Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May 2011 Meeting Details

Our second evening approaches! The response to the AC Wine Club has been so positive that we need to take advance bookings for the May session - otherwise we won't have enough glasses or indeed wine. It was dodgy enough with the glassware last time around..... 

Meet at Ardclough GAA
Thursday May 5th at 8.00pm
Entry: €5.00

Contact Kevin beforehand at kevin@kevinecock.ie or 087 6919191 -- This is a MUST DO.
Everyone is welcome. It is our intention to make this the most populist, and popular, wine club in the country.

From http://www.sherry.org/

I thought long and hard about what wines to show this month. Well, not really. The topic was 'suggested' to me last month when I found myself fielding questions about what's worth buying locally. So, this month all of the wines are available locally, are all good value and hopefully brilliantly made also.

Just to spice things up our final wine will be served blind. This will be blind to me also. It really is the best way to learn, to make a complete ass of yourself and have the best fun of all .... many would say I've been doing all three for years.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Inaugural AC Wine Club Tasting!

Thanks to everyone who turned out yesterday on a spectacularly warm and wonderful evening here in Co. Kildare. It was a great session. We are now up and running. Membership is open and we will meet on the first Thursday of each month at 8.00pm in the GAA at Ardclough.

I kept our first session confined to a populist range of wines that showed us a range of grape types, wine making style and country of origin  influences.

I then introduced my new, and fabulous:
ACWine Club Fact Sheet no 1: Tasting
ACWine Club Factsheet no. 2: Grapes.
You've just gotta join to get your hands on them!

Highlight of the night was when I brought up the concept of a Classics Tasting later in the year. Mind you a Champagne Tasting suggestion went down pretty good as well!!

The Wines last night:

Seifried Pinot Gris 2007 Nelson New Zealand Food friendly style with emphasis on savouriness. Perhaps a tad too old allowing acidity to mask the fruit. I have tasted more recent vintages of this and normally find it excellent. Really got our first discussion going well - everyone found their acid taste buds! I met, and interviewed, Chris Seifried in Dublin last year - genuine guy.

Les Jamelles Chardonnay  2009 Vin de Pays d'Oc France Soft and accessable wine with ample fruit for the price. This brought a great debate re chardonnay into focus. I'm still on a chardonnay roll and want everyone to try as many as possible. Bring Chardonnay back - I nearly said, 'in from the cold' ,but aren't cool vineyards giving a lot of Chardonnay's reputation back to it as a brilliant grape! les Jamelles is widely available.  

Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 California Last month I met, and interviewed, Stephanie Gallo. Really nice lady. Last year I was lucky to do likewise with Chief wine maker for Gallo, Cal Dennison. I say lucky because I have been fan of what Gallo has achieved for many years now. I understand their ideas behind wine styling and I have very little time for critics who dismiss their wines without even tasting them! This wine did not disappoint. As with all things Gallo it is very well made and appeals to a wide audience with a full, slightly fat fruit and a touch of residual sugar. Commercial and popular. Brilliant teaching wine. 

Marks and Spencer Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Margaret River Western Australia I admit that most of the Club last night were not as familiar with Marks and Spencers' wines as I had expected. That should change with M&S's new initiative utilising the skills of the members of the Association of Wine Educators. I hope so because wines like this should not be left to a chance purchase. They should be sought out, nay hunted down! This was brilliant fruit aged to perfection in both oak and bottle.

Michel Torino Coleccion Malbec 2010 Colchagua Valley 1700 metres Argentina If any area of the world expresses its location through its wines it really must be these fabulous high altitude ones out of Argentina. The depth, smoothness and sheer enjoyability of this wine is exceptional.
Muriel Rioja Crianza 2007 Rioja Spain This was my first introduction to this wine and I wasn't dissapointed. This shows modern and inviting soft fruits galore and yet has a good traditional oaking and velvet smoothness. If the previous wine was supposed to show off provenance and this one, wine making then both were very much on top of their game.  

SEE http://www.kevinecock.ie/ FOR MORE INFO ON THE AC WINE CLUB

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Night Out for the New Ardclough Wine Club - Call us AC for short!

Welcome to the AC Wine Club. Our first night will be on Thursday the 6th April. Our theme, as always, will be populist and so what better way to begin than to look at wines that are based on widely available and likeable grapes!

This Club is a new venture based on the age old premise that wine is fun as well interesting!
Wine Clubs work because they bring people and wine together in a setting less formal than the classroom.
The AC Club was first suggested by students at my Wine School in 2009......it's taken me a while! Oh, I'm Kevin Ecock and I'll run the AC Club for the first year.
The inaugural meeting of the AC Club will take place on the first Thursday of April 2011 at the Ardclough GAA at 8.00pm

How does it work?
Once a month for ten months of the year (no-one will come in the summer!) we will get together to Swirl, Spit and sometimes Swallow. There will be at least six wines shown, to a theme, each month. So, Rocking Reds from the Rhone, Stunning Style from the McLaren Vale or Sparkling Wonders of the World may indeed all feature.
An expert - most likely me! - will guide the group along. Everyone will be expected to shout out, criticise, praise, damn, remember and often enjoy as many wines as we can get around to. This is easily the best and least expensive way to try loads of wine styles at all price levels. This will not be a stuffy Club and is suitable for absolute beginners!
Membership will only cost 50Euro per year plus 5Euro per evening. So even if we turn up every month through the whole year the total cost will only come to about a hundred. In the meantime I can guarantee that you will have easily tasted in excess of a thousand Euros worth of vino! It's that simple - oh, and along the way you will transform yourself into an accomplished wine taster. Now, that's value.

Contact me at 087 6919191 or at  kevin@kevinecock.ie