Day Ten - Taste ... Wine not!


I apologise for the title ... brutal!!!!

Today was a reasonably late start by Ballymaloe standards … 8:30 a.m. 😯 … We kicked off the morning with Darina demonstrating tray bakes (she hates that term but can’t see to find a better way to describe them so … tray bakes they are!) As I mentioned yesterday I thought we were due to go to Fermoy on a field trip … but I was wrong … Fermoy came to Ballymaloe. The rest of the morning was spent on a dairy workshop … this was open to visitors to attend, all of who seemed to be dairy farmers from the UK and Ireland and who wanted to do different things with their milk output to maximise returns! 

Darina was joined by Eddie O’Neill, who is one of the “Dairy Artisan Food Specialist” at Teagasc’s Moorepark Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork. Eddie is extremely entertaining and even more so an expert in his field. I don’t think there was one question that he couldn’t answer from any of the audience and had an anecdote for pretty much everything! Between himself and Darina (we already know she is ridiculously knowledgable!!!) they covered everything related to dairy production from the moment it leaves the cow, to separating the cream from the milk, to making butter & yoghurt! Not only that but then they made butter, made multiple cheeses (a gouda style, ricotta, labneh, paneer & cottage cheese!) and all the products where then turned into dishes by Gary & Richard (teachers) working in the background!  An impressive morning …

Lunch was a veritable feast … again … I’m not sure that was the best thing for what was to follow … wine tasting! Colm McCan was in again … and of course mentioned to me again about doing a Luxembourg tasting … I’ll have to ration what we’re drinking in the house so I have 3 bottles left for a tasting! 😜


Today he covered two whites, one sauvignon blanc and one that was a Pouilly-fume, made in the region but doesn’t confirm to all the rules of the area! Two Burgundy reds a Pinot noir and a Gigondas … then he finished with a Jurancon, sweet wine (no more to be called a desert wine!) A very entertaining afternoon … After the wine lecture we were asked to do a blind tasting of mead … by a Cork based meadery (Kinsale Mead Co.) … we reviewed and gave our anonymous thoughts on a white honey mead and a wild red fruit mead … We then had a brief overview of the process by Kate Dempsey for the meadery … 


After the days classes I had signed up for an extra curricular butchery class with Philip Dennhardt (a master butcher) we were taught how to butcher a half a lamb in a great atmosphere! Not to sound too macabre but … I really enjoyed it and would seriously consider buying in a half lamb in the future and butchering it myself !

The evening then continued back at Pennyworth where we had organised a wine tasting for about 17 others … we wanted to invite more but logistics didn’t allow it this time! Next time! We tasted 8 or so wines including two of Christian’s wines and a Luxembourgish Riesling! Caroline did a great job leading the evening with Emma in support and my contribution of two cheese plates 😊

Tomorrow back into the kitchen … a normal start of 8 a.m. … where I will be making Spiced Kerelan Chicken, Basmati Rice and Poppodoms! Hopefully I can do it justice …

For those of you around Cork on Saturday … I will be working on the Ballymaloe stall at Midleton Market all day, so if you see a guy who looks like Richard Corrigan come over and say hello !!! 😘