Galway Food Festival Program

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Easter is once again upon us, meaning we’re closed this Friday, but to make amends we’re running a bunch of tastings and events in the shop.

On Thursday 24th we will kick off with our Game of Rhônes blind tasting from 6pm-8pm.

Our tastings kick-off again at 11am on Saturday 26th with our To Rioja and Beyond Spanish tasting.

This tasting will be run 4 times on Saturday at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.

We will also have an Italian Tip to Toe tasting running at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

And if you have room left for a glass or two Saturday night why not call into our popup wine bar between 8pm and 10pm.

We look forward to seeing you over food festival and wish you all a happy Easter.

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Australia Day Suggestions

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While Australian wines are going from strength to strength i terms of quality and regional diversity, we have noticed that a great may people have given up on finding that new or exciting bottle from among the ranks of our Aussie selections. They all seem to believe its all about over oaked Chardonnay or big fruit bombs of Shiraz. Well hopefully this post will change your mind we’ve selected 3 of our favourite Aussie wines that move from the classic ingrained idea of what Aussie wine is.

Weemala Tempranillo1) Weemala Tempranillo 2012, Mudgee

Delightful aromas of sarsaparilla, tobacco, red berries and cherries. the palate is robust but not heavy with a gentle kiss of vanilla and red cherry fruit on the finish. An interesting take on the Spanish classic variety Tempranillo.

 

2) Logan Pinot Noir 2013, Orange Logan Pinot Noir

This red pours a beautifully brick red with deeper hues of crimson towards the centre. Soft, silky flavours of red berries and cinnamon spice over perfumed aromas of cherry, chinotto and dried herbs. Beats many a burgundy in terms of quality and drinkablity even at twice it’s price.

 

 3) O’Leary Walker ‘Polish Hill River’ Riesling 2013, Clare Valley

OLW Polish Hill Riesling

Produced using organically grown fruit from the picturesque Polish Hll River sub district of the Clare Valley. This is a delightfully seamless white wine with good backbone and aromas of honey blossom, lime and a mineral delicacy. the palate is very fine and long and drinks like a tight Sancerre.

Wine & Food Dinner

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Check out a great night of food & wine in Trattoria Magnettii including our very own import from Cantine Rivera. Trattoria-ad-A3

Notes From Wine School Week 1 France

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For Many centuries the big name wines of the world were from the classic wine regions of France, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone Valley. While many have discovered the treats of Spain, Italy and Australia among others, the French have rallied and are now producing better wines particularly in the south of the Country. France is habitually among the world’s leading producers of wine in terms of volume produced! Meaning not all French wine is good in fact quite a lot of it is mediocre or just plain bad!

France’s main wine regions are Bordeaux in the South West, Burgundy in the centre near Lyon, the Rhone Valley to the South of there and the Loire Valley which follows the course of the river from Nantes in the west inland.

Bordeaux is perhaps the most famous region and it has given us the Grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec in reds and Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc in white. Many wines produced here tend to be called Chateau XXXX. This region, it may surprise you produces more wine than all of the continent of Australia. While dry tannic reds dominate here, there are many crisp dry whites along with some of the most famous Dessert wines, Sauternes. Many of the wines of Bordeaux are name after the small village where they come from e.g. Margaux, Pauillac and St. Émilion.

Next to Bordeaux in fame is Burgundy which boast the queen of white grapes Chardonnay as its primary grape and the fickle Pinot Noir as its red counterpart. As in Bordeaux the wines are named for the villages from which they hail. The super lean and minerally Chablis being a fine example of the French idea of Terroir – a sense of place- grown on chalky limestone soil this chardonnay tastes like no other. Almost all the wine produced in Burgundy is made from either the light and ethereal Pinot Noir or the terroir reflective Chardonnay. The most famous villages are located in the Cote d’Or while further south the Maconnais and Cote Chalonnaise produce more fruit driven styles.

Most producers here tend to label their wines after their family name with prefixes such as Domaine being commonly used. In the Southern part of Burgundy the area of Beaujolais is located, the wines made here are from the Gamay Grape variety and can be found labelled as Beaujolais, or again after their individual villages such as Fleurie, Brouilly and Morgan among others.

