Flavours of New Zealand 14.01.2019

New Zealand Winegrowers will host its 22nd tasting of New Zealand wines in Ireland on Monday 14th January 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.  Time: 2.00-6.00 p.m.
Dublin Trade masterclass (13:00)
Exploring New Zealand’s Regional Heroes
Join John Wilson on a journey around New Zealand wine regions to showcase New Zealand’s classic regional and varietal expressions.  Places at the Masterclass are limited and must be pre-booked.  Please contact Jean Smullen to book.
Themed Tables
The Sommelier Sauvignon Selection
Sommeliers who have been to New Zealand onSommit, the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier scholarship have nominated their favourite Sauvignon Blanc discoveries on the trip.  This is a selection of those Sauvignons which stood out to them and would work well on a restaurant wine list.
Chardonnay is grown throughout New Zealand and strongly reflects our terroir and the huge regional diversity.   A wide-range of Chardonnay styles are produced in New Zealand, from fruit-driven and unoaked, to luscious examples with complexity, elegance, and a touch of oak.  This tasting is a small snapshot of what the country can offer for this most versatile of grape varieties.

Participating wineries for the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers annual tasting include:  Askerne Winery, Awatere River, Babich,  Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Lawsons Dry Hills, Mt Beautiful Wines – Teece Family Vineyards, Nautilus, Oyster Bay,  Pegasus Bay, Sacred Hill, Saint Clair Family Estate, Seifried Estate,   te Pa Family Vineyards, Villa Maria, Waimea, Wither Hills, Yealands Family Wines

R.S.V.P. TO  Jean Smullen jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468

The Robin has landed at the Palace

Willie Aherne’s Whiskey Palace at the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin was chosen as the first on-trade establishment to release a 17 year-old single cask Irish whiskey.

Redbreast 17 Year Old Single Malt was exclusively bottled for Willie Aherne’s Whiskey Palace. A historic day here in The Palace, first Dublin pub, to have a redbreast single cask Irish whiskey. Exclusively bottled, yield of 540 bottles, 59.7%, 17year old from cask 18831. The whiskey was aged in  a first-fill ex-Sherry cask. The result is a limited edition collectible whiskey. The whiskey was introduced at a tasting in the Whiskey Palace on 21st November,2018 at which  bottles were released for general sale.

Willie Aherne of the Whiskey Palace said: “Our shelves are already full of the finest selection of Irish whiskey but the addition of this label, unique to us, has been a dream in the making for many years. Since we announced that we’d be releasing the Redbreast 17 Year Old there has been great anticipation among whiskey collectors and enthusiasts alike.

At the launch Willie also stated we chose to partner with Irish Distillers for this venture due to the consistent quality of their whiskey and multiple awards won by the distillery over the years We knew they would produce a special whiskey for us at the Whiskey Palace. This is the coming together of two great houses that have such a strong history and heritage.”

The Palace has attained international acclaim for its singular devotion to the promotion of Irish whiskey. In excess of 300 of the finest Irish whiskies can be savoured here attracting whiskey connoisseurs from far and wide. This excellent range of Irish whiskies has been developed by Willie Aherne. When Bill Aherne, acquired the palace in 1946 it was common for public houses to have their own bottled whiskey and The Palace Bar had the renowned “The Palace Brand Whiskey”. August 2011 The Palace Bar revived this tradition of having its own bottled whiskey again with the exclusive single cask “The Palace Bar 9 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey” which was launched on 18th August, 2011.

In October 2013 the Palace opened a whiskey bar called Whiskey Palace and on the same night launched a new whiskey called Palace Bar Fourth Estate Single Malt.  The name the ‘Fourth Estate’ refers to the time when the journalists would frequent the Palace Bar and use it as if it were their office.

November, 2018 Redbreast 17 Year Old Single Malt is a prestigious addition to their offering. It’s on sale in the bar for €25 a measure, with a bottle priced at €350.

Redbreast 17 Year Old Single Cask begins with a smooth mouthfeel, and then exposes mild nuttiness and dried fruit character. As the tannins evolve, slightly drier notes come to the fore, along with roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. The pot still spices linger, while the sweet fruit character fades, leaving the oak tannins continuing to the end.

Today, the Palace Bar is run by Willie Aherne ably assisted by his father Liam.

Oliver Murtagh, President and Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers attended the function last night on the invitation of Willie Aherne.

Willie Aherne Palace Bar & Whiskey Palace


Let’s Get Fizzical


Let's Get Fizzical by Pippa Guy

Flavours of New Zealand 2019 Consumer Show

Flavours of New Zealand 2019 Consumer Show

by Jean Smullen

Published 02/11/2018

New Zealand Winegrowers will host its 22nd tasting of New Zealand wines in Ireland in January 2019.  With a number of key New Zealand wineries showing at the Dublin show in 2019 there will be over 150 New Zealand wines available to taste. The consumer tickets are now on sale.   This is one of the most popular consumer wine events and is a great way to start the wine New Year!

Participating wineries for the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers annual tasting include:  Askerne Winery, Babich,  Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Lawsons Dry Hills, Mt Beautiful Wines – Teece Family Vineyards,  Oyster Bay,  Pegasus Bay, Sacred Hill, Saint Clair Family Estate, Seifried Estate,   te Pa Family Vineyards, Villa Maria, Yealands Family Wines

FLAVOURS OF NEW ZEALAND – DUBLIN 2019   6:30 pm – 8:30 pm 

Monday 14th January, 2019   Venue:  Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

Tickets are now on sale price €15.00. A great idea as a Christmas stocking filler for the wine enthusiast in your life.

To purchase tickets you can use the following methods:

To purchase a ticket to the 2019 New Zealand event CLICK HERE   (Credit Card accepted)

Or contact Jean Smullen in Dublin. Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com  Telephone (086) 816 8468

One Of Ireland’s Most Expensive Bottles Of Whiskey Goes Under The Hammer


One of only 117 bottles available worldwide, the Midleton 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition is the lot to watch at the forthcoming Irish Whiskey Auctions. Expected to sell in the region of €15,000, this exclusive premium Irish whiskey is just one of over 200 lots that will be listed on the online auction, which goes live on November 16 at www.IrishWhiskeyAuctions.ie.

Organised by Irish Whiskey Auctions, the company held its first auction last month, with 167 lots up for sale and buyers logging on and bidding from Ireland, UK, Germany, USA and Singapore. Among the lots sold were the complete collection of Irish Midleton Very Rare (34 bottles), selling for €36,100 to a publican from Waterford, and an early collection of ten bottles of small-batch Dingle whiskey, which was sold for €5,500 to a bidder in Singapore.

Superseding Expectations

“In January this year, the idea of building Irish Whiskey Auctions came to me during a conversation in L. Mulligan whiskey shop, Dublin. In less than one year we have superseded all our expectations, launching and hosting ‘Ireland’s first online whiskey auction’ with 167 lots and the average bottle selling for €550 – significantly surpassing our expectations of €200 for the average bottle in the first auction,” said Anthony Sheehy, founder of Irish Whiskey Auctions.

Spanning nine days, the next online auction launches on November 16th at 5pm and runs until 7pm Sunday 25th November. Users must register to participate in the auctions, but sellers can sell for free as there’s no listing fee for the November auction.

Investors And Investments

Irish Whiskey Auctions was founded by Irish couple Anthony and Catherine Sheehy, and investors include publicans and whiskey enthusiasts Alan Campbell, owner of The Bankers Bar on Trinity Street, Dublin, and Willie Aherne, owner of the Palace Bar on Dublin’s Fleet Street.

The company has already invested over €100,000 in creating the online platform, developing bespoke technology to enable a streamline and fair auctioneering process. One of the features includes an automatic page refresh every two seconds, which ensures buyers have the most up-to-date information in real-time.

“A Simple Decision”

Commenting on the company and his involvement with it, Campbell said, “I have been involved in the whiskey world for the last 20 years and whilst whiskey auctions are common across the UK and indeed Europe, it is hard to believe there wasn’t an online whiskey business portal in Ireland before now.

