National Spanish Wine Week at Ardkeen Quality Food Store
An exciting week lies ahead as the third annual Spanish Wine Week in Ireland is taking place and Ardkeen Quality Food Store are delighted to be participating. A celebration of the impressive diversity of regions and grapes that make up Spanish viniculture, SWW18 takes place from Monday next the 23rd of April to Sunday 29th.
Although the third largest wine producer in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy, most recent figures confirm that Spain led the world in terms of wine exports in 2017 with international sales of 22.8 million hectolitres. So, our buyers have been busy! Sourcing some of the best wines at the most competitive prices for this special celebration of all things Spanish. Many of the wines we are featuring are from small Bodegas where the emphasis is on high quality, low volume and production methods that reflect the character and personality of the surrounding land.
With some excitement at so many great Spanish wines to taste, we are having a number of extra pop up wine tastings instore in the course of the week. We kick off on Monday at 4 in a celestial fashion with two firm favourites. Torres Celeste Crianza is an opulent wine brimming with fruit, body and colour: as unique as the night sky in the Ribera del Duero region where its grows. For the white expect pear, apple, peach and floral fragrance from the gorgeous Mara Martin’s Godello which is produced in Spain's rainy Galicia region. A concerted effort by a small number of growers in Spain to revive forgotten grape varieties has not only saved the Godello grape but the results have been exceptionally promising. I know we get our share of rainy days here too but this wine is for a summer evening in the garden, I promise!
On Wednesday we will be exploring (and pouring) some of our favourites from the very famous and much-loved Rioja region, with classics like famed Spanish producer, Martin Codax’s Musica En El Camino, Ramón Bilbao and Rioja Vega.
For our Thursday Tasting at 3 this week expect all things Spanish. Sample some of the best Tapas ingredients. From gazpacho to choirizo, from olives to oranges, there will even be potatoes! Castanets and flamenco dresses are optional.
Friday is all about Sherry and Spain is synonymous with great sherry. Mentioned in Greek texts in the 4th century B. C. these fortified wines are produced in the southern Spanish region of Cadiz. There are actually 10 official types of sherry that range from the very dry and pale manzanilla, to dark and sweet Pedro Ximenez. Many people are curious about Sherry but don’t often get an opportunity to explore the different types so it’s not always easy to know what to drink, when and with what. Hopefully we can clear up a few of those questions and you may go home having found your favourite Fino, Manzanilla or Oloroso!
We can’t celebrate Spanish Wine culture without a Cava Tasting so Saturday is all about that delicious sparkling wine produced in the heart of the Penedès in the Champenoise traditional method. We will be tasting Villa Conchi, a fresh modern, elegant wine whose fresh and vibrant personality is also reflected in its beautiful label design which is one of our favourites.
As Saturday rounds off the week we are also tasting two great Spanish grapes that have found favour in many Irish homes. Located in the Albacete region, between Alicante and Murcia, Atalaya Winery’s ‘Laya’ is a Tintorera and Monastrell blend whose dense, savoury and rich brooding black fruits, licorice, expresso and pepper have to be tasted to be believed.
Wanting to finish on a high (no pun intended) it has to be the new expression of Albariño from the famous Riax Biaxas region: Paco and Lolo’s ‘LoLo’. Made in a youthful, cool style while keeping all of its original identity think crisp, fresh and dry with hints of stone fruit. Camino veterans will have fond memories of a chilled glass of Albariño at the end of a long days walking the pilgrim trail so now is your chance to experience this elegant and it has to be said, urbane wine.
We can’t taste them all but there will in fact be more wines available on our Spanish Wine Week celebration with the organic Mureda range from La Mancha, Verdejo from Rueda and more from the four generational Luis Cañas Family who for more than a century, have been devoted to producing and selling great Spanish wine.
Don’t forget to join us on Twitter, Facebook and Instragram and use the #SpanishWineWeek #SWW18 for your own pictures and posts. See you at the weekend!
Silenci Monastrell Organic Spain Red 2018 750ml
Monastrell Organic brings fruit smooth warm flavours: the wine is clean and full flavoured yet easy to drink. Delicious with tapas, roast meats and cheese.
LOLO Albarino Rias Baixas 2018 75cl
Have you ever sat down under a tree and pondered life? Who am I? Why am I here? What shall I drink later? Well the answer to the last question is simple, Lolo is the ultimate white wine to savour with fine food or on its own. The classy Albarino grape lends itself as the perfect match for seafood. It is refreshingly dry and with crisp fruity flavours that balances the richest of sauces. By the way I am Lolo.
Laya 2018 750ml
This Spanish red wine is made from two quintessentially Mediterranean grapes, Garnacha Tintorera -or, as it is known outside Spain, Alicante Bouschet- and Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre).
Laya is crafted by Bodegas Atalaya in Almansa, Albacete, a hot, dry region in South East Spain. The vines grow in limestone soils at an altitude between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level.
Celeste Crianza Ribera Del Duero Torres 2016
Celeste is an opulent wine brimming with fruit, body and colour: as unique as the night sky in the Ribera del Duero.
At 895 metres altitude you can almost touch the stars and shape the clouds. The dusk air is intense with fragrance. And the sun lights up the land in all its splendour. Here, at a height of 895 metres, Celeste is born, the Torres family’s first Ribera del Duero.