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  • Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 arrives in Cork for World Launch on 20th November!

    Beaujolais Nouveau 2014So the third Thursday of November is coming up (20th) and we all know what that means: Beaujolais Nouveau day, which for me pretty much marks the start of the festive season.

    At one minute past, from little villages and towns in Burgundy, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" One of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun.

    Now for the science part: few other wines are produced, bottled, and released within a few weeks of the harvest. The simplest way to do this is to employ a method called carbonic maceration. This is when fermentation starts inside the skins. Traditionally, the winemaking process begins with the crushing of grapes; the juice of the grapes is pushed out of the skins and gradually ferments. With carbonic maceration, the grapes are not crushed. The grapes are piled on top of each other in a sealed container that is filled with carbon dioxide. More CO2 is produced by the grapes on the bottom of the container, as it is gently crushed by the weight of the top grapes. All this carbon dioxide causes fermentation to take place inside the grape skins creating a wine which is fresh, fruity, and very low in tannins – a great characteristic of the Gamay grape.

    Nouveau has very bright, fresh, red fruit flavours, such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry, and will be delivered to your palate with a distinct zing. Because of the lack of tannins, it should be very soft in the mouth, and easy to drink. Beaujolais Nouveau is not a wine to sniff, swirl, and contemplate; it’s a wine to pour and party with.

    Beaujolais Nouveau pairs wonderfully with many foods, but none better than some Camembert and saucisson on a fresh baguette. Because of this we’re bringing you a wonderful offer over the weekend in conjunction with On the Pig’s Back, for €25 you can pick up a bottle of this year’s vintage from Bubble Brothers and from On the Pig’s Back a Camembert, the soft creamy French cheese made from cows milk; saucisson, a dry cured French sausage made from pork mixed with salt, sugar and a guarded spice mix (similar to salami) alongside a specially made Arbutus baguette all for €25.

    It doesn’t end there. We’ve also grabbed ourselves a pastry chef all the way from Burgundy (where Beaujolais Nouveau is from) John-Paul. JP will be working alongside ABC bread to produce the beautiful light cheesy choux pastry Gougère, these light bites work wonders with the light fruitiness of Beaujolais.

    So on Thursday the 20th and until Saturday the 22nd, pop in to the English Market and experience a little bit of France in Cork. Berets, baguettes, cheese and even some Edith Piaf singing in the background.

  • Help us choose some new Burgundy

    Sauce for the gander...?

    You-know-what is coming and the goose is getting fat.
    It's time to find some Burgundy to do justice to that.

    roast goose

    We thought you'd appreciate a reliable red and white Burgundy for the season ahead, so we've been requesting samples from likely suppliers. Now there's no need to get in a flap, but if you'd like to try for yourself the two white and four red wines we tasted yesterday, duck down to the Marina before 6pm today, Saturday, beak-ause the bottles are still here for your consideration.

    If it's any incentive, we didn't think any of them were turkeys: all tasty, approachable wines. So, as usual, the quack was mighty -- but the more opinions we have the better when it comes to making the final decision.

  • Things that go bump in the site

    We thought a change of website might scare away the ghouls and ghosties, so in the run-up to Hallowe'en we've switched to a new Bubble Brothers site based on Magento.

    Hallowe'en pumpkin lantern

    There's bound to be a bit of gremlin-bashing to do in the days ahead, but we think the secret powers and spooky flexibility of the new arrangement make it a tiptoe in the right direction.

  • Beaujolais Nouveau 2013

    bn thumbnailHere are a few snaps from Georges Duboeuf's report on this year's Beaujolais Nouveau harvest, which got under way on the 24th September during a very welcome Indian summer.

    Beaujolais report 2013

    That's the local colour -- but you'd probably like to know about the end result of all that hard work: what's in the bottle?

    By all accounts (I haven't tried it yet, though sources close to me have), this year's BN is a richly coloured wine, with a good bit of substance and flavour too, by the light and fruity standards of the style. It's always a great lunch wine, or a juicy and refreshing partner for autumnal roast chicken or mild game.

    We have a limited supply this year at €12.99, available from bubblebrothers.com, from the English Market and also from the Marina.

    If you're interested to see how this relatively delicate wine ages, ask for one of the half-a-dozen or so bottles we kept back from last year and have a little comparative tasting. A year of age doesn't do much harm, in fact: there's still fruit, but without the candied notes of a new vintage, and pleasant grippy tannins that make the 12 Month Old rather a rare drop, even if not to be preferred to the youthful charms of the 2013.

    Get it while you can!

  • Breaking news

    Rioja accident boxesblogIt's an ill wind that blows nobody any good, says the proverb. I'm delighted to be able to quote it, having finally grasped what it means after years of pretending to: some things just take time!

