Bernard Massard of Luxembourg

Bernard Massard of Luxembourg

Wine tasting in ely wine bar on Monday 13th November.

Niels Toase, the Irish Sommelier for Bernard Massard in Luxembourg will be in ely to present a selection of their award winning sparkling wines along with some Riesling and Pinot Blanc. These traditional method sparkling wines are not currently available in Ireland, but certainly offer an opportunity for anyone looking for a high quality, good value alternative sparkling wine.

We’ll have the wines open from 3pm to 5.30pm in ely wine bar. If you think you’d like to come along just drop Ian Brosnan an mail –

ely wine bar 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Tel: [01] 676 8986

Bernard-Massard is an idependent, family owned wine producer and vineyard proprietary in Grevenmacher
•Created in 1921 by Jean Bernard-Massard
•A family controlled business of 5th generation entrepreneurs
•Number 1 private wine producer in Luxembourg
•Annual production of about 3.000.000 bottles
•Turnover amounting to EUR 17.000.000 in 2014
•Sparkling wine production : 75 % (Champagne Method)
•Still wines : 25 % of production
•Our leading product : Cuvée de l’Ecusson

•1921 : Bernard-Massard, Luxembourg founded by Luxembourg winemaker educated in Champagne.
•1921 : Bernard-Massard, Trier established as German sparkling wine producers and importers
•1982 : Distribution Agreement with Clasen family Domain « Clos des Rochers »
•1986 : Domain Thill / Château de Schengen purchased. Group becomes largest private wine producer in Luxembourg.
•1996 : Château Fontesteau, one of the top Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois joins the Group ( 30 ha )
•2012 : Bernard-Massard renews its entire corporate branding and packaging


Council Meeting

The next council meeting will be held  on 14th November, 11am 

at The Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin 1

Bren Smith from Mackenway – Chardonnay Tasting 8th November – Tasting Cancelled

The last tasting of the year will be taking place on Tuesday 7th of November. Bren Smith from Mackenway will be hosting a comparative tasting of cool climate Chardonnay against warm Climate Chardonnay. It will be a great opportunity to understand better the impact of not only climate but also terroir and winemaking choices on the Chardonnay grape.
The tasting will take place in Ely CHQ from 11am to 1pm.
Please do not forget to bring you own glasses.
Please book with Julie at

Wine Lists


1st August, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

“It’s more important to have a focused list than lots of wines,” says Julia Oudill, a sommelier turned general manager who oversees the drinks selections at outlets in London and more recently Ibiza too for a company called The Experimental Group.

Oudill made the comment when speaking tothe drinks business last month as part of a series of profiles on people in the wine trade who are bringing dynamism to the sector.

Currently looking after the wines on offer at the Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Neal’s Yard and the newly-opened Chess Club in Mayfair, as well as managing the Experimental Beach Ibiza, Oudill splits her time between the UK and Spain, tailoring the drinks selection according to her audience.

Having told db that it’s more important to have a focused list than lots of wines, she explained that she has created a 300-strong wine selection for the Ibiza outlet that showcases the new wave of crisp Spanish whites and rosados. Among the Spanish wines on the list are magnums of Albarino from Zarate and Albamar and standard bottle formats of pink wines from Avancia in Valdeorras and Totem Wines in Ibiza – the rosados chosen to tap into the huge demand for pink wines on the island, above those from the south of France (the club also carries Provençal pinks from well-known producers such as Miraval and Minuty).

But whether it’s Oudill’s lists in London or Spain, it’s Champagne that’s her great passion, particularly low-dosage and pure Chardonnay cuvées – a love that she ascribes to an immersion in the wines of the region having won a sommelier award from a Champagne house in 2009.

Later that same year she was named the best student sommelier in a competition sponsored by Michel Chapoutier, explaining her early rise to prominence – due to turn 28 years-old in October, Oudill has achieved much at a young age.

Although Oudill is French, having been born in the southern French town of Pau, she expresses no strong urge to work in her native nation, and enjoys splitting her time between London and Ibiza, although she has a strong desire to travel.

Like most people working in the hospitality sector, her dream is to have her own place, but such is the pace of change at The Experimental Group, she wants to stay with her current employer “as long as she can”.

Keeping her enthused are her customers. “I meet different people all the time, that’s why I love this job,” she says. However, for those who don’t know her, she tells db that she does elicit a surprise reaction on first meeting. And that’s because, she records, when people ask for the sommelier, they expect someone much older and male.

This profile featured in full in the August edition of The Drinks Business and was run in partnership with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, which seeks to identify members of the UK wine trade “who have brought innovation and dynamism to the sector”.

Over the following pages are the French and Spanish wines feature on Oudill’s list at the Experimental Beach Ibiza.

Spirit Education WSET

Demand for spirit education ‘higher than ever’, says WSET

4th August, 2017 by Annie Hayes

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is witnessing “record demand” for its courses, with candidate numbers up by 19% on the previous academic year.

The WSET is witnessing “record demand” for global wine and spirit education

The WSET welcomed a record 85,487 candidates in the academic year finishing 31 July 2017, marking 15 years of growth for the educator.

The UK continued to lead the WSET’s top markets, with candidate numbers up by 14% to reach 19,401.

Mainland China and US followed closely behind, with candidate numbers up by 41% to 12,813 and by 48% to 11,487 respectively.

As consumers increasingly favour more premium brands, the need for knowledgeable staff is “greater than ever” according to the WSTA. This is encouraging businesses to prioritise formal training and accredited qualifications for staff.

