Summer is officially over and we are all back to school on Monday but with any luck you are reading this at the official last blowout of summer — Electric Picnic. If you are in Stradbally, or are making your way down for Sunday as a day-tripper, then make sure to visit Theatre of Food at the Mind Field (near the Comedy Tent) where there are free food and drinks events happening all weekend — text your friends!
I will be hosting a wine Q&A and tasting on Sunday at 5.30pm, and all weekend there will be tastings of various beers, wines and spirits including the newly launched Slane Whiskey (see Spirit of the Week, p 27.) At 2.30pm today I will be introducing the spirits used by Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse to make three kinds of Salmon Gravadlax (Micil Poitín, Slane Whiskey and Bombay Gin). At 6.45pm this evening there is a tasting and discussion of Natural Wines from Pascal Rossignol and Colm McCan of Le Caveau — some of the wines they are presenting are recommended below so if you are not at EP you can at least get a flavour of what you missed.
My selections this week are all organic including some “natural wines”. Natural wines have more than one definition but usually these are wines made with very low sulphur addition and with minimal intervention. As this is back to school month don’t forget the many wine courses and masterclasses that are available all over the country. Most independent off-licences run tastings every autumn and many run full courses. The Cork Wine School run by O’Donovans Off-Licences have a range of courses and you can find out more at odonovansofflicence.com/wineschoo/
L’Atitude 51 Wine Bar has lots of events over the coming months with their Wine Fundamentals course beginning on Saturday, September 30. In addition there movie nights, Speed Tasting events (think ‘wine tasting with a hint of dating’) and masterclasses.
My own Wine Appreciation Course in Rathmines College begins September 18 (enrolment is on the evenings of September 4, 5, 11 and 12.) Cost is €200, visit: www.rathminescollege.ie