Turning 50 is always something special.
When a loved one turns 50, we plan a party. Family, friends and companions gather for food and drink and all the good things life has to offer. Glasses are raised and the birthday child is toasted to a fine second act of their life. We rejoice in those who are still with us and commemorate those who are sadly departed. We celebrate together, as a community and a family.
It’s been 50 years since the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale first gathered in Reims in the summer of 1969. Those fifty years have seen tremendous growth and accomplishment, at the international, national and personal level. So we’ve planned a grand party to celebrate. It seems fitting — the ASI is more than just a fond part of our lives, after all. We are family.
But planning a party for an organization is a bit different than planning it for a person or even a business. The ASI is formed from 55 active national association members, 4 observer and 6 applying observer countries across all continents. While some are newer and some older, each of them can and should bask in their role in bringing the ASI to this historic milestone.
Even that is only part of the story. There is no ASI without the thousands of sommeliers who are the backbone of the member organizations. The association’s work — bringing together the national sommelier associations, advancing the profession, defending its ethics and educating consumers — is organized centrally, but cannot be enforced from the top down. It lives or dies based on whether the sommelier members actively carry out and promote its ideas. 50 years is fine proof that we as sommeliers are up to the task.
So this gathering in Reims is ultimately about you and you are part in something magnificent and historic. 50 may sound like a big round number, but for an organization like ours it represents just the start. Instead of feeling old, we should all feel welcomed and embraced. By the international organization, by your national organization, and most importantly by the wonderful colleagues who await you in Reims, the cradle of our work.
I call upon the many presidents of our member organizations to spread the word far and wide to their members about this unique opportunity. After all: anyone can celebrate with champagne. It takes sommeliers to celebrate with champagne IN Champagne.
If you need more convincing, simply look at this issue’s main article, which provides details on the fantastic program of master classes, tastings and tours that will be on offer!
President, Association de la Sommellerie Internationale
Ribera del Duero An Open Pour tasting for the trade and press will take place on Wed 23rd October, 2019
The Spanish region of Ribera del Duero is roughly two hours north of Madrid by car and has 22,040 ha of vineyards spread between four regional provinces, Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. The great plateau of the Iberian Penisula lies between approximately 760 to 850 metres (2500 to 2800 feet) above sea level, with some vineyards as high as 945 metres (3,100 feet). According to the DO regulations, red wines must be made from at least 75% of the key grape red variety, Tinto del Pais, a clone of Tempranillo also known as Tinto Fino. 25% of the blend can be made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.
In Ribera del Duero many of the producers prefer to use French oak to create the regions signature style. Their aim is to create a more vibrant, fruit-forward style of wine with a leaner finish and one that is not as influenced by wood ageing, more typical in other Spanish DO’s.
An Open Pour tasting for the trade and press will take place on Wed 23rd October, 2019 to showcase a number of producers from the region. All are seeking representation on the Irish market. The wines will be on show throughout the day. Trade & Press by invitation only.
RSVP: Jean Smullen Tel: (086) 816 8468 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship
About The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship:
The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship is awarded annually to a selected writer with a passion for wine and an ambition to pursue a career in wine writing and journalism. The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellow (“Fellow”) will receive:
1. A grant of $3,000 to help fund travel and research in a wine region that will be mutually agreed upon with Vinous
2. Mentoring from the Vinous team
3. The opportunity to have your work published on Vinous
1. A cover letter that describes your interest in wine and your career goals in the field
2. A current resume
3. Details of your intended use of the grant, including proposed travel destination and article(s) you expect to write
4. Links to published articles, including blog posts
5. An original wine related article of 1,000 to 1,500 words. The subject matter can be on anything to do with wine including, but not limited to, your experience of a particular wine, a visit to a producer or region, wine service and/or social commentary related to wine. Photographs and captions are not included as part of the word count. Selected applicants may also be given an opportunity to have their original works published on Delectable and/or Vinous.
Candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 35 (both inclusive) as of the submission date.
All submissions for the 2019 Fellowship must be received by November 30, 2019 at email@example.com
The recipient of the 2019 Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship will be announced in January 2020.
Submissions will be evaluated by the Vinous editorial team. All decisions are final.
Vinous retains all rights to writings by the Fellow that emerge as a result of travels funded by the Fellowship. The destination and travel period will be mutually agreed upon by the Fellow and Vinous. Vinous has the option, but not the obligation, to publish the Fellow’s articles as part of the Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship program.
Vinous does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation or marital status.
The information above is accurate as of September 18, 2019 and is subject to change.
Attica wine director Jane Lopes was stripped of her Master Sommelier title. Photo: Simon Schluter
Attica wine director Jane Lopes proved her mastery as a sommelier, only to have the recognition stripped away.
The Master Sommelier exam is considered the hardest exam in the world. It has a fiendishly low pass-rate, and since the first exam in 1969, only 262 people have passed the exam globally. (Well, there are currently 262 Master Sommeliers; 280 people have actually passed the exam – more on that later).
The Masters exam is the fourth and final level in a series of exams offered through the Court of Master Sommeliers. It is composed of three parts: an oral theory exam, a service portion, and a blind tasting of six wines in 25 minutes.
Candidates spend upwards of a decade, tens of thousands of dollars, and countless hours of study, practice and preparation to pass the exam. Once a candidate passes, they are a Master Sommelier for life (at least until recently – again, more on that later). There is no recertification, no further requirements for membership. One crosses immediately from mentee to mentor, from student to teacher, from candidate to Master. New Masters are publicly celebrated, revered for their determination and skill, offered pay rises and new positions, asked to teach and educate, and immediately welcomed into a superlative realm of professional achievement.
I passed the exam on September 5, 2018.
