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  • Tom Doorley reviews Cork's tasty new spot Zamora

    Tom Doorley reviews Cork's tasty new spot Zamora in the Irish Daily Mail and heralds the arrival of a star in the city.

    Zamora review from Irish Daily Mail

  • Like Magazine April 2015 – a selection of wines for Spring

    The lovely people at Cork's Like Magazine asked me

    to suggest some wines for spring, and here's the article published as a result. These are choices that ought to have a bit of spring about them, a bit of bounce, and you can of course buy them here:


    Like Magazine April 2015 wine recommendations

  • A taste of our tasting on Monday 20th: introducing the wines part 5

    Here is the last of the wines at our Burgundy tasting, the seriously powerful and complex Nuits-Saint-Georges from the home town of Françoise Chauvenet.
    Youthful tannins make for a wine that remains full-bodied as it ages, acquiring gamy secondary aromas and flavours. Top red Burgundy of this quality and finesse is an inimitable choice for red meat, game and carefully chosen cheeses – a rare treat.
    Taste it for yourself by joining us tonight at 7pm in Zamora in Academy Street. Places cost €49 and are available by ringing the restaurant on 021 239 0540.

    Françoise Chauvenet Nuits-Saint-Georges 2011

  • A taste of our tasting on Monday 20th: introducing the wines part 4

    That's it for the Chardonnay part of the tasting.
    Now it's time to investigate some Pinot Noir...

    There are still places available at €49/head for an evening of food and wine in the company of Edouard Leach from Maison Françoise Chauvenet. If you'd like to join us, ring the restaurant on 021 239 0540 to book.

    The first of the evening's red wines is the Marguerite de Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013, which blends fruit from both the Côte de Nuits, for structure, and the Côte de Beaune, for balancing delicacy and softness. Though this is a lighter-bodied wine, its redcurrant and cherry character lasts into a satisfying finish and hints at the power of its big brothers.
    Bourgogne rouge Françoise Chauvenet
    Mercurey 1er cru Françoise Chauvenet


    The blend of limestone, clay and marl soils around the village of Mercurey produces wines with a robust, slightly spicy style and juicy flavours of cherry liqueur and plum, which have soft tannins yet age well. This Mercurey 1er cru, the next wine at our tasting, is an altogether more complex wine than the basic Bourgogne, and would match well with roast meat or poultry or a good cheeseboard.
  • A taste of our tasting on Monday 20th: introducing the wines part 3

    A bonus edition today, with the final two white wines on the list for our tasting at Zamora on Monday.

    There are still places available at €49/head for an evening of food and wine in the company of Edouard Leach from Maison Françoise Chauvenet. If you'd like to join us, ring the restaurant on 021 239 0540 to book.

    Yesterday I wrote about the plain and unoaked Marguerite de Bourgogne Chardonnay, the first white wine of the night, but today I'm introducing the next two wines on the list, which show how the subtle use of aging in oak barrels can take that clean and simple style to another level of deliciousness.

    First is the Pouilly-Fuissé, which is – as you'll have gathered – a Chardonnay from Burgundy. I mention this because the name is easily enough confused with Pouilly-Fumé, which is a Sauvignon from the Loire Valley and thus a horse of a different colour.
    Although the crispness of the plain Bourgogne is still there, there's a hint of vanilla-y oak on the nose and a definite creaminess on the palate that makes this a fuller-bodied wine, and a great choice for seafood or white meats.
    Françoise Chauvenet, Pouilly-Fuissé
    Then it's from the sublime to the very sublime indeed: the last of the whites we'll be tasting on Monday is the Puligny-Montrachet Villages 2011. Although this could keep for several years yet, we're expecting it to demonstrate in spades the reasons why people get excited about great white Burgundy. The nervy minerality of the basic Chardonnay has been transformed into a flowers-and-hay-scented nutty bouquet that on the palate becomes astonishing smoothness and complexity, with rich, indulgent depths but still a definite backbone of fresh acidity holding all that sumptuous flavour in place. Which is no less than you'd expect considering this wine's lofty reputation and not inconsiderable price.
    Françoise Chauvenet, Puligny-Montrachet
  • A taste of our tasting on Monday 20th: introducing the wines part 2

    And now, without further ado, it's time to introduce the first of the wines from Françoise Chauvenet that we'll be tasting on Monday at Zamora.

    Those of the Anything But Chardonnay persuasion should begin their special breathing exercises now; because, unsurprisingly, the white wines that the estate's representative Edouard Leach will be helping us get better acquainted with on the night are all made from that very adaptable and successful grape.

    Marguerite de Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013

    The Marguerite de Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013 is an unoaked, citrus-to-tropical-scented white wine that has smooth, satisfying weight in the mouth and a long, refreshing finish.

