Tag Archives | wine

The Not Quite New Year Detox

ANY OTHER year and I’d already be off the beer, be 20 days into a fairly stringent 21-day no-alcohol, no-junk approach to my food but with the wedding two weeks ago and a food-filled trip to London finishing up in time for the weekend (with a writeup to follow tomorrow), I’m about 20 days behind.

I’m pretty sure that once Christmas hit, so too did the skids on any manner of serious healthy eating and I can safely count on just one hand the number of times I’ve cooked in the kitchen since the turn of the year. With dinner already prepared for tomorrow, that’s all about to change. Any later and we’d be heading for the Chinese New Year*.

Why Do I Do It?

Traditionally, I’d put myself on a January detox to put Christmas to rest, reset the body, and start getting some good sleep, followed by some good energy during the day. In reality, it’s more for the latter – good sleep and good energy levels the following day. I find after a food and drink-filled Christmas and New Years, that sleep becomes broken, my nose/head/chest becomes blocked and aleviating those issues makes general living a hell of a lot easier.

There’s five things that will pretty much disappear for the 21 days or so, namely

  • Crisps (as a snack)
  • Fizzy drinks (as a go-to or indeed as a mixer, including in diet form)
  • Excess sugar, including any sugary sweets, jellies, any of the usual suspects found knocking around in the wake of Christmas (and organising dozens of jars of sweets for the wedding)
  • Beer (in all its forms, pints and bottled beers are out the window until the middle of February. The slight exception to this rule may be this event taking place next month).
  • Takeaways. One must cook or one will starve.

Like anything, once you’re in the swing of things, it’s pretty simple. Porridge returns for the breakfast as fuel for the fire, green tea, honey & lemon drinks, some added vitamin C to ward off everything else January has to offer, small coffees (no sugar, and just a single cup in the day), an actual lunch, dinner and no snacking at night time. Sounds straight forward enough, and that’s because it is.

I’m pretty much guaranteed that after a few weeks of reducing the intake of processed foods and sugars that the body and mind will be much better off, without skimping on good home-cooked and wholesome food. Have you started the same? Is it something you do on a regular basis, or just on a January basis?

I’ve previously written about the virtues of green tea, but if you’re in a detox frame of mind, here’s some good foods and links to help you along your path.

5 Foods Good For ‘The Detox’

  1. Almonds – If you’re a cereal eater in the morning, a spoonful of crushed almonds sprinkled over your breakfast can add a great taste. Oh, and they’re also high in monounsaturated fates (like those found in olive oil), they’re rich in magnesium and potassium and pack viatmin E in. More here.
  2. Lemon – Loaded with vitamin C, and known for aiding a liver detox, lemon juice is something I’ll keep plenty of in the kitchen all year round. A good squirt of it with some honey or just by itself in hot water can really help cleanse the body first thing in the morning.
  3. Garlic – Get over the stinky breath end of things and load up on garlic, the fresher the better. It’s got a myriad of benefits including lowering blood pressure, cleansing arteries, fighting bacteria and much more besides. It’s packed with antioxidants and if you’re to believe your granny, it’ll cure just about anything.
  4. Cinnamon – If you’re baking your way through a detox, doing up scrambled eggs, French toast, pancakes or anything along those lines, reach for the cinnamon. It can stire up your metabolism and boasts solid manganese, iron and calcium content.
  5. Ginger – An acquired taste for some, you could pop ginger in tablet form, as a tea or load up on fresh root for benefits steeped in Chinese medicine. A sliver or two in a stir fry can do wonders for flavour and health benefits and if you wind up with heaps of it, just bang it in the freezer where it will hold up nicely.

*If you didn’t know, Chinese New Year 2014 is 31 January.

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Jacob’s Creek Wine & Dine Experience

Jacob's Creek Wine & Dine Experience

One for wine lovers this – the Jacob’s Creek Wine & Dine Experience is hitting the road for a series of free events in Dublin, Cork and Galway this month and next. For one night only in each of the locations, 50 guests in each location will be given the opportunity to take part in a free wine tasting masterclass and delicious dining experience. The roadshow hits Dublin on 27th March, Cork on 4th April and Waterford on 26th April.