It was easily the hardest week of my life. I once read a quote that you’ll often look back on the hard times as being some of the most beautiful. These were not those times. The days leading up to, during, and after the exam were just plain miserable. I wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours each night, my stomach was in constant revolt, and I wavered between bouts of panic attacks and crying spells. Mental and physical health problems had plagued me most of my adult life, tending to flare up in high pressure situations. Not easy to admit, and perhaps not “masterly”, but…the truth.
Even after the exam was over – even after I was crowned a Master Sommelier – my mind and body hovered in residual panic. I still had trouble sleeping and eating for weeks after. While congratulatory emails, messages and calls rolled in, I had a hard time enjoying the post-pass glow. “How does it feel?! It must feel AHHHHHMAZING!” was the constant refrain. I would do my best to muster a believable, “Yes, of course, amazing!” all the while still trembling inside from the trauma of it all.
But at least I could take solace in the fact that it was over. I wouldn’t have to endure a week like that ever again.
22 August 2019
New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased to announce the 14 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 Asia,
Australia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and USA all eligible
The 2019 event will play host to just 16 international sommeliers, including hosts Master of Wine
Stephen Wong, and Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas.
Sommit™ 2019 will be held in Northland, the country’s northernmost, and most spectacularly coastal,
wine region. 2019 also marks the 200 year anniversary of the first planting of grapevines in New
Zealand. Reverend Samuel Marsden records 25 September 1819 as the day he planted a vine in the rich
grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands.
Sommit™ Northland will take place on the two days immediately prior to the anniversary, on 23 & 24
September, and will be an incredibly special Sommit™, exploring the regions, varieties, landscapes and
personalities that make New Zealand wine extraordinary, 200 years on.
As per previous years, the experience remains 100% sommelier-exclusive, with the full day masterclass
being a closed-door session, shepherded by Cameron and Stephen, but not presented by them. The
discussion on the day will be informed organically, by what is tasted in the glass. The sommelier guests
will then head to Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, and finally, Central Otago.
“Sommit™ is like no other experience for a sommelier,” says New Zealand Winegrowers’ Market
Implementation & Education Manager, Felicity Turner. “It is an opportunity to taste amongst
international peers, in the most astonishing New Zealand surrounds, and completely closed door. No
winemakers, no wine marketers, just on-premise industry professionals tasting, discussing and debating
without agenda. It’s a truly unique experience for our guests.”
The 14 successful sommeliers are:
• Delphin Duan, Edition Hotels (Shanghai)
• Toshimichi Okamura, The Ritz-Carlton (Osaka)
• Ashlyn Foster, Quay (Sydney)
• Bhatia Dheeraj, Est. (Sydney)
• Wiremu Andrews, Pt. Leo Estate & Laura Restaurants (Melbourne)
• Brad Royale, Brad Royale Consulting (Alberta & BC)
22 August 2019
UK & Europe
• Jacqueline Doucette, Geranium (Copenhagen)
• Julia Sewell, Hide (London)
• Philip Dunne, The Westbury Hotel (Dublin)
United Arab Emirates
• Amit Chavan, Hakkasan (Abu Dhabi)
• Andrew Pettingell, Otium (Los Angeles)
• Chris Struck, Union Square Café (New York)
• Ezra Wicks, Bar Ferdinand (Seattle)
• Jonathan Lopez, The Milling Room (New York)
To date, the programme has hosted six Sommit™ events, for 97 Sommiteers, from 16 countries.
Previous Sommit™ events have seen a marked increase in listings of New Zealand wines in top
New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries, with total exports reaching $1.83 billion in
For further information contact:
Market Implementation & Education Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
+64 21 552 173
Tel/Fax: +353 1 274 5955 Mobile: +353 86 816 8468 Wine Diary https://jeansmullen.com/
Skype: jean.smullen Twitter: @smullenj Linked in: JeanSmullenWine
2013 Runner Up IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year Award
2009 Meiningers Wine Business International Most Influential Wine Promoter (Ireland)
UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education has confirmed that Pat Henderson is to lecture three of the five courses in the college’s online Winemaking Certificate Program.
Henderson is the owner/proprietor of About Wine Consulting and has a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis. He will be teaching Wine Production, Quality Control and Wine Stability from the coming semsester onwards.
The online program provides a scientific and technical framework for production winemaking, with an emphasis on understanding the chemical and microbiological processes of winemaking. Courses include weekly exercises and readings, discussion forums and web-based collaborations in order to provide students with the tools and skills to meet challenges that will arise in their winemaking careers.
“Winemaking is the perfect blend of art, science and mother nature,” said Henderson, who has been working in the wine industry for more than 20 years. As an instructor, he focuses on teaching practical, real-world winemaking skills so that his students understand the “why” as much as the “how.”
“If you understand the science behind the winemaking techniques used in the cellar you can be more creative and explore new methods to craft your wine,” he said. “Knowing the fundamentals also allows you to be more adept in solving problems and adapt to changes as they come up.”
To learn more about the Winemaking Certificate Program, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education will be hosting a free online info session on October 24. Attendees will meet program staff, learn about the curriculum and get an unprecedented look into the online learning platform.
John Rigby former Chairman, Vice President, & Longtime council member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers being presented with Honorary Membership of the Guild by Oliver J. Murtagh after today’s AGM held at the Palace Bar Dublin
14th June, 2019 by Patrick Schmitt
Gerard Basset’s “magic combination of charm and determination” was celebrated this morning at a service of thanksgiving in Winchester Cathedral.
Providing a beautifully-crafted and touching tribute to Basset at the memorial was Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, who addressed leading figures from right across the world of wine, all of whom had gathered at the stunning Gothic cathedral to mark the life of this famously high-achieving sommelier, hotelier, wine personality and author.
