• Jammet’s of Dublin 1901 to 1967 by Alison Maxwell and Shay Harpur

    Padraic Colum, Lady Longford and Micheál Mac Liammóir in Jammet's, as Victor Hurding looks on. The photograph features on the cover of Jammet's of Dublin: 1901-1967. Photograph: John Hedgeco

    Padraic Colum, Lady Longford and Micheál Mac Liammóir in Jammet’s, as Victor Hurding looks on. The photograph features on the cover of Jammet’s of Dublin: 1901-1967. Photograph: John Hedgeco

    A book on Jammet’s of Dublin was published recently. One of the authors, Shay Harpur was a sommelier at Jammet’s restaurant and a member of The Irish Guild of Sommeliers. Another member Jimmie Beggan also worked at Jammet’s.

    “Jimmie was renowned as a true gentleman, a connoisseur of wine and a Frankophile, yet started as a lad in a lowly position in Jammet’s in 1928. He was one of the first waiters to be trained by a Swiss instructor in the new course at the Technical School in Parnell Square, run by the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee.”

    On the 12th September 1992 Ciaran McGonigal of The Irish Times wrote how sad he was to read of the recent death of Jimmie Beggan. “Jimmie was courtly, suave and above all discreet. When eventually he became sommelier in the National Gallery of Ireland, it seemed to be a proper destination for his good works and his knowledge of people and their tipples.”

    For more refer to News/Archives

  • Restaurant RTE1

    Christmas night

    Mary O’ Callaghan, President , Tony Conlon, Member of The Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Mike O’ Connor were guests on the Restaurant programme on RTE .

  • Dealing With Alcohol Abuse

    Dealing with Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace

    Andrew O’ Gorman, BA(Econ), Hdip.Ed. MA, MMII, NTDAdip, Secretary, The Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

    Drinking is associated with a wide range of social activities. It is also something that is very enjoyable when consumed in moderation. There are a number of people who suffer as a result of their drinking and some can be of a very serious nature. Consumed normally, the effects of alcohol are generally considered beneficial. Almost all alcohol problems relate to excessive consumption. These may be either short-term, acute problems resulting from a single episode of heavy drinking, or else long-term, chronic problems resulting from years of excessive drinking. If sufficient quantity of alcohol is consumed over a long enough period of time, anybody can become addicted to it. Alcohol usually requires regular heavy consumption for a number of years before physical dependence develops. There is some evidence that this process is accelerated in young drinkers. Any statement about safe drinking limits has to be qualified as not necessarily holding true for every individual.

    People who suffer from alcohol-related disabilities also experience difficulties in many different aspects of their life and one of these is that of employment. Very few alcoholics correspond to the typical down-and-out. The majority of people who have problems with their drinking are still in employment and still have some kind of family life. This type of employee tends to have far higher rates of lateness and absenteeism than other workers. They have considerably higher rates of work accidents than do other workers and they also show significant deterioration in their own job performance. The cost to industry of continuing to employ such people without attempting to help them overcome their alcoholism is considerable. As long as the performance of such workers is being undermined by their alcohol consumption their potential is never likely to be achieved.

    There are certain occupations where the risks of becoming alcoholic are specifically high. One such occupation is the drinks industry in its wider sense to include pubs, hotels, restaurants, off licences, breweries, distilleries and the hospitality industry in general. In general it seems that the easier access which people have to alcohol at work, the more likely they are to suffer alcohol-related difficulties.

    Many companies have rules to do with alcohol consumption during working hours. In some companies drunkenness is considered reasonable grounds for dismissal and such rules may be particularly enforced when machinery is being operated which could be a danger either to the operator or to others. It is very important to distinguish between people who may simply be drunk on one or two isolated occasions and those who are dependant on alcohol. In both cases employees must be considered to be responsible for their own actions.

    It should be possible to identify people with alcohol problems in the work setting. Obviously, not everybody who displays the characteristics already mentioned is going to have problems with their drinking but there is good evidence that a large number do. Once a person has been identified as having a drink problem by a responsible member of staff it is very important to stress that the interview during which it is to be determined whether such an individual really has a drinking problem should be conducted by a person who has been trained in the most effective and sensitive methods of undertaking this task. In large companies this person will be from the human resources department or in some cases a medical officer. If the employee does have a problem with his drinking, it is important that he should understand that the matter will be dealt with personally by whomever he is interviewed. The whole process must be treated with the utmost confidentiality. Once an employee is identified as having an alcohol problem he should be directed towards appropriate assistance.

    It is important for a company within the drinks industry that the actual terms of a company alcoholism policy should be explicit rather than implicit. Not only does this avoid creating unnecessary confusion in the minds of employees, but it is also of particular importance under the terms of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989/2005 which outlines that employers have a responsibility to protect employees from known risks. Worldwide between 20 % and 40 % of industrial accidents and injuries in the workplace are alcohol-related. For people in the drink trade alcoholism is a major occupational hazard.

    If a company alcohol policy is to be effective its terms must be clearly stated and must be known to all employees. Consultation with employer organisations, trade unions and other interested parties should take place from the start.

    A number of people with alcohol related problems will slip through the net. Alcoholism is a condition which still carries considerable social stigma and people are unwilling to identify themselves or their friends as suffering from it. It is also important to consider preventative measures. The advantage of prevention is that it does not require identification of individuals.

    To bring the problem of alcoholism out in the open is most important. As long as it is swept under the carpet and ignored it will continue to increase. Over recent years significant advances have been made in the prevention and treatment of alcohol problems in the workplace.

