Honest2Goodness Wines Portfolio Tasting April 2016

From Betomish Wines in Spain’s North East to
Estate Argryos on Santorini,
Honest2Goodness Wines offer a great value proposition to the
discerning Restaurateur or Wine specialist.
These are all wines with a story to tell – stories that resonate with fine food provenance.

We have narrowed down the selection for the 4th of April

to about 80 wines that best represent our philosophy, including:

Betomish Wines – two Irish brothers producing excellent wines in Spain

Organically certified wines from

Pago Casa Gran in Valencia
Luigi Valori – former Serie A Footballer,turned Winemaker

Verdicchio di  Matellica DOC
Ch Segue Longue Monnier in the Medoc

World-class terroir from volcanic soil:

Benanti Wines, Mount Etna, Sicily
Estate Argyros from Santorini, Greece
Mount Vesuvius – Tenuta Cavalier Pepe
(Falanghina, Fiano,  Greco, Aglianico)

Superb new range from Bordeaux
Small estates doing great things in the Medoc and

Puisseguin St Emilion

New Cotes du Rhone Villages from Rousset les Vignes

One of the best Blanc de Blanc Champagne Producers –

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Gimonnet Champagne ‘The best-value sparkling wine of any kind that I have tasted in the past five years’

photo gimmonet articleThis pronouncement was made in this month’s DECANTER Magazine about Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Special Club Millesime de Collection Blanc de Blancs 2008. Although the 2008 is no longer available to us, the 2009 Vintage is shaping up to be just as good, and is available in limited quantities from Honest2Goodness Wines!

Here’s more of what Decanter had to say: ‘A beguiling transparency of pure acid drive propels an incredible finish that splashes long and strong with breathtaking, scintillating, crystalline minerality. This is a cuvee of effortless poise and boundless energy.

H2G have been importing Gimonnet since 2014. The wines are produced from grapes grown on the 28hA vineyards in Premier and Grand Cru sites in the Cote de Blancs area of Champagne, with much of the vines planted over 40 years ago. The wines are intense and rich but yet also fresh and well-balanced – and they are exceptionally well priced for their quality.

The Decanter article (Stelzer’s Dream Dozen Prestige Cuvees – Dec 2015) is written by Tyson Stelzer, a well-known Australian Champagne expert, and the Gimonnet entry features alongside better known Champagne houses such as Pol Roger, Louis Roederer, Krug and Tattinger, so they are in top-notch company, without the high-end price tag… Here’s the RRP for our range of Gimonnet:

Gimonnet Cuis NV Ier Cru Blancs de Blancs Champagne €51.00

Gimonnet Gastronome 1er Cru 2009 Champagne €56.00

Gimonnet Special Club Vintage 2009 Champagne €78.00 (this is the newer vintage of the wine in the Decanter Article).

WHOLESALE Customers – please contact us for pricing.

A great, relatively affordable place to start would be with the Gimonnet Cuis NV Ier Cru Blancs de Blancs Champagne – made with 100% Chardonnay:

 ‘Beautifully pure, floral nose and on the palate, nuances of stone-fruit, acacia, brioche and an underlying minerality,  with a long crisp, nutty finish’.

You can read more about the Gimonnet family here

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Waxing lyrical about Greek wines

We recently travelled to Prowein and Vinitaly Wine Fairs to ‘recruit’ some new wines to expand, improve and freshen up our wine portfolio.

One of the highlights for me was meeting the Sales Mng from Estate Argyros a top producer from Santorini in Greece famed for its dry and mineral scented white wines made mainly from the Assyrtiko grape. What we didnt realise is that the same grape varieties can also produce amazing sweet wines, the best of which can outshine their Tuscan counterparts.

The dry wines we already import have lots of complexity and freshness – they are also fabulous food wines and cellar really well giving masses of pleasure years after the vintage.

We met Stefanos on the Sunday afternoon in Prowein and I was impressed with his total professionalism and enthusiasm; he is a great ambassador for Argyros, Santorini and Greek Wines (a wine producing country on the up and one to watch).


We tasted the new vintages of the dry white wines and as usual they didn’t disappoint. He asked myself and my colleague Kenny to taste the VinSanto’s and I was thinking of saying ‘hard sell etc etc’ but happily I said ‘yes lets have a quick taste’. Stefanos seemed really proud of these wines as the VinSanto tradition goes back to the 8th century. The explosion of flavours on the palate on these sweet wines was amazing. The wines are made from the same white grape varities but picked very late and aged in bottle the wines turn a copper colour. The intense caramel, toffee and cooked fig flavours are balanced by an incredible acidity that keeps the whole thing fresh. The best bit is that saline acidity remains giving the whole wine a great kick of salted caramel!