Using only their senses as a guide, guests will be taken on a virtual whistle stop tour through the Jacob’s Creek winery by top wine expert TV3’s David Whelehan, who will use the quality portfolio of Jacob’s Creek wines to reveal classic tips like how to understand a wine label and how to identify different grape varieties and wine styles. Throughout the evening, David will conduct blindfolded wine tastings to help guests develop their sense of smell and recognise the aromas of different wines. An award winning chef in each county will create a three course dinner menu using the Jacob’s Creek wine range for inspiration. Food on the night is guaranteed to tickle the taste buds and further tantalise the senses.

Aimee Milne, Jacob’s Creek Brand Manager, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, said

“Last year’s event in the Crypt Christchurch, Dublin was a great success and we saw a great demand from Facebook fans to bring the event closer to them. We decided to take the ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ on the road and offer food and wine fans in four locations around Ireland the opportunity to take part in the event. In keeping with the theme of seeing beyond the label, guests this year will enjoy wine and food in the unique surroundings of a contemporary art gallery, a 19th Century Jail, a museum and a Georgian Guild Hall. The Jacob’s Creek ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ is a fun and interesting way for consumers to learn something new about food and wine while enjoying Jacob’s Creek.”

Book Your Ticket

The Jacob’s Creek ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ will take place over the following dates: Dublin 27th March, Cork 4th April, Galway 19th April and Waterford 26th April. To request a reservation at these special culinary events, visit Jacob’s Creek Ireland on Facebook and enter your details on the ‘The Wine and Dine Experience’ tab or email jacobscreek@idl.ie with Jacob’s Creek ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ in the subject line, your name, date of birth (as drinks will be served), and contact details for you and a guest. Also please include which county event you would like to attend. Places are limited and guests will be chosen at random.

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A Curious Feast for the Senses with Brancott Estate

Cully & Sully

Cully & Sully, your hosts for A Curious Feast for the Senses with Brancott Estate, four top Irish restaurants and 400 diners in the Sugar Club in March.

New Zealand wine brand Brancott Estate will host A Curious Feast for the Senses at the Sugar Club from March 5th to 8th coming.

The event, free to attend, it design as a total sensory experience, from the design of the room to the food on the plate, to matching visual and aural effects. Cully and Scully will be on hand along with top Irish restaurants Pichet (Trinity Street, Dublin), Campagne (here in Kilkenny), Tankardstown House (Slane, Co. Meath) and Lock’s Brasserie (Portobello, Dublin).

Food on the night will be matched to wines from the Brancott Estate range and guests will sample four wines; three from the classic range; Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott Estate Pinot Grigio and Brancott Estate Pinot Noir and one of the newest varietals to the range, the sparkling Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc Brut NV.

How do you get in the door? You’ll need to register online to win tickets, either by logging on to the Brancott Estate Stay Curious website, the Brancott Estate Ireland Facebook page or by scanning a QR code on promotional Brancott Estate bottles.

Winners will be drawn and notified by February 28th, with 100 diners per night being chose for each night from the 5th to 8th of March.

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Foodie Roundup #35

Foodie Roundup #35

Foodie Roundup #35 - September 18th to 24th. The photo above is the Duck Terrine starter from Source Sligo, you'll find it on my Foodspotting profile.

Today’s Foodie Roundup, the 35th overall, comes to you between a head cold and the Ireland v Russia game in the Rugby World Cup. We’ve got the bonus point anyway if you’re reading this very early, so that’s the main thing. Anywhoo, here’s ten blog posts from other Irish food bloggers that you may have missed this past week.

Going back to the headcold, likely something I picked up on the bike having cycled from Kilkenny to Sligo this weekend (Kilkenny to Athlone on Friday, Athlone to Sligo yesterday), if anyone has any suggestions for fixes or remedies, I’ve a press here full of garlic, honey, random herbs, spirits, the lot. Will end up playing a right witch doctor later on to clear my head and chest.

Hope your Sunday isn’t as bunged up as mine!

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Belfast Wine Festival August 29th

Belfast Wine Festival

Belfast Wine Festival - August 29th at St. George's Market

With so many food events taking place around the south of the country, it’s easy to overlook those that take place in the north of the country, one such event being the first ever Belfast Wine Festival that takes place this coming Monday (UK bank holiday). The day long event at St. George’s Market is “a new exciting experience for people in Northern Ireland who have an interest in wine and want to finely tune their tasting abilities and uncover some previously untried varieties. Taking place in St Georges Market, the Belfast Wine Festival promises to be a unique day out, with the opportunity to learn more about the drink you love!”