“There’s huge demand for Irish whiskey and it’s now widely-regarded as an investment buy from collectors across the world. When Anthony approached me about this opportunity, coupled with my knowledge of the market and the export growth figures, it was a simple decision to get involved. I am excited to be a part of this new venture and am looking forward to seeing some amazing and rare whiskies come to light.”

Treasure Hunting

With monthly auctions planned, the company is appealing for people from across Ireland to check their cupboards and presses for hidden treasures, whether it is a bottle, case or a complete collection, which could be sold in one of its upcoming auctions or to get in touch for a free valuation.

“A New Beginning”

Speaking about his passion for whiskey and involvement with the company, Aherne added, “Whiskey runs throughout our family history at The Palace Bar, so much so that in October 2013 I opened the Whiskey Palace above my family-owned tavern – The Palace Bar – and we even produce our own whiskey brand.

“I am really excited to be a part of Ireland’s first platform that will promote Irish whiskey worldwide as well as acting as a marketplace for buyers and sellers. Irish Whiskey Auctions hails a new beginning for collectors and fans of whiskey.”

Irish Whiskey Auctions offers collectors and first-time buyers and sellers a simple and professional platform to access the finest whiskey with global reach. The next auction launches on November 16, 2018. For more information, visit www.irishwhiskeyauctions.ie.

Media Release: New Zealand Sommelier scholarship

Ian Brosnan of Ely wine bar Ely Place

New Zealand Winegrowers 2019 Sommelier Scholarship recipients announced
New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased to announce the 18 successful sommeliers chosen to participate in
the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship.
The New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship is a global initiative with sommeliers from
Australia, Asia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and USA all
eligible to participate.
Limited to just 20 attendees, the two-day Sommit™ will be hosted in Hawke’s Bay on the 25 & 26 January
2019, by NZ Master of Wine Stephen Wong and UK Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn.
The event is a celebration of the lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine, with particular emphasis on
the facets that resonate with the sommelier community and is just one part of an intensive programme
of 11 days, including the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough and the Chardonnay
and Sparkling Wine symposium in Gisborne.
“It has been a privilege to welcome such a talented and passionate group of wine professionals to New
Zealand on the scholarship programme, exploring the depth and breadth of New Zealand’s many wine
regions,” said New Zealand Winegrowers’ Global Marketing Director Chris Yorke.
Sommit™ is a closed-door sommelier-only event, and a very different kind of tasting that is directed by
the attendees based on what they taste in the glass. “At the end of their experience we hope the scholars
will share personal wine discoveries and insights from their trip with their customers and the wider
sommelier community – something we simply cannot replicate in a classroom. We look forward to them
becoming true ambassadors for New Zealand wine,” said Mr Yorke.
The 18 successful sommeliers are:
• Arneis Wu, Joel Robuchon (Shanghai)
• Kerry Qin, Bellagio Hotel (Shanghai)
• Mathias Camilleri MS, CE LA VI (Singapore)
• Matthew Dunne, Solotel (Sydney)
• Emma Farrelly, State Buildings (Perth)
• Stephanie Jacob, Supernormal (Melbourne)
• David Murphy, One Penny Red (Sydney)
• Bridget Raffal, Sixpenny (Sydney)
• Véronique Rivest, SOIF Wine Bar (Quebec)
United Arab Emirates:
• Luca Gagliardi, Pierchic Restaurant (Dubai)
New Zealand:
• Candice Chow, Go To Collection (Queenstown)
UK & Europe:
• Melania Battiston, 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen
Ian Brosnan, Ely Restaurant Group (Ireland)
• Emma Ziemann, Thörnströms Kök (Sweden)
• Vanessa Da Silva, Ninety Acres (Peapack, New Jersey)
• Jillian Riley, NoMI (Chicago, Illinois)
• Winn Roberton, Bourbon Steak at Four Seasons (Washington D.C.)
• Emily Tolbert, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (Houston, Texas)
To date, the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship has hosted five Sommit™ events for 79
sommeliers from 15 countries. Previous Sommit™ events have seen a marked increase in listings of New
Zealand wines in top international restaurants.
Visit https://www.nzwine.com/en/events/new-zealand/new-zealand-wine-sommit/
for more information on the scholarship process and programme.
• New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries, with total exports reaching $1.7
billion in 2018.
For further information contact:
Rhonda Finlay
International Education Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
+64 226513319

livestream of ASI Competition Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 18 October

 livestream of ASI Competition Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania

We offer a livestream of the finals of ASI Competition Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania.You can also follow our social media channels to get more insights. FacebookInstagram and Twitter. The hastags we are using are #asiasiaoceania2018, #asibestsomm, #asisommsThe stream will start on Thursday, October 18th 2018 at 14.30 h (Japanese time / GMT +09:00) and you can see it here below

If the stream should not be visible here, please view it directly at ASI’s YouTube-Channel.

Chilean Open Pour Tasting Tuesday 23rd October

The Embassy of Chile in Ireland have great pleasure in inviting you to attend aChilean Open Pour Tasting in Dublin on Tuesday 23rd October, 2018
The wines will be available to taste from 11:30 – 17:30

The tasting will take place at theEmbassy of Chile, 44 Wellington Road, Dublin 4.
The format of the tasting is as follows:

  • Wines will be lined up by region
  • No wineries or agents will be present, allowing you to taste uninterrupted
  • Tasting Catalogue listing RSP and stockists will be provided

We hope you will be able to join us to see what Chile has to offer.  A light lunch will be available from 12:30 – 13:30
We look forward to seeing you then.

Cristian Streeter
Chilean Ambassador to Ireland

From a market perspective, Chile is still the number one country of origin for Irish wine drinkers, with Australia, France and Spain following after that.  Sales of new world wine continue to account for 62.9% of all wine sales on the Irish market in 2017

R.S.V.P. To
Jean Smullen – Tel: (086) 816 8468
email:   jean@jeansmullen.com

“Albarino/Alvarinho”Masterclass 12th of November – CANCELLED

“On Monday 12th of November from 10.30am to 12pm, Bren Smith, from Mackenway Distributor Limited, will be hosting a masterclass for the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. The theme will be “Albarino/Alvarinho” with wines coming from different countries, including Uruguay!
To book your seat, please contact you julie at down2wine@gmail.com
Please note this tasting will be starting at 10.30am sharp so please make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes in advance. Also, please bring your own tasting glasses. The venue for this tasting will be Ely CHQ.”

Masterclass organized  by Julie Dupouy

Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)

3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)

WSET Diploma

WSET Sake Level 3



As part of the annual Rhône Wine Week activities in Ireland, Côtes du Rhône wines would like to invite you to The Big Rhône Tasting, taking place on Tuesday 6 November 2018 at ely Bar & Brasserie in Dublin.

The tasting will be an opportunity to try over an exciting range of Rhône wines from a diverse range of interesting and innovative producers. The wines on offer will include Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages as well as wines from the Northern and Southern Crus of the Rhône Valley.

The tasting will be an opportunity to try over an exciting range of Rhône wines from a diverse range of interesting and innovative producers. The wines on offer will include Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages as well as wines from the Northern and Southern Cru of the Rhône Valley.

Masterclass for the Off Trade  11.00-12.00 p.m.

Title:   “Retailing Rhône and why to go off the beaten track
Our tasting takes a look at some of the Rhône‘s smaller less well known southern AOP’s including Rasteau, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.  We will explore Côtes du Rhône and the rise in popularity of lighter red wine styles and of course, we will look at white wine styles from the Rhône.  The tasting will highlight current consumer trends and why the southern Rhône is such an important category for Irish retailers.

Masterclass for the Restaurant Trade  03.30-04.30 p.m.