    Time is what makes the difference between a young Rioja and a Rioja crianza. The youngster gets no more than a year's oak aging, while crianza wines from the region are aged for two years, of which at least one year is spent in oak barrels to enrich the flavour and body of the wine.

    Rioja accident boxes

    Which brings me to the road accident, just yards from our bonded warehouse, that badly damaged a consignment of delicious, ready-to-drink Rioja of the two-years-aging kind. More than a few bottles are gone for good (whose great idea was it to put the stuff in glass containers?), but about ten cases escaped with only superficial damage to their labels: scrapes and scuffs and purplish splashes from their unlucky truck-mates.

    We could have called in the customs officer to witness their destruction and allow us to reclaim the duty--or we could have decided to sell them. We went with plan B, so if you'd like a case of rather scruffy Rioja crianza from the estimable Bodegas Martínez Corta, and are happy to pay €108 for it instead of the usual €180, follow this link very, very, quickly. We have only ten cases to sell at this price.

    Like all our mixed cases, this one will be delivered to your door at no further charge.  But only if you're quick.

  • Gianesini shoots – and he scores!

    pascal smallI'm a big fan of the red wines that Pascal Gianesini conjures up at Château Jouclary near Carcassonne. No surprises there, if you've ever been within shopping distance of me at Bubble Brothers. His Cuvée Tradition is my default recommendation, to the point of nearly overdoing it. But then, what's not to like? Time and time again, it has turned out to be the closest thing to that French wine of sainted memory you had once that was just so gorgeous and not that expensive and you've never found anything like it since.


    PascalJouclary ApRougeSo I've been dragging my feet about actually sampling the latest addition to the Jouclary reds, which you can see here on the right, for fear of spoiling something beautiful with even a tinge of disappointment. I'm already long enough in this game that wacky, punny names don't hurt me any more, and I've nothing against the lighter  styles of red: on the contrary.

    But lighter reds just don't have much of a following, and some of those we've sampled from other suppliers haven't threatened to remedy things any time soon.

    However, apprehension notwithstanding, you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and when I was offered the remains of a bottle opened late on the last day of the recent Cork French Food and Wine Festival, I didn't refuse.

    Which was lucky, because Pascal has put the ball in the back of the net once again. The Apé'Rouge fulfils and exceeds its brief – it's fruity and supple and a pleasure to drink: a wine you can drink between meals without ruining your appetite. It has a screwcap, to keep all that lipsmacking freshness in and to encourage you to go on a picnic with it.

     At the time of writing, you'll get a bottle for €12.99 or, in the English Market shop, @ 2 for €25 while stocks last &c.

  • We Heart Red Wine

    If you've been giving your 'temple' a bit of a spring detox recently, or simply carrying out your Lenten observances, here's a fantastic reason (as if we winos needed one!) to treat yourself to something red! As most of us are aware, the various health benefits of red wine have been well documented in recent years. Various studies have shown its positive effects on heart health - increasing “good” cholesterol while combatting the bad stuff, preventing blood clots, and protecting against general arterial damage.

    We've all the heard the terms 'flavonoids' and 'antioxidants' bandied about, but it's the polyphenol known as 'resveratrol', naturally occuring in red wine, which is causing something of a stir among the scientific community recently.HeartBottleStopper Results from continuing studies led researchers to believe that the compound, found in the skin of red grapes, works by increasing the activity of a particular family of proteins found throughout the body, but until recently they had not been able to establish a conclusive link between the two.

    These proteins, known as 'sirtuins', are known to fight age-related illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's. Dr David Sinclair, who oversaw the clinical study, said:

    “Now that we know the exact location [of] where and how reservatrol works, we can engineer even better molecules that more precisely and effectively trigger the effects of resveratrol”.

    So what does this mean for you and me? Essentially, this latest discovery will enable the development of more advanced anti-aging medications. Great! We're down with that. What else does it mean? It's yet another reason why drinking moderate amounts of red wine is actually good for you!

    In fact, all types of alcohol can benefit your health, not just red wine. Drinking moderate amounts may

    • Reduce your risk of developing heart disease

    • Reduce your risk of heart attack

    • Reduce your risk of strokes

    • Reduce your risk of developing gallstones

    • Reduce your risk of diabetes

      With such a negative media focus on drinking in recent times, it can be easy to forget that there are any benefits at all, and feel guilty every time you pull the cork on your favourite bottle. Aside from its now proven anti-aging powers, red wine can also help fight obesity, diabetes, inflammation and osteoporosis. Other great sources of this wonder-compound 'resveratrol' are peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries. But we didn't tell you that ;-)

    "Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages." - Louis Pasteur

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-resv

  • A Little Sparkle For The Ladies of Cork


    evelyn_blog_smallLast Thursday night, 14th March, Bubble Brothers was delighted to be invited to Cork's Girls Night Out, hosted by The Kilkenny Shop who were treating the ladies of Cork to a little luxury for the evening. It goes without saying that the various male members of BB staff were vying to be present on the night, but we sent along Marta (our Italian wine expert) and Emilie (our French connoisseur) as our ambassadors for the evening!  