While the core focus is on wine, food doesn’t get left out.

We will have food available to buy from all the major wine producing countries, from Australian and Argentinean to Italian and Spanish you will have to opportunity to have a glass of wine to match perfectly with you choice of food. We have carefully selected local producers and chefs that will be offering a wide selection of global treats. From paella to local cheese you will not be disappointed.

Day tickets vary from £15 to £55 (the latter including a 3-course dinner, guides, keepsakes) and can be bought at BelfastWineFestival.co.uk. You’ll also find Belfast Wine Festival on Facebook.

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International Wine and Artistan Food Festival, Mitchelstown

Hungry Wines

Hungry Wines' International Wine and Artisan Food Festival

Provided the roads aren’t absolutely lethal come Saturday, I’m planning on making my way in the direction of Cork with a stop in Mitchelstown for the inaugural Hungry Wines’ International Wine and Artisan Food festival. Kick off is tomorrow night with the festival open to the public across Saturday and Sunday.

The festival…

is held in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork in a courtyard setting with Chalet units presenting a wide variety of Irish Artisan food, local arts and crafts and European wines. This year’s wine theme is Hungarian Wines and wine masters from the most famous wine regions of Hungary will make the trip to Co. Cork.

Hungry Wines and Ballinwillin House are hosting the first International Wine and Artisan Food festival at Mitchelstown from Dec 3rd to 5th, 2010.

The festival will be officially opened by Food and Wine expert and TV/Radio personality, Mr Derek Davis on Friday night, 3rd December at 8.00 pm, followed by a Banquet of fine food and wine.

Tickets for the festival are €5 for adults, children go free, parking is free and their is a drink (wine or non-alcoholic) included in your admission price. Fingers crossed I’ll make it down at some point as it’s likely the last food event I’ll get to before the year is out. By the looks of things Cork in general has escaped the worst of the snow so I’m optimistic for a Saturday visit. Getting out of Kilkenny is the next thing however…

More on the festival here.

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Food and Wine in Dublin This Month

Food and Wine

I love going to events, large or small. Equally, I love food and wine. So when you get to put the two of them together, under the one roof, across three days and I’ll be absolutely made up. Of course, I’m talking about the 2010 Food and Wine Show, taking place across November 26th – 28th in the RDS main hall. Tickets have been on sale for the summer and €20 will see you in the door with children under the age of 12 getting in for free.

I don’t know what exactly to expect from the event but I do know that it marks the start of a week off work for me, or I’m hoping it will anyway as I scramble to get a few days to take off before the year is out.

Four years ago this month I made the trip to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in Toronto. Three or four days, over 35,000 people, insane amounts of food, wine, local beers, world beers, New York cocktails, vodka pasta sauce and so much more. Hell, even four years on I’m still suggesting that people go to it and while it might have set a bar for me in terms of foodie events on a big scale, I’m going along to the show in Dublin with the aim of having a good time and enjoying everything Irish producers have to offer. That and spend a few bob on more homegrown food and maybe pick up a nice bottle of wine or two for the holidays. Were you there at last year’s show, did you enjoy it?

Over the three days there’s

  • The Chef’s Kitchen with demos from Neven Maguire, Donal Skehan, Ross Lewis, Sunil Ghai, Dylan McGrath and more top chefs
  • The Artisan Village featuring a host of Irish producers
  • The Wine Experience Theatre
  • Master classes in wine tasting, cocktail making, cheeses and chocolates.
  • A Global Food Village (I’ll be looking towards the Caribbean dishes after picking up Levi Roots’ latest offering)

I’m hoping to get the full week off, kick things off in Dublin with a few days there, take in the Food & Wine show and then make way to Cork via Michelstown for the inaugural International Wine & Artisan Food Festival the following weekend (which might give me a lead on getting some more cocktails ready for Christmas).

You can buy tickets in advance for the Food and Wine Show via Ticketmaster or see FoodAndWineShow.ie for more details.

I’m aiming for the Saturday, and if I’m still not done, the Sunday as well. Anyone going the three days or making a weekend of it? Whatever you’re doing, be sure and bring spare batteries for the camera!

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