Recalling how she had first met Gerard at Chewton Glen – the top-end hotel that launched his career in the UK – Jancis said that she was struck by Gerard’s ability to “give people what they wanted, not he”, as well as his “Poirot moustache” and “cheeky grin”.
From then on, she said how Gerard “kept popping up like a benign cork”, and applauded him for being “far from a wine bore”, while praising his “global legacy”, which, she said, was “his deep love of wine’.
Concluding her tribute, she said that Gerard had “a magic combination of charm and determination that will remain with us forever”.
Also paying tribute to Gerard was his son, Romané, who read Farewell My Friends by Rabindranath Tagore, before telling the congregation that they should remember his father by “perfecting their approach” to wine, which, Romané added, was Gerard’s “passion and his life”.
Meanwhile, Winchester Cathedral’s The Reverend Canon Roland Riem, said that Gerard had made the absolute most of his gifts, while stressing that he was both “admired” and “loved”.
Ahead of this, as he opened the service of thanksgiving, he asked the congregation to “smile with Gerard and savour a life well-lived.”
Gerard was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2017 and underwent a course of chemotherapy before undergoing a major operation in February 2018. Sadly, in July, it was confirmed that the cancer had returned, and in November, he was given a terminal diagnosis and a 6-12 months life expectancy, before dying on 16 January aged 61.
While undergoing treatment Gerard wrote his memoirs, which detail the “life and wines of the world’s favourite sommelier”, his 30-year career in the hospitality industry and rise to the very top of his field.
Called Tasting Victory, the book is being published by Unbound – a website that employs crowd funding to bring books to the market. Please click here to make a donation, which includes a copy of the book when published.
Winchester Cathedral was chosen for the memorial service because the city held a special place in Gerard’s heart, as it was here that Gerard opened the inaugural Hotel du Vin, the hugely successful wine-focused chain of hotels he founded with hotelier Robin Hutson.
75th Anniversary Wine 2019
The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale was founded in Reims (France) on June 3rd 1969 – 50 years ago today!
Since that day, it has had the following aims:
– To bring together the national sommelier associations (just one member association per country) and to promote their founding where they do not yet exist
– To co-ordinate actions aimed at developing and advancing the profession by various means (training courses, etc.)
– To enhance the sommelier’s profession and educate consumers
– To defend the ethics of the profession.
Let’s all raise our glass to the official International Sommelier day!
NOTICE OF MEETING
Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers will be held in the Upstairs Lounge of the Palace Bar 21, Fleet Street, Dublin, 2, on Tuesday 18th June, 2019, at 12 noon
Andrew O’ Gorman, Company Secretary, Irish Guild of Sommeliers
Irish businessman Alex Findlater dies following riding accident in India
Findlater was last of family to lead the wine merchants and retailing business founded in 1823
Alex Findlater, who will be buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold’s Cross, following a funeral in St Brigid’s church, Stillorgan, next Thursday
Mr Findlater was the last family member to lead a wine merchants and retailing business that had been established in Dublin in 1823.
William Alexander Findlater was born the second of five children to Dermot and Dorothea Findlater. The family home, Abilene on Newtownpark Avenue, in Foxrock, Co Dublin, was sold only last month following the death of his mother in 2017. She had briefly been the oldest living person in Ireland.
Mr Findlater followed his father, Dermot, into the family business in May 1956 as an apprentice while studying at Trinity College.
He was made a company director at 21 and, following the death of his father in 1962, became the senior family member in the business. Following a difficult trading period in the 1960s, the Findlater retail business was sold in 1968 to Galen Weston.
The family retained the wine business and continued to trade independently until 2001 which it was sold to C&C, which merged it with its own Grants wine business. The merged business was sold to DCC in 2008 and later to Valeo Foods in 2014.
Mr Findlater will be buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold’s Cross following a funeral in St Brigid’s church, Stillorgan, next Thursday.
WSET Diploma Level 4 Open Day Dublin
Consumer & Trade Event
Date: 13/05/2019 – 13/05/2019 Time: 18:30 – 21:30
Calling all WSET Level 3 graduates or anyone with similar qualifications. The WSET will be holding an open day in Dublin on Tuesday 13th May to encourage anyone who is actively thinking of enrolling onto the new WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines. Find out how studying for this industry-leading qualification could benefit you.
The WSET will launch launching a new revised version of the Diploma in August 2019. This market-leading qualification will set a new global standard for wine education, building on the success of the current WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits. The programme will provide students with expert-level product knowledge whilst enabling the development of professional skills key to success in the global wine business.
Diploma Programme Manager, Russell Dent WSET Dip will conduct a wine tasting at Diploma level and will offer detailed information covering:
How studying for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines can benefit you
Key changes and updates to the qualification
The structure of the qualification and how each module is assessed
How WSET School will support you throughout your studies
Available study methods and payment options
The ongoing benefits of becoming part of the WSET Alumni Body
An attendance fee of €10.00 will apply.
Sliabh Liag Distillery and Silkie Irish Whiskey – Published in SommelierS International Magazine – Issue 164 – May 2019
Sliabh Liag Distillery and Silkie Irish Whiskey
Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers
Published in SommelierS International Magazine – Issue 164 – May 2019
Donegal has a long history of distilling, and while the majority of that distilling was classed as illegal, the county was renowned far and wide for the quality of spirits produced, namely the unregulated spirit – Poitín. By the 1850,s, Donegal was thought to have more illicit stills than the rest of Ireland put together but since the closure of the Burt Distillery in 1841 the area has been left bereft of a legitimate distilling presence. The Sliabh Liag Distillery aims to reclaim the Irish distilling heritage of Donegal, and to create brands that are inspired by both place and people.
