Single Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tuscany

Olive oil

Imagine a steak without salt.  Enjoyable, but missing something…. Drinking a top notch Italian wine without food falls into the same state of limbo. This was brought home to me yet again, at a Masterclass on Single Estate Extra Virgin Olive oil in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Dundrum, presented by David Gleave, MW, of Liberty […]

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Albariňo, anyone?

white wine & tapas

One of my favourite summer whites is Albariňo, thanks to its light body and fresh taste.  Its flavours are subtle and elegant – grapefruit, pear and peach are accented by a certain saltiness, reminiscent of a whiff of seashore.  It’s crisp rather than overtly acidic. Occasionally a feint spritz of carbon dioxide is left in […]

Outdoor eating & wine

white-wine

How is it that food tends to taste better outdoors?  Is it that fresh air works up an appetite, or that everyone helps out (for a change!).  Or that relaxing feeling of warm sun on your skin. Perhaps it’s that people linger and spend time with each other, rather than sloping off to watch TV […]

Wines for Christmas Day

turkey & wine

If you are part of a large gathering on Christmas Day, choose wines which will appeal to everyone, rather than anything too esoteric. Save your prized bottles for a quieter time, when you can appreciate them better, and not have to worry about excited children knocking over glasses! If you are having a fish starter, […]

Wine & Duck

duck & red wine

In Ireland we seem to shop from a very limited range of ingredients, with limited seasonal variation.  Duck has made a welcome debut to our stores, and is now widely available.  Much of it comes from Silver Hill, a family business based in Monaghan.   They employ over 150 people and process  60,000 ducks per week!   […]

Pork & Wine

pork & wine

It used to be said that pork should only be eaten if there is an ‘R’ in the month. I checked with my local butcher who assured me that this hasn’t been the case for many years. I then bought some man-size pork chops off the rib from him, which were juicy and delicious, a […]

Irish wine drinkers disappointed…

Pictured at Searsons Expert Series, Lulie Halstead (Wine Intelligence) and Maureen O'Hara (Premier Wine Training).

Lulie Halstead, Chief Executive of a leading international research company, Wine Intelligence, reports that Irish wine drinkers are disappointed when drinking wine in bars and restaurants.  Furthermore, it was revealed that Irish people drink wine in pubs and bars less often than their counterparts abroad, and are generally less willing to experiment with new wines. […]

Lamb & Wine

lamb

Terms such as Appellation Contrôlée are well-recognised for wines, but did you know that the EU gives special status to high quality foods which are deemed to be specific to certain regions? Lamb producers in Connemara proudly boast that the flavour is unique – a result of the hilly terrain, grasses, heathers and herbs, all […]

Matching wines with Salmon

salmon and wine

The best wine pairing for salmon? Growing up by the sea in the west of Ireland, we always enjoyed fresh wild salmon during the summer months. Years later I discovered that by pairing it with the right type of wine, it made a meal fit for a king. Nowadays, fresh wild salmon in Ireland is […]

Restaurant wine lists

Peter McCombie

Master of Wine, Peter McCombie recently convinced Irish restaurateurs to adopt lower profit margins on wine.   At a recent trade event hosted by Searsons, 1 out of 3 restaurateurs said they would consider cash margins rather than percentage margin, for premium-priced wines. Peter McCombie was the guest speaker on ‘Creating Profitable Wine Lists’.  He has […]