Title:   “Rhône wine regions take another look”
We will explore and the rise in popularity of lighter red wine Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Village  and will look at why they are such a good fit with a broad range of menu styles.  We take a look at current consumer trends and why it’s worth going off the beaten track with some of the Rhône’s less well known appellations.   We know that when dining out for a special occasion, such as an anniversary dinner, when the Irish consumer trades up it is usually with a French wine.  Rhône offers great value and punch way above their weight in terms of price/quality and margin.  Our restaurant masterclass will highlight some of the key wines currently available and will also look at white wine styles from the Rhône.

The masterclass will be presented by Jean Smullen WSET Dip
Places are limited, therefore if you would like to attend please RSVP by Thursday 1 November tojean@jeansmullen.com  to confirm your place at the Masterclass.
The Big Rhône Tasting

Date:                     Tuesday 6 November 2018
Time:                    10.30am to 5pm
Location:               ely Bar & Brasserie IFSC  Dublin 1
RSVP:                    info@rhonewineweekireland.com
by Tuesday 1 November 2018

Pembroke Wines

Pembroke Wines



22nd October, 2018

10.30AM – 5.30PM

Pembroke Wines is thrilled to invite you to taste the wines from our portfolio. A host of very special guests on the day will be pouring their own wines. These include Anthony Hamilton-Russell from South Africa, Comtesse Alexandra de Vezailles of the historic Chateau des Bachelards in Beaujolais, and Benjamin Laroche from Chablis.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be representing the legendary wines of Stephen and Prue Henschke from Australia, and the highly-respected Pinot Noirs from actor Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks estate in Central Otago, New Zealand.

We now represent Bodegas Pujanza, the much-heralded Rioja producer. Be sure to taste these!

This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare your wine lists for the upcoming festive season, and to try a few gems that we don’t usually have open.

Please RSVP to let us know you’re coming, and feel free to bring your colleagues along, or to share this invitation with anyone from the trade who might like to attend.


Bodega Garzon – Uruguayan Wine Master Class -CANCELLED

Bodega Garzon – Uruguayan Wine Master Class

Date: Monday 1st of October

Time: 10.30am (please be there 10/15 minutes earlier)

Where: Ely CHQ

Please  book with Julie Dupouy at down2wine@gmail.com.

There is a charge of €10 for non members attending

Thanks to Bren Smith Mackenway Wines for offering this masterclass to the Guild

Bodega Garzon – Urugyan Wine Master Class by Alexander Griffiths

Located in a fantastic setting 525ft (160m) above sea level in the Garzón hills some 5km from the Atlantic Ocean, Bodega Garzón is considered the most extraordinary wine estate in Uruguay.  With the advice of world renowned enologist Alberto Antonini, the hills of Bodega Garzon were planted with a complex network of vineyards that produce wines with a strong identity, expressing the inimitable character and features of the Garzón terroir.

During the tasting Alexander Griffiths from Bodega Garzon will take the Guild members through a range of seven wines from Bodega Garzon, explaining the planting practices, micro climates and wine making process which combine as making the fabulous Bodega Garzon wines and explain why the world is looking at Uruguayan wines with a whole new set of eyes.

Masterclass organized  by Julie Dupouy

Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)

3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)

WSET Diploma

WSET Sake Level 3

Dear Members,

Please make a special effort to attend & be in attendance 10/15 minutes before the masterclass commences.

Your full attention should be given to the presenter and given the respect he deserves.


Report on masterclass and tasting of Sherry wines from Fernando di Castilla


“On Monday 19th of September, Jan Pettersen, owner of Bodega Fernando de Castilla, in Jerez, hosted a masterclass for the members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.
This was a fantastic opportunity for our members to discover or rediscover the different styles of wines produced in the region of Jerez guided by the expertise of Jan. Some of the wines tasted included their classic Fino, aged under flor for 3-5  years. A light-bodied wine, made from free run juice only, with a lots of salty characters ; ideal pairing with fresh oysters according to Jan.
The next two wines were two Amontillado with two different ages, the Antique being over 20 years old. Amontillado wines start as Fino and after a few years, the wines are fortified to a higher level of alcohol (18% abv.) to continue their ageing in an oxidative environement which will gives them some richer, earthier, more savoury characters.
The last two dry wines of the day were the Oloroso from the House and the very rare Palo Cortado.
The tasting was concluded with a sampling of a very old Pedro Ximenes. A wine with an average of 500 gr/L of sugar but demonstrating an incredible balance. Intense, luxurious and incredibly complex, a real meditation wine.
Finally, Jan introduced one of his newest creation. A vermouth based on Sherry wines and over 20 botanicals. A beverage not available in Ireland yet but with great potential to seduce the Irish consumers!
Thank you very much to Jan Petterser and to Tindal wine company for organising such a special masterclass”
Report by Julie Dupouy
Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)
3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)
WSET Diploma
WSET Sake Level 3

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Countdown to the ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2019

The partners joined Antwerp to accompany this presentation of the competition to the press.
 The partners joined Antwerp to accompany this presentation of the competition to the press.

The diamond capital will become that of the sommellerie next March. An exceptional meeting of which Terre de Vins will be one of the partners.

Fifty years after the first ASI competition for Best Sommelier in the World won by Frenchman Armand Melkonian, Belgium has been preparing for more than two years to welcome once again (*) the most prestigious event. And this Tuesday, September 18, less than six months of the event, the case took a very concrete turn with a presentation of the stakes of the competition, the ambitions of the organizers and the commitment of the partners.

While the member countries of the International Sommellerie Association still have a few weeks to select and register their representative, the three shots were given in a building with futuristic architecture that dominates the commercial port of the Flemish city. In the presence of Andrès Rosberg , Michèle Chantôme and Philippe Faure-Brac , respectively president, secretary general and treasurer of the ASI, William Wouters, president of the Gilde of the sommeliers of Belgium, spoke with humor and emotion the long preparatory work.

For if the more than sixty expected participants train on a daily basis in order to better defend their chances, in the shadows a team of volunteers works in Belgium to offer them the best possible conditions during the competition. And here, everything is a matter of means! The contribution of the partners at the forefront of which include the wines of the Cotes du Rhone and Austrian Wine is therefore essential to accommodate the national delegations and the media that will follow the contest disputed in three stages.

A multi-faceted contest

In this context, Terre de Vins (represented in Antwerp by Rodolphe Wartel its director) and its readers will occupy a privileged place since our title was chosen as a press partner for France as were Decanter for the United Kingdom and Meininger for Germany. A media orientation that goes in the direction desired by President Andres Rosberg upon his election, a little over a year ago in Bordeaux.

The contest is also an exceptional promotional showcase. To exploit this facet, France wine has largely mobilized in the image of Gérard Bertrand, the Malartic vineyards, the Clarence Dillon estate and the Perrin Family who have joined a very international pool of support where appear actors of the world Portuguese, Italian and Spanish winemakers. Domains and houses that will accompany the competition with master classes, tastings and presentations during the lunches and dinners planned in Antwerp from March 10th to 15th.

Finally, the diamond world will also contribute with, for the winner, a cluster-shaped brooch set with white and green diamonds. A unique model specially made for the occasion by the Untold house.

(*) In Brussels in 1983, after two Italian successes, Jean-Luc Pouteau brought the title back to France.

Below: Rodolphe Wartel and William Wouters united by the same desire to promote the profession of sommelier through the 2019 world.

California Wines’ Sommelier Sessions!



Become part of the brand-new California Wines’ Sommelier Sessions!

We will run a series of Sommelier-led wine sessions. These will not only be a great opportunity to network with your peers, but also to train and develop your California wine knowledge and your Sommelier skills. An ideal opportunity for those preparing for their WSET qualifications, MW or Court of Master Sommelier exams. Anja Breit, former Head Sommelier of the two Michelin starred Ledbury Restaurant in London, will lead the Sommelier Sessions.

How Sommelier Sessions works:

We will organise several different wine club activities such as masterclasses, wine talks/discussions and blind tastings. You will have the opportunity to taste 12 – 20 Californian wines at each session. 

