Suck it and see…

Edit: I’m leaving these posts up but please note I quit writing drinks columns here and in The Irish Examiner in 2012 and your host nowadays is Leslie Williams. Do pop over.

Howya horse!

THE big noise on the Irish wine web now is all about the fab four Australian tasting opportunities in September – the Tim Adams Clare Valley event touring to Cork, Ennis and Galway, and Phil Sexton’s Yarra Valley evening in Dublin.

But if I were to choose just one wine event in September 2010, it would have to be the other tasting headliner next month, Wines from Spain – The New Way on September 9, 2010. Hosted by the Spanish Embassy’s commercial office, it’s going to be the biggest Spanish wine event ever in Ireland.

More than 200 wines will be available to sample, represented here and at the tasting session by 20 of Ireland’s most prominent importers including Approach Trade, Barry & Fitzwilliam, Febvre, Findlater, Gilbeys, Mackenway, Searsons and organic wine specialist, Mary Pawle.

Tutored tastings such as the Aussie ones are very useful as a spotlight. But big open-ended tastings like the Spanish event provide the floodlight. An open tasting is the best opportunity you will ever have to delve into grapes and styles and regions.  Trying a wine on its own will tell you much about that specific one. But trying it side-by-side with its peers is far more informative and interesting, and can often provide a revelation about relative quality and value for money. To quote yet again that old advert for throat lozenges,  the message is to suck it and see.

It takes place on Thursday September 9, 2010, at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin 2, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm.  Book tickets (€20) from Sarah Currey on 01 240 5387 or and see the Wines From Spain Ireland  blog for more.

Here comes the bit about horror movies, Madrid, lollipops and Salvador Dalí

Edificio Carrión in Madrid

♦ THE picture at the top of the page is King Charles III’s horse eyeing up the advert for Tio Pepe sherry in Puerto del Sol in the heart of Madrid. There’s a bloglet about the history of the famous sign here.

I snapped it one day a few years ago, inspired by a new-found enthusiasm for giant outdoor advertising in Madrid… Well one advert in particular, the animated neon Schweppes sign in the nearby Plaza del Callao, left.

Unfortunately I can’t find my pic right now. The pic I’ve used here comes from Blog de Adolfo‘s post about Edificio Carrión.

I know little about horror films but greatly enjoyed a movie I stumbled upon some years ago, El día de la Bestia (The day of the beast) a fine horror / satire / comedy by Alex de la Iglesia. The Schweppes sign is the location for a key chase scene which also features a hilarious literal gag. I’d recommend a look, and hope the trailer on YouTube here will whet your appetite.

That movie shares its affection for the geography of Madrid with another excellent film, Pedro Almodóvar’s Carne Trémula (Live Flesh). It’s a treat, not least for its metaphorical use of locations, many of which it shares with the Iglesias film, especially the twin leaning towers of the Puerta de Europa.

Chupa-Chups logo

Dalí’s original design

Now where was I? Oh right. Suck it and see. Which reminds me of a snippet of info about another bit Spanish commercial design.

You know that familiar logo for the Chupa-Chups brand of lollipop? Well it’s is an updated version of a design originally created in 1969 by none other than Salvador Dalí.

See here, here and here. Cool or what? ♦


2 Responses

  1. […] ♦ And most importantly of all, don’t forget the massive Wines from Spain – The New Way on September 9, again in Dublin. Full details here. […]

  2. […] also news/listings items on this blog about the season’s most promising open wine tasting, Wines From Spain and further nationwide wine tastings. […]

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