“I am delighted to see that more and more businesses are recognising that education and well-trained staff are the foundations to better customer service and stronger profits,” said Ian Harris, WSET chief executive. “After another successful year for WSET we’re now setting out strategies to take our progress to the next level.”

In the last year, the WSET welcomed more than 100 new programme providers, taking the number of approved sites up to 750 across more than 70 countries.

The educator opened its first international office in Hong Kong, and launched courses in new markets including Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Looking ahead, the WSET will be cementing its presence in the US market with the appointment of a dedicated team.

Karen Douglas, WSET director of education, added: “The new academic year will also see the release of an improved Level 2 Award in Spirits following the hard work of our global education team to make sure WSET offers the most up-to-date and best-in-class education through its network of approved programme providers worldwide.”

International A.S.I. Sommelier Diploma RULES 2017

International A.S.I. Sommelier Diploma RULES 2017 Art. 1 – Exam to obtain the Diploma The A.S.I. (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale – ) establishes the exam for “International A.S.I. Sommelier Diploma”, aiming to harmonize the level of sommeliers worldwide. Art. 2 – Rights to claim the exam The exam is reserved to Sommeliers working within the oeno-gastronomy world (restaurants, wine-bars, wine shops, distribution, or other, who serves or recommends beverages on a professional level), who have at least 4 years of experience. Art. 3 – Registration to the exam The registration to the exam session must be made through the National Association A.S.I. member having paid its annual fees. The candidate must send the following documents to the National Association to which he/she belongs: – Application form filled out – Working and Studies CV (résumé) – Working certificates (copy) – Education Degrees (copy) – High resolution photo (passport style) to be sent to after passing the whole exam, at the time of paying the certification fee. Art. 4 – Exam sessions The sessions will be held at least once per year and announced on the A.S.I. website Art. 5 – Local Exam Committee The local Exam Committee will be composed by sommeliers and oeno-gastronomy experts chosen and named by the President/Board of the National Association. A minimum of 3 is required, more according to the number of candidates. Art. 6 – Exams procedure The exam will take place in two stages. First stage with only written tests, second stage with oral and practical tests. 1st stage – Written Tests: Candidates will have : – A questionnaire (90 minutes) focused on the main wine producing countries, beers, spirits and other beverages, grape varieties, viticulture, winemaking, and other topics related to the profession, – A blind tasting of two wines with written commentary (20 minutes), – The identification of two local beverages and three spirits/liquors/fortified wines (10 minutes), – An essay (30 minutes) on a special theme provided by the A.S.I. Exam Committee regarding the world of beverages and the sommellerie (2000-3000 signs/400 words) in one of the three official languages of the A.S.I. French, English or Spanish (foreign language for the candidate), 2nd stage – Oral and Practical tests: these tests may take place on the same day as the written tests if the number of candidates is max 10. If there are more candidates, the practical tests will take place one month after. Each candidate will have 30 minutes, using a foreign language, to: – Present, demonstrate and justify the choice of a beverage (4 minutes) – Decant, and serve a bottle of wine (7 minutes) – Taste and explain a food-wine matching (7 minutes) Art. 7 – Official languages of the exam The Candidate must take the exam in one of the Official A.S.I. languages (French, English, Spanish). However, if he or she wishes to use his/her own mother tongue for the oral exam, he/she is allowed to do so under the condition that a show of mastery in a foreign language in the food & wine matching is done. Art. 8 – Evaluation of the Exam The A.S.I. Exam Committee will evaluate the first stage of the exam and give notice about the result to the National Associations. The local Exam Committee will evaluate the Candidate in the second stage following the General Rules codified by A.S.I. and its marking grids. All these papers will be sent to the A.S.I. Exam Committee for final evaluation, after being photocopied, at the local level, for security purpose. Art. 9 – Exams results and communication to the candidate The results will be communicated to the President of the National Association who will inform the successful candidates. Then the results will be posted on the A.S.I. website minimum five days after communicating to the National Associations. The results and marks are final. No explanation whatsoever will be given directly to a candidate by the A.S.I. Exam Committee. The exam can be redone. Who fails at the second practical exam will need to go through the whole exam again (no exemption of the first stage written exam). Art. 10 – Diploma The Candidate who successfully passes the exam will receive the International A.S.I. Sommelier Diploma numbered and signed by the A.S.I. President and the President of the Exam Committee as well as the A.S.I. pin and card. Art. 11 – Transitional Rule: Diplomas to Sommelier already bearing certain awards The Sommeliers of Associations active members of the A.S.I. having already one of the following titles are de facto “A.S.I. Sommelier”: – Best Sommelier of the World, – Best Sommelier of Europe, – Best Sommelier of the Americas, – Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania. They will need to ask the A.S.I. Board for their diploma, sending the following documents : – Official letter asking for the diploma, in French, English or Spanish – Approval of their National Association – A recent high resolution ID photo Art. 12 – Transitional Rule: Sommelier A.S.I. honoris causa The A.S.I. reserves its right to nominate “Sommelier A.S.I. honoris causa” people who for years have worked, as Sommelier to improve the Profession worldwide. Each National Association being an active paying member of the A.S.I. may nominate one person per year to obtain the honoris causa diploma. Art. 13 – Fraudulent act If any leakage regarding the contents of the written, oral or practical tests of the exam is observed in any of the National Associations, that specific National Association will not be allowed to organize the exam on the following year. In addition, the A.S.I. Exam Committee may hold an extraordinary meeting and call for heavier penalties against any fraudulent act or wrong behavior during the course of the exam. Art. 14 – Procedure / guidelines The A.S.I. Exam Committee sends guidelines, updated each year, explaining the different steps of the procedure. ………………………………