To the south again of Burgundy is the Rhone Valley an area that stretches along the river Rhone south from Lyon to Avignon. The northern half of the Valley is famous for its Syrah based wines, in fact most of the famous appellations here allow only Syrah and maybe in rare case some Viognier. Famous appellations here include Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas, and St. Joseph in the reds and Condrieu in the white.

While most Cotes Du Rhone wines come from the Southern Rhone, the area also has some notable appellations such as Vacqueryas, Lirac, Rasteau and the ever popular Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Most of the southern Rhone reds are based on a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, the wines of Chateauneuf can include up to 13 grape varieties including 5 white grapes such as Rousanne.

The Loire Valley is the final of the big four wine producing areas and itself is divided into 4 distinct districts, the river mouth around Nantes where the Muscadet rules, the neighbouring areas of Anjou famous for its rosés, and Touraine which produces reds from the Cabernet Franc variety under the village names Chinon and Bourgueil as well as others along with delightful whites based on Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. One of the more famous Chenin Blanc appellations is Vouvray which can be off dry. Finally the upper Loire is home to the most famous appellations of Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé, (not to be confused with Pouilly Fuisse from the Macon), and Menetou Salon. While all these areas can produce rosé and even reds it’s their Sauvignon Blanc wines that people really enjoy.

 Other wine producing regions in France include Champagne which uses 2 red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier along with Chardonnay to produce the world’s most famous sparkling wines. Alsace on the German border and very influenced by its location as it mainly produces the German variety Riesling in various styles and Gewürztraminer along with some excellent Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio). Provence which is most famous for its rosé wines and the huge Languedoc and Roussillon which is most famous for vast litres of plonk but thanks to New World flying wine makers has been turning out some superb wines based on Syrah, Grenache and even Cabernet.

A note on Classification

There are 4 main classifications, the largest is AOC/AC which says where the wine come from and that it is made from the approved grapes e.g. Sancerre, Lirac, and Pomerol. The next is VIN délimité de qualité Supériuere VDQS which has similar restriction but is not as classified as AOC. Next is Vins de Pays VdP, which usually states where it is from e.g. Vins de Pays d’Oc and sometimes also the grape variety. Finally then you have Vins de Table which can be made of just about anything!

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September and that means School Time

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We’re hoping to kick off our first proper wine school this September, what we’ve come up with is a six week course running from mid to late September and finishing up the last week of October. We’ve got limited space in our cellar tasting room so places are limited to 10 people and the course will run every Thursday evening from 8pm-9.30pm.  This Wine Appreciation Course will give a comprehensive overview of the wines of the world. The various styles, grapes and regions of the major wine producing nations will be covered ( A few have been left aside this time due to timing sorry Argentina, Austria, Chile, Germany and South Africa).

Each evening we will sample a selection of wines, notes will be provide. (Should you wish detail information that can be provide also).

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, Mudgee Shiraz among others.

  • Introduction To New Zealand Wines

Much like Australia a country that boomed for one style of wine and is now looking to attract people with its regional distinct styles of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling.

  • 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 Portuguese Wines

A Fairly new entrant to the Irish market Portugal is fast become a customer favourite with its fruit driven stylish reds and crisp refreshing whites.

  • 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 an d only cover one region. Areas covered will be Barolo, 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. Dates and cost TBC for any further info please email tadhg@woodberrys.ie

School is in this June

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Get Schooled this June

The idea is very simple we are organising a series of tutored tastings this June starting rather favourably on Friday June 13th and every week Friday for the the following 3 weeks we will introduce a new wine producing country.

Places are limited to 10 persons each night, with light some cheese, nibbles and very importantly Water provided. The classes will take place in our newly refurbished cellar, from 7.30– 9.00 pm. Each week we will make a whistle-stop trip through that evenings chosen country.

The cost of Entry is €40 per night with discounts applicable if you are booking for more than one evening. Please email Tadhg for details (tadhg@woodberrys.ie).

