Happy New Year. I hope
that 2004 brings all that you might wish. The wrath of grapes has
been unattended for a while due to a long-promised trip to New Zealand
(Fantastic - not enough superlatives!) which, needless to say, included an
amount of imbibing of the local fruit of the vine. More later.
The new year opens,
coincidentally, with the New Zealand
Wine Fair at the Banking Hall, The Westin Hotel, College Green in
Dublin on 13th January between 6.30pm - 8.30pm. Tickets
are €15.00 each; contact The Wine Development Board of Ireland on (01) 280
Preamble tasting notes are
now up to October, when Frank Searson treated us to a
return ticket to Austria and back via Italy.
November featured John Heavey's review of the wine-critics' favourites.
Notes soon. I missed the December special but I'm trying to get some
notes from the event which featured present and immediate past-chairmen
Tony Fahy and Mark Downes. January at Preamble will go Further
Down Under with John Pierce's personal selection of New Zealand wines
- or at least those that you can get here :(
The long-promised Dukkah recipe is
links have been added, and a few new
quotations. If I promised a link and it
isn't there please email
me and I'll rectify the situation asap.
I recently had the
pleasure of trying the star of the Jus de Vins Rhone master-class,
Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2000. Dark red,
with a nose of forest fruit and herbs, and in the mouth sumptuous fruit
fenced in with gentle tannins make this a superb example of the elegance
of the best of the Rhone. Outstanding.
The St. Patrick themed
tasting for the gang at the office became a selection of some of the best
from the past year and passed off into its usual alcoholic haze.
I'll put the notes here soon for all those who left theirs behind :)
A sojourn in California
(vastly preferred Sonoma to Napa, see Peter Dunne's presentation on
Nice wine from nice people and my own effort,
Upside Down Under, with much the same theme!) and Burgundy (on a boat on the Saone) brought new
insights into the wines and the people. Perhaps some reflective
views will appear here, but I probably need to talk to a lawyer first :)
us started our wine drinking careers with white wines (remember how
sophisticated you felt when you moved up to Black Tower from Blue
Nun?). After we discovered red (real wine) there was no going back
for most people. Recently I was asked to put together a presentation
of white wines for red wine drinkers. White
Night is the result. I have had the pleasure of presenting this
to two delightful audiences. It mght just convert you back to the
joys of good white wine.
The Burgundy tasting Bourgogne Terroirs & Signatures at
Leopardstown Racecourse some time ago turned up a host of goodies. Well done to Sopexa on a truly excellent and well managed day. Unfortunately some of the best of the offerings didn't have
agents here yet. Trade please note. Best wine I tasted (regardless
of price) was Corton Pougets Grand Cru 1999 from Maison Pierre Andre (a
colleague gave it 19 out of 20). Best newcomer for me was the basic
Bourgogne from Francois Labet, whose Savigny-Vergelesses 2000 was also
excellent. Watch this space.
Help wanted: I am trying to trace the owner of
the copyright of a picture called the Wrath of Grapes (below). It
appears to have the name Fisher on it. All help appreciated here.
About the Wrath of Grapes
to the Wrath of Grapes. This is a resource for the Irish wine lover with
an emphasis on wines available here; local prices, local suppliers and
local interest. It is completely independent, having no connection
with any commercial operations, although anyone who wants to bribe me with
gifts of excellent wine or large denomination notes in brown envelopes
will be warmly welcomed. I set the site up because, although the web is
awash with information about wine, much of it is not directly relevant:
The prices do not reflect the Irish market and most of the stuff can't be
found here anyway.
is now in its eighth year, with a more-or-less unbroken series of
tasting notes, the world's biggest collection of wine quotations (as far
as I can determine) and other bits and pieces for your amusement. A
revamp is long overdue but is unlikely anytime soon. Work keeps
interfering with my social life.
site unashamedly concentrates on content rather than graphics and it
contains some basic information about wine and
wine tasting, a large selection of relevant quotations,
occasional special features and especially notes from the monthly tastings at Dublin's Preamble
Club. The notes (and prejudices) are mainly my own, with occasional
very welcome assistance from colleagues.
are also links to some of the other wine resources
on the Internet, including wine and health, in case you need an excuse for imbibing!
home of the Wine Page is www.wrathofgrapes.com,
courtesy of Simon Kenyon at Koala. It may soon take advantage of new
technology and be generated from a database, which should enable better
searching (e.g. show me all the Italian wines), cross references, etc. I
want to change the graphics as soon as I can get
permission to use a wonderful cartoon called "The Wrath of
Grapes" (above) that appeared in a magazine about 16 years ago and
has pride of place on my wall. In case it hasn't dawned on you, the wrath
of grapes is what you feel the morning after. Steinbeck would have
to you. Any and all contributions, constructive criticisms and, of course
fulsome praise will be gratefully accepted. You can reach me by email from here.