Bottega Prosecco

Tony Hodges introduced this on his weekend visit.

A great weekend starting with a visit to the Fishshack for supper. Having narrowly avoided a trip to Mountjoy (sold out!) we then visited Ryans of Parkgate Street, Collins Barracks, The Weston for Tea, The Abbey and had a nice meal in Nicos.

The prosecco, described as Il Vino dei Poeti was lovely, fresh with soft bubbles and almond nut.

This was the house wine in Nicos, a 2013 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Cerulli Spinozzi.

Reliable background music to the super food.

Lupi Reali, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2012

Lupi Reali Montepulciano 180414


Dad brought a few bottles of this Real Wolf to Sunday lunch and we offered it to the Ashmores, Bruce and Carol, on Good Friday.

A lovely Montepulciano, smooth, earthy without being gritty. Blueberries and Blackberries, a little Mint.

Well made – nice structure and finish.

Not sure if being organic adds to the flavour but we could howl at the Moon about this all night.

The wolves still roam this part of Abruzzo – which has the look of land that time has forgotten, high up between two National Parks which they like to call “the other Abruzzo” – the full story here:

A delicious find in Nectar Wines in Sandyford. About €17.

Lupi Reali Montepulciano b

Gran Sasso, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Vendemmia 2012, Beaufield Mews


Having received a €10 off voucher with the promise of a €20 set menu whilst sitting in traffic in Stillorgan,

Lesley and I took up the offer following an early evening visit to Dundrum to see Captain Philips (****).

The decor of the Beaufield Mews, with the upstairs re-badged as the Loft hasn’t really changed in years

but we had a very nice set menu served with good grace even though the set menu time had passed

and enjoyed this Montepulciano from Gran Sasso made by Faranese Vini  in Ortona.

Fresh, slightly sweet, lots of Cherry and Blackcurrant.

€25 on the carte.


We spit so you don’t have to …

… writes Ernie Whalley in last week’s Sunday Times 2013 Wine Companion, an insert in the July 14th edition.


110 wines tasted and reviewed.

Can’t say I disagree with the methodology or even with most of the tasting comments, though I have heard a few of them before.

In fact, I think Whalley’s Terroir notes are quite good.

What strikes me is the types and status of wines tasted and promoted by a mass middle market ‘Quality’ Sunday Newspaper.

Not to mention the vast value for money producing regions and territories completely ignored by a Wine ‘companion’.

Puglia. Loire Valley. Sardinia. Anyone?

A quick tot reveals that it would cost almost €2500 to stock your cellar with just one of each of the 110 bottles.

Yielding an average cost of €22.33 per bottle tasted.


A hefty wedge for a bottle of wine.

For which you would, not unreasonably, expect the wine to rate in the top Decile.

At these prices, swallow, don’t spit.

As one of my sisters in law says, there’s no need to spend more than a tenner a bottle in the off-trade these days, even with our tyrannical excise duty and VAT on wine.

Certainly for everyday drinking, given the many promotions and competition between the multiples.

For special occasions – and perhaps this is what the Sunday Times is aiming for, like its Michelin 3 Star  AA Gill restaurant reviews – OK perhaps, but it smacks to me of: we have a great idea; let’s set up a wine club; review the wines the shippers will give us the best deals on; get a local hack on board; flog the hell out of it – the more expensive the better – the more we’ll make.


Me, perhaps.

The Sunday Times, yes.

Maybe we should all spit.