Drink outside the box
Boxofwine.ie is an online wine subscription service that delivers three bottles of wine, curated to the buyer's taste preferences, for €49 a month. Complete a brief questionnaire on the website and then an algorithm decides on the contents of the first box, after which feedback on the wines is taken into consideration in selecting the contents of subsequent monthly deliveries. The boxes also include tasting notes, information on the vineyards, and food pairing suggestions.
The venture, set up by Conor Duggan, Neil O'Reilly and Conor Mulligan last year when the pandemic interrupted their careers in hospitality, also offers an online shop. For Mother's Day they have a box that includes Champagne, cava or wine, plus Skelligs chocolates, a Celtic Candle and pillow mist, socks from Sock Society, Dalkey hand-made soap, and Three Hills lip balm (from €65). Gift subscriptions are also available.
Like Gráinne Mullins of Grá chocolates, the start of the pandemic last year prompted Anna Coffey Lynch to set up her own business, supplying the care packages of treats she sent to family and friends during the first lockdown, to a wider audience.
Having worked as a pastry chef for a decade, including a four-year stint as head chocolatier at Cocoa Atelier and a year at Adare Manor, Coffey Lynch set up Braw, a Limerick-based chocolatier and bakery. For Easter she is launching two limited-edition chocolate eggs: a Valrhona "Manjari" Madagascan dark one with crushed pistachios, and a Luker "Noche" milk one with salt caramel (both €25). See braw.ie for Dublin, Limerick and Galway stockists and delivery to counties Limerick and Clare.
Can do kombucha
The first sparkling drinks in a can from Donegal kombucha brand SynerChi were launched recently by modern Pentathlon Olympian Natalya Coyle. They come in apple and elderflower pressé, ginger and turmeric lemonade, and traditional cola flavours. The drinks are made in Gweedore by SynerChi founder and brewmaster Laura Murphy and are made with natural, organic ingredients, with only 12-17 calories per 250ml can. The brand is widely available in supermarkets and the new cans have a recommended retail price of €2.50.
For Mother’s Day next Sunday, Berman & Wallace in Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, have put together a “Mum’s Day Off” meal kit for four, with emphasis on involving children in its delivery, via a how-to video tutorial. Chefs’ hats, piping bags and tips on napkin-folding will bring a bit of fun to the occasion.
The box contains supplies for a generous breakfast in bed, cookie dough to bake for morning coffee or afternoon tea, and a three-course lunch or dinner. It costs €145, with delivery in Dublin available for an additional €10. See bermanandwallace.ie.
Tasty choice for St Patrick’s Day
The contents of the Burren Smokehouse’s St Patrick’s Day hampers are based around the senses of taste, scent and sound. In addition to three packs of smoked salmon produced in Lisdoonvarna, they contain Burren Gouda with Gubbeen oatcakes, Lilly O’Brien chocolates and Keogh’s shamrock and sour cream crisps. A candle from The Irish Chandler provides the scent, and sound comes via a QR code accessing a playlist of traditional Irish music from the Roadside Tavern. A dainty shamrock cereal bowl and a pot stand by Royal Tara complete the package, which costs €85, plus delivery.