Irish Guild of Sommeliers Christmas Dinner

Irish Guild of Sommeliers Christmas Dinner

Tues. 5th December, 5.30pm

 Venue Ely IFSC (CHQ Building, ISFC, North Dock, Georges Dock, Dublin 1.)

Cost €40 pp including corkage, guests can all bring in a bottle of their choice.

If you are attending please forward Cheque or Postal Order to Harriet Connolly, Treasurer, Irish Guild of Sommeliers, 163, Bracken Hill, Blackglen Road, Sandyford, Dublin, 18 not later than Tuesday, 28th November, 2017.


Christmas Menu

to start

seasonal soup of the day (c) ely house made bread, butter

ely Irish salmon gravadlax (c) shaved fennel, olive & orange salad

Irish chicken liver parfait (c)  brioche, sea salt, frissee salad

green leaf and almond salad (gf)(v) green olive purée, fennel, lemon dressing


to follow

roast cauliflower (gf)(v)  cauliflower puree, curry oil, coriander cress

‘torched’ Kilkeel landed cod  crushed potato, lemon, white wine sauce

slow cooked Boyne Valley ox cheeks (gf) pickled red onion, parsley crisps, parsnip mash

leg of “Craggy Island” lamb (gf) tomato & red pepper coulis, slow cooked aubergine, kale


to finish

65% Cacao Barry chocolate torte  honeycomb ice-cream

lemon & elderflower posset (gf) cranberry compote

Irish cheese of the day (c) onion compote, handmade crackers

Wine Lists


1st August, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spirit Education WSET

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

4th August, 2017 by Annie Hayes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International A.S.I. Sommelier Diploma RULES 2017

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

Julie Competes at the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa Contest 2017

Image may contain: 3 people, people smilingJulie Dupouy Irish Guild of Sommeliers competitor in ViennaRaimonds Tomsons from Riga, Latvia, the winner serving the judges including Mary O' Callaghan, Pres. Irish Guild of Sommeliers

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The Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa Contest finals took place at the Park Hotel Schónbrunn , Vienna, Austria on the 11th May, 2017. Julie Dupouy was the Irish Guild of Sommeliers competitor at this contest.

Julie is the current Best Sommelier in Ireland since winning the Irish Guild of Sommeliers national competition.

Julie won 3rd place and a bronze medal at the World Sommelier Contest in Mendoza, Argentina in April, 2016. She is also a New Zealand Winegrowers 2017 Sommit Scholarship recipient.

Julie is the Sommelier at the Greenhouse Restaurant, Dawson Street, Dublin and Portfolio Brand Ambassador for Champagne Brands with Edward Dillion and Co. Ltd.,

Due to the tight results at the contest in Vienna, four of the original 37 top Sommeliers from 34 European countries and 3 from the African countries were selected for the chance to win and Julie had the distinction of being placed seventh overall.

David Biraud , France, Raimonds Tomsons ,Latvia, Piotr Pietras ,Poland and Julia Scavo, Romania took their turns on the stage of the Parkhotel Schönbrunn to perform the challenging tasks of the jury before a live international audience of nearly 500 guests.

The eventual winner of the contest was Raimond Tomsons from Riga, Latvia.

Mary O’ Callaghan President, Irish Guild of Sommeliers was on the judging panels for the contest.

In the world of Sommellerie, the focus is on precision – but also on personality. For the final, three restaurant tables were set up on the stage, and the first challenge was to “serve these guests with a Sake as an aperitif and then justify the selection. You have two minutes and 30 seconds to do this.” On the side table, various Sake specialties were provided, with one of them bearing high alcohol content. This purposely built-in trap was overlooked by a candidate in the heat of the battle. Another challenge was to recommend appropriate wine accompaniments for an anniversary celebration menu. For each course, the Sommelier was required to recommend a wine from a different country, to describe each wine thoroughly and to explain why it would fit to the matching dish. Two of the candidates could not make the short time limit allowed for this round – which was complicated further by a guest who asked – as a small irritant – for a different wine than the recommended one.

Blind Tasting – Tough Testing

“You have four minutes to open this magnum bottle and pour its contents evenly into 18 glasses. You cannot adjust the amount in any glass once the wine is poured.” Here the candidates cleverly checked the actual number of glasses – more than 18 were actually provided – as well as their cleanliness. The uniform distribution of the wine in each glass was successfully achieved by the candidates. Another exercise proved quite tricky, as the Sommeliers were faced with three pairs of dark-coloured glasses. Of the fluids contained in each glass, two were identical, but only as a product. These drinks were to be identified and described as pairs according to the basic product or type of production, and then to justify their matching characteristics.

History and Background of the Competitions

The Sommelier World Championship was founded in 1969 by The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (A.S.I.). It has conducted the Sommelier European Championship since 1988. The aim of the competitions is to promote the exchange of specialised professionals in the restaurant and hotel industry and to motivate them to perfect their skills. Likewise, a healthy competition between the participants is to be encouraged and promoted. All candidates taking part in a competition are from either an A.S.I. member country or a country applying for membership. More than 1,000 candidates have participated in these competitions over the years. A prerequisite for competing is active work in a restaurant, a wine bar, a wine shop or in the wine tourist sector.