Our inaugural tasting is on Monday 17th September, at Pembroke Wines, Burlington House, Waterloo Lane, D4, from 3-5pm.

And we kick off with a blind tasting! Wines will be divided into flights, themed by region or variety, and tasted along with some themed questions to keep you focused! A great opportunity to sharpen up your blind tasting skills!

Californian wines are the perfect backdrop for this blind tasting series – such a geologically diverse region produces wines that show a great range of climates and terroirs. Most of the state’s wine regions are found between the cool Pacific Coast and the warm Central Valley.  Indeed, the Pacific Ocean and large bays, like San Francisco Bay serve as a tempering influence to the wine regions throughout the state by providing cool winds and fog that balance the heat and sunshine, leading to an incredible diverse range of wines.  Learn about these factors by tasting through the line-up blind and challenging yourself to identify the key characteristics of Californian’s different regions.

How to secure a place:

Sommelier Sessions are by invitation only, there will only be industry professionals present and we will focus together to learn and master Californian Wines. To register, please reply with your name, company and position to: jmcgovern@wineinstitute.org 

Justine McGovern

California Wine Institute

+353 87 617 6790

Irish Guild of Sommeliers announces candidate for ASI World Contest 2019


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Julie Dupouy – Young


The President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Oliver Murtagh has announced that Julie Dupouy – Young will be the Irish Guild of Sommeliers candidate at the ASI World Sommelier Contest which will be held in Antwerp, Belgium in 2019. The deputy candidate Tomasz Szczepanski was also named.

Julie Dupouy – Young works as a Sommelier at Chapter One Restaurant Dublin, Champagne Brand Ambassador Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd as well as running her own independent Consultancy, Down2Wine.

She is the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland 2018, a title she has held since 2009.

Originally from France, Julie Dupouy – Young has lived in Ireland for many years, and has previously worked as sommelier for the Michelin star Greenhouse Restaurant, Village at Lyons and two-Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud among other restaurants.

Tomasz Szczepanski is the Head Sommelier at Shanahan’s on the Green Restaurant Dublin. He achieved second place in the 2018 Irish Guild of Sommeliers Competition and was also placed fifth in the Polish National Sommelier Competition.

Originally from Poland Tomasz Szczepanski has worked at Las Tapas de Lola, Marcel’s and La Maison restaurants in Dublin. Prior to coming to Ireland he was a Wine Sales Representative at Centrum Wina (Wine Centre), Kraków, Poland. He was awarded the Junior Sommelier title in 2014 in Warsaw, Poland.

Giuseppe Peruzzi R.I.P.

From Jean Smullen’s website

With great sadness I learnt of the death of Giuzeppe Peruzzi who died on Monday  30th July, 2018.  Giuseppe was a long standing member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and a regular attendee at many of the tastings in Dublin.

No wine event was complete without Giuseppe there and his support for all the trade events for many many years was very much appeciated by us all.

Sincere condolences to his wife Egidia and his children Walter and Fabiola.  He will be sorely missed by everyone in the wine trade who knew him.

His funeral will take place on Friday morning, August 3rd at St. Attracta’s Oratory, Meadowbrook at 10.00 am, followed by cremation at the Victorian Chapel, Mount Jerome, Harold’s Cross at 12.30 pm.

Vi esprimiamo le nostre sentite condoglianze

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam


“I’m so, so sorry to hear of Giuseppe’s death RIP.

Giuseppe was such a gentleman, gracious and concerned and was so nice to me since the first day I joined the IGS. I’m so happy we met again in CHQ recently and had some funny banter just before our last tasting. I will always have very fond memories of Giuseppe.

Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam dílis

Possa la sua gentile anima riposare in pace” (Máirín Uí Murchú)



ASI 49th General Assembly

Association de la Sommellerie Internationale reinforces its
commitment to the growth and future of sommellerie worldwide at its
49th General Assembly 


Paris, France, July 26, 2018– As the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) prepares to celebrate its 50thanniversary, in 2019, the 49thGeneral Assembly, held recently in Tbilisi, Georgia, reiterated its goals of modernizing and reinforcing the sommelier trade and widening its international reach. The Association also prepared for a very full three-year agenda that includes the Best Sommelier of the World contest in Belgium and the 50thanniversary celebrations in Champagne, both in 2019, as well as continental competitions in Japan, Cyprus and Australia and an annual meeting in Ningxia, China.

More than 70 delegates from 47 member countries took part in the 49th ASI General Assembly. They gave strong support to President Andrés Rosberg and the Board of Directors and their vision for the development of ASI and the sommelier profession. Through various presentations in the Georgian capital, the Board and various committees explained their approach to bringing ASI further in line with the current industry context, and to support contemporary sommeliers as their contribution and influence keeps getting more and more significant.

The President and Board of Directors stressed the importance of ASI’s almost 50-year history, and reiterated its commitment to the values of the profession, such as hard work, excellence, humility, love for wine and constant learning. At the same time, Rosberg pointed out the importance of making sure ASI flourishes and reinforces what makes it unique, as the largest global sommelier association and the leader in international  sommelier contests and as an association invested like no other in the future of sommellerie.

New observer members
Peer F. Holm, president of the German Association, is succeeding Jean Pallanca of the Monégasque Association as head of the By-Laws Committee, a position Pallanca had held for more than 20 years. The two of them led the vote for new membership applicants. Two countries were voted in as new observer members; New Zealand and the Philippines. They were respectively represented in Tbilisi by Ms. Celia Hay and Ms. Charmaine Wang. In addition, Peer Holm had meetings with several other potential new members who are interested in applying next year.

Competitions and meetings
Reports of past and upcoming continental and world sommelier contests were also presented by representatives of the host associations. Michelle McCarthy (on behalf of Canadian president Mark DeWolf) reported on The Best Sommelier of the Americas contest, which took place in Montréal in May. Saiko Tamura-Soga (on behalf of Japanese president Shinya Tasaki) presented the program for The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest, taking place in Kyoto this coming fall. William Wouters, president of the Belgian Sommelier Association and Vice President for Europe, laid out the schedule for The Best Sommelier of the World contest, which will take place in Antwerp in March 2019. Georgios Kassianos, president of the Cypriot Sommelier Association, presented a preliminary program for The Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa contest in 2020. Sarah Andrew, co-president of the Australian Sommelier Association shared plans for The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest for 2021. As Australia was the only candidate and presented a solid proposal, ASI voted unanimously for this bi-continental contest, the first in ASI’s history to be held in Australia.

The 2019 general assembly was given special attention by Secretary General Michèle A. Chantôme, since it will coincide with the celebration of ASI’s 50th anniversary, scheduled to take place in France in June 2019. Seeing that June also marks the anniversary of the Union de la Sommellerie Française, UDSF president Philippe Faure-Brac offered to host the general assembly in Paris before the 50thanniversary celebrations, which will take place in Champagne, the birthplace of ASI.

The Ningxia wine region, in China, is ASI’s newest partner and has offered to host the Annual Meeting and general assembly in 2020, a proposal that was agreed upon through a unanimous vote by ASI members.

Two of ASI’s partners were present and gave brief speeches about their companies. Sommeliers International, a partner for more than 10 years, was represented by president Eric Allouche. Sébastien Lézier, owner of new partner Ligne W/Château Laguiole gave a presentation on his company, and also presented all Assembly participants with a sample of their product: a special corkscrew made from used wine barrels, engraved with Georgia 2018 and ASI’s new logo.
The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale is a non-profit making association founded in Reims on the June 3-4, 1969, and based in Paris, France. It brings together the national sommelier associations of sixty countries, and represents a global community of thousands of sommeliers around the world. It promotes sommellerie worldwide by increasing awareness, developing sommellerie where it doesn’t exist, and improving the level of sommeliers where it does, and educating consumers and professionals alike. It defends the ethics of the profession and advocates for the consumption of alcoholic beverages in moderation. It is notably responsible for major international sommelier competitions, including continental contests as well as the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest held every three years since 1969.