Our June School tour includes the following destinations.

 Italy Tip to Toe

Friday June 13th @ 7.30pm

Discover the wonderful wines of Italy from Amarone to Primitivo. We will traverse Italy tasting some of the country’s finest wines including Barolo, Montalcino, Lugana and Gavi di Gavi. Italy is one of the great wine producing countries in the world and almost unrivalled in terms of sheer variety of wines and styles.

The New Old World 1: Portugal

Friday June 20th @ 7.30pm

There is a quiet revolution happening in Portuguese wine. Traditional viewed as the premier produce of fortified wines in the world the Portuguese have launched the wonderful reds and whites on an un-suspecting world. We will have a selection of wines for tasting from the Douro Valley the world’s oldest defined wine producing region to exciting wines from Lisbon and the south.

The New Old World 2: Austria

Friday June 27th @ 7.30pm

If Portugal is launching itself on an unsuspecting world then Austria is truly one of Europe and wines best kept secrets. With wonderful crisp whites and juicy fruit driven reds this is the place to try. If you are questing for those delightful wines around 12.5% then Austria should be where you look. Come along and sample their excellent Gruner Veltliners, crisp dry Rieslings and juicy Zweigelts.

Australia: more a wine Continent than wine Country!

Friday July 4th @ 7.30pm

We make no apologies for it we love Australia this large country can produce any style of wine found in Europe, because it is a big as Europe! However most people tend to ignore the varying styles produce all over this wonderful country because of a few limited experiences with the mass produced plonk that Australia also produces. We would like to introduce you to some regional diverse and truly interesting Artisan producers. Compare Barossa Shiraz to Clare Shiraz, Orange Pinot Noir to Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir.

Tickets for each evenings tasting school are €40 places limited to 10 person an evening.

Give Dad what he wants this Sunday

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We have a selection of Fine Wines on Offer this Friday & Saturday for Dad. So forget the novelty mug with ‘World’s best Dad’ that says you forgot it was Father’s Day, or the socks and ties which he most definitely has an abundance of and get him a great bottles of wine. We have put together the below selection and are offering 20% off this Weekend.

Logan ‘Ridge Of Tears’ Shiraz 2010, Mudgee, NSW, Australia          €32.95         €26.36

The darker of the two single vineyard Ridge of Tears wines. The alcohols may be identical yet the nose is sweeter too, sweeter fruited and almost more conventional in its dark berry form. It tastes less ready too, more hulking, a wine that seems to have been squeezed into the bottle, and will need some cellaring before it is at its peak. The tannins are broader, the alcohol more prominent, the flavours bigger and easier to get your head around, more berried and sweeter through the middle.

Logan ‘Ridge Of Tears’ Shiraz 2010, Orange, NSW, Australia          €32.95         €26.36

Sourced from a vineyard sitting at 870m (which is very high for Shiraz), both this and the Mudgee wine had similar handling in the winery, the fruit basket pressed and hand plunged. It has a spice and fragrance to it that marks this as a wine of prettiness whilst the Mudgee wine is one of brawn. This could well be a Syrah to the other wines Shiraz. Still, it is a close-run thing. Bright ruby-red in the glass, the nose here is built upon black pepper and redcurrant fruit, set lightly but not without concentration behind it. The oak is well integrated – that is, it’s not obvious in any way – and spice dominates everything. That spice runs through the palate too, a line of dark leafiness to the slightly less serious fruit flavours. Light and shade once again. Tannins are firm, proper firm and slightly bitter (yet not unripe) and the acid noticeably high. A very good modern Australian red in terms of style, yet also just a very good Orange Syrah. For some raised on a diet of sweet inky Shiraz this will seem almost wimpy in its leafy daintiness, yet I can’t help but be attracted by the Pinot-esque delicacy. Should be even better as it puts on more weight in the bottle too.

