• Australia/Croke Park

    11th May, 2011 – Update

    A+ Wine Australia Tasting on May 23rd-Andrew O’ Gorman

    (Though if Barak Obama decides to go ahead with his Croke Park address on the 23rd, I may be in touch again)

    Many thanks to those of you who have registered for the day.

    We start at 11am, with our Silent Zone (importers out of the room, taste in peace!) running until 12 noon.

    A light lunch will be served between noon and 2pm. Grab a bite after the Silent Zone and settle in for the first of our tutored tastings at 12.45pm.

    All three tastings are filling up quickly, and that’s before we’ve finalised the line up of wines.

    Those line ups are now agreed, and attached. If you would like to join us for one, or all, of these please book directly with me.

    If you’ve yet to register, please take the following link www.wineaustralia.com/att .

    As promised, details of our e catalogue.

    To help you navigate the tasting we have teamed up with TastingBuddy to bring you an e Catalogue of the wines on show.
    Search www.onlinewinelist.com/wai2011 using the range of criteria; save your results to ‘My Wine List’ and

    print out your personalised tasting trail for the perfect pre-tasting preparation



    As I mentioned in my previous mail, I’m getting back in touch with an invitation to join us for our A+ Wine Australia Tasting on May 23rd in Croke Park.

    Please find that invitation attached, and please take the following link www.wineaustralia.com/att to register for the day.

    I am working on an On Line Catalogue for the day and I will get details of this too you as soon as it is ready.

    Very handy for those of you with limited time on the day, or who just want to check out which distributors, and what wines, are been shown on the day.

    Many thanks again and I look forward to welcoming you on the day.

    Best wishes,


    John McDonnell

    Regional Manager, Ireland

    Wine Australia

    T ++ 353 65 7077264

    M ++ 353 87 2673693

    E ireland@wineaustralia.com

    W www.wineaustralia.comwww.australiaplus.com

  • Literature of Drink

    The Literary Views of Drink-Andrew O’ Gorman

    And Noah he often said to his wife as he sat down to dine, I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.

    It was G.K. Chesterton who penned these lines, a great trench man, if ever there was one, and a writer and philosopher who appreciated the merits of wine. His contribution to the literature on drink is considerable, but naturally biased in favour of it.

    However few aspects of our life encourage such a variety of opinions, for and against. Even the Bible has a great deal to say on the subject, as had Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Chesterton, or anyone you care to mention.

    The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare had this to say in Othello:

    O God, that man should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains: that they should with joy,pleasance,revel and applause-transform themselves into beasts.

    The Bard of Aungier Street (Dublin) Thomas Moore had a different approach for he wrote:

    If with water you fill up your glasses, you’ll never write anything wise;

    For wine is the horse of Parnassus, which hurries a bard to the skies.

    But this was not the feeling of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, who wrote:

    All excess is ill, but drunkenness is the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind and unmans the man. It reveals secrets, is quarrelsome, lascivious, imprudent and dangerous and bad.

    Louis Pasteur, the great French scientist, however felt:

    Wine is the most healthful and hygienic of dishes.

    There are many references in the Bible to drink and drunkenness. In the 23rd Chapter of the Book of Proverbs, verse 31, we are admonished

    Look not up the wine while it is red, when it giveth its colour to the cup—- at least it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder.

    In 1 Timothy Fifth Chapter 23rd verse we are advised on the other hand:

    Drink no longer water, but a little wine for your stomach sake.

    It is clear from most of the writing on the subject that what is stressed all the time is the danger, not of drinking but of the abuse of drinking.

    Lord Byron in “Don Juan” has his own approach: Few things surpass old wine: and they may preach who pleases; the more because they preach in vain: Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, sermons and soda water the day after.

    Benjamin Franklin thought that drink wasn’t a good thing for American politicians:

    The practice of using ardent spirits in office has occasioned more injury to the public and more trouble to me than all the other causes. Were I to command my administration again, the first question I would ask respecting a candidate for office would be “ Do you use ardent spirits”.

    Thoreau, the French writer and philosopher and John Neale the English writer, both were water men:

    Thoreau: Water is the only drink for a wise man.

    Neale: Drinking water neither makes a man sick, nor in debt, nor his wife a widow.

    Garabaldi, the famous Italian statesman, believed that “Bacchus has drowned more men than Neptune”, while Roger Bacon said: “All the crimes on earth do not destroy so many of the human race, nor alienate so much property as drunkenness”.