Please find links to video material below. These may be used freely with credit to: ASI/Grupo CactusCine
Should original files be needed, please contact Liora Levi.

Georgia general assembly 2018
Shalva Khetsuriani on Georgian wines
For information, contact :
Michèle Aström Chantôme
Director PR, Communication & Marketing Committee
+ 212 (0) 665 99 88 98

Liora Levi 
Head of Media & Communication
+47 412 74 207

New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship Applications Open

New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship Applications Open
by Jean Smullen
Published 13/07/2018

New Zealand Winegrowers has today opened applications for the 2019 Sommit™ Scholarship for Sommeliers from the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. First launched in 2015 with Sommeliers Australia, the scholarship is now a global initiative with the European sommeliers joining scholars from Australia, Asia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA in 2018.

The New Zealand Wine Sommelier Scholarship provides passionate wine ambassadors the opportunity to take part in a memorable wine experience, discovering the regions, varieties, landscapes and personalities that make New Zealand wine unique. Limited to just 20 sommelier attendees, the 2019 Sommit™ will be held in Hawke’s Bay on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of January.
Hosted by Master of Wine Stephen Wong, the events are a celebration of the lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine, with particular emphasis on the facets that resonate with the sommelier community. Joining Stephen this year as a host, will be a former alumni of the Sommit™, Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn.
“The Sommit™ programme is a unique experience for sommeliers from around the world to explore the world of New Zealand wine first hand, but also to meet and network with fellow sommeliers and discover and share their highlights,” says Chris Stroud, New Zealand Winegrowers Marketing Manager – Europe.  “Our objective is that these sommeliers will become true ambassadors for New Zealand wine, sharing personal wine discoveries and insights from their trips with restaurant guests and the wider sommelier community.”
VERY IMPORTANT  –   Those applying must be Bone Fide working Sommeliers in Ireland who have buying power and are actually currently working for a hotel, restaurant or other relevant establishment.



“Rioja” and the “Spanish Embassy” will be holding a masterclass and tasting about Rioja, focusing on the last regulations approved by the control board and different wine styles.

Presented by

Pedro Jimenez  “Certified Rioja Wine Educator”

The tasting and masterclass are only open to Trade and Press.

If you would like to register, please use the link below


It will take place on the 13th June from 12pm to 13:30pm

VENUE: “Instituto Cervantes” Lincoln House, 6-16 Lincoln Pl, Dublin 2, D02 VH29

ASI APAS Contest of the Best Sommeliers of the Americas, Canada 2018


Press release

Closing an historic week for sommeliers of the Americas at the ASI & APAS Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas, Canada 2018

Pier-Alexis Soulière now focuses on
The Best Sommelier of the World contest 2019

Montreal, May 25 – The new best sommelier of the Americas, Mr. Pier-Alexis Soulière, said he is now focusing on The Best Sommelier of the World contest, Belgium 2019, after closing an intense week of competition with 19 other sommeliers from 10 countries representing the continent.

As the winner of  the ASI & APAS Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas, Canada 2018, Soulière qualified directly to the sommelier world’s most important competition. Soulière became the best sommelier of the Americas last Thursday after winning a dramatic final over Argentina’s Martin Bruno, who came in second, and Canada’s Carl Villeneuve Lepage, who took third place.

The results confirmed that Ms Valeria Gamper, from Argentina, finished number four, and became the best female sommelier of the continent. Regardless the tradition of female competitors winning the previous editions, this 2018 edition of the competition had only two women taking part. Misato Inaoka, representing Chile came in on the tenth position.

Behind Valeria Gamper, the other semi-finalists ranked in this order: Luis Antonio Morones Lopez, from Mexico, was fifth, Diego Arrebola, from Brazil, sixth, Joseph Ruiz Acosta, from Peru, seventh, and Steve Ayon Espitia, from Mexico eight.

At the gala dinner proceeding the announcement of the winner, Andres Rosberg president of ASI, talked about the future of sommellerie and the new generation of strong competitors with great skills and talent. At the end of his speech he presented the final ranking of the candidates:
4. Valeria Gamper, Argentina
5. Luis Antonio Morones Lopez, Mexico
6. Diego Arrebola, Brazil
7. Joseph Ruiz Acosta, Peru
8. Steva Ayon Espitia, Mexico
9. Federico de Moura, Uruguay
10. Misato Inaoka, Chile
11. Andres Villegas Green, Colombia
12. Paulo Limarque, Brazil
13. Pablo Rodriguez, Uruguay
14. Gonzalo Troncoso, Chile

The remaining participants were: Mr. Juan David Quintero from Colombia, Mr. Dario Rosario Mejía and Mr. Federico Díaz Macias from The Dominican Republic, Mr. Simon Zalimben and Mr. Christian Mezger from Paraguay and Mr. Diego Vásquez Luque from Peru.

After 3 days of competition most of the candidates and delegates accepted the invitation to attend a three-day trip to Nova Scotia with visits at various wineries, courtesy of CAPS partners. ASI is also grateful for all the help and support provided by its own partners. (see the list of partners below)

Upcoming events:
15thto 18thof October 2018 The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania is taking place in Kyoto. Japan has one of the world’s largest sommelier associations with more than 13.000 members.
10thto 15thof March 2019 The Best Sommelier of the World is due in Antwerp, Belgium. Preparations for the contest have already been on going for a year.
For any inquiry on media, please contact Liora Levi
For all other inquiries please contact Michèle Chantôme Aström

Official images 

Social Networks
Facebook: @AssociationSommellerieInternationale
Instagram: @Sommellerie_ASI
Twitter: @Sommellerie_ASI


Official program 



“Viu Manent – Masters of Colchagua”, Tasting, taking place this Thursday 24th May at 14.00hrs in Cavern Wine Bar on Baggot Street. Please see below the details of the tasting.





14.00hrs – 15.30hrs

About Viu Manent

Viu Manent is a Chilean winery owned by the Viu family. Viu Manent is the current Wines of Chile Winery of the Year, while in 2017 Decanter called them Chile’s Masters of Malbec with over 50 different clones. Viu Manent was founded in 1935 when the Catalonian immigrant Miguel Viu-García and his two sons Agustín and Miguel Viu-Manent founded Bodegas Viu in Santiago de Chile. They bottled and sold wine on the local market under the “Vinos Viu” brand.

In 1966 Miguel Viu Manent fulfilled his long-time dream of making his own wines when he acquired the Hacienda San Carlos de Cunaco in Colchagua. This traditional estate included 150 hectares of vineyards planted to noble, pre-phylloxera vines, as well as a winery and manor house. It was no coincidence that he chose this particular property; it had long supplied the much of the wine he sold as Vinos Viu.


The Viu Manent Philosophy

What exactly is one’s own? … ”That which identifies us and by which we can recognize ourselves.”

“ We love our property, our family and our traditions. We love our work, which we see as the motor that can propel us toward fulfilling our dreams. We believe in transcendence, in putting our heart into things and that the only way to do something is to do it to the best of our abilities. We have a strong bond with wine; we love its living essence and its sensitivity. We believe that Chile is a privileged territory for the production of wines and that Colchagua is a magical valley where the soil, climate and grapes seem to be blessed.”

–        We believe in attention to detail and in respecting the environment.

–        We believe that history and tradition provide us with knowledge and experience, while innovation and modernity help us to advance toward our goal.

–        We believe in teamwork and in the talented, professional and committed people who work with us.

–        We are committed to transmitting this philosophy into our daily mission.


We look forward to welcoming you to this great “Viu Manent – Masters of Colchagua”,  tasting and sharing some of Chile’s great wines with you.

Please RSVP to info@Mackenway.com

Council Meeting

The next council meeting will be held at the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin on 15th May at 11am

ASI News, New Logo & Julie

07.05.2018 BY ASI
Best sommelier of Ireland in 2018 is Julie Dupouy Young

Julie has been in the wine business since 2003. She started working in France and shortly after moved to Ireland with a short stop in Belgium, Luxembourg and Scotland too.

