Thursday 18 April 2013

Heaven for Wine-Lovers at LitFest

The Ballymaloe LitFest is not just a food festival, oh no, it's a Festival of Food and Wine and we have a  great line up of wine experts, producers and tastings, which has been curated by our wine lecturer at Ballymaloe Cookery School, Colm McCan. Whether you are a wine professional, fancy yourself as a wine buff, or just enjoy a nice glass of vino on a Friday night, there's something for everyone. And it doesn't even stop there. Oh no! We have  whiskey producers, and port and sherry tastings. I can only give you a sniff of them here, so do check out the full listings on the LitFest website and do come along, it'll be great to see you there. I can hardly believe how fast it's coming up. It's THIS weekend!!!

On Saturday, Irish Times wine columnist John Wilson and President of the D.O. Rias Baixas Juan Gil De Araujo Gonzalez De Careaga will be talking, and tasting a selection of  Albarinos, followed by Albarino and Shellfish in Ballymaloe House. The Ballymaloe kitchen will be cooking the freshest of our local shellfish to accompany these beautiful wines.

If you count yourself as a relative beginner in the world of wine, you can catch two of Ireland’s best known wine writers, John Wilson and Tom Doorley talking about wine books in general, with a particular nod to the books of Maurice Healy, Ireland’s first wine journalist. There will be a tasting of some wines featured in his books, and simple tips on the secrets of wine tasting.

Mary Dowey, one of Ireland’s much loved wine writers, will present a talk and tasting on ‘GOING NATURAL - NEW TRENDS’ along with Pascal Rossignol, (guest wine lecturer at Ballymaloe Cookery School, and award winning Le Caveau wine specialist) with a focus, and tasting on new trends in the wine world, with an emphasis on topics including ‘Natural’ Wines; Old Vines; Sulphur, and Biodynamic Wine.
On Sunday, Mary Dowey will also present a wine talk and tasting ‘Spice Mixes’  - wines to go with spicy dishes from range of different cuisines.

And if you're into wine, then you will know that Sunday evening's literary conversation and wine tasting with one of the world’s best loved and most respected wine writers, Jancis Robinson MW, is not to be missed. We're delighted to have her discussing her definitive title, Wine Grapes accompanied by some, but not all, of the 1,368 vine varieties to taste!

There are lots of other wine & drinks events as well taking place throughout the weekend. Talk and tasting, on Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey from Midleton Distillery, served alongside Irish Farmhouse Cheese and there will also be a presentation and demonstration on everything to do with barrels and the ancient craft of cooperage by Ger Buckley, Master Cooper, Midleton Distillery.

John Bowman  will chair a ‘QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS’ SPECIAL ON FOOD AND WINE  - a debate on food and wine issues with an expert panel.

Winemaker Pierpaolo Rapuzzi will present ‘A SPECIAL CORNER OF ITALY – FRIULI’ - a wine tasting of indigenous Italian grape varieties from this special corner of north-east Italy, with Pierpaolo Rapuzzi of Ronchi di Cialla, a key Friulian producer, located in the commune of Prepetto, very close to the border with Slovenia.  The Rapuzzi family have been awarded for their work in rescuing endangered indigenous grape varieties.

John McDonnell of Wine Australia Ireland will present RIESLINGS TO BE CHEERFUL' a selection of styles of Riesling, both from Australia, and from other parts of the wine world, and also ‘Rewards of Patience’. There will be a talk and tasting on ‘DOURO VALLEY - STILL & FORTIFIED' with Maurice O'Mahony, Wine Alliance.  William O’Callaghan of Longueville House, Mallow will present ‘IRISH APPLE BRANDY and CIDER’. John Wilson, The Irish Times will present WINE and LITERATURE’ a light-hearted wine tasting, accompanying each wine with a quote from some literary source, including Shaw, Fields, Colette, Rabelais and Pablo Neruda!

In The Big Shed there will be a wine and drinks area, with a dedicated section for talks and tastings. There will be a selection of drinks including a line-up of the finest Irish Whiskey from the award winning local Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, Midleton Distillery, as well as a selection of  wines with ‘Irish wine making connections’ from the Ballymaloe wine cellar, beer from Irish Craft Brewers from around Ireland, and a selection of Sherry

And on Sunday evening, TANGO & MALBEC' - talk & tasting on Malbec from Argentina with Tom Lynch, El Comandante Wines.

Do check out the full listings on the LitFest website.