Each candidate was accompanied by an official delegation composed of an accredited journalist and by the President of the Sommelier association of that country. Mary O’ Callaghan, President and Andrew O’ Gorman, Journalist & Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers represented the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

Annemarie Foidl, President of the Austrian Sommelier Union, was delighted with the success of the competition – which was conducted for the first time with the European and African Sommelier organisations cooperating together.

Programme highlights during week of the competition – Austria


Monday, 8th May

Opening ceremony: solemn procession of the delegations with their flag presented and accompanied by an Austrian winemaker. Opening dinner hosted by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.

Tuesday, May 9th

Start of the contest in the Parkhotel Schönbrunn for the candidates and jury only

WINE TOUR: “A DAY ON THE RIVER”: From Vienna to Spitz: boat trip from Melk to Krems with wine-tasting and campus with the winemakers on board. Lunch at Stift Göttweig. Campus in Kamptal and Kremstal: panel tastings with the winemakers.

Wednesday, May 10th

WINE TOUR: “A DAY AT THE CASTLE”. Tour to Schloss Esterhazy. Start of the public semi-finals of the “Europe’s Best Sommelier” contest. Tasting and campus with the winemakers.

Thursday, May 11th

“A DAY IN THE CITY”.Private tour of Schloss Schönbrunn.Trip to the vineyards of Vienna, tasting and campus with the winemakers. Return to the hotel via the places of interest of the city of Vienna. Start of the finale in the Parkhotel Royal. Dinner cooked by four Jeunes Restaurateurs in Parkhotel Schönbrunn.

Friday, May 12th

Campus with the winemakers at St. Martins Theme, meet and greet all winemakers


Raimonds Tomsons works as a head sommelier at Vincents restaurant in the Latvian capital, Riga. Since 2007, he has participated regularly in national and international competitions Tomsons said: “I am overwhelmed! Thank you to everyone. Thanks to the A.S.I., who gives us sommeliers the opportunity to present our skills. And thanks to the Austrian Sommelier Union for the fantastic organisation. And especially, I would like to thank all who have supported me, especially my partner, Martina.” And finally – “Thank you Austria!”

Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, Irish Guild of Sommeliers – May 2017.

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A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa 2017


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Full report under NEWS/COMPETITIONS

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Displaying Raimonds Tomsons from Riga, Latvia, the winner serving the judges including Mary O' Callaghan, Pres. Irish Guild of Sommeliers.png


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A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa 2017


12 Semifinalists in Vienna


The first stage of the 2017 A.S.I. (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale) Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe taking place in Vienna, Austria, came to and end on Tuesday May 9th in the evening with the announcement of the twelve candidates selected after the quarter final through several written and practical tests.

37 sommeliers from 34 European countries and 3 from the Africa area had come to Austria with one objective : to win the title as Arvid Rosengren did in Sanremo, Italy, in 2013.


The 12 candidates selected for the semifinal are :

  • Christian Jacobsen (Danemark/Denmark),
  • David Biraud (France),
  • Terry Kandylis (Grèce/Greece),
  • Julie Dupouy (Irlande/Ireland),
  • Raimonds Tomson (Lettonie/Latvia),
  • Piotr Pietras (Pologne/Poland),
  • Julia Scavo (Roumanie/Romania),
  • Aleksandr Rassadkin (Russie/Russia),
  • Jakub Pribyl (République Tchèque/Czech Republic),
  • Eric Zwiebel (Royaume-Uni/United Kingdom),
  • Robert Andersson (Suède/Sweden),
  • Fabio Masi (Suisse/Switzerland).



David Biraud (France), Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia), Piotr Pietras (Poland) and Julia Scavo (Romania)


Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia)


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Harry Gleeson – Hall of Fame Award


The Tipperary Association Dublin has announced that Mr Eddie Dalton, Golden, Co Tipperary is their Hall of Fame Award winner for 2016. He has been selected in recognition of his groundbreaking research leading to the final granting of a posthumous pardon to Henry (Harry) Gleeson in January 2016.

“The efforts for Gleeson conducted by Eddie Dalton have been far-reaching, time-consuming, exhaustive and critical. The granting of the posthumous pardon by the State marks a milestone in Irish legal history. It was neither popular not profitable for Eddie Dalton to pursue the cause of Gleeson, living as he did in the very community where these terrible events occurred which makes his efforts all the more heroic. It seems fitting then to mark that milestone event by granting a lifetime achievement award to Mr Eddie Dalton whose research has led without question to this final outcome.
The award will be presented at a special Awards function on the 5th May at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin. Announced at the Palace Bar Dublin on 30th Jan. 2017

The Framing of Harry Gleeson(Paperback)
By Kieran Fagan
Price: €12.99
Collins Pres. Published 2015.