James and Moira Doherty, the founders are no strangers to the drinks industry, James has worked in the branded spirits and beer industry for over twenty years. They launched the first legal distillery in Donegal in almost 180 years. The Sliabh Liag Distillery launched its first expression, an independent bottling of Irish Whiskey named Silkie in 2016. Silkie is inspired by the legends long told along the coasts of Donegal of the Silkie or Silkie seals. Silkies take the form of seals in the ocean, and irresistibly beautiful women when they come ashore. On the nose Silkie Whiskey is fresh and malty, bright notes of green apple and a gentle honeyed butteryness. The taste is super soft, exceptionally smooth and elegant, with lively hints of orange zest and stem ginger. On the finish it is warming, graceful and gently melts away. The blue green of the label reflects the colour of the Wild Atlantic from the cliffs at Sliabh Liag in Donegal.
Sliabh Liag: Sliabh means mountain and Liag means flagstones. Sliabh Liag stands sentinel over County Donegal on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic coast. Often described as “a place apart” this remote and beautiful land holds the terroir, heritage and folklore for our team of scatterings to embark on an exciting distilling journey.
It lacks any English or indeed Irish translation, but the French have a word, a romantic and mystical term, for the synergy between soil, climate, tradition and terrain.
It is this synergy that creates the finest of liquids. On the Sliabh Liag peninsula, surrounded by blue-green seas and punctuated by ancient imposing mountains, fairy glens and beaches of silver sand, the stunning landscape is home to vast expanses of heather and peat bogs, formed by abundant rainfall over thousands of years.
Mixed with the fragrant sea spray from the wild Atlantic, the air is strikingly fresh, bracing and leaves a slight salty tang of the sea on the tip of your tongue.
If terroir does have a bearing on spirits, then the Sliabh Liag peninsula is ideally suited to creating wonderful liquids.
DONEGAL’S DISTILLING HERITAGE
Donegal is steeped in a history of legal and illicit distillation, and the Sliabh Liag peninsula and the parish of Glencolmcille were among the most prolific Poitín producing areas in the County. Aeneas Coffey (1780–1839) was an Irish inventor and distiller whose work on continuous distillation transformed the industry referred to distilling in the mountainous parts of Donegal as being where illicit distillation “has been carried on from time immemorial and been the principal occupation of almost the whole population”. Poitín, anglicized as poteen is a traditional Irish distilled beverage (40%–90% ABV). Poitín was traditionally distilled in a small pot still and the term is a diminutive of the Irish word pota, meaning “pot”
TASTING NOTES of Silkie Irish Whiskey
Colour – Straw gold with hints of amber.
Nose – Fresh and malty, brisk like green apples, opens to be more honeyed with a gentle butteryness.
Taste – Super soft, honey to the fore, bright, hints of orange zest, digestive biscuits, brioche, butterscotch and stem ginger.
Finish – Warming, elegant and gently melts away.
The TÚATH (tu – ah) – from the old Irish for family or nation, is a conical shaped nosing and tasting glass for whiskey that functions superbly by concentrating & capturing all the aromas and flavours that make Irish Whiskey unique.
The generosity of Irish spirit is reflected in the enhanced chamber capacity delivering a more generous drinking experience.
Deirdre Byrne, Marketing Manager Sliabh Liag Distillery stated “there are many ways to enjoy this whiskey. It can be consumed neat or with ice, it is also a great whiskey in cocktails due to its light and delicate style. Bartenders and sommeliers especially like to make cocktails with Silkie Irish Whiskey which allows them to experiment with their creativity and set their own specifications when it comes to creating original cocktails”. Deirdre won a gold at the World Cocktail Championships in Prague 2013.
Deirdre Byrne with Andy O’ Gorman
A personalised bottle of Silkie Irish Whiskey was presented to William Wouters, President of the Belgian Sommeliers Guild by Oliver Murtagh President Irish Guild of Sommeliers at the ASI world Sommelier Contest in Antwerp, Belgium during March 2019.
The distributor for Silkie Irish Whiskey in Belgium is Munros Beers and Spirits, Walhain. https://www.munros.be/our-products/ Munros sprl Rue des Ourdons, 9/5, 1457 Walhain, Belgium Mobile & Landline : +32 10 65 24 65
I conducted a tasting of Silkie Irish Whiskey for a number of delegates attending the ASI World Sommelier Contest and they found this a very interesting Irish Whiskey outlining a number of differences from other Irish whiskies which they were familiar with. They also thought that the bottle was very elegant and were interested in the story of the name Silkie along with an explanation of the words Drioglann, Sliabh & Liag.
The Original Irish Coffee Recipe made with Silkie Irish Whiskey
- Preheat your Irish coffee glass by filling it with boiling water for 5 seconds, then pour the water out.
- Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and a good measure of Silkie Irish whiskey into the warmed glass.
- Fill the glass to within 1 cm of the brim with hot, strong black coffee. Stir well to dissolve all the brown sugar.
- Carefully pour lightly whipped cream over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top of the coffee.
- Do not stir after adding the cream; optimal flavour comes from drinking the coffee and Silkie Irish whiskey through the cream.
Silkie Irish Whiskey makes a beautiful Irish Coffee – Sláinte
As part of the special programme celebrating Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 January 2019 – 30 June 2019), the Embassy of the Romania will be holding a Romanian Wine Tasting in Dublin in the Hilton (Dublin) Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2 from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Tuesday 14th May, 2019
The event, which will also include a program of Romanian music, performed by the RTE ConTempo Quartet featuring Adrian Mantu and Iulian Pusca will be launched by HE Mrs. Manuela Breazu, Ambassador of Romania.