‘Nichy’ and hard sell they might be but they will definitely be making their way to these shores on our next order!

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This little piggy went to the Market…

Six Course Dinner with Matching wines €75.00…

JP image

We are delighted to be hosting a 6 course ‘Nose to Tail’ Dining Experience with JP McMahon who runs Cava Bodega, Aniar (Michelin Star Restaurant) and Eat Gastropub in Galway . The event will take place in the Honest2Goodness Market Cafe in Glasnevin on Thursday September 25th.

Featuring Rare Breed Pork from The Whole Hoggs free-range farm in Slane, Co. Meath dishes will be paired with matching wines from exclusive wine producers across Europe.

Experience cooking skills and techniques JP and his team have honed in his top class restaurants paired with the fantastic flavour from Rare-Breed , hand reared Tamworth Pigs.

The menu with matching wines is shaping up as follows:


pork crackling, oyster mayonnaise
Blood & fermented barley crisp 

Paired with Dominio de la Vega, Cava Brut NV Cava DO

Pork cheek, chicory, piquillo pepper px sherry

 Paired with Rosso Bello, Rosso Piceno, 2010 DOC


Pork belly, scallop, cauliflower, almond 

Paired with Ch St Go Blanc, 2009 St Mont AOC


Pork neck, kale, carrot, fermented gooseberry

Domaine Galevan CDR Paroles de Femmes

Bacon & pigs ear pannacotta, camomile, sweet corn

Ch de Haut Mayne – St Croix du Mont


Bean & Goose Dark chocolate Truffle & Delish Melish Marshmallow Petit Fours

Teluccio – Late harvest Sangiovese


The event will be hosted in the quirky but convivial surroundings of the Honest2Goodness Market and Cafe which hosts great local producers every Saturday. Numbers are restricted to 50 people so advanced booking is essential!

Contact Details: Email : colm@honest2goodness or brid@honest2goodness. Telephone 087 9914291 or 087 6294713
Honest2Goodness, Unit 136A Slaney Close, Dublin Ind. Estate, Glasnevin Dublin 11
Twitter: @colm_h2g @brid_h2g

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What to drink with Charcuterie…??

So many restaurants and wine bars now offer a charcuterie or cheese platter, and what could be nicer than a sharing platter of lovely artisan products, with a couple of glasses of wine? But, what to match with those various porky, spicy flavours, alongside hummous, olives, even pate and cheese?

charcuterie platter 2

Our advice is to go for red wines that are medium to full-bodied, for example – in Spain, the tempranillo grape is a good option, but go for a Rioja,  not something as full-bodied or intense as a Toro or Ribero del Duero, which could overpower the food.

corral_2008At a recent wine and charcuterie evening hosted here at H2G, we opted for Corral de Castro, mainly Tempranillo but with some Cabernet Sauvignon blended in there. The wine is lovely and fresh, due to it being grown at high altitude in the Alpujarres in Granada, and it worked really well with the charcuterie from Black Pig in Donnybrook and our own local Whole Hoggs charcuterie.

la martineIf you fancy something French, then Bordeaux should work well. A blend of Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon  (typical in the Right-Bank area of Bordeaux) should be just the ticket. We used our Chateau Lamartine (Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux) at our charcuterie evening, and it and the spicy salamis went together beautifully. It also works extremely well with the more mature hard cheeses that can appear on charcuterie platters.

valori montepulcianoIf your wine of the moment is Italian, then we would suggest something from Abruzzo, typically made with the Montepulciano grape, or a similar wine from its neighbour Rosso Piceno. And of course wines made from the Sangiovese grape (such as a Chianti) will also work well. Our friend Luigi Valori makes wonderful Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, so we chose his wines to go with our charcuterie platters.

Whatever you choose, ENJOY!!

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Looking to match wines with Cheese & Chocolate?

wine cheese choc tasting evening nov 2013

At Honest2Goodness Cafe, we recently hosted an evening of Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tasting, where 50 enthusiasts gathered to taste, savour and enjoy combinations of these three wonderful products.

These were our recommendations on the night, which all went down very well indeed! All of these wines, chocolates and cheeses available at Honest2Goodness Market every Saturday… and since that tasting evening, we have added even more with the arrival of Dovinias chocolates with their amazing flavours!

