• Chris de Burg

    A collection of vintage wines from Chris de Burgh’s private cellar has been auctioned for more than £345,000 (€394,000) at Christie’s in London.

    The set of 320 bottles and 84 magnums of mainly red wines had been expected to fetch in the region £200,000 (€235,000). The star lot was the singer’s complete collection of Château Mouton-Rothschild vintages from 1945 to the present.

    The 62-magnum “vertical” set sold for £155,250 (€177,325), easily eclipsing the guide of £90,000 (€103,000). The price set a world record for a magnum collection of post-war vintages after a competitive bidding race from around the globe, according to Christie’s.

    A self-confessed oenophile, De Burgh recently told Decanter magazine he’d become so attached to some of the bottles in his Enniskerry cellar that he felt it would be “almost sacrilegious” to drink them, and it was time for someone else to enjoy them.

    His favourite and most-prized lot was a case of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1945, containing the original straw bedding placed in the box at the end of the second World War, which sold for £12,650 (€13,700).

    Another highlight was a case of 1961 Château Latour which sold to sell for £39,000 (€45,000).

    I’d love to get in touch with whoever bought the Mouton collection to see if they gain as much pleasure as I did from collecting it.”

    Vintage wine has proved to be a somewhat of a shrewd investment in recent years with returns on red wine from Bordeaux outstripping stocks, property, oil and fine art in the last decade.

    A 12 bottle case of 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild has increased in price by nearly 900 per cent in the past 10 years, jumping from £2,613 to £25,000, according to figures from to Fine Wine Exchange Liv-Ex.

    In the auction catalogue, De Burgh said he had been thinking of selling part of his collection for some time. Obviously, I’m looking at the economics of the wine trade and how the business of selling wine fluctuates, but it seems to be on the up at the moment.”

  • ASI-A new President

    AG of the ASI  Strasbourg

    A new President for the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale

    Shinya Tasaki

    turns to future

    Accompanied by three other Best Sommeliers of the World: Gérard Basset, Philippe Faure-Brac and Serge Dubs, the Japanese professional has been unanimously elected. He presented his project that aims at speeding up the development of the ASI which took advantage of this assembly to welcome Uruguay and Taiwan in its bosom.
    Three years after, having agreed to assume presidency of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, the Japanese Kazuyoshi Kogai stepped down during the General Assembly organized in Strasbourg. The assesment of his work, especially putting back finances on an even keel and successfully taking over the organization of the important continental contests, has been acclaimed by the representatives of about forty countries present for the occasion.

    A new leaf has been turned over however: Shinya Tasaki, the only candidate to take over the presidency, presented his plan of action. It hinges on seven major trends that he made a point of explaining. His top priority is to strengthen the financial basis of the A.S.I.. Shinya Tasaki wants to cross a decisive step, whether it is with the support of partners already very present on contests like Moët et Chandon represented in Strasbourg by Jean Berchon and Stanislas Rocoffort de Vinnière, or independently.

    For this the new President counts on the A.S.I. website which overhaul might be accompanied by the development of advertising. “This site has to become the development tool of our association” he kept  repeating.

    Photo de gauche. Président sortant, Kazuyoshi Kogai
    a été accueilli au sein de la confrérie Saint-Etienne d’Alsace.

    Photo de droite. La délégation sud-coréenne est venue présenter le dossier du Concours du Meilleur Sommelier Asie-Océanie qu’elle accueillera en 2012.

    Representing Moët et Chandon, ASI’s first sponsor, Jean Berchon
    and Stanislas Rocoffort de Vinnière acclaimed Shinya Tasaki’s
    election to presidency of the ASI.

    Recognition through communication

    This financial contribution has to back up the development of the activities of the A.S.I. but also enable it to bring a more substantial support to the countries candidates for the organization of the greatest contests. Tests and winners Shinya Tasaki wishes to make better known. “Our weak point still is communication” the new President underlined. “We have to be structured to get even further.” He also evoked his will to work on education and to create an accreditation examination that would bear the official A.S.I. hallmark.
    The newly elected board at his side thus knows its missions for the coming three years.
    A very French team with Gérard Basset (General Secretary),
    Michèle Chantôme (General Secretary’s assistant), Philippe Faure-Brac (Treasurer), Bruno Scavo (Treasurer’s assistant). A team completed by Serge Dubs, new Manager of the Technical Committee and vice-President of Europe, and Danio Braga, vice-President of the Americas.
    The statutes commission remains Jean Pallanca’s (Monaco) domain, Annemarie Foild (Austria) is in charge of the education and training committee and Michèle Chantôme manages the public relations.
    This assembly also was the opportunity to decide for the next important international appointments. In 2012, Peru might host the Contest of Americas.
    The same year the Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania will be elected and-it is sure-it is in Daejon South Korea that it will happen.
    In 2013 Italy, supported by Monaco which might host a day of tests, is the main candidate for the organization of the Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe. At last it is in Japan that Gérard Basset’s successor as Best Sommelier of the World will be chosen.
    The A.S.I. finished this working day by registrating two new memberships. With already 45 members and 7 observers, the association welcomed 2 more: Uruguay and Taiwan.