Particiating wineries include:
Avencis (seeking representation), Castel Vinum “Villa Vinea” (seeking representation), Corcova (
The Romanian Wine Fair is being organized by the Embassy of Romania in Dublin.
Mr. Dumitru ANCA, Minister
Counsellor Economic & Commercial Embassy of Romania to Ireland
Ph: + 353 1 668 1149 E-mail: dublin.economic@
Jean Smullen Tel: + 353 1 86 816 8468 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
|The wine and spirits industry faces many challenges, one of which is the impact of climate change on the supply chain. In conjunction with the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council, Vinexpo Bordeaux is inviting you to discuss this major issue for our industry in a day-long session on 14 May.|
|Access conditions to Masterclasses & tastings are available on each event description.|
During the finals – and throughout the week – the skill and knowledge displayed by all the candidates was incredible. The level of difficulty has been rising constantly, over the years, and more and more candidates are rising to the challenge. That’s how we had to select a 19th semi-finalist, this year: the scores were simply too close. The growing talent and ability of new candidates also explains why some who were seen as favourites by many saw their contest end at the semi-final stage: the general level of excellence is just that high, nowadays.
It cannot be stressed enough how impressive it is to come out on top of such an amazingly qualified international field. And for us at the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, such high-level performance means every competition is also an opportunity to adjust and learn, strengthen the tests and improve the scenarios, logistics and judging.
The results are about excellence in skill and knowledge, and maybe more about grace under pressure than perfection. When doing a sommelier’s work, on a restaurant floor, all sorts of unexpected things can happen. To be at the top of the profession, one must stay focused despite occasional adversity, keep one’s ears and mind open to the needs of the people being served, and remain humble and adaptable. If everything has gone smoothly one night, it doesn’t mean it will go the same way the next night: adjusting to the circumstances is key to turning the skills into an art.
During the finals, Marc Almert impressed the crowd with his skill and precision, but he charmed them with his presence and his detailed attention to the “clients” seated on the stage for the final tests. In some ways, one could say that he became the champion because he used his skills and knowledge to put his clients first. At the highest level of performance, the sommelier profession remains all about service.
As we take stock of a highly successful event, I want to give special thanks to the whole ASI team, from the Board and the Technical Committee to the communications and marketing team, including the social media and film crew who have helped give the event unprecedented worldwide visibility. I’d also like to praise the work of the presidents of the national associations and their teams. Organizing the national contests, encouraging young sommeliers to compete, supporting their training, all that means long hours stolen away from family and holidays, often for years, always without remuneration, and limited recognition. This commitment, at the national level, is what makes ASI great and is pushing the level of sommellerie around the world.
Last but certainly not least, I want to deeply thank organizing committee president William Wouters and all his team for the incredible amount of work they put in to ensure the success of this most important event. As the competition grows, this becomes ever more challenging. Many thanks also to the international delegations who travelled to the contest, and everyone else who joined in the preparation and organisation of the week, as well as the many partners who provided essential support and opportunities for learning for our sommeliers – and delicious wines.
President, Association de la Sommellerie Internationale
Candidates had to be well prepared, said Canadian semi-finalist Pier-Alexis Soulière. “It’s the world championship. You have to expect the unexpected.”
Andrea Martinisi, semi-finalist from New Zealand, testified to the demanding character of the ASI Best Sommelier of the World competition. “Emotionally, it’s a bit of a roller coaster. There is a lot happening. It’s been a hard few days, but I’ve done my best, so no regrets.” Same for Loïc Avril, from Australia, who certainly was hoping for a shot at the finals. “It’s a marathon. A very long run. You need to take a single step at a time,” he said, adding that the waiting between the end of the semi-finals on Wednesday and the announcement of the finalists was particularly unnerving. Having master classes helped him remain positive and patient.
Fredrik Lindfors, from Sweden, was positive after the end of the semi-finals. “The competition is absolutely fierce, and it means everything is very close. But I just enjoyed everything and had a good time.”
Despite his deep disappointment after the finals, where he felt he’d missed the mark, Raimonds Tomsons from Latvia spoke eloquently of the sacrifices made as a young father preparing several hours a day to prepare for the great event (“I have a great wife,” he said convincingly). He also mentioned he loved what the semi-finals had to offer. “It was dynamic, very fast, lots of tastings, very specific practical tasks as well – and very tough.” Always ready to challenge himself, he just announced that he will take another run at the world title in 2022.
Others, like Martynas Pravilonis, pointed out the impact of the competition’s growing visibility. “I think the sommelier profession will grow, because it’s such a good show,” said the semi-finalist from Lithuania.
Many of those who didn’t make it past the first round remained entirely positive about the experience. Dustin Chabert, the first American candidate in many years, didn’t feel let down by his elimination after the first round, which he saw as a “glass half-full kind of situation”. “Conversation with wine people from 65 different countries is [really] awesome”, he added in a colourful Facebook post, after the end of his competition. Indeed, opening new horizons and worldwide conversations is a big part of what the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest is all about.
A dozen or so master classes were also offered throughout the week, creating learning opportunities for the candidates and participants, with a wide range of programs, from a vertical of eight vintages of Château Beaucastel’s Hommage Jacques Perrin cuvée to an exploration of biodynamics and Languedoc terroir with Gérard Bertrand, a presentation of ancient Catalan grapes revived by Torres Family, and more technical tastings exploring the effects of bottle size or closure permeability on wine profiles. “It’s very good, because competitions like this are all about learning,” commented Martin Bruno, the semi-finalist from Argentina, when asked about the week’s program. “There was a high level of quality and knowledge in the master classes, especially on Thursday and Friday,” concurred Satoru Mori, the Japanese semi-finalist.