Chocolate & Wine Pairings


Chez Emily 70% Nibs  Co. Dublin

Dark chocolate Cocoa Nib

To match with…

Domain Galevan Cotes du Rhone Villages 2011


Chez Emily Dark Honeycomb  Co. Dublin

Crunchy golden honeycomb pieces in smooth Belgian dark chocolate.

To match with…

Primitivo di Manduria Sud 2011


Chez Emily Praline Co. Dublin

Crunchy millk chocolate Praline

To match with…

Chateau Du Haut-Mayne 2009/2010


Magic Mayan Mucho Mocha Co. Clare

Savour the flavour of coffee and roasted hazelnuts. The cacao used is raw, organic and ethically traded from small scale producers in Peru, coming from the criollo variety, known as “The Queen of Cacao”.

To match with…

Valenciso Tinto Reserva 2006, Rioja DOC


Magic Mayan Black Velvet Co. Clare

A very dark bar with 85% cocoa solids, especially suitable for diabetics. The cacao used is raw, organic and ethically traded.

To match with…

Vigna Sant’Angelo Riserva 2005/2006

and then our wine & cheese pairings…

Cheese & Wine Pairings


St Tola Ash Log Co. Clare

Organic goat’s cheese rolled in traditional food grade ash. The ash slows down the development and maturation of the cheese and after a few weeks of handling, an elegant, smooth textured and full flavoured cheese emerges.

To match with…

Pouilly Fume Jean Pabiot 2012

Chateau Reynier Blanc 2012


Glebe Brethan  Co. Louth

Hard cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk.Smooth, mild and slightly salty with a subtle sweet nutty overtone. Reminiscent of Comtè, Gruyére, Beaufort.

To match with…

Falanghina Rocca del Dragone 2011

Chateau Lamartine, Cotes de Castillon 2010


Mossfield Mature Cheddar  Co. Offaly

Organic cheese made broadly in the gouda style. The cheese is made with vegetarian rennet from pasteurised cow’s milk. Zingy aftertaste, crystalline texture and a distinct nutty taste.

To match with…

Montalto Pinot Grigio 2012

Nespolino Bianco IGT Rubicone 2012


Shepherds Store  Co. Tipperary

Semi-hard cheese made from pasteurised sheep’s milk. Firm and compact consistency and a buttery texture. The cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy, and leaves an aftertaste that is characteristic of sheep’s milk.

To match with…

La Ganghija Barbera d’Alba 2010

Pecorino Luigi Valori 2010


Crozier Blue ,Co. Tipperary

Semi-soft blue cheese made from pasteurised sheep’s milk. When young, the cheese is firm and crumbly, and at around six weeks has a tangy flavour. As the cheese ages it becomes creamier, developing a fuller flavour.

To match with…

Sybille Kuntz Auslese 2003


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Wine duty increase

At midnight 15th of October 2013, 50c was added to the tax on a bottle of wine, less than a year after a previous increase of €1 was added to the costs. The 2012 increase represents a 41% increase in duty (according to the Irish Wine Association), and this years 50c adds a further 20% increase over the 2011 rates (or thereabouts!). So, in the space of 2 years, tax rates have gone up by almost 2/3, a massive increase…

This graph from Gavin Quinney was before the latest increase here in Ireland, and shows just how high our Duty rates are when compared with the rest of Europe, and thats before any VAT is added on at a further 23% on top of all the other costs…


Now, many people will ask, sure what is all the fuss about, wine is a luxury item?  That kinda misses the point – WINES ARE A PRODUCT SOLD BY BUSINESSES – 99% of wine businesses (importers/wholesalers/retailers/restaurants/wine bars) started business without any state support whatsover to get up and running, mostly family businesses and SMEs – the so called backbone of the economy that the various Government spokespeople say are critical to Ireland getting out of the economic mess we are in.

So, you would think that any changes to the fundamentals of how those businesses operate would be done with kid gloves, wouldnt you?? Not so – far closer to the iron fist!! When you consider that the Excise Duty now equals the average cellar door cost of the bottle of wine (i.e. the price to the importer before transport etc), you get some idea of the scale of the problem.  Put it another way, a bottle of wine selling at €15, around €6 of that is either excise or VAT…

Dont get me wrong, we love the wine business – we love that it is one of the oldest traded commodities in the world, that a piece of Mediterranean sunshine can be captured in a bottle, with lots of proven health benefits (as long as its in moderation!). That we get to meet great people with a passion for what they are doing – all the way along the line from producer to consumer.  But, if we and others like us cant survive in todays business and tax environment then Irish society will be worse off and there simply wont be an independent wine sector in this country. And the big supermarkets will have killed off another slice of the retail trade…

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