Galway wine news

From left: Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia; Aoibheann MacNamara; and Georgina Campbell.

From left: Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia; Aoibheann MacNamara; and Georgina Campbell.

Cases Wine Warehouse’s sixth annual winter wine fair has been confirmed for Thursday November 15. At the fair will be wines the company imports directly from the likes of Cava, Castilla (organic and biodynamic ) Rioja, Sicily, and Burgundy. Also included are Pinot Noir from the Central and Leyda valleys; Malbec, Syrah, and Carmenere from Colchagua, plus a wide selection of wines from other great Irish importers such as Celtic Whiskey, Taserra, Mitchells, Karwigs, and Liberty Wines.

There will be several innovations this year. In particular, many of the French, Spanish, and Italian wines will be introduced by the producers themselves, who are travelling to the fair to speak about their wines. There will be more than 100 bottles open on the night, so whether you are determined to learn more about a particular grape or wine producing region, you want to entertain a group of friends or colleagues with something different, or you just want an enjoyable night out, this is the one for you. The night starts at 6.30pm and runs until 9.30pm at Cases, and tickets are an exceptionally priced €20 each, with the full proceeds going to the Galway Hospice. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Cases at [email protected] or phone 091 764 701.

Galway food news

Ard Bia has been awarded Just Ask Restaurant of the Year at the 2013 Georgina Campbell Awards. These are Ireland’s longest-running hospitality awards, and highly respected by the industry.

Just Ask is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat ) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers. The Bord Bia sponsored Just Ask Restaurant of the Year Award has been chosen from the year’s winners selected for the Ireland-guide.com monthly e-zine.

Aoibheann MacNamara “strives to provide food that is ‘great for Galway’” at her Spanish Arch restaurant, Ard Bia, and thus doing a great service to Galway — and also to visitors to the city. Menus at the Just Ask Restaurant of the Year read lip-smackingly well. Before a long day around town what could be better than McGeough’s lovely full fry, featuring breakfast meats from the famed Connemara butcher? Or, later on, a St Tola’s goats cheese salad, with cheese from the milk of Burren goats in nearby Co Clare; or a bowl of creamy seafood chowder, full of local fish — smoked cod, sea trout, mussels and clams — supplied by the aptly named Gannet Fishmongers. But it’s what on the back of the menus that’s really exciting. Not satisfied with just giving a list of suppliers (useful as that is ), there is a mini profile of a dozen of its main suppliers and enough information (address, phone number, website ) to encourage interested diners to visit them, or see their produce for themselves in local shops or at Galway Market. And that’s what Just Ask is all about.

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