    However it wasn’t all one sided. Samuel Johnson, the remarkable British wit and man about town of his time wrote:” Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men, but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy”.

    I will finish with the following literary view on Irish Whiskey:

    The light music of whiskey falling into glasses – an agreeable interlude”- James Joyce.

    There is no such thing as a large whiskey” – Oliver St. John Gogarty.

    As a substance for ships to sail on, water is unsurpassed” – James Stephens.

    “If an Angel out of heaven

    Gives you something else to drink

    Thank him for his kind intention

    And pour it down the sink — Chesterton.

    You the reader should endeavour to add to this.                   Slainte.

  • Veuve Clicquot Champagne

    Veuve Clicquot is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Ireland this year. The Vevue Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award has recognised and rewarded women around the globe who have succeeded in the business world and who personify the characteristics of Madame Clicquot, the founder of  the great Vevue Clicquot champagne house.

    Originally created in France in 1972, in conjunction with the famous champagne house’s bicentenary celebrations, Vevue Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award is now held in 20 countries worldwide. It was introduced to commemorate Madame Clicquot, the first great businesswoman of her era. www.veuveclicquotaward.com

    Colette Twomey, Managing Director of Clonakilty Blackpudding is the 2011 winner.

    Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd are the agents in Ireland for Vevue Clicquot Champagne.

    $ 70,000 a bottle for ship’s bubbly

    Two bottles of bubbly preserved for nearly 200 years in a Baltic Sea shipwreck are heading for the auction block. The Government of the Aland Islands – an autonomous region of Finland – said it will auction off one bottle each of the oldest preserved examples of Vevue Clicquot and Juglar on June 3rd. Experts believe the bottles could fetch more than $70,000 (€ 49,000) each at auction.

  • RAI President

    Brian Fallon, owner of Fallons of Kildare is the newly elected President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland. He succeeds Paul Cadden. (15/4/2011).

  • Gastronomy Research Day

    Gastronomy Research Day – April, 2011

    The first NCFIS Gastronomy Research Day was organised in IT Tallaght under the auspices of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies. It attracted a wide range of participants from various backgrounds with an interest in things gastronomic.Topics covered included the role of place, story and identity in the marketing of French wines, the physiology of taste, the influence of French haute cuisine on public dining in Dublin between 1900 and 2000, the socio-cultural significance of manuscript cookbooks and recipes, high-class victualling in Georgian Dublin, and the changed eating habits in the Ireland of the Celtic Tiger.                                                                           The French angle was very pronounced and the presence of Dr. Claude Detrez, Attaché de coopération scientifique et universitaire of the French Embassy in Dublin, was most welcome .

  • International Taste and Quality Institute

    Superior Taste Award 2011

    In March, three of our Guild members, Mary O’Callaghan, Liam Campbell and Catherine Griffith were invited by the International Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) Brussels, to be part of the jury of the Superior Taste Award 2011.  The iTQi is the leading independent Chefs and Sommeliers based organisation dedicated to testing, awarding and promoting superior tasting consumer food and drink.  The jury comprises120 renowned Sommeliers from the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) and chefs who are members of the most prestigious culinary institutions.  Products are submitted from over 60 countries and are blind tasted, commented upon and scored by each judge, using the following criteria:  first impression, appearance, aroma, texture, flavour and retro-olfaction.

    For more information visit www.iTQi.com

  • Antinori

    Allegra Antinori

    Mary O' Callaghan, President, The Irish Guild of Sommeliers, Allegra Antinori & Liam Campbell, IGS

    A tasting  of Tuscan and Umbrian wines from the historic ANTINORI family whose winemaking tradition can be traced for over six hundred years to 1385.

    This wine tasting event for the Irish Guild of Sommeliers on the 13th April, 2011  was hosted by Marchese Piero Antinori’s daughter, Allegra Antinori,  global brand ambassador for the company.

    Allegra and her sisters are the 26th generation of this iconic winemaking family, which came to international prominence through the innovative, pioneering, and courageous decisions by her father, Marchese Piero Antinori, in creating the ‘Super Tuscan’ revolution of the 1970s.  The Antinori family has shown over the years that it is possible to produce internationally-acclaimed fine, stylish, elegant wines in Tuscany and Umbria while maintaining their original character.