    BB_GirlsNightOut_Mar2013_550The red carpet was rolled out and the evening kicked off with some delicious wine and canapes as people began to gather for the fashion show. Marta and Emilie introduced guests to the latest addition to our sparkling cabinet – the 'Mia' prosecco from Italian producers Val d'Oca. A fun and vivacious Italian frizzante, it presents as clean and fresh on the palate with delicate floral aromas of peach blossom and overripe pear and a slightly sweet, fruity finish. This is what we recommend to our English Market customers who pop in looking for something festive – a perfect wine for parties, weddings, christenings and, of course, luxurious gatherings where ladies might be found!

    Partner companies present on the evening included Vintage Belle Photography, Lisa's Candyland, The Edge Hair Salon, The Body Shop, Therapie, and Lush, offering all manner of pampering, advice and freebies. As our own personal treat to guests of Girls Night Out, we were delighted to have a special offer on 'Mia'. Ladies, don't forget to visit us at The English Market with your promo voucher and pick up your very own 'Mia' for just €9.99* For more information on our Val d'Oca range visit our website.

    *Offer exclusive to guests of 'Girls Night Out' who present promotional flyer.

  • Cycles Gladiator Transports Us To A Golden Age

    cyclesblogThe spirit of the Belle Epoque was evoked for a few hours this week in a bright and airy corner of  Dublin's Little Museum overlooking the old-world charm of St. Stephen's Green, and just for a while we cast aside thoughts of punitive government levies and troubling times for the global wine industry, and allowed the heady aromas of California to transport us to a better time.

    Europe, and Paris in particular, was a place of innovation and “la belle vie” in the late 19th century. The revolutionary invention of the bicycle gave rise to a pervasive spirit of liberation and happiness, captured in G. Massias' famous Parisian poster advertisement. This beautiful piece of artwork became the inspiration for the Hahn family range of classic wines.cycles gladiator


    Something Racy To Get Things Going!
    What is not to love about the Cycles Gladiator wine label? Men love it (It's a naked lady on a bike.) The ladies love it (She's an uninhibited flame-haired beauty floating through a starry night sky.) And, of course, she's bringing us some really rather good wine. Having pedalled through various iterations and won an American Graphic Design award in 2006, the current label is a pared back modern version of the original artwork. It gained notoreity and a subsequent ban in the State of Alabama where it was deemed pornographic, leaving the Hahn family with no choice but to withdraw their beautiful wines from that part of the world. Alabama's loss, we say!

    At The Tasting Table
    It was Bubble Brothers' pleasure to introduce this inspirational range of wines, along with stars from the Hahn Family Estate and Smith & Hook wine collections, to Dublin's California Wine Tasting event on Thursday 28th February 2013.

    As corks were pulled and the wines poured, intoxicating vapours of blueberries, plums, cherries, liquorice, cedar, spice and leather enveloped us and brought a little California sunshine to our wintery corner of Dublin. Tasters at the table shared a lot of love for the Cycles Zinfandel 2007 which is a remarkable wine, offering excellent value at its pricepoint. Likewise, the Cycles Pinot Noir 2011 presents as a worthy opponent to its often costly Kiwi counterparts. The Hahn Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, exquisite wine with a seductive bouquet and a lush full-bodied mouthfeel, while the Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon elegantly balanced “maroon beauty” reveals strong tannins and a long, dry finish with hints of cloves and vanilla. We were thrilled to meet a couple of natives who stopped by, dreamily nosed their glasses and told us they felt like they were right back home in Cali. It's a beautiful and special quality of wine, that power to transport us in time and place. Magic.

    All the Hahn wines showcased at our tasting table can be purchased directly from Bubble Brothers at:

    • Bubble Brothers at The English Market, Cork City
    • Bubble Brothers at The Marina, Cork City
    • www.bubblebrothers.com (Free delivery nationwide)

    Our special offers on the Cycles Gladiator range include one case FREE when you buy five cases. We would like to thank everyone who visited us at the California Wine Tasting event to experience this fantastic range of wines. They are a particular favourite with Bubble Brothers' staff and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

  • Back in blooming business

    Here we are, back in business with a blog at Bubble Brothers. It's been a while; but, unfortunately, it doesn't look as though we'll be able to restore all those great old posts from BB blogs of yore.

    However, for your reading pleasure, we'll be working hard to build up an equally irreplaceable archive of news from this company about what's new and what's different, what's caught our eye in the wider world of wine, and cats with captions and anything else that seems fit to print here.

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