    Jean Bernard

    1 – Masaharu Oka is the new President
    of the Japan Sommelier Association.

    2 – Yusen Lin, cofounder of the Taiwanese Association.

    3 – Angel Pereira presides over the Uruguyan Association.

  • Japan

    From the President, Ms. Mary O’ Callaghan to Mr. Shinya Tasaki, President ASI.

    11th March, 2011

    The Irish Guild of Sommeliers wish to convey their sympathy to their Japanese colleagues and friends on the deaths caused by the Earthquake and Tsunami that struck your country in the past few days.

    We are praying for you in these trying and sad times.

    Hopefully all our friends and families are safe and well.

    Tokyo, Japan, 101-0042
    Tokyo, 14th of March 2011
    Dear Friends of Sommeliers
    Thank you very much for your thoughtful letter. I appreciate your caring.
    Mr. Kogai, Mr. Oka, Yumiko and my-self are fine and our family as well. The JSA office is operating as
    usual from today however we have still communicating problem.
    JSA sincerely want to do something to help all of peoples who are still missing family and losing their
    house. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they find the way in the life. We prayed that no worse
    misfortune should happen to us, too.
    It helps to know that we have many well-wishers for Japan. The thoughtfulness of a lot of friends are
    very comforting in this time of grief. Thank you once again for everything.
    With my very best wishes and thanks.
    Shinya Tasaki
    President of the ASI
  • Waterford Tasting

    14th April 2011

    Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, West Waterford.

    Masterclass with Felix Meyer from Meyer – Fonne in Alsace, France

    following by a Gourmet Dinner in our Michelin Star Restaurant

    Domaine Meyer-Fonne has been an exclusively family business spanning three generations.

    The Meyers are descended from a Swiss family which immigrated to Katzenthal in Alsace in 1732.

    Félix Meyer is one of the more ambicious and successful vignerons in Alsace working hard for his wines in the vineyard and keeping yields low allows him to produce outstanding wines with such precision, purity and expression of terroir.

    Enjoy a Masterclass with a range of wines introduced by Felix Meyer starting at 19.00 in the North Pavillion with a following Gourmet Dinner with specifically matched wines in our Michelin Star “House” Restaurant.

    Cost €95 per person inclusive Masterclass, Dinner and Wines


    €360 for two people sharing including Masterclass, Dinner, Wines, Bed and Breakfast

    Felix Meyer is introduced by our Wine Supplier “Le Caveau” in Kilkenny

    Spaces are limited!

    To reserve your place please call the Cliffhouse Hotel on 02487803

  • Wine Vintage Chart 2011

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  • Graduation

    Presentation of Sommelier Certificates

    On the 7th March, 2011, 30 Sommeliers graduated and were presented with their Sommelier Certificates by Mary O’ Callaghan, President, The Irish Guild of Sommeliers, at a function in The Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

    This course is a new initiative sponsored by the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and the Restaurants Association of Ireland. During their course of study students from all over Ireland were introduced to the practical and theoretical aspects of the study of wines, whiskies and cocktails. The course included the marriage of food and wine incorporating the elements of service, storage and tasting.

    Mary O’Callaghan paid tribute to the Restaurants Association of Ireland for their wholehearted commitment to this important course. At the presentation she said “The presentation of these awards is very significant because it demonstrates that the students have achieved the high standards which we have set and that their performance has been checked and confirmed by academics and expert practitioners from within the industry. We can therefore take pride in the occasion and in their achievements.

    It is also an occasion which allows us to recognise and show appreciation for the support of the wider trade community represented by the Restaurants Association of Ireland and our supporting wine suppliers.* The Irish Guild of Sommeliers is at the centre of a national drive for higher levels of education and skills in wine education and it is delighted with this co-operative initiative with the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

    I hope that all our sommeliers who have graduated here today will recognise their important role in the Irish hospitality sector especially in these challenging times.

    This is a very important initiative and I hope that we can continue to build on and develop our relationship with the Restaurants Association of Ireland to improve service standards in the wine area.”.

    Ivana Hrvskova, Westin Hotel, Westmoreland Street, Dublin,2, 1st place in the overall examination and recipient of the Restaurants Association of Ireland prize.

    Bláithín McCabe, McNean House and Restaurant, Blacklion, Co. Cavan, best taster on the course and recipient of the President of The Irish Guild of Sommeliers gold medal.




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