    The following wines were tasted on 13th April, 2011

    1. Santa Cristina Campogrande – Orvieto Classico DOC
    2. Cervaro della Sala – Umbria IGT
    3. Santa Cristina Rosso – Toscana IGT
    4. Villa Antinori Rosso – Toscana IGT
    5. Santa Cristina Le Maestrelle – Toscana IGT
    6. Peppoli – Chianti Classico DOCG
    7. Il Bruciato – Bolgheri DOC
    8. Marchese Antinori – Chianti Classico Superiore Riserva
    9. Tignanello – Toscana IGT
    10. Guado al Tasso – Bolgheri DOC Superiore

    The Antinori family has shown over the years that it is possible to produce internationally-acclaimed stylish,elegant wines in Tuscany and Umbria,Italy while maintaining their original character. The tasting of the above wines warrants this statement to be reemphasized.

    For Marchesi Antinori the production of fine quality wines goes hand-in-hand with a continual assessment of possible areas of improvement.

    The ancient crest of the Vintner’s Guild is next to the door of the Cantinetta Antinori wine bar. In medieval Florence, the various manufacturing, trading and professional activities each had their representative guilds. The Vintner’s Guild was one of 14 so called “minor guilds”, Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined in 1385.

    For more details on these wines, please contact Richard Magnier, Marketing Administrator, Findlater Wine and Spirit Group

    rmagnier@findlaterws.ie or 01 403 1407

    Mary O’ Callaghan, President, IGS thanked Allegra Antinori for giving The Irish Guild of Sommeliers such a comprehensive tutored tasting. Mary also made a presentation to Allegra.

    The Irish Guild of Sommeliers have visited Antinori on a number of occasions . Their visit in October, 1982 was organised by Chris Donoghue, the then Trade President of the Guild and on this occasion Oliver Murtagh was presented with a book entitled ” Antinori Vintners in Florence” by Emanuele Pelluci.


    Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary The Irish Guild of Sommeliers. ogorman.andy@gmail.com


    €185 (per person)

    Selection of Seasonal Canapés

    Bramito del Cervo “Chardonnay”, Umbria, 2010

    Chianti Classico “Riserva”, Marchese Antinori Toscana 2006

    Sautéed Bere Island King Scallops with Truffle Mousse

    Cervaro della Sala, Umbria, 2008

    Braised Pig’s Head, Shallot Purée, Root Vegetables,

    Apple Jelly and Poitin Sauce

    Il Bruciato, Bolgheri, 2008

    Loin of Rabbit with Carrot Puree, Wild Rabbit Terrine

    and Truffle Sauce

    Tignanello, Toscana, 2006

    Noisette of Sikka Deer with Potato Gnocchi, Parsnip Cone,

    Valrhona Chocolate Sauce

    Solaia, Toscana, 2003

    Glebe Brethan and Milleens Irish Farmhouse Cheeses

    with Apple and Grape Juice

    Guada al Taso, Bolgheri, 2006

    Lemon Tart and Cassis Sorbet

    Muffato della Sala, Umbria, 2007

    Tea, Coffee and Petit Fours

    Andrew O’ Gorman.

  • AGM Tasting 2011

    AGM 2011 Tasting-Andrew O’ Gorman

    This tasting was conducted by Liam Campbell and proved to be very interesting, informative and educational. He commenced by stating that he was from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo and related a very interesting story about Lord Ardilaun. As he progressed through the tasting it was punctuated with historical references. Liam is a council member of The Irish Guild of Sommeliers and holder of the WSET Diploma.

    The following wines were tasted

    1.Riesling 2008, Prinz Von Hessen, Rheingau, Germany. QmP Kabinett, trocken 11.5% abv

    2. Grúner Veltliner 2009, Peter Schweiger, Kamptal, Austria. Qualitatswein, trocken 12% abv

    3. Nipozzano Riserva 2006, Marchese Frescobaldi, Toscana, Italy. DOCG Chianti Rufina 13.55 abv

    4. Marques de Borba 2009, DOC Alentejo, Portugal 145 abv

    5. Vins Doux Naturels: Rasteau 2004 by Cave de Rasteau, 16% abv

    6. Sherry Oloroso Style: “East India Solera” by Lustau, 20% abv

    7. Madeira: Boal 10 Year Old by HM Borges, 19% abv

    8. Port: Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) 2005 by Grahams, 205 abv

    Wines were by Classic Drinks and Fortified Wines by Mitchell & Son. www.classicdrinks.ie & www.mitchellandson.com

    A fitting end to a successful and well attended AGM. (4/4/2011 AOG).