Her education started with languages and French literature studies, but she decided to go to catering as she wanted to become a sommelier. Julie passed her “mention complementaire sommellerie” in 2003. Since then she has studied with the WSET and achieved Diploma in 2015 as well as WSET Level in Sake in 2017.

She has held the title of best sommelier of Ireland since 2009. Before competing in Ireland, she entered the Best Sommelier in France in 2008 and was one of the 12 semi-finalists.

Julie also competed at the World Championship in Tokyo and Mendoza and the European championship in San Remo and Vienna.

Her best international performance was at the World Sommelier Contest in Mendoza 2016, where she placed 3rd.

Her dream is to show to the world that a lady can be No1 in the world of sommellerie.

Her qualities as a sommelier are widely recognised and as a judge in some of the most prestigious wine events in the world, the Decanter Awards in London among others.

Today she is working as a sommelier in a Michelin-star restaurant called Chapter One in Dublin 1.

As Best Sommelier of Ireland in 2018, we asked her few questions, and here is her response:
Q1: You won the sommelier contest in Ireland in 2018. Did you expect it and how do you feel about it?

Julie: I am delighted to have won the title of Best Sommelier of Ireland again. You can’t ever expect to win a competition. You can be confident that you have done the work and that you have the potential to earn it, but you still need to be able to deliver your best on the day. Things went very well this time, and I am delighted with the result.

Q2: How do you think the title of Best Sommelier of Ireland will change your life?

Julie: I am incredibly proud to have won Best Sommelier, and hopefully this will give me the opportunity to work towards my ultimate goal and dream which would be the first woman to win the World title. This title would then allow me the platform to inspire other sommeliers, particularly women.

Q3: What is the status of sommeliers in Ireland? What can be improved?

Julie: Despite the fact that we do see a considerable amount of improvement regarding the wine culture in Ireland, there are not many sommeliers in the country. First of all, there is no official qualification delivered in the country to become a sommelier. I think it would be fantastic if we could see a sommelier certificate offered by the catering schools in Ireland. The WSET is very present, but the focus is on knowledge and not the service aspect of the job. A few people in the country now travel around Europe to attend the Court of Master Sommelier classes which shows that there is a growing interest and that people are willing to invest in their wine qualification, often taking time off on their holidays, but I believe that it should be available in the country.

Q4: You have a great knowledge about food and wine. What do you think you can do to promote your national beverages and gastronomy?

I absolutely love the food offering in Ireland lately. The standards of quality, especially when it comes to meat, dairy products, locally grown vegetables and sea food is outstanding and I do my best to spread the good word as much as I can on social media. I also have been invited to talk at “Food on the Edge” this coming October which is a great honour as ethical eating and food education is a topic which is very dear to me. Regarding beverages the offering of craft beers, gin and whisky has boomed in the last few years and I am always proud to bring some examples with me to different countries I go to introduce them to my colleagues and peers. In Chapter One Restaurant we also have by the glass the only Irish wine produced by Lusca and a strawberry wine produced by the Wicklow Way Wines, it gives an opportunity to the tourists visiting the restaurant to sample some local beverages and to the locals to discover some products they might not be familiar with.

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A S I – N E W S
May 2018
ASI presents new logo and monthly newsletter
by Andrés Rosberg

Welcome to our first issue

Please allow me to introduce our inaugural newsletter, which will be sent to you in the beginning of each month with the news of ASI, its national member associations, and, of course, its partners. We encourage you to resend it to the members of your association, and to share your news with us so we can tell the world about it!

ASI is now gearing up for its first continental competition of the year: the ASI & APAS Best Sommelier of the Americas contest, which will be held at the end of May in the fantastic city of Montreal, Canada, and will gather together the best two somms from eleven Pan American countries. This major event is a tremendous opportunity to increase the exposure of our global association and to improve the overall level of sommellerie throughout the Americas, and we will report about it in next month’s issue of #ASInews.

Also, after ten months of hard work of the new Board and Committees of ASI, we’re starting to reap what we have sown. There is more and more good news coming our way. Today we are honoured to unveil ASI’s new logo to the world, approved by the vast majority of our members, and praised by our partners! There is something intrinsically universal in the shape of a circle that perfectly symbolizes the very nature of ASI. From a practical standpoint, the circle is also an incredibly versatile form that ideally suits our needs!

Building on a rich history, ASI is evolving to meet the needs of both current and future generations. The new logo and newsletter are just two examples of how ASI envisions its future by creating opportunities for increased member and industry engagement, building international commitment to the profession, and expanding outreach to the sommellerie community. In other words, making our association stronger and more global than ever.

Enjoy reading and we look forward to having you with us on the journey!

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Meet Julie Dupouy

Tholins wine & food

Meet Julie Dupouy


On some of my trips as active in the Swedish sommelier association, I have had the privilege of meeting this talented and talented summer traveler who, with his goal awareness and sharpness, is a good example for many both in the competition scene and in everyday work. Since there is still a lot of male dominance in our profession, it is always nice to highlight talented and intelligent women like Julie.

Julie is born in the city of Agen, located in southwestern France, now living in Dublin since 2007. The reason she has chosen to settle there has to do with the Irish hospitality and the warmth she has met. Her sommelier education took her in the city of Nerac. After completing her studies, she moved to Ireland to work and study at WSET in London. Now she has acquired 15 years of experience in sommelier work around Europe.

Her contestants, she joined France in 2002 when she still went to school. The first success she had in 2008 in the French Championships where she went to the semifinal. After that, it became the World Cup in Tokyo 2013 where I met her for the first time. Today she is Irish Masters in Summer Celebration. In the major international competitions she has participated in EM 2013, 2017 and the 2013 and 2016 World Championships in Mendoza, she finished third.

On the question why she competes in summer celery she answers-I love challenging myself, when you compete, you must be able to perform great international knowledge in the competition scene as well. In order to do this you need to know yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses. You need to be prepared to work on them. International competitions can help you strengthen your profile while contributing to increasing your professional network. Unfortunately, there are still more men than women in international competitions.

Julie does not like being seen differently just because she is a woman and does not like questions like “Do you think women are better testers than men? “For she does not think that’s the case. Of course, men and women are different but she does not like being judged by gender. If you are better or worse, it depends on how much you have trained in relation to your fellow competitors, male as well as female. Generally, she thinks that women tend to be a little less self-confident than men and it seems that they have less self-confidence in industries traditionally dominated by men, which can be difficult in times of high performance requirements. So if she with her contestants can inspire and convince other female summerers that there is nothing to be afraid of and that everything is possible with hard work,

I also asked what the competition gave her? Then she answers – increased self-confidence and security. It has helped her to constantly improve herself and that there is still a lot of work left to do. It has also taught her to remain humble. With this, meetings have been encountered with amazing people, including those who have been her role models and inspirators as young sommelier. Many of her dreams have been realized thanks to the competition.

On my question about the three biggest passions in life, Julie – Vin answers.

Her hobbies are crossfit, golf and and of course cooking and hanging out with good friends along with something good to drink.

Do you want to visit Dublin and the restaurant that Julie is working on, go to Chapter 0ne with a star in Guide Michelin.

Julie Dupouy
3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)
Best Sommelier in Ireland since 2009 (IGS)
WSET Diploma
m : 087 9130292
Twitter : @JulieDupouy1


White Hag Brewery Visit

A group from the Irish Guild of Sommeliers visited  the White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co. Sligo on 12th April. Thanks to Amy O’ Callaghan and Do the Brewer for giving the group a most informative tour of the brewery and an excellent tasting of a diverse range of craft beers.            https://thewhitehag.com/

A presentation was made to Amy O’ Callaghan by Oliver J. Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers on behalf of the visiting group.