Many positive comments were made about the many sommeliers who volunteered, under the coordination of the Guild of Belgian Sommeliers. In addition to pouring dozens and dozens of bottles, switching over from one master class to the other could require changing over as many as 2,400 glasses in 20 minutes! “I need to thank the sommelier team, for all the service they did during the master classes,” said Chinese semi-finalist Reeze Choi. “They worked very hard and very fast.”
Austrian Wine and Côtes du Rhône, in particular, offered the candidates and other lucky attendees the opportunity to discover the best their regions have to offer during their platinum master classes, while also supplying a vast selection of wines, changing every night, at the Bar des Sommeliers – with many somms spending time at the bars taking notes, even well after regular hours. “An amazing and inspiring program,” insisted Reeze Choi about the Austrian and Rhodanian contributions to the program.
The complete list of the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest’s partners is available here. Thanks to all of them for making the event so memorable.
Marc Almert Is the New ASI Best Sommelier of the World
“This week has been like a dream, and the dream has come to its conclusion without waking up. I’m honored and humbled to walk in such great footsteps,” declared an elated Marc Almert, after the announcement was made on the stage of Antwerp’s Elisabeth Centre, where three finalists had been competing in the last of three rounds of demanding tests covering every theoretical and practical aspect of the sommelier profession. The three finalists, Marc Almert, as well as Nina Højgaard Jensen, of the Kong Hans Kælder restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Raimonds Tomsons, from Vincents restaurant, in Riga, Latvia, had been announced earlier in the afternoon, just before the finals began, so candidates had to be ready to go immediately. Nina Højgaard Jensen finished second and Raimonds Tomsons, third.
The live final round, which was also live streamed worldwide via YouTube and Facebook, was the culmination of a whole week of competition that brought a record 66 sommeliers from 63 countries to the beautiful city of Antwerp. All the candidates competed on Monday and Tuesday, before 19 semi-finalists were chosen and went through another, wide-ranging series of tests (service, pairings, theory, technical and commercial questions, etc) in the second round. The final round, performed live, put the finalists in a simulated restaurant situation that put to the test their abilities for service, but also their knowledge of wine, food and other beverages. Belgian minister of Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services, in charge of Administrative Simplification, the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and North Sea Philippe de Backer, and Antwerp Vice-Mayor Koen Kennis were present to congratulate the winner and two runners up and handed them their awards and gifts from the contest’s Belgian partners.
“It’s been incredible to see the level of skill displayed by all the candidates, over this week. The level of difficulty has been rising constantly, over the years, and more and more candidates are rising to the challenge. It cannot be stressed enough how impressive it is to come out on top of such an amazingly qualified international field,” said ASI president Andrés Rosberg. “I also want to deeply thank everyone in the organizing committee, here in Belgium, the international delegations that travelled to the contest, and everyone from ASI who joined in, as well as the many partners who provided essential support and so many great opportunities for learning for our sommeliers – and delicious wines.”
“We are very proud to have hosted the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest in Belgium. It’s actually the third time that Belgium has hosted the event, out of 16 editions, and that’s a great tribute to the dynamism of sommellerie in our country,” said William Wouters, president of the Belgian Sommelier Guild and president of the contest organizing committee. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for sommeliers from around the world to come together and not only compete, but also to exchange ideas, and learn from each other’s different perspectives and realities. Thank you to our partners, our volunteers, our whole team and everyone who made this possible.”
ASI World Sommelier Competition in Antwerp
by Jean Smullen
Good luck to Julie Dupouy who will be representing Ireland at the ASI World Sommelier Competition in Antwerp in Belgium on March 15th. Julie who came third in the world two years ago at the ASI World’s in Argentina is one of the hotly tipped favourites for the title this year. Will a women do it? Will Julie lead Ireland to Sommelier glory? You can book tickets to attend at the Elizabeth Centre in Antwerp via the website www.BestWorldSomm.com
Or follow every stage of the competition on social media, or via the live streaming of the final round on ASI’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
Facebook: @asisomms Instagram: @asisomms_ Twitter: @asisomms YouTube: @asisomms
Andy O’Gorman and all the team at the Irish Guild of Sommeliers wish Julie the very best of luck this year, as indeed do everyone in the trade here in Ireland.
Good luck Julie!
President Irish Guild of Sommeliers Oliver J. Murtagh & members wish Julie Dupouy a successful ASI Best Sommelier of the World Contest in Antwerp, Belgium, 10-15 March, 2019
The World’s Best Sommelier Competition has been in existence since 1969. The competition facilitates exchanges between numerous hotel and restaurant professionals, encourages healthy competition between entrants, motivates them to perfect their skills, and helps widen knowledge of the sommelier profession in the public at large. The competition takes place every three years in one of the ASI member countries that has been authorized to host the event by the ASI.
Jean-Pierre Yves Durand
MAY 26, 1939 – JANUARY 13, 2019
Growing up in southwestern France, Yves Durand attended grade school where children were served diluted wine between lessons or with lunch.
France abolished the practice in 1981. Nevertheless, for Durand it started a lifelong obsession with the grape, or actually 10,000 grapes, for that’s about how many varieties exist.
One of his protégées Gil Kulers, now the head sommelier and beverage manager at the Piedmont Driving Club said recently, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Yves knew all of them.”
When Durand and his wife Inge moved to Atlanta in the mid-1960s, the city was a wasteland for gourmets and oenophiles alike. The couple opened one of Atlanta’s early French restaurants, Rue de Paris, and Inge recalled recently, “In those days the first thing people asked for was a cocktail and coffee. Together! They didn’t know how to drink. They didn’t know how to drink wine, except Blue Nun (then a pervasive and populist German wine).”
The feisty and imperious young Durand prefaced his early Rue de Paris wine list with, “cou rouge, (rough translation, “red neck”) don’t go any further.”
