April 2016 – Real Wine Month at Bradley’s


April is “Real Wine Month” at Bradley’s.

Real wine is wine that has been made organically or biodynamically and with minimal intervention in the winery…

…no chemicals, no secret ingredients, just pure fermented grape juice, lovingly crafted into something beautiful…

sounds good, doesn’t it?!!

We’ll have a range of around 30 “real wines” on offer for the month of April so you’re bound to find one you like!

Why not try some today?

Here are some of our favourites…

Domaine De Ménard, Cuvée Marine 2015 €12.95

domaine_de_menard_2011_cuvee_marineThe work in the vineyard is carried out with the greatest respect for the environment; harvest takes place at night in order to keep maximum freshness, the de-stemmed grapes are then let soaking at cold temperature for few hours to facilitate the exchange between skins and juices (macération pélliculaire). The grapes are then gently pressed, avoiding any contact with oxygen;
The resulting juice is left to settle for a night, and once the clear juice has been cleared of its must deposits (debourbage), it is sent in temperature-controlled tanks for a slow fermentation.

Cuvée Marine (a blend of 60% Colombard with 20% each of Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng) is the direct result of all this care and efforts. The wine shows great purity of fruit with a racy mineral, sea-infused edge. Very aromatic, with scents of white flowers, pear drop and honey suckle; the palate is crisp and gives an instant impression of freshness. Very clean, with exuberant flavours of aniseed, exotic fruit, pear and menthol hints, it ends with fresh, gripping minerality.


Colle Stefano, Verdicchio Di Matelica 2015 €16.95


‘Italy’s best-buy of all time? Unbelievable quality for the price. Mineral zestiness, almond flowers, green apple and chlorophyll notes you won’t forget. You can tell owner Fabio Marchionni studied white wine in Germany.’ Decanter, Italy supplement 2013 – 93 pts/100

‘Tre Bicchieri’ Winner 2008 and 2009.
Slow Food Vino Slow: 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“This extraordinary white wine scours every taste bud on the tongue with electrifying acidity. How refreshing to taste a wine unmellowed by malo. Fabio’s Verdicchio is a pale yellow wine with greenish tones and a delicate scent of country herbs and apple; its taste, whose structure is not intrusive, has a fresh lime trace which makes this wine particularly fragrant, and the kind of pervasive acidity previously mentioned will allow your tongue to pass through the eye of the needle and enter the kingdom of oysters with an appetite for destruction.” Douglas Wregg

” Readers looking for a tasty Verdicchio that won’t break the bank should consider this Verdicchio di Matelica from Colle Stefano. This bright, high-toned white reveals well-defined aromatics and plenty of crisp, zesty fruit. The wine is best enjoyed while it remains fresh and vibrant” Wine Advocate


Cantina Tollo, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2014 €14.95IMG_4072-web-500x500
From the award-winning Cantina Tollo, one of the best co-operative wineries in the Abruzzo region.

Hand harvested and neither fined nor filtered this wine is bursting with primary red fruit and gamey notes. Ruby red in colour with violet tinges. The fragrance recalls small red fruit, with hints of liquorice and violet. The flavour is full and well-structured, with mild, well-integrated tannins. It pairs perfectly with flavourful first courses, roast meats, sausages and semi-aged cheeses.


Domaine de la Villes Rouge, Crozes-Hermitage ‘Inspiration’ 2014 €19.95

ville-rouge2The Crozes-Hermitage ‘Inspiration’ is made from the estate’s youngest vines (10-15 years old) grown on the ‘plateau de Chassis’, a terrace made up of thick layers of pebbles from different glacial periods, interspersed with red clay. The juice gets a four-day pre-fermentation soak, with 80% then aged for 12 months in stainless steel, the remainder in oak barrels. A creamy, juicy nose of plum and spice and just a suggestion of the typical Crozes ‘bacon fat’ character. Light-bodied, fresh acidity, savoury, with soft tannins. Sleekly textured, elegant and just delicious – an approachable style to be drunk young and on the fruit. Very good value for the appellation.


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So a couple of questions – How important really is Cork to us Corkonians? Are we not famous nationally & internationally for the pride we take in our city? “Beautiful City, charming and pretty” and all that!! 

Here’s the thing, if we want to maintain a vibrant city, that we can all be proud of, we need to give it our support, use it, inhabit it – to coin a phrase, “use it or lose it”. 

Despite all the talk of “green shoots” & “economic turn arounds”, business is tough, retail is very tough and city centre seem to be struggling most of all. This can be witnessed by all the vacant units, not least on our main street, St. Patrick St. and throughout the city.

All of us city traders have fantastic customers that give us continued loyal support but for many the city centre is no longer on the agenda. If you were to be asked when was the last time you visited the city centre, would you have to stop to think?

Here’s my simple suggestion – a “once a month” motto for all of us. If we all commited to visiting the city centre at least once a month to support city businesses it would go a long way to restoring our city to former glories.

