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Archive for September, 2009

Although there are good lunchtime deals on offer these days, it is still a fact that packing your own lunch will save you money; even my cat knows that.
By spending €2 on a morning coffee and €5 on lunch, you could potentially spend €1,800 a year. That’s €9,000 over five years and a possible €100,000 over a working lifetime.  Continue reading »

Robertfranciswine.ie keeps on keeping on in Cork
Following on from last weeks part one post I headed on from Fenns Quay to Bubble Brothers main shop at Marina Commerical Park,  just outside of cork city.  Continue reading »

Image from Irishtimes.com

Last Saturday’s Irish Times magazine had a small piece on an innovative new service from Dublin’s Cake Cafe: breakfast in bed delivered to your house.  The delivery costs €3.50 and they will deliver by bicycle to Dublin 2 or Dublin 8.  It’s a bit of a pre-recession style indulgence, but for an occasional treat it could be really lovely.  Continue reading »

A couple of Saturdays ago, Bubble Brothers were in Morton’s of Ranelagh, Dublin, to open a few bottles and meet the customers. Morton’s fly the flag for us in Dublin by keeping a selection of our wines and also the very popular iKi beer.
On this occasion, however, we were able to lend proceedings a Spanish flavour. We were joined by Enrique García, the ever-cheerful export manager of Bodegas Pingón, our suppliers in the Ribera del Duero in north central Spain.  Continue reading »

Lar Veale is at it again with his trusty camera – this time John McDonnell of Wine Australia helps describe the meaning and significance of Australia’s regional heroes.
Wine Australia will have a stand at the Good Wine Show in November, so you’ll have the opportunity to conduct you’re very own Q&A!

Click on “Australia’s Regional Heroes” tag below, and then scroll down to catch up on our ongoing ‘Regional Heroes’ series.  Continue reading »

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Just got a message from one of the researchers on RTÉ’s The Restaurant. At the moment they are looking for diners for the next series of the television show. If you’re interested, read on!  Continue reading »

A Night Off in the Kitchen

A post by Gavan Murphy aka the H.I. at

A few months ago I donated an evening of culinary pampering for two to The First School of Santa Monica’s annual silent auction. (Figured this would win me brownie points for my future kids’ future education!) Last night we made good on our donation, cooking for quite a lovely couple in their cozy home.  Continue reading »

The short list has been announced for the 2009 Blas na hEireann awards, and you can see the three finalists for each category here.
It was very competitive again this year, with nearly 800 entries.
The winners will be announced on Friday, but everyone on the shortlist is guaranteed a medal.
Congrats to all of them!  Continue reading »

A Corking Restaurant

A post by noreply@blogger.com (Will) at Irish Wine Contemplations

Buoyed by Nigel Donnans recent blog (http://www.dublinwineschool.ie/blog/) about taking advantage of restaurants ever increasing tolerance of corkage, I started a recent restaurant booking with the question: ‘Do you offer corkage?’. I had made up a list of restaurants that I wanted to visit and had a look through all of their wine lists (that were available online).  Continue reading »

The Palo Alto Reserva is from Chile’s Maule Valley and is a blend of three grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Syrah.
Available from Dunnes Stores, frequently on special offer, this is a real find if you can get it at sale price.
Taste-wise, what’s it like?
Cabernet brings the blackcurrant, Syrah adds a touch of spice and the Carmenere rounds it all off with a great mocha nose and finish. Throw in some vanilla, hints of tobacco and that just about covers it.  Continue reading »

If you’re interested in price comparison websites, there’s a great article by Pricewatch’s Conor Pope in today’s Irish Times.
Pope reports that that the National Consumer Agency has written to the big retailers about establishing a grocery database containing real-time information that consumer could use to make price comparisons. The project is still “very much on the cards”.  Continue reading »

Most people find this time of year a little depressing, the nights becoming longer, the days becoming shorter, but for foodies this is harvest season, when all the hard work in the garden during the summer really pays off.  Vegetables like, carrots, cabbages, and parsnips which have benefited from the long summer days are all now fully formed, heavy and begging to be plucked from the ground. 

I received a fantastic seasonal vegetable hamper from Bord Bia to promote there brilliant new best in season website, which highlights the huge range of fresh veg which is on offer throughout the year.  The hamper included a great selection of parsnips, carrots, leeks, celery, cabbage, and potatoes.  I have been a bit busy so didn’t get to cook as many dishes as I had hoped but managed to knock up a big batch of  vegetable soup!  Continue reading »

Because almost everywhere, it has been reported incorrectly, and because the truth is actually far better for organics than what was actually reported, here is the most recent info on organic food sales in Ireland:

The volume of organic sales increased by 13.2% from 60,167 tonnes in July 2008 to 68,095 tonnes in July 2009

The value of organic sales increased by 19% – (a combination of increased prices and consumption) to reach €124 million in the year to July 2009, compared to €104 million in the year to July 2008.  Continue reading »

Sunday Business Post – Tomas Clancy
TO TRY :Cremant de Loire Brut Premier Cru NV, €9 (reduced from €18 during the French wine sale until October 13) at Superquinn supermarkets nationwide (89)
The taxation system in Ireland taxes wine with bubbles at a higher rate than still wines, a political hangover from a time when ‘sparkling wine’ meant champagne consumed by the elite.
Today the only thing keeping such elitism alive is a tax regime.  Continue reading »

On a recent trip to Dunnes Stores in Douglas Court to buy dried Nutmeg Mrs Messy met the Sharwoods spice lady stocking the display but, alas, no Nutmeg. How come? According to the spice lady Dunnes will only stock the best sellers in the Sharwoods range, of which Nutmeg is not one. Nor is Sage as we failed to get that also.
“Super Valu stock everything we produce” the lady said and so they do. From Celery Salt to…whatever else…even Nutmeg. Thought it was worth passing on.  Continue reading »

Chilli Con Carne

A post by JD at Cookzors

The Spice Blend
Ok, I could pretend to be all hardcore and say I mix my own spices all the time, but you’d probably see right through that (any of you who know me anyway). When making Chilli, I always just used a packet of Chilli Con Carne seasoning. Laziness, or pragmatism? I’ll let you decide that for yourselves.
Anyway, one day I ran out of the packet spice blend, so I put together my own. I have a press full of herbs and spices, so I had everything I needed at hand.  Continue reading »

Irish Times – John Wilson
Egiarte Joven Navarra 2007, 13.5%, €9.99 

This blend of Tempranillo and Merlot is fragrant, softly fruity and almost too easy to knock back. Go-go juice with a nice kick, to drink solo, or with white and red meats. Stockists : Cases Wine Warehouse, Galway; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Queally’s Supervalu, Kilrush; Red Island, Skerries; Mac’s, Limerick; Ardkeen, Waterford; Next Door, nationwide; Gift Hall, Carlingford; Wicklow Arms, Delgany.  Continue reading »

€2 special offers this week at Dunnes include:

Goodfellas Delicia Pizza Range (310g-350g)
Birds Eye Omega 3 Fish Fingers (360g)
Mega Beef Burgers (4’s)

Offers are valid until Saturday October 3. Click here for more details on these and other specials at Dunnes.  Continue reading »

Photo from IcecreamIreland.com

Kieran Murphy of Murphy’s Ice-Cream Ireland is contemplating producing a pink icecream tub to support marriage equality, and is currently asking for feedback on the idea.  Head over to Ice-Cream Ireland to have your say.  Continue reading »