Wednesday 26 March, 2014
by jean

Competition! Win a €100 Meal for the Mammy with Milano

milano-logo-blueWe have a great giveaway in partnership with Milano, where you could win a €100 voucher for a slap-up Italian feast for two, in honour of Mother’s Day

Milano say:

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and sometimes it’s hard to know what to get that special lady in your life. and Milano are here to help by giving you the opportunity to treat that someone special in your life to a delicious meal for two in Milano to the value of €100.

milano-pizzaMilano’s have a fantastic selection of pizzas and now thanks to the recently launched Spring menu, an array of sumptuous low calorie, gluten free and vegan friendly dishes with something for everyone!

Mums are always so busy looking after everyone else, so why not treat your Mum this Mother’s Day compliments of and Milano?

Wednesday 12 March, 2014
by jean

Killer Sandwich!

My Killer SandwichIf you’re a Twitterer you may already be aware of Killer Sandwich – an ingenious and delicious food project from the clever people at Mr & Mrs Stevens. They’re designers but their love of food inspired them to start this extremely tasty sideline. Here’s how it works:

  1. Every Wednesday, they tweet the type of sandwich they’ll be making that week
  2. If you want this sandwich, send your order via a direct message to @aKillerSandwich on Twitter on the same day (be quick as they run out)
  3. Come Friday lunchtime, you can go pick up your sandwich at a Dublin city centre location*
  4. That’s it!

The team make just 70 sandwiches each week and put extraordinary love and care into each ingredient.  I tried their ‘Utter Swine’ sandwich a few weeks back – Yard-smoked Pork shoulder, Celeriac & Apple Slaw on an Arun Bakery jalapeño Vlaa. It cost €6 and was sublime beyond belief.
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Thursday 6 March, 2014
by jean

M&S Dine in for Two, 6-11 Mar 2014

Marks and SpencerOur favourite special offer is on again till Tuesday: dinner for two with wine for €14 in M&S.  Menu is on the M&S website as usual.

Now that I am a highly qualified wine expert, I tried something new this week when I bought the deal and got myself a nice-looking bottle of Italian Trebbiano Rubicone.  If anyone’s tried it before, let us know what you think in the comments below…

Wednesday 5 March, 2014
by jean
1 Comment

Getting Good Value on Wine

white-wine-glassYesterday I wrote about my (very enjoyable and informative) experience at the Donnybrook Fair Wine Club, a four week evening course in wine appreciation.  Far from being a poncy aristocratic experience, the course teacher Laura Peterson was very focused on value and had lots of great tips about getting good deals.  She also had lots of advice about storing and serving wine, and matching it with food – see a small selection of the useful tips I picked up below:

  • Great value can be had on Reisling, Portuguese reds, Chenin Blanc and South African wines in general as all are a little unfashionable at the moment.
  • Those who say to only drink Old World wines are talking out of their BE-hinds.  The New World has more consistent weather so fewer bad vintages.  Also many of the Old World wines are designed to go with food, and they can be difficult to drink alone.
  • White wine is often over-chilled which can numb the flavour. Take your white out of the fridge an hour before serving.
  • Keep red wine somewhere cool and bring into a warm room 1-2 hours before serving. It’s best stored somewhere the temperature is consistent, as too much heating and cooling will affect the flavour. So not in the kitchen, for example.
  • When it comes to food, 1) match the wine to the sauce rather than the meat, and 2) try to match by region – Italian wines go well with Italian food.
  • Laura recommends spending around €12 to get a decent bottle of wine, and suggested drinking fewer of the €6-€8 bottles of plonk to invest in nicer wine instead.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, white wine is generally a better match with cheese than red.
  • I asked Laura which of the supermarkets she rates highest for wine selection and value, and while she wasn’t particularly keen on any of them, she said that M&S is probably the best bet.  But independent wine shops will offer you the best knowledge and value for decent wine.

I really enjoyed the course and found that it made the whole thing a little less baffling (while instilling a respect in me for the amount of knowledge required to become a true expert).

If you have any top tips about wine, wine plus food, buying wine, drinking wine – we’d love to hear it in the comments below. Cheers!