Who knows, the powers that be might come on board with free parking once a month but that’s not something we can wait on. The power is with all of us, it’s we that can make the difference. What price a thriving city?

So say it once, say it loud: “I’m a Corkonian and I’m proud.”



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Marques De Riscal Wine Tasting At Bradley’s

Join us in store, next Tuesday, the 11th of March for a tasting of Marqués de Riscal wines, hosted by Ruth Sutton from Marqués de Riscal (4.30pm – 6pm). This is a great opportunity to taste a range of wines from the European Winery of the Year. Also, on the evening, be in with a chance to win a bottle of the much sought after 2001 vintage of Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva 150th Anniversary – an exceptional vintage of this great wine. Everyone welcome, so come along and taste the wines and take advantage of the promotion prices on offer.

Marques de Riscal Bradleys

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A Good Week!

Sometimes good things happen all at once and this was one of those weeks!

On Monday we received our plaque from McKenna’s Guides in the post with this lovely testimonial



We were still basking in the glory when we were contacted by Pride Of Ireland Awards to inform us that having previously been nominated we were duly receiving their award for our support of local, artisan producers, with this recommendation –

“Our second winner of the day has been our newest quest to find local shops supporting Local Artisans, we looked at many and found just a few ( sad to say) but our winner for supporting true Irish Artisans goes to Bradleys Off-Licence in North Main Street, Cork City. This shop has been around since the 1800s and has always been owned by the same family. Providing customers with local and unusual products is their goal and they maintain a high standard when it comes to Artisan Producers. Well worth a visit and most surely worth supporting,congratulations to Michael and the staff and welcome”.

It’s a pleasure for us to deal with quality, local producers. Now, more than ever, in these difficult times, we believe it’s all about supporting each other. To get recognition for doing what we love to do is a real bonus!

The real thanks goes to our loyal customers who make what we do possible and with your support we will continue to do our business locally where possible.

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WE recently decided on a family trip in the East Cork direction, west being our usual route. It turned out to be a good decision which proved very fortuitous for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, for very selfish reasons, it provided me the opportunity of studying the extensive Ballymaloe wine list (a stop there being part of our itinerary). Study is the only word I can use for this absolutely fantastic list, which if you’re a wine nut – a condition I happily confess to – will leave you drooling. There aren’t many lists as well balanced and extensive as this one. Noticed too that “Little Beauty” Riesling, from Cork based wine company Wine Alliance, was their “wine of the month”, a wine I also stock.

Secondly, in Cloyne, I picked up a jar of locally produced honey – Lisanley. I tasted it on my return home and can truly say I hadn’t tasted honey like it in many years. Decided there & then I was going to add it to Bradley’s ever growing range of quality, local produce.

A slightly surreal telephone call to the beekeeper ensued, the gist of which was me complimenting his fantastic product and saying I’d love to stock it and him saying great but we don’t deliver as far as Cork!! So what to do? What else? I hopped in the car and back down to Cloyne to fill the boot!!

So now, it is on my shelf, for you to enjoy and there’s no need to hold back – I can always make another road trip, maybe stop for a glass of wine on the way…

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Preconceptions, Misconceptions & The Independent Wine Shop

It must be true! After all we read it in the paper, hear it on the radio and see it on television everyday. If you want the cheapest price then you must shop in the multiples or big discounters. Fair enough if you want that special bottle for that special occasion then a visit to your local independent off-licence might be worth a visit and as a bonus you’ll get knowledgable and friendly service. For the everyday, however, stick with the big guys and the prices make the impersonal acceptable.

As a self employed, small business owner I work considerable hours. In fact no week would be less than 70 hours (something I’m not particularly proud of, but a fact of my life nonetheless). It means I don’t get much of a chance to see first hand what others in my line of business are doing. So, with a spare hour last Wednesday morning, and finding myself in one of those uplifting shopping centres, I took the opportunity to wander into the off-licence section of one of the major multiples. Well, what an eye opener!! Immediately one is confronted with the below-cost offerings and “half-price” wines and you wonder at their ability to continue to churn these out with little or no perceivable profit-margin. Then, when you look at their general offerings, things become a little clearer!!! Here are just some of my findings:

Smirnoff 1Ltr

Powers 1ltr

Smirnoff Lt my price €24.99

Powers ltr my price €29.99

Jameson 1Ltr – my price €29.99

Santa Rita 120 Range

Corona 6 Pack

Corona 6 pack – my price €8.50                    Santa Rita wine range – my price €7.99

My prices have been, in all cases, at that point for at least the last 12 months and are not based on some weekly special. So let’s do the sums on a simple purchase of only 5 standard off-licence products:

1ltr Smirnoff, 1Ltr Jameson, 1 x 6 pack Corona and 1 Btl each of Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc –                                                                                                   the multiple price €90.25, my price €79.46, a whopping difference of €10.79 on only 5 items. The multiples would take a full page advert in the Nationals to highlight a difference like this!!! Let’s not forget, also, that in all probability the cost price of those products to the multiples would be far less than to a stand alone, independent off-licence like myself.

