Benanti Wines visit Ireland

Honest2Goodness Wines are delighted to be welcoming Antonio Benanti to Dublin later this month. We import all the Benanti wines into Ireland, subject to availability.

Benanti - Giuseppe, Antonio, Salvino.jpg

Pictured above – Guiseppe, Antonio and Salvino Benanti

The Benanti family are credited with much of the revolution in wine making in Sicily, and in particular wines from Etna. Almost forgotten grape varieties have come back to the forefront, including Carricante (white) and red wine varieties Nerello Cappuccio and Nerello Mascalese. These iconic and world-class wines are mostly in a Burgundian style, although as Antonio Benanti says:

We shouldn’t be trying to imitate Burgundy, or Barolo – Etna stands perfectly well on its own” (quote from Decanter Magazine)

Last September saw us visiting the Benanti Winery on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna on a dull and rainy day, where Agatino Failla and Antonio Benanti gave us an insight into their philosophy and wine-making.


As we slid along the wet stony soil, it was immediately apparent that the soil composition and the altitude and slopes play a critical part in the vineyards.


Gnarled old vines and stone walls support each other in the misty rain, as Agatino tells us that there are over 70 different minerals in the soil, which explains the wonderful minerality in the wines…and the altitude prevents the grapes from becoming over-ripe.

Back in the winery, still very damp from our guided tour of the vineyard outside, Antonio Benanti brings us through a guided tasting of the wines, including some back vintages, showing the wonderful ageing potential of the white wines.The keyword is quality which shines through in everything that Benanti set out to achieve.


Wines include:

Pietra Marina Bianco Superiore:

Benanti_Pietramarina_btl_shot-332x455Pietra Marina Bianco Superiore: Ian D’Agata, in Decanter Jan 2015 opens his review with these remarks: …many experts consider Pietra Marina to be Italy’s best white wine… his description reads … not unlike a dry Riesling… yellow flowers, flinty minerals, dried herbs, fresh citrus and diesel fuel… this wine is made from the Carricante grape variety and it has lots of ageing potential.






Etna Rosso

Etna Rosso is the mainstay of the Benanti red wine production, and has been compared to a fine Burgundy Pinot Noir, it is a blend of two indigenous grape varieties, Nerello Mascalese (80-85%) and Nerello Capuccio (15-20%). Like Pinot Noir, the colour of the wine might be light, but the wine has plenty of flavour, lots of strawberry and cherry with long silky tannins



Antonio Benanti will be in Ireland from Wednesday 17th of May til Sunday 21st. Highlights of his visit are a 7 course WineMakers Dinner at 64 Wines in Glasthule (Wed 17th May) and an instore tasting in Terroirs in Donnybrook all day Sat 20th May.

The winery is open for visitors, but prior booking is essential. You can get in touch here

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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!!

Posted in French Wines, Italian Wines, Spanish Wines, Uncategorized, Wine & food Matching | 2 Comments

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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