Spanish delights!

Beautiful weather and a rich, healthy diet are two facets of Spanish culture that are envied all over the world; it’s why Spanish food and drink products are so popular! As the cold weather sets in, we’re taking a look at what’s on shelves to bring a little slice of the Mediterranean to Ireland


Brand Central

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15 October 2018

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National showcase

This 5 November, the Spain Gourmet Food Exhibition will take place at Dublin’s Gresham Hotel. This will be the first Spanish food fair in Ireland and will include a strong focus on high-quality Spanish products. At the event, 25 Spanish producers will exhibit their products to Irish food importers, restaurant managers and more figures from the trade and media.

During the exhibition, there will be two seminars; one on cured meats with expert Mario Hiraldo and another about olive oil with expert Alfonso Fernández. In addition, there will be a panel discussion on the Spanish food movement.

This talk will include the chef José Pizarro from Pizarro restaurant in London as the keynote speaker, along with Ferran Centelles, sommelier at El Bulli in Catalonia,and chef Rafa Peña of Gresca restaurant in Barcelona. Rounding out the panel will be the team behind popular Dublin restaurant Las Tapas de Lola.

Q&A with Louise McStravóg,brand manager, Don Carlos

Q: Olive oil is found in most homes yet comes in many different brands. How does Don Carlos differentiate in order to stand out?

A: The oils category is highly competitive, but we are delighted that after 30 years, Don Carlos remains Ireland’s number one olive oil brand. This is a testament to our brand promise of guaranteed premium quality and authentic olive oil. Don Carlos is grown, pressed and bottled in the Andalucía region of Southern Spain, which boasts some of the world’s finest olive groves. We have been working very closely with our trusted Spanish supplier for almost 30 years to ensure that we are continuously raising our standards.

Q: What innovations does Don Carlos have planned for the rest of 2018 and beyond?

A: Innovation is a key focus for the brand, particularly in a highly competitive category such as oils. As part of our innovation plan, we are looking to build on our existing range of authentic Spanish products. Don Carlos Olive Oil is available in Extra Virgin, Pure, Organic, and Mild and Light variants. The range also includes some of the finest quality Spanish produce including olives, capers, wine vinegars, and sea salts. As well as our commitment to quality, consumer-focused innovation will be key to the continued success of Don Carlos. We will continue to work very closely with our suppliers to identify new products that meet the needs of Irish consumers; to retain loyalty and grow sales.

Q: Where does olive oil fit into the conversation about consumer health?

A: At Don Carlos, we genuinely care about promoting a better way to eat and live. Conflicting media messages and guidance over food choices make it difficult for consumers to find reliable information on healthy eating. They are currently being driven towards minimally processed, natural foods that they feel they can trust. Olive oil is one of the main components of the Mediterranean diet which has long been promoted for its numerous health benefits. Through our brand communications we will focus on the benefits and versatility of using Don Carlos oils as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Q: What marketing and promotion does Don Carlos have in store?

A: key focus for Don Carlos is to raise brand awareness and purchase consideration with consumers, ultimately driving sales for our retail partners. For the remainder of 2018, we are investing in the brand with marketing support to re-engage consumers, helping them to reappraise the brand and what it stands for. We aim to use a multi-platform marketing approach with a digital-first focus for our communications, as we know from research that our target consumers are consuming the majority of their food-related content online. We are also engaging a well-known Irish chef as the Don Carlos brand ambassador, with the aim of educating consumers about the benefits of Don Carlos and highlighting the versatility of our range of products.

History in the making

Bodegas Martín Códax was founded in 1986 and named after the 13th century Galician troubadour whose medieval poems, some of the oldest in the Galician-Portuguese language, are preserved. In the poems, the troubadour sings songs of love and of the sea.

Since its founding, Bodegas Martín Códax has grown and developed by always supporting its people, its land and its culture. Martín Códax wines are distributed in more than 40 countries, including by Barry & Fitzwilliam in Ireland.

Martín Códax focuses on the environment, always looking for the sustainable option and reducing its carbon footprint. Its sustainability projects are channelled to reduce the environmental impact in viticulture and to combat the effects of climate change. Promoting sustainability is an objective for all areas of the winery and its staff, making it a priority for all the members of the enterprise.

The most widely known wine of the portfolio is Albariño Martín Códax, made entirely with the Albariño grape following a rigorous and careful process to ensure varietal purity and essence. The D.O for this wine is Rias Baixas – famous for the Albariño grape. It pairs perfectly with seafood, fish, white meat, rice and fresh cheeses.

Magnificent choices

As consumers seek new and interesting drinks experiences to enjoy at parties or to unwind with at home, they may wish to look no further than Lolea, a 100% natural and unpasteurised sangria produced using fine ingredients and age-old techniques. That means good wine, fruits and spices,along with that sparkling touch. Lolea is a ready to drink wine cocktail whose fruity flavour, adequate alcohol level and sparkling touch make it easy and pleasant to drink at almost any occasion, in the home or elsewhere.

Lolea comes in three varieties: Red Wine Sangria, made with Mediterranean citrus, quality red wine from the Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with cinnamon and a sparkling touch. There’s White Wine Sangria, made using Mediterranean citrus, young white wine from the Macabeo and Chardonnay grapes with vanilla. And finally, Lolea Rosé, the perfect blend of rosé wine, with the elegant aroma of hibiscus flower and a spicy ginger aftertaste with the same fine sparkling finish.

Meanwhile, Ramón Bilbao is creating its magnificent wines at the Haro, in Rioja Alta, a paradise where Rioja’s emblematic grape variety, Tempranillo, grows best. This is a land irrigated by the River Ebro, offering unbeatable conditions for grapes to grow and ripen. It has heterogeneous soils, with a limited availability of nutrients, shallow and well-drained, with a water deficit at key times.

Ramón Bilbao Crianza is an updated classic, aged in American oak barrels, versatile, fruity and balanced. Ruby red with some signs of youthfulness and violet hues, it displays medium depth ofcolour and medium intensity of aromas. Best served between 16º C and 18ºc, Crianza is an excellent accompaniment to cold meats and mild cheeses. It is marketed in Ireland by Gilbeys Wines & Spirits and distributed by C&C Gleeson.

World’s most admired

Familia Torres has been described as the ‘World’s Most Admired Wine Brand’ by sector professionals in a ranking in the latest issue of Drinks International. The family-owned Penedès winery has come in first for the second consecutive year and remains the only Spanish and European winery to have topped this list of 50 wineries in its seven editions. Following Familia Torres this year is Chilean winery Concha y Toro and Australia’s Penfolds, in second and third place, respectively.

The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands ranking is based on a survey of over 100 professionals (journalists, sommeliers, masters of wine, wine writers, educators), who are asked to choose the three wine brands they most admire, taking into account factors such as quality, authenticity and presentation. Among the praise Familia Torres received from voters is the winery’s commitment to the environment, its investment in RDI, its family tradition, and its efforts to restore ancestral varieties.

The article also mentions some of the milestones achieved by Familia Torres wines in 2017, including the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture award ‘Premio Alimentos de España al Mejor Vino’ for Grans Muralles 2010, and the International Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy, won by Mas La Plana 2012 at the International Wine Challenge. Perpetual 2014 also took home the Priorat Red Trophy at this event.

According to Miguel Torres Maczassek, a member of Familia Torres’s fifth generation, these prizes are recognition of “the perseverance, the excellent work and the respect for the land made possible by the effort and daily commitment of each and every single one of our collaborators”.





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