Lesson learned? Well, no doubt it pays to shop around, but when it comes to where, it’s best to ignore the commonly held preconceptions and misconceptions of the independent wine shops and as well as getting informed, helpful and friendly advice, why not pick up a bargain too!!

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Villa Antinori Toscana – Wine of the Month

 Villa Antinori Toscana (Red) 2007

SPECIAL OFFER SAVE €5 – Usual Price €17.99  –  Now €12.99

Grape Varieties: 55% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%Merlot, 5% Syrah.

This wine was first introduced in 1928 by Marquis Niccolo Antinori, the father of Piero Antinori. At that point it was produced as Chianti and was the first one made in a style making it suitable for aging and improving over time.

In 2001, Piero Antinori launched a new step in the evolution of Villa Antinori, making it a Tuscan IGT rather than a Chianti and producing it from the best available grapes from estates located in the region of Tuscany. It would no longer be made as Chianti as it went outside the laws governing the production of that wine. To be labeled Chianti the wine must have a minimum of 75% Sangiovese in the blend.

During the vinification stage, the wine undergoes Malolactic Fermentation, followed by 12 months aging in French, Hungarian and American oak barrels. It then get a further 8 months in bottle before release.

Tasting Note: It has an intense ruby colour, with purple tinges. On the nose it is full and complex with notes of plum jam, mint, chocolate and tobacco with pleasant underlying vanilla from the oak aging. On the palate, it has excellent structure, complex with soft, velvety tannins and good balancing acidity.

Also included on monthly special-

Villa Antinori Bianco – Save €3

Usual Price €12.99  –  Now €9.99.

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Viognier Grapes

Willunga 100 is in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. The grapes come from a range of selected vineyards in McLaren Vale and Adelaide, including some over 50 years old. Winemaker Stephen Pannell uses modern equipment alongside traditional winemaking techniques, including open-top fermenters, to ferment small parcels of fruit as they arrive at the winery.

Vineyards: The sandy soils provide lifted aromatics to the wines, while darker soils including “Terra Rossa” types contribute to the rich, bold tannins. The vineyards are carefully managed, with only the best parcels of fruit going towards the production of Willunga 100.

Vinification: Parcels of Shiraz were harvested in March with the Viognier ripening slightly later. This allowed for the full ripening of the Viognier which ensured quality integration with the Shiraz. The two grape types were fermented together in open-fermenters where it was plunged and pumped over at least twice daily. Following fermentation, the wine was matured in French and American oak.

Tasting Notes: The 2007 vintage is deep ruby in colour with purple hues. Very upfront on the nose, with a touch of peachiness from the Viognier and buckets of juicy, bramble fruit from the Shiraz, along with spicy notes and underlying vanilla. This is a well structured wine, with smooth, ripe tannins, great depth and a lingering finish.


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PRODUCER: Alberto Antonio and his Tuscan friend, Antonio Morescalchi, were so impressed with the vineyards in the area around Mendoza, following their first trip to Argentina in 1995, that they persuaded a few friends to join with them in buying this estate. The vineyards and winery are situated in Lujan de Cuyo, one of Mendoza’s premier vine growing areas. The estate covers 216 hectares, of which 40 were planted between 1996 and 1999. Altos Las Hormigas are known as Malbec specialists with a reputation as one of the countries top five producers of this variety, a fact which was recognised by the recent Decanter Gold medal for the Reserva 2007.

VINTAGE INFORMATION: A mild Winter was followed by a very dry Spring with average temperatures. Summer was very hot and dry, giving a powerful character to the vintage. Irrigation management was crucial to extend the ripening process and ensure good quality of grapes. The grapes were picked in late March/early April.

VINIFICATION: Grapes from different vineyards were vinified separately before the final blend. After de-stemming and crushing, fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel at 28C. During the 15 day fermentation-maceration process the must was pumped over and punched down for optimal extraction of ripe tannins and good colour. A brief period of oak treatment was carried out to emphasise the natural spiciness of the variety. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration and was released after three months in bottle.

TASTING NOTE: Deep purple-red in colour with a youthful rim. On the nose it has aromas of smoky cherries and a hint of violets with a touch of spice. Powerful and generous, it has a lovely structure, with smooth, ripe tannins, chunky autumnal fruit characters and a long finish.


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Whisky of the Month

Glenmorangie 10yr Old, Single Malt

On the nose sherry notes with strong fruit aromas – melons, red apples. Dry, with herbal, bracken aromas. Sweet palate, winey with oak and hop flavours. Some heather blossom (honey) elements.

Usual price €45….now €39.99


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