wines. Aged versions usually show an expression of gooseberry.

 

The Hofmann Grüner Silvaner 2018 offers fresh notes of citrus fruits, herbs and a touch of spice lead to a bright and zesty palate with lots of orchard fruit flavours. Green pear and crunchy red apple notes are perceived before a crisp and dry finish. A zesty and aromatic white that is excellent with fresh fish dishes and also vegetarian cheese quiches. 

Available here for €16.95

 

The New Arrivals: Areal Vinho Verde

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Quinta da Pousada is located in the sub-region of Vale do Ave in the heart of the Vinho Verde region. Owned by José Areal & family, Quinta da Pousada has 6 hectares of vineyards and is understood as a family farm, devoting itself diligently to produce high quality wines.  All oenological practices applied are intended to elevate the high quality wines. The Region of Vinho Verde is a region dominated by the influence of the Atlantic, creating a microclimate in the sub-region of Vale do Ave influencing very particularly the vineyards of Quinta da Pousada. The temperature does not show extreme values, resulting in a mild climate of not too cold winters with heavy rainfall and summers relatively dry and cool.

With vineyards of granitic sandy loam soil and South exposure it allows the correct number of hours of sunlight necessary for the best maturation of the grapes.The vineyards of Quinta da Pousada have a modern system of planting, acquiring more harmonious maturation and achieving wine of distinctive quality. In addition, the evolved technology used in the vinification process, ensures the strict protection of the typicality of the grapes.

Throughout the year there is an extreme care to preserve the vineyard. Defoliation is done regularly, but never in excess, allowing the grapes to breathe and absorb the sun without burning. There were significant investments starting with the vineyard (the most important for the quality of our wines) with the expansion of over 700 m² planted last year, then continue with the remodeling of the winery, a process of great dedication and passion and at the same time of continuous learning and improvement.

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Areal Vinho Verde 2018 €13.95

The Vinho Verde Areal – Colheita Seleccionada , our Selected Harvest, a blend of the 4 grape varieties Arinto, Loureiro, Trajadura and Alvarinho, presents citrine color and clear and bright look. At taste the flavor is delicate, hot and melodious.

arintosilverdwwa2018jpg.jpgAreal Arinto Vinho Verde 2018 €14.95

The Vinho Verde Areal – Arinto reveales on tasting a fresh, lively and persistent flavor. Outstanding mineral notes, with a very pretty nose of green apple and lemon. Presents a clear appearance with bright and citrus color. Very refreshing.

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