    This is the perfect choice for helping make the most of a sunny evening outside, an all-the-bells-and-whistles upgraded picnic, or a chicken or fish dinner at the table.

    Tomorrow I'll post details of the next wine on the list. In the meantime you can ring Zamora on 021 239 0540 to book your place at Monday's tasting.

  • A taste of our tasting on Monday 20th: introducing the wines part 1

    We have the line-up, wine-wise, for our Burgundy tasting next Monday 20th at 7pm at Zamora in Academy Street.

    Until Monday, I'll be posting a wine a day or thereabouts, in the order that we'll be pouring, to whet your appetite – though the new and exciting food offerings that will accompany the wines must remain a secret till the night.Mas Codina cava magnum

    So, first up – a sparkling welcome and our only non-Burgundy wine of the evening, vintage cava from Mas Codina (link is to 2013 wine, but we'll be opening the 2010) in Penedès, poured from a 1.5 litre magnum bottle, which is said to be the optimum size for conditioning traditional method (a.k.a. Ch*mp*g*e method) wines to perfection.

    It's a crisply structured, green-apple tasting marvel, and this 2010 will be beginning to show some more complex character: all in all, a very satisfying start to proceedings.

    You can begin next Monday evening with a glass of this golden aperitif in your hand by ringing the restaurant on 021 239 0540 to book places at €49/head.

  • The press gang get our wine tasting on board

    We'd hate to think of anyone missing our food and wine tasting in Zamora because they just didn't know the event was taking place, so it's a big help to get a mention in the Irish Examiner's hallowed weekend food pages.

    If you're a fan of really good, silky Pinot Noir, or the richly rewarding Chardonnays of Burgundy – or if you'd like to put the faces to names like Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Pouilly-Fuissé, Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet – don't be shy.

    Ring 021 239 0540 and book your place for Monday week, the 20th, at 7pm.

    Darina's Hot Tips

  • Wine tasting evening – Burgundy at Zamora

    Now that we can offer a welcome in the city centre, we're making the most of our involvement with restaurant Zamora as the ideal venue for food and wine tastings.

    Burgundy tasting at Zamora restaurant Call Zamora 021 239 0540 to book.

    On Monday 20th April at 7pm, Edouard Leach of Maison Françoise Chauvenet will be joining us at Zamora to introduce and discuss a selection of red and white wines from the estate.

    It's only a few weeks ago that we tasted the first samples of the 'basic' red and white wines – but our enthusiasm for them was unanimous, and we hurried to place an order for not only those terrific Bourgognes but a selection from the range right up to Gevrey-Chambertin and Puligny-Montrachet.

    Come and let us know if you think we did the right thing at this informal session, where we're expecting a sociable good time, with a sprinkling of education and not a little lively discussion too.

    The fine wines of Burgundy are among the most prestigious in the world, but it's a tricky region. The Napoleonic laws of succession have divided the majority of vineyards between several owners, and this muddle is reflected in the appellation system, which can be perplexing to say the least.

    Things are much more straightforward when it comes to grape varieties, however. The red wines are made from Pinot Noir; the white wines from Chardonnay.

    Don't worry, though, our guest Edouard will be on hand to explain and answer questions as they crop up.

    Under the able direction of kitchen maestro Pat Browne, an assortment of tempting morsels will be served to show off the wines at their absolute best and perhaps hint at what's to come on the restaurant's regular menu in the months ahead.

    Places for this inaugural event cost €49. Ring the restaurant on 021 239 0540 if you'd like to join us, and have a look round if you haven't already paid a visit.

  • Mother’s day is fast approaching

    Mother’s day is fast approaching; before you know it it’ll be the 15th of March. Why not boy scout it and be prepared.

    Whether you’re making your mammy dinner or buying her chocolates, a bottle of wine will definitely be playing a part, here are my suggestions.

    Who doesn’t love Sancerre; Domaine de la Rossignole is a beautiful example of the crisp, grassy, citrus flavoured wines of the Loire valley for only €21.


    From Burgundy we have a lovely old vine Chablis. This wonderful wine has a golden colour, and a pure mineral quality in its fruit aromas, well-balanced, supple and refreshing, with a hint of oak making it a perfect Chablis for a special meal. Raoul Gatherin vieille vigne Chablis at €23.


    If bubbly is up her street there is no better time than now with our new Champagne range having just launched. Marie Demets Blanc de Chardonnay has concentrated aromas of dried fruits and biscuit with a seductive softness. Champagne makes a great dining wine. €47.


    Veuve du Vernay sparkling Rose from Bordeaux is bright and vivid pink in colour, the nose is full of red fruit aromas which are perfectly complemented on the palate. Fresh and fruity with a richness that truly stands out against other sparklers at €21.Veuve du Vernay Brut Rosé

    We have many others so please feel free to drop in to the market for a chat.

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