Oliver thanked Amy O’ Callaghan most sincerely for organizing an excellent programme for the visit of  the group from the Irish Guild of Sommeliers to the White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co. Sligo.
“The brewer Do was most informative in explaining the production process and the different beers tasted. Overall it was very interesting to taste such a diverse range of craft beers to suit all palates.
Your hospitality and generous gift of beers for all was much appreciated.
I wish you and all connected with the brewery every success for the future”.
The White Hag Irish Brewing Company

The White Hag Irish Brewing Company is an award winning craft brewery from Sligo, Ireland. A young Irish team and a master brewer from Ohio, US,  exploded on the Irish brewing scene in 2014 with a huge range of unique beers. Over the past 4 years they have grown to have their beer available in good pubs, beer shops and hospitality across Ireland, the UK, Northern Ireland, France, Russia, Germany and Italy.

The White Hag has been voted Best New Irish Brewery 2015, Beoir Best Irish Brewery 2017 and best Irish beer 2017 by Global ratings platform RateBeer.com. Since commencing brewing in June ’14, they have had beers in the top 3 individual Irish beers of the year for 2015, 16 & 17.

So, whats with the name?

The White Hag is a mythical character and entity, who is essentially Mother Nature. The area of the north west and indeed Ireland is steeped in mythology and lore, with most place names and landscape features linked to characters and happenings from ancient times. The mythology of our area represents Ireland and Irishness like no other aspect of our culture, and we see it as a credible way to present our brand of brewing and beers. The main reason for our exact location of the brewery in Sligo is the water from Lough Talt, which is just the right PH balance for making great  beers. The lake itself is fed by streams from the 600 million year old Ox mountains.

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HAGSTRAVAGANZA at The White Hag Brewery

Since we started the brewery in 2014, we have met some brilliant characters and brewery crews across world. It struck us that when two or more breweries get together the atmosphere turns into a collaborative, collective aspiration to work together in pursuit of endless possibilities.

We also noticed that the best events are run by breweries hosting other breweries, and we’ve wanted to create that type of event since we’ve started out. Our Second Birthday allowed us realise we could do it properly when 260 beer fans turned up at two weeks notice, to drink with us and our favourite breweries. Last year 23 of the best breweries we’ve met on our travels brought beers never poured in Ireland, and joined over 1000 punters in descending on Ballymote to create a magical festival, HAGSTRAVAGANZA. So we’re doing it again.

We are focusing on bringing sixteen breweries from ten countries leading the way in craft beer, pouring three beers each. We will also have a select crew of the best Irish Breweries pouring a unique beer each. Aside from breweries who we’ve done collaborations with, ALL of the breweries are new to HAGSTRAVAGANZA, and ALL of the beers have never been poured here before.

So, lets get you some tickets… https://www.eventbrite.ie

When: 28th July 2018, 2pm – 10pm

Where: The White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co Sligo.

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Wines of Argentina will be holding their 6th Argentine Wine Fair on Wednesday 11th April, 2018. 


The Embassy of the Argentine Republic  in Dublin, in association with Wines of Argentina will be holding their 6th Argentine Wine Fair on Wednesday 11th April, 2018.This year’s theme is “Malbec you know me and you don’t” – at the Dublin tasting a themed table will highlight the regionality and individual vineyard styles of Malbec available here.

The 2018 Argentine Trade Tasting will take place  in the Wellesley and Fitzgerald Rooms at the Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2 from 12:00 – 18:00.  Trade & Press only.

The 2018 Argentine Fair  is being jointly organised by Wines of Argentina and the Embassy of Argentina in Dublin. Contact:  Diego Sadofschi or  Andrés Guiñazú Embassy of Argentina  E: comercial_eirla@mrecic.gov.ar

RSVP   Jean Smullen
Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468

Archway Lager

Archway Lager, an expert blend of 3 hops and 4 malts used to create a lager that’s exceptional in both substance and flavour.


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Guild Officers 2018/2019

Guild Officers 2018/2019
Oliver Murtagh President, Harriet Connolly Treasurer, Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, Seamus Murray Vice President Irish Guild of Sommeliers

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Best Sommelier of Ireland 2018 Julie Dupouy

Congratulations to Julie Dupouy on Winning the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition 2018 which took place today at the School of Culinary Arts & Food Technology, DIT Cathal Brugha Street Dublin


Julie Dupouy –Young has been crowned ‘Best Sommelier in Ireland’ by the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

She is pictured with her trophy which was presented by Oliver Murtagh, President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. (Picture by James Robinson).
The French-born sommelier, who had just moved from the Greenhouse Restaurant to Chapter One, emerged winner in a day-long competition held at DIT Cathal Brugha Street.
She scored highest marks following a series of tests involving theory and practical work, in which sommeliers from some of Ireland’s leading hotels and restaurants also participated.
Tomasz Szczepanski , head sommelier at Shanahan’s Restaurant in Dublin was runner-up and Andrezej Dasiak sommelier at Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone was placed third.
The prizes were presented by Oliver Murtagh, president of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers, who thanked wine sponsors Wines Direct, the management of DIT Cathal Brugha Street and the judges for their involvement in the competition. Photos by Jimmie Robinson


Mary O’ Callaghan, Council member and immediate Past President IGS, former Best Sommelier and International competitor

Attila Pecsi, Sommelier, General Manager, Fishbone Restaurant, Dublin

Anke Hartmann, Sommelier, Operations Manager, The Press Up Group of Hotels and Restaurants, Dublin

Judith Boyle, Lecturer Food and Wine, School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology

Frank Corr, Journalist, Editor, Author and founder of HOSPITALITYENEWS.ie, Hon. Member IGS

Balazs Kiss, Sommelier, Hospitality Training Manager, Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

Ian Brosnan, Sommelier, Wine Director, Ely Restaurants, Dublin

Competition subcommittee

Oliver J. Murtagh, President IGS, Tony Conlon immediate past Vice President IGS, Mike O’ Connor, Assistant Head of School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, DIT, Seamus Murray, council member IGS, John Rigby, Past President IGS and council member IGS, Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary IGS

Wines sponsored by Wines Direct     www.winesdirect.ie

Photography by Jimmie Robinson




Report by Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers

A day of intense competition took place at the Blue Room Restaurant, School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin on Wednesday 7th March competitors from prestigious establishments battled it out for the title of Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland title 2018.

A wide ranging questionnaire and written analysis of a red wine and a white wine were completed by all the candidates and from that emerged three finalists after a very close contest.

The three finalists were as follows: Julie Dupouy, Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin, Tomasz Szczepanski , Shanahans on the Green Restaurant, Dublin and Andrzej Dasiak, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. All finalists displayed their skills and knowledge over a wide range of practical tasks judged by an expert panel of judges representing the hospitality industry, hospitality education and journalism. The entire competition was overseen and run in a professional manner by Oliver J. Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers ably assisted by the technical committee.

After an intense afternoon of competition Julie Dupouy emerged as the eventual winner with Tomasz first runner up and Andrzej in third place. The judging panels were high in their praise of all three finalists and stated that Julie Dupouy was a worthy winner after a highly contested competition by the other candidates. The wines for the competition were sponsored by Wines Direct www.winesdirect.ie

Mike O’ Connor, Head of Academic Studies DIT stated that it was an honour to host such a prestigious competition at DIT and went on to say “The School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology at DIT has been in existence under different guises for over half a century and has an international reputation for the excellence of its graduates. It is the leading provider of education, training and research for the culinary and food-related industries in Ireland. The School provides a range of unique and innovative programmes in a modular format including higher certificate, degree, masters’ degree and postgraduate research degrees.”

The “sobering challenge” posed by Brexit to the Irish Tourist industry was highlighted. With its negative effects on visitor numbers from a weakened sterling and uncertainty reminds us that we are an island nation dependent on the vagaries of other large economies and there is never room for complacency in the hotel and restaurant sector.

Oliver J. Murtagh President thanked all the competitors for entering and hoped they enjoyed the experience and encouraged them to continue with their studies. He wished them all well for the future in their chosen profession.




The Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 Has Been Announced


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 2018 Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition

2018 Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition will take place on the 7th March,2018 at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin,1 

The competition is open to all Professional Members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers aged 18 years or older, of Irish citizenship or legally able to work in Ireland, who exercise the trade or function of sommelier in Ireland, who is a member in good standing of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers
The following individuals may participate in the competition:

Maîtres d’hôtel, servers, restaurateurs  and all other individuals holding a sommelier role in the dining room of a licensed establishment in which wine is sold, provided they justify an experience of at least two years in the profession prior to the competition.  All entrants must be fully paid members up of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

All completed applications including confirmation of employment can be emailed to the Secretary Andrew O’ Gorman Email:    andrew.ogorman2015@gmail.com for approval. Acceptance of the applications will be confirmed based on the Rules and Regulations for the competition.

Forms were emailed to members on 9th January, 2018 with a closing date of the 22nd January, 2018 for receipt of entries.

Meetings February & March 2018

The next council meeting will be held  on 13th February, 2018, 11am 

AGM 13th March,2018, 11am

Both meetings at The Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin 1

Tastings January/February 2018

Tuesday 23rd of January
from 11am to 1pm  in Ely Wine Bar CHQ
Anne Roque, from Domaine Laroche, will host a Masterclass about Chablis 1er left bank VS Chablis 1er cru right bank. This tasting was supposed to be taking place earlier this year but was cancelled at last minute because of the storm Ophelia.
Anne Roque is coming especially to Ireland to host this tasting so please make sure to book this date. You can email Julie at down2wine@gmail.com to book your space. Don’t forget to bring you own glasses !
Tuesday 27th of February
from 11am to 1pm in Ely Wine Bar CHQ
Anton Miller, Master Brewer at The Spital Brauerei in Bavaria is flying especially from Germany to host a Masterclass for the IGS’ members. Anton became the youngest master brewer ever in Bavaria at the age of 21. He is a qualified beer sommelier and is a jury member of the World Beer Cup and European Beer Star. This a great opportunity so please don’t miss it ! Book now with Julie at down2wine@gmail.com. Don’t forget to bring your glasses!


Discover the  diversity of French wines & meet 30 French Producers in Dublin

• From boutique family producers to negociants and cooperatives
• Fantastic regional representation from the classics to emerging regions
• Wine suitable to all trade sectors – both on and off-trade / independents and multiplesThe French Wine Discoveries Fair will feature wines regions that include,
Alsace,  Beaujolais, Bordeaux,  Burgundy, Champagne, Cognac,Languedoc/Roussillon, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Provence, Savoy and Sud Ouest.To see the list of participating producers CLICK BELOW:
https://jeansmullen.com/WineDiary/Index/138Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.
Time: 10:30-17:30
Date:  Monday 15th January, 2017RSVP to: Jean Smullen  Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468


Annual Portfolio tasting on the 20th of Feb in the Guinness Storehouse

Classic Drinks Invite




Invitation to attend the 21st Annual trade tasting featuring New Zealand Wine at the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4. Thurs 18th Jan 2018 Time: 14:00-18:00

Masterclass presented by Martin Moran MW entitled New Zealand Aromatic Varieties and Smaller Plantings will commence at 13:00 Places MUST be pre-booked and are offered on a first-come, first served basis.  Please email Jean to book a place.

Participating wineries at the 2018 New Zealand Wine Fair  include:

Akarua, Babich,  Blank Canvas,  Brancott Estate, Burn Cottage,  Cloudy Bay, Delta Vineyard,  Felton Road, Foley Family Wines,  Framingham Wines, Giesen,  Greywacke, Hennessy Hall Wine Co,  Kim Crawford, Kumeu River Wines,  Lawsons Dry Hills, Marisco, Mount Riley,  Oyster Bay, Pegasus Bay,  Rapaura Springs, Saint Clair Family Estate,   Spy Valley Wines, Stoneleigh,   te Pa Family Vineyards, Tinpot Hut, Trinity Hill,  Villa Maria, Wild Earth, Wither Hills, Yealands Family Wines
To register to attend or to book a place on the Masterclass contact Jean Smullen

Dublin:  Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com  

Telephone (086) 816 8468

Australia Day Tasting – Dublin

The Australia Day Tasting, the largest trade tasting of Australian wine in Ireland, is now less than two months away.

For 2018 we’ve moved to The Mansion House to accommodate even more wines, exhibitors and visitors.

There will be over 300 wines from 54 wineries. Some of the producers may be familiar names like De Bortoli and Vasse Felix, others will be new discoveries such as Howard Park and Voyager Estate that are seeking distribution.

This is also your chance to meet the people behind the wines. Winemakers and winery owners flying over for the event include Andrew Watson (Woodlands Wines), Chris Pfeiffer (Pfeiffer Wines) and Trevor Dickinson (Dickinson Estate Wines). 

Also don’t miss the Iconic Australia Focus Table. From fresh Hunter Valley Semillon to rich Rutherglen fortifieds, this area will give you a taste of Australia’s most enduring and iconic wine styles.

We hope you can join us to explore the quality and diversity of Australian wine.

Dublin • 29 January 1pm – 6pm

The Round Room, The Mansion House, 2 Dawson Street, Dublin


F&W Sommelier of the Year 2018: Julie Dupouy

A new generation of sommeliers are reminding the public of the importance of trusting someone to help you navigate a restaurant’s wine list, and we want to celebrate this exciting evolution in the wine industry.

FOOD&WINE’s 2018 Sommelier of the Year Julie Dupouy is a perfect example of a first-rate sommelier.

Julie holds the title of Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (Irish Guild of Sommeliers) and currently works as a Sommelier – Consultant with the 1* Michelin Chapter One Restaurant and as Brand Ambassador with Edward Dillon’s Champagne portfolio, which includes Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Perignon, Ruinart, Krug.

On top of all that, Julie also runs her own sommelier consulting business, Down2Wine, offering private wine tastings and training.

Commenting on her win of Best Sommelier at the recent FOOD&WINE Awards in association with Nespresso Professional, Julie says that:

“It is a great privilege to win this award. The sommelier profession in Ireland is in great shape at the moment with many talented sommeliers. The Irish wine industry has had some very tough years not so long ago and I am excited to say that the energy at the moment within the industry is as positive as it has ever been.

The choice of wine that is being imported, the knowledge selling it and the open-mindedness of the customers in Ireland is incredibly encouraging for a sommelier at any stage of their career”.

So, where did her passion for the grape come from?

Born in the South West of France, in the city of Agen, Julie tells F&W that her passion for good food “comes from my grandmother, on my father’s side. She cooked instinctively, using her senses and experience.”

Julie decided at an early age that she wanted to become a sommelier – telling her parents her career plans at just 16th birthday, after her Granddad had opened a special bottle of wine from the year of my birth.

“I remember being very excited by the idea of it and I decided to start reading about wine to try to understand it better.”

Julie passed her Mention Complémentaire Sommellerie (formal study of sommellerie) in 2003, and hasn’t look back since.

Upon moving to Ireland  in 2004, Julie has worked for some of the greatest spots for wine lovers, including Residence Members Club, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Fallon & Byrne and The Greenhouse on Dawson Street.

In 2016, she finished 3rd at the ASI World Sommelier Championship representing Ireland and the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

Her plans for the future? Julie’s hope is “to inspire others and to give them a little of the inspiration I was fortunate to have in my early life with a view to opening the window for people into the beautiful world of wine and sensory pleasure.”

The words of a truly excellent sommelier, indeed.


Rioja 10×10 Ireland 12 November

Rioja 10 X 10 Ireland  will feature an Open Pour Tasting to introduce the concept.  The wines featured will include 100 Rioja wines selected across 10 different stylistic categories to highlight the best the region has to offer.

A Masterclass, presented by John Wilson,  from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  will highlight legislation changes and new DO rules.

RSVP to Jean Smullen Tel: (086) 816 8468
E: jean@jeansmullen.com