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All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
The Tannery
Paul Flynn's new cookery school at The Tannery in Dungarvan will kick off on November 20th, with the first course being “An Irish Adventure with Food”. The school will be able to accommodate 45 people for demos, and 12 students at each hand-on course. Mr Flynn also has seven new rooms added to the swish mix of suites at the Tannery Townhouse. The Tannnery website is currently being updated which should be completed next week when you will be able to see everything that is going on...

Spanish Stars
Approach Trade Wine Merchants of Carrick-on-Suir has long been one of our favorite wine specialists, and with Rafael Alvarez and Alvaro Vera it has two guys who manage to discover the creme de la creme of modern Spanish winemaking.
Just to prove how superb they are, at the recent Wines From Spain: The Rising Stars event hosted by the Embassy of Spain, Approach Trade scooped the honours for best wines in both the white and red wine categories in the Christmas Stars competition.
The winning white was the superb Mantel Blanco Verdejo 2007, made by Juan de Benito and Eulogio Callejo, whilst the red was Les Terrasses 2005, made by wunderkind winemaker Alvaro Palacios. You will find these brilliant wines in 64 Wine, Michael's Wines; Mitchell & Son; Karwig Wines; Sweeney's; Unwined; Redmond's of Ranelagh; Avoca; Kingdom Stores; Oliesto; Worldwide Wines and On The Grapevine. (Approach Trade Ireland Ltd: Tel 051 640164)


The Recession
Yes we are in recession, officially, but rather like the good folk of Mayo who recently revealed to pollsters that they had no intention of changing their lifestyles in straitened times, we are behaving as if the party is still going on, as these stories reveal...

Searsons wine merchants of Monkstown in South Dublin recently moved a few doors down the road, and discovered that they had a stash or three of clarets that they needed to sell, so they fired out an offer at good prices. Reader, they sold 800 cases in two weeks. “But was it the less-expensive stuff people were buying?” we asked. “It was the expensive stuff they were buying!”, they replied...

A Dublin city restaurant was hosting six business folk, who did the deal over lunch, and decided to order some good bottles to celebrate. Ah sure, let's have another... soon, it is time for evening service, and sure why not order some more good bottles and stay for dinner, say the sextet... soon, it is the wee small hours and our group are getting their taxis sorted and settling the bill. The restaurant gamely decides to comp the cost of the food, given the wine bill the six have amassed, which amounts to?... €7,500.00 euro

The Real World
Back in the real world, where we are always looking for good value wines, house wines as you might call them, bottles you can open anytime for any reason. Well, the latest star is a new bottle from one of Spain's superstar winemakers, Telmo Rodriguez. Gaba do Xil 2007 is made with 100% Godello in Galicia, and it is stunning, a wine that is fruity, spicy, with great texture and refreshing acidity, and would be great as a Friday night special or for a quiet Tuesday dinner, and the Gaba comes at a stunning price – expect to pay about €13. Our Spanish wizards, Approach Trade, have shown once again that no one can match them when it comes to spotting talent and finding great bottles. Contact details for Approach Trade as above.

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