Saturday, September 12, 2009

Molloys Wine & Beer

Went down to Molloys on Thursday as promised to see what I could find of the wines I used to get when I frequented it, back in the day. I picked up the following (L-R):

Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2007 - €16-49. This, as you can see was not cheap, but it should provide a reasonable alternative to expensive Burgundies as mentioned in the last post. I've had this once before and really liked it so here's hoping its worth the cash.

Vitae Sangiovese 2006- €12-50. We used to drink an awful lot of this and loved it. I was a bit apprehensive on opening this last night. oftentimes you come back to a wine you loved and are disappointed, either your palate has changed, see this post, or the wine isn't as good as it used to be. We were not disappointed. The bitter cherry flavours were in abundance, along with some other fruit, and it had a decent level of complexity and a long finish. Again, another wine I'd recommend with food, rather than without.

Trapiche Malbec 2007 - €10-99. Another old family favourite. We used to drink this by the bucket load but I have been unable to find it in a long time. This was my first Malbec, I can't remember if I bought it on spec or on a recommendation. Either way I'm hoping it won't disappoint.

I also bought a couple of "premium" beers to try from Shepherd Neame, both a snip at €3-29. I drank the Spitfire last night and it was indeed delicious. The blurb on the site says "In the mouth, the finely balanced flavour opens with a blast of rounded malt before the rousing, almost spicy hops follow through to provide a complex, multi-layered finish." Sounds about right to me.

I'll try the Bishop's Finger tonight and let you know, it's 5.4% abv as opposed to the Spitfire's 4.5 % abv so we'll see if that is a noticeable component in the mix.

**Update - The Bishop's Finger was delicious, stronger (duh) and a little more fuller flavoured than the Spitfire.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lidl Beers

As I said earlier in the week
"I also bought 6 cans of Grafenwalder Pils (6 for €7, 4.8%) and six bottles of Perlenbacher Pils (6 for €7, 4.9%), I couldn't bear to buy the stubbies (250ml X 24) or the other lager 4.1%. In my experience if you buy cheap no-name beer the stronger stuff is usually better."

On Saturday night, with the aid of Herself, I conducted a blind tasting of the two different beers.
Both beers were poured into identical glasses, out of my sight. To look at, both beers appeared identical, a pale yellow colour with similar amounts of head, although the Grafenwalder came from a can and the Perlenbacher came from a bottle. 

The first beer tasted fine, a reasonable clean, crisp flavour. Nothing earth-shattering, but nothing unpleasant. The second beer, however had the same crispness but also had some lovely earthy, hoppy flavours and in general a nice full, balanced taste. Herself, also professed to prefer the second beer.

Beer1 - Perlenbacher Pils. Perfectly pleasant and good value at the price but lacking something,  5/10

Beer2 - Grafenwalder Pils. Fairly tasty and  good value, although I'd like to blind test it against some of the better known German Pils for comparison, 6/10

Note: According to their respective labels both beers are brewed under the German Rheinheitsgetbot . While this may not guarantee quality it does guarantee that they aren't full of additives.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lidl - the return

Went back to Lidl, Grange Road, for the first time since I bought five sample cheap wines, three weeks ago. I was in a hurry but to my surprise I could not see any of the five I bought last time. this kind of invalidates any (positive) Lidl reviews I do as there is no guarantee the wines will be available should any reader feel motivated by my random scriblings, still, this could be of use for readers elswhere in the country/world.

What I did buy was a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Sangiovese grape, mostly) 2005 for €5-29** ( not to be confused with a Montepulciano D'Abruzzo(Montepulciano grape)), this looks like the real deal and has the DOCG label, will drink and review shortly. Its also going for £7.99 in norn irelan so its either great value or I got the price wrong **(I soooooo did).

I also bought 6 cans of Grafenwalder Pils (6 for €7, 4.8%) and six bottles of Perlenbacher Pils (6 for €7, 4.9%), I couldn't bear to buy the stubbies (250ml X 24) or the other lager 4.1%. In my experience if you buy cheap no-name beer the stronger stuff is usually better.

BTW - the way things are going Lidl is fast becoming the only place I'll be able to afford to shop so I'd best find wine and beer I like, and quick.

**Update - Crap! - have just checked the Lidl Website and its €11-99, oh well, should be nice at that price.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Polish Beers

Just for a change of pace I thought I'd say few words on three of the Polish beers that are available here. I'm sure there are more than these available in shops but these are the three that I come across most.

My favorite of the three, but the most expensive. This beer has a lovely full, malty flavour that is difficult to describe. The bottle also has a coldness indicator to show when its the right temparature to drink- allegedly pronounced "jhu vitz uh".
Price: €2-50 for 500ml
Availablity: Tesco and elsewhere.

This is what I drank (along with Lech) until I discovered Zywiec. Clear crisp taste and a nice dry finish
Price: €1-89 for 500ml
Availablity: Dunnes and elsewhere.

To be honest I'd be hard pushed to distinguish between this and Tyskie in a blind test. Both are tasty, crisp lagers that are a nice change from Vitamin H, Carlsberg or god forbid, Bud.
Price: €1-89 for 500ml
Availablity: Dunnes and elsewhere.

Next beer post will be on Czech Beers, damn I hate research.