But he warmed up to his adopted hometown in 1985, when he beat 14 competitors for Best Sommelier in French wines in the United States. After Julia Child gave him the award, he told a reporter, “I am really glad to win this for Atlanta, because I know what top quality restaurants we have … I enjoyed telling all those people in New York that I am just a good ‘ol boy from Atlanta.”
Albeit one who transformed the epicurean landscape.
“They called him the godfather of wine in Atlanta,” Kulers said. “He made folks really want better wine. Before Yves there were no quality wines coming into the state of Georgia. But I’d say Atlanta right now in one of the top five U.S. wine markets.”
Jean-Pierre Yves Durand, 79, died Jan. 13 in his Roswell home from liver failure. Visitation is 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 17. The funeral will be in the Chapel of Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Rd., Roswell. A graveside service follows at Green Lawn Cemetery & Mausoleum, also 950 Mansell Rd. Roswell.
He was born in 1939 in the Bourg-de-Visa, a village in the Gascony region and grew up in Vichy. He spent the war years in the countryside where his grandfather made his own wine.
When he was hitchhiking through Europe at 19, he spotted 16-year-old Inge in Copenhagen. He told her he was looking for The Little Mermaid, the famous bronze statue.
“I was dragging my bicycle around,” she said. “At the time he didn’t speak Danish and I didn’t speak French, so we struggled with our English. I told him I could take him to the Mermaid. What can I say? He was handsome.”
They married in 1960, but initially had a trans-European relationship, with Inge in Copenhagen and Yves working as a waiter in Stockholm. Later they immigrated to Montreal, but despite the dazzling restaurants and French culture Inge said, “One winter was enough.” In 1965 they came to Atlanta and Yves was hired as a waiter at the Chateau Fleur de Lis, perhaps the city’s first French restaurant.
That was long before Atlanta became The ATL, where the closest to fine dining was the Coach and Six and the Switzerland House, both on Peachtree Road. In 1967, the Hyatt Regency opened and Yves became manager of Club Atlantis on the ground floor. Five years later he and Inge opened the first Rue de Paris in a then-thriving Underground Atlanta.
In 1974 they opened the second Rue de Paris in Buckhead. Yves was the front man, or as Inge said, “He was the one who knew everybody and kissed the hands of all the ladies.”
In 1981, he hired a 19-year-old waiter named Michael McNeill, who recalls those days as “a very flashy time in [Atlanta] restaurants.
“[At Rue de Paris] you had the classic dishes,” he said, “where you carved a rack of lamb at the table, and frenched the vegetables (cut into thin slivers). The dinner would last two hours. They had a little bar, no TV in sight. Customers were dressed to the hilt and the waiters wore tuxedoes. It was like Atlanta’s Downton Abbey.”
But in 1983 Yves had the first of five hip replacement surgeries and could no longer take days on his feet in the restaurant. He and Inge sold the name Rue de Paris, and he launched a second career.
In 1987, he published “Connoisseur’s Guide to Bordeaux Wines,” based on 30 years worth of his tasting notes.
He won best sommelier in French wines in the United States in 1985 in 1986 and, representing the U.S., he placed third in the Paris International Sommelier Competition. In the mid-1990s he also won an Emmy for achievement and excellence for his Georgia public television program “Wining & Dining With Yves Durand,” that ran for six episodes over two years.
All the while he was training and mentoring many young sommeliers, with several becoming masters.
He was renowned for tastings held in the cellar of his Roswell home, eight per year and always in winter. The Durands also served pate, cheese, salami, French bread, turkey and, as Inge added, “always the quiche.”
Beginning in the late 1980s Yves began leading overseas tours of vineyards and chateaux, usually to Southern France, but also to Spain and Italy, with four tastings daily at different chateaux.
Real estate attorney and friend Richard Smith, who went on nearly every one, remembers a visit to Giverny, France, the hometown of impressionist painter Claude Monet. It was there that the local sommelier challenged Yves to a blind tasting, a demanding exercise where memory, logic, art, along with the palate, play intricate roles.
“To watch him taste is something, to see him work it around in his mouth,” Smith said. “He believed you could taste it once, or twice, but never three times. Same with the nose. Then he’d start to answer the individual questions, narrowing them down to smaller and smaller circles.
“In this particular time,” Smith said, “Yves got the producer right, the country, the region, the grapes—he got everything right, right down to the chateau. Except for one thing, he got the year wrong, and I think he only missed by one.”
He is survived by his wife Inge, his son Thomas (Robin), daughter Tanya (Darren), his two sisters in France, Nicole and Isabelle, plus five grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Photo taken in Zagreb, Croatia 1996
It is with great sadness that the Irish Guild of Sommeliers have learned of the death of Gerard Basset. May He Rest In Peace.
Deepest sympathy to Gerard’s family from the President Oliver Murtagh and members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers
Arguably one of the greatest wine professionals of his generation, Gerard Basset is the Sommelier‘s Sommelier; he is a former World Champion Sommelier and the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and MBA Wine honours.
Parallel to this has been Gerard’s business success, first with his co-founding the hugely successful Hotel du Vin Group and latterly with his award winning, New Forest boutique wine hotel, Hotel TerraVina. As a business figure, Gerard has been responsible for inspiring and mentoring a generation of young sommeliers, and his innovative approach to training has led many to competition and business success in their own right.
In June 2011 Gerard was appointed OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire – acknowledging his extraordinary contribution to the British hospitality industry and the crowning glory of a remarkable career that has seen him become one of the most credible, approachable and respected figures of the wine world.
