Slice of Ham and a Glass of Wine…

I told the students the week before that they were in for a treat at the following wine class… “a slice of ham and glass of wine”, knowing just how good it was going to be, but wanting the students to discover this for themselves. @ColmMcCan


We were delighted to welcome John Wilson, wine writer, The Irish Times to the Cookery School on Wednesday 25th October 2016, for a talk & tutored tasting on Wines of Spain.

John Wilson at the cookery school

Irish Times wine correspondent, John Wilson has 20 years of practical experience in the wine trade under his belt. He is author of ‘Wilson on Wine 2015, 2016 and his just published 2017 edition. His other wine writing including editing ‘The Wine Guide’, Ireland’s best ever selling wine book. Most of all, as he say himself, he likes a glass of decent wine. You can follow John on twitter at @wilsononwine and on his blog


John was a wonderful guide, taking us on a journey through the wine regions and grape varieties of Spain, culture, heritage and of course food – especially food and wine matching.


And to back up all the theory, we had a practical too – with a line-up of wines to taste:

  • Rías Baixas 2015, Bodegas Fefiñanes
  • El Bolo Godello 2015, Valdeorras, Rafael Palacios
  • El Castro de Valtuillé, Bierzo Joven 2014, Bodegas Valtuillé
  • Adnos Bobal 2012, Valencia, Alta Expresión
  • Lopez Herederia Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva 2004
  • Matarromera Crianza 2012, Ribera del Duero
  • La Iña Fino, Bodegas Lustau, Jerez


Spain truly came to East Cork with when John was joined by Mario Hiraldo Regalado, Iberico Ham master carver, who gave a masterclass talk & demo to the students.  The Iberico Ham, expertly carved by Mario, paired perfectly with the Fino Sherry introduced by John. As Darina told the students, it is one of the most delicious pairings. The students could see for themselves why Iberico Ham is often described as one of the most extraordinary gourmet products in the world. ‘The Iberico black pig’s ancient breed, chemical-free diet, free range rearing in the Dehesa, a network of pasturelands dotted with holm and cork oak in South-West Spain followed by 2 years curing, resulting in what is often described as ‘the most prized meats’. This was a real treat very much appreciated by the cookery students


Over the course of his 17-year career, Mario Hiraldo Regalado has evolved into a master of all things Ibérico. In fact, his official title is Master Carver and Ham Controller. He has become an ambassador of that technique and tradition, teaching all over the world. His passion and profession have landed him squarely in the grand traditions of Spanish Jamón, with posts as Master Carver for Turismo Andaluz S.A. and D.O.P. Jamón de Huelva, respectively. You can follow Mario on twitter at @mariohiraldo


Our thanks to Counsellor Javier Moral Escudero, Embassy of Spain, and Sara and Esther and all in the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Dublin for all their help in organising this fantastic visit. @SpainFoodWineIE


What a truly delicious and memorable morning for the students!