The second part of matching wines with some of the foodie blogs nominated for the Blog Awards coming up later this month.

14. Curious Wine Blog

Let’s start with a bit of background. The citizens Kane have carved out a large chunk of the Irish online wine scene in a matter of months. With a clear customer focus, a great selection of wines and a web savvy, Curious will not just survive, but thrive in ’09.

Rather than pair a  I’ll highlight three of the many fantastic wines I’ve had from Curious Wines:

  • Wood Stock Shiraz, McLaren Vale: restored my faith in Shiraz. Think good mince pies.
  • Barossa Babe: Barossa Valley is about 100km from McLaren Vale and this confirmed my newly restored faith in Aussie Shiraz. Think Spice and Velvet.
  • Valdamor Albarino Barrica.  Albarino, but with an added extra. Albarino is grape that will unquestionably make bigger inroads in 2009. And if you’re looking for that little bit of an added extra, then try this one.

15. Messy Chef

In Ivan’s own words, his Parma Ham, Goats Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato salad is something “you can fling together in a matter of seconds. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated to be good”.

Similarly with wine. I have to be honest, I’m getting bored with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. While that’s quite a general stattement, on the flip side, you know it’s always going to deliver a good consistency so I’m going to go with one which delivers in spades, the Astrolabe Voyage Sauvigon Blanc 2008. Available from O’Brien’s and further afield for about €15-€16.

16. A Food Journey In Korea

Therese, author of “A food journey in Korea” is based in Korea and posting her culinary experiences while out there. Some recipes are Korean, others are more traditional Irish/UK.

For Therese’s Sheperd’s Pie, I’d go for an the Pequeno Pintor 2005, a herby earthy red from Alentejo in Portugal. It could be a great match for the thyme, rosemary and sage in the pie.

Gorgeous and available from The Corkscrew in Chatham Street, Dublin.

17. Ollie’s place

Oliver Moore’s website is all about organics. So, for Ollie, I’m going to simply add a pointer to the Organic Supermarket in Blackrock, Dublin. They seem to have over 60 organic wines in stock. I haven’t been in yet, but it’s on the list.

18. Little Bird Eats

For Jen’s Fig and Hazelnut cake (drizzled with honey before serving) I’m going to have to go for something sweet. To be honest, that leaves me a little out of my depth as I don’t drink a whole lot of sweet or dessert wine. Of those I’ve enjoyed, Sauternes can be really good, if a little pricey for the good stuff, so I’d switch to Hungary and opt for a Tokaji.

In Tokaji sweet wines, there are various sweetness levels, called “Puttonyos” – ranging from three to six puttonyos, so the higher the number the sweeter the wine. Anyway before I get too technical, this is worth seeking out and ranges from €15 to €50 for a bottle. Something different and perfect for the fig cake recipe Jen has provided.

19. Cookzors

For Margaret’s Quick and Dirty Burritos, I’m simply going to go for a Mexican wine. I’ve seen some Mexican wines available in Mitchell and Son.

The main quality vineyards of Mexico are in Baja California, just south of San Diego, on a long finger of land stretching into the cooling waters of the Pacific Ocean.

It was to here that a young Italian immigrant from Piedmonte, Don Angelo Cetto came to in 1926, and planted vines in the Guadalupe Valley. L.A. Cetto is a family business with the third generation continuing on the tradition. Now, this explains the presence of the Nebbiolo grape which makes Barolo and Barbaresco in Piedmont, Italy.

20. Robert Francis Wine

Another great Irish wine site. Instead of picking out my favourite post or video, all I’d say is check it out and put in your feed reader. Frank’s enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. Great guy and a great blog.

21. The Other Black Stuff

David and Fergus run The Other Black Stuff, a blog covering coffee culture in Ireland. So, how can I match up a wine with coffee? I can’t, but rather I’ll pick a wine that smells remarkably like coffee: the Diemersfontein Pinotage from South Africa. Available from Vaughan Johnson’s in Temple Bar, Dublin and from other wine shops.


Debs has a fantastic new slant on a classic dish, fish n’ chips with red pepper tartar sauce.

Why be conventional? I’m going to take a lead from Berry Brothers and suggest some bubbly. It doesn’t have to be Champers, though. Crémant d’Alsace, Prosecco or Cava could do just as well.

23. Bibliocook

Bibliocook started life in New Zealand so it’s only fair to mention some wines from New Zealand.

Sure, New Zealand is probably best known for its Sauvignon Blanc but for red fans, look up Pinot Noir from Central Otago or Waipara Valley. For bigger reds, look up the Gimblett Gravels region.

For whites, New Zealand is more than a one trick pony so ignore Sauvignon Blanc this time and seek out Riesling, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay.

24. Lidl Treats

I can admit to only having bought wine once in Lidl. It was pants. However, one or two Lidl wines did come out well on Lidl Treats.

Anyway, onwards we go and I’d pick a nice dry Riesling for Kate’s Pork Belly and Carmelised Onion Gravy. I’d look for a wine with a decent level of acidity so I’d opt for a dry Riesling from one of the following: Eden Valley, Australia, the Mosel or Rheingau in Germany or Marlborough, New Zealand.

25. Eater’s Regret

“Unfortunately after eating, I get major eater’s regret. The thought ‘wow I really wish I hadn’t eaten that’ flashes through my mind, followed by thoughts of calorie counting and chastising myself for not just having a carrot.”

For the Sushi at Feng Sushi in Borough Market, it’s going to be tricky. You’ve got the strong ginger, not to mention the wasabi. I’m going to leave out the latter as it numbs the tastebuds completely.

I’m going for a Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie. It’s made in the Loire Valley from a grape called “Melon de Bourgogne“.

“Sur lie” means on the lees (or dead yeast) and leaving the wine on the lees can give the wine a richer, rounded and brioche like textures and flavours. It’s also really great value for the most part. Here’s a decent one online from:

26. Cully and Sully

The ready-made meals I never feel guilty about eating.

Their Shepherd’s Pie is my favourite, and I’ll match it up with a Pinot Noir. One of the best I had in 2008, was a simple Bourgogne Rouge. The Domaine des Croix 2005 from Berry Brothers was stunning. I’ll be back there to see what the 06′s are like.

27.Val’s Kitchen

Not too many recipes to pair a wine up with, but in her latest post, One Pery Square, Val mentioned some tasty main courses. Wild Boar sausage on sauerkraut with scallops calls for a white and I’m going for an Alsatian Riesling. Clos St Hune from Trimbach would be magnificent, particularly if there was a bit of age on it.