Santiago, Chile 2010
Back in Santiago the candidates then sat a full-day examination which comprised three written papers covering all aspects of beverages and cigars – ranging from the wines of the world to spirits, liqueurs, beers, non alcoholic drinks including teas and coffees. This was followed by a blind tasting of two wines, questions on the marriage of food and wine and a practical test. This was followed by the semi finals and the finals. For the final competition the candidates assembled before an audience of 1,000 guests and three competitors were selected to compete in the final competition for the title of “The World’s Best Sommelier”. Over more than three hours of competition the candidates were tested in the following categories: blind tasting of spirits and liqueurs, the correction of a wine list and the service of wine to guests in a restaurant, the service of champagne and an aperitif (cocktail), among other practical tests. Andrew O’ Gorman Irish Guild of Sommeliers was selected as one of the judges for both the semi finals and the finals.
After a very short wait as the judges deliberated, Gerard Basset representing the United Kingdom was declared the winner with Paolo Basso representing Switzerland, 2nd place, and David Biraud representing France in 3rd place.
THE EVENT: The Italian Trade Agency will bring a delegation of 32 Italian wine producers from Italy and the islands to Dublin on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 from 12.00-18.00 Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.
The 32 producers presenting their wines all come from the regions of Abruzzo, Campania, Calabria, Emilia Romagna, Fruili Venezia Giulia, Piedmonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicily and Toscana all are seeking representation.
THE “WINE EXCHANGE”: Borsa Vini means “wine exchange”, if you are looking for quality wines that are innovative and commercial, then this event offers the best opportunity for importers to update and expand their portfolio of Italian wines.
MASTERCLASS: John Wilson, Irish Times wine writer will lead Masterclass to discover the wines from Italy north, south and central as well as the islands. Places are limited and will be assigned on first come, first served basis.
11.00-12.00 Wine Masterclass
TRADE & PRESS ONLY
RSVP to (Dublin) Jean Smullen Email: jean@
Not only this but we will also have a unique opportunity for all the attendees to taste a single cask of Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey from The Shed Distillery as it matures & before it is released end of 2020. The Shed Distillery has distilled the first Irish Whiskey in Connacht in over 101 years and it wont disappoint
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Didier Fiat R.I.P.
by Jean Smullen
Sad news of the death of one of Ireland’s top Sommeliers Didier Fiat, on December 28th, 2018.
Didier was the Head Sommelier at the Kildare Hotel & Country Club for many years and was one of the emerging stars of the developing wine industry in Ireland from the 1980’s onward. Many of the countries top Sommeliers began their career under the tutelage of Didier, including Alain Brais and Simon Keegan.
Didier represented Ireland at the ASI World Sommelier competition in Brazil in 1992 where he achieved 3rd place. It was an enormous achievement for him and the Irish Guild of Sommelier and was one of the pivotal moments in the growth of the modern wine trade in Ireland.
Based in Kildare more recently Didier ran a small successful importing company supplying many of Ireland’s top restaurants and off licences. Our sincere condolences to his wife and children.
Qu’il repose en paix
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
- 1992 Bronze Medallist(3rd Place) in the World ‘Best Sommelier’ Competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil representing the Irish Guild of Sommeliers
- 1992 won the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier in Ireland competition
- Won the Sopexa Ireland ‘Best Sommelier’ in French Wines.
- Was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma.
- He was also the Head Sommelier & Wine Buyer at the 5 Star ‘K Club’ for 14 years; has written wine articles for various publications such as Cara Magazine and Wine Ireland and even found time to give a few wine tasting presentations on the TV3 Show ‘Good Morning Ireland’.
In 2005 Didier turned his full attention to developing Classique & Gourmet Wines Ltd.
Oliver Murtagh, Irish Guild of Sommelier Chairman, Andrew O’ Gorman & David Dennison attended the competitions in Rio de Janeiro
Oliver J. Murtagh President of Irish Guild of Sommeliers making the presentation to Liam. Also included in the photo are Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Willie Aherne, Palace Bar.
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.
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 email@example.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468
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.
Flavours of New Zealand 2019 Consumer Show
by Jean Smullen
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone (086) 816 8468
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.
“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.”
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.
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)
• 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.
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:
International Education Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
If the stream should not be visible here, please view it directly at ASI’s YouTube-Channel.
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.
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
Jean Smullen – Tel: (086) 816 8468
Masterclass organized by Julie Dupouy
Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)
3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)
WSET Sake Level 3
MORGAN HOUSE, BALLSBRDIGE
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.
THIS EVENT IS STRICTLY FOR TRADE CUSTOMERS ONLY
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 email@example.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 Sake Level 3
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
California Wine Institute
+353 87 617 6790
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.
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)
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.
“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.
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
“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.
VIU MANENT – MASTERS OF COLCHAGUA TASTING
“A DEEP DIVE TASTING IN TO THE VINEYARDS AND TERROIRS OF THE COLCHAGUA VALLEY “
WINE MAKER – CRISTIAN URZRA
CAVERN @ BAGGOT STREET WINES
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
The next council meeting will be held at the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin on 15th May at 11am
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.
A S I – N E W S
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com.
RSVP Jean Smullen
Telephone (086) 816 8468
Archway Lager, an expert blend of 3 hops and 4 malts used to create a lager that’s exceptional in both substance and flavour.
Guild Officers 2018/2019
Oliver Murtagh President, Harriet Connolly Treasurer, Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, Seamus Murray Vice President Irish Guild of Sommeliers
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 TAKES SOMMELIER CROWN
Julie Dupouy –Young has been crowned ‘Best Sommelier in Ireland’ by the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.
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
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.
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
INVITATION TO ATTEND FRENCH WINE DISCOVERIES FAIR
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.
Date: Monday 15th January, 2017RSVP to: Jean Smullen Email: email@example.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468
Annual Portfolio tasting on the 20th of Feb in the Guinness Storehouse
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone (086) 816 8468