Yalumba ‘Habermann Vineyard’ Grenache 2005, Barossa, Australia  €39.95         €31.96

From the Habermann vineyard, located on the corner of Basedow Road and Thiele Road, Tanunda, this block of Grenache was planted in 1972, and is grown on heavy textured grey to brown clays. These soils are generally cracking clays and therefore tend to have visible ‘cracks’ in summer. They are characterised by high vigour as they have a high water holding capacity and high nutrient content. This wine has a medium depth of red in colour with an aroma of red berry fruits and floral aromatics, combined with chocolate, cherry ripe, pepper and spices. The palate is fuller and denser with sweet fruit-confection middle – a complex, textured wine with chalky tannins to finish.

Bafarela Grande Reserve 2009, Douro, Portugal                             €24.95         €19.96

The Bafarela Grande Reserva is produced by Casa Brites Aguiar only in exceptional vintages. The 2009 was aged for 12 months in 500 litre French oak casks after fermentation. Intense, deep dark ruby colour. The nose offers distinct and complex floral aromas. In the mouth, it is precise and well-rounded with seductive obvious fruit flavours compliment by floral and mocha notes. Extremely well structured with dense yet fine tannins. The wine stands out more for its freshness rather than its concentration, and its long seductive finish.  The wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo).Bafarela Grande Reserva is a wine that encapsulates the elegance of one of the specialities of Casa Brites Aguiar at its best, only 15,100 bottles were produced.

Muller ‘Lagenreserve’ Gruner Veltliner 2011, Krems, Austria                   €26.95         €21.56

The 2011 Lagenreserve is a blend of the best Gruner Veltliner grapes from the Eichbuhel and Gottschelle vineyards. Aged in oak barriques for nearly a year giving this Gruner Veltliner a very white Burgundy quality. Light green-yellow in the glass, yellow apples in the nose, the palate reveals elegance and flavour of fresh spices; quite substantial, a convincingly long finish with superb fruit flavours.

Monte Zovo Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, Veneto, Italy             €32.95         €26.36

The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella boasts incredible richness and depth. Blackberry jam, graphite, smoke, licorice, tar and plums are beautifully integrated in this dark, seamless Amarone. Despite its considerable weight and density, the 2010 is accessible. Hints of truffle, tobacco and new leather wrap around the finish. A wine to enjoy rather than cellar.

Barale Barolo 2008, Piedmont, Italy                                              €32.95         €26.36

Sergio Barale delivers delicate and elegant wines with refined and complex aromas. Garnet-red in colour with ruby reflections. Intense perfume with clean scent of roses, vanilla, licorice, spices and toasted oak. Gentle notes of absinth and tobacco. The flavour is full and elegant, good-bodied and austere with recurring olfactory sensations. The spicy note and the hints of wood blend perfectly.

Domaine Giuliani Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009, Rhone, France         €29.95         €23.96

The delicious 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre – from vines averaging over fifty years of age and situated on their finest property. It is a deep ruby red and aromas of ripe raspberries, cherries, cassis, smoke, garrigue and spice positively leap from the glass. In the mouth it is certainly not a timid wine. The red and black fruit persist joined by raisins, liquorice and just a hint of pepper. It is full, round, supple, and elegant and long – everything a fine, young Châteauneuf du Pape should be.

Closerie Des Alisiers Vaucoupin 1er Cru Chablis 2010, Burgundy, France    €28.95         €23.16

Premier Cru Chablis from the famed Vaucoupin vineyard. This wine is from the outstanding 2010 vintage and displays floral notes on the nose, with fruit driven hints enhanced by intense mineral notes and lightly smoky touches. A note of honeyed citrus fruit has developed with bottle age. Very rounded on the palate, but also full-bodied yet elegant. This is a delightfully classic premier cru Chablis.

Gaudium Reserva Rioja Gran Vino 2004, Rioja, Spain                      €54.95         €43.96

Dark ruby red colour. Intense, fruity bouquet brings to mind aromas of red currants, raspberries and wild strawberries. On the nose it is lively, complex and aromatic, where subtle notes of pleasant fruit mingle with a delicate touch of oak. Fleshy and delicious in the mouth, its powerful structure and soft tannins reveal a pleasant fullness. A well-balanced wine showing splendid class, which is already drinking very well, while promising to age superbly.

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