    Since young people form their ideas about drink and drinking at an early age, it is obvious that alcohol education should be on school and college curricula. Its present absence from the curriculum is a matter of grave concern. Education could play a very important role amongst those who are professionally involved in helping people with alcohol problems.

    Most of us enjoy alcoholic drinks. Nevertheless, alcohol is a drug and its effects in normal use and misuse are distinctive.

  • Social Networking

    Social networking is one of the greatest inventions of this generation and is sure to be even more prominent with generations to come. There are inherent dangers and downsides with just every type of technology but with some general security practices in place and good user education these threats can be minimised.

    Guild members should ensure that if they are using social networking they are keeping within the law. In managing Facebook or Twitter accounts make sure that you are up to speed with your policies on responsible serving of alcohol, the legislation in respect of promotions and what you can and can’t advertise. Don’t leave yourself open to complaints or prosecution and ensure you keep control of the content of your social media sites.

    See  Report of Data Protection Audit of Facebook Ireland published on 21/12/2011 under News/Archive Section. (AOG).

  • Facebook Report

    Report of Data Protection Audit of Facebook Ireland Published

    The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, Ireland today 21 December 2011 published the outcome of its audit of Facebook Ireland(FB-I) which was conducted over the last three months including on-site in Facebook Ireland’s Headquarters in Dublin.  The Report is a comprehensive assessment of Facebook Ireland’s compliance with Irish Data Protection law and by extension EU law in this area.

    The Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes said, “This was a challenging engagement both for my Office and for Facebook Ireland. The audit has found a positive approach and commitment on the part of FB-I to respecting the privacy rights of its users. Arising from the audit, FB-I has agreed to a wide range of  “best practice” improvements to be implemented over the next 6 months, with a formal review of progress to take place in July of next year.”

    Deputy Commissioner, Gary Davis who led the conduct of the Audit stated that “this Audit was the most comprehensive and detailed ever undertaken by our Office.  We set ourselves a very ambitious target for completion and publication as both this Office and Facebook, felt it was important that the outcome be published and opened to public comment and scrutiny.”

    He added, “It is important to recognise that Facebook Ireland, as recently as September 2010, was designated responsibility for all users outside of the USA andCanada.  It perhaps should not come as a surprise therefore that there should be room for improvement in how Facebook Ireland handles the personal information of users.

    Facebook is constantly evolving and adapting in response to user needs and technical developments.  Like any successful technology platform, the service needs to innovate by introducing new products and features in order to adapt to changing circumstances.  Indeed the almost Darwinian nature of the site means that there will constantly be an absolute need to have in place robust mechanisms to keep pace with the innovation that is the source of the site’s success.

    Therefore this Report is not the conclusion of our engagement with Facebook Ireland.  It is rather the first significant step on a road that can place it at the forefront of the technology sector in meeting users’ legitimate privacy expectations as to how their personal data is handled and empowering them to make informed choices when sharing that information on the site.  It is the role of our Office to ensure that Facebook Ireland complies with data protection law and this report assesses that compliance.  Taking a leadership position that moves from compliance with the law to the achievement of best practice is for Facebook Ireland to decide but if it continues to display the commitment I witnessed throughout the Audit process it is certainly achievable. ”

    The Report records significant recommendations and commitments from Facebook Ireland in relation to:

    • a mechanism for users to convey an informed choice for how their information is used and shared on the site including in relation to Third Party Apps
    • a broad update to the Data Use Policy/Privacy Policy to take account of recommendations as to where the information provided to users could be further improved
    • transparency and control for users via the provision of all personal data held to them on request and as part of their everyday interaction with the site
    • the deletion of information held on users and non-users via what are known as social plugins and more generally the deletion of data held from user interactions with the site much sooner than presently
    • increased transparency and controls for the use of personal data for advertising purposes
    • an additional form of notification for users in relation to facial recognition/”tag suggest” that is considered will ensure Facebook Ireland is meeting best practice in this area from an Irish law perspective
    • an enhanced ability for users to control tagging and posting on other user profiles
    • an enhanced ability for users to control whether their addition to Groups by friends
    • the Compliance management/Governance function in Dublin which will be further improved and enhanced to ensure that the introduction of new products or new uses of user data take full account of Irish data protection law.

    Facebook Ireland’s delivery on its commitments will be evaluated throughout the first six months of 2012 and as part of an agreed formal review in July of next year that will take the form of a follow-up Audit.


    For more information, please contact:

    Ciara O’Sullivan, Office of the Data Protection Commissioner at +353 (0)57 868 4800

    23rd December,2011.

  • Vine Mess

    Another vine mess as €14,000 blown by Bertie government on wine ‘club’

    Wednesday December 21 2011

    BERTIE Ahern’s government agreed to pay up to €14,000 per year to become a member of the Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

    IT was another crazy Celtic Tiger idea — becoming a member of a wine organisation when we barely produced any wine.

    It put Ireland in the company of great wine producing countries like France, Italy and Spain. There was no sign of the UK, whose wine output is not much better than ours.

    But last night, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney decided to unleash the ‘grapes of wrath’ on this little-known frivolity.

    The Cabinet agreed with him that it was time to put a cork in it, and announced that it was cancelling the Vine and Wine membership we had held since 2004.

    Fianna Fail Junior Minister Liam Aylward, now an Ireland East MEP, was the man who got us in there in the first place. He gave two key reasons for joining — there had been a 160pc increase in wine consumption in Ireland since 1990 and it would allow us to contribute to the drafting of “wine policy” at EU level.

    “It is, accordingly, opportune for us to become a member of this organisation and I commend Ireland’s participation to the committee,” he said.

    But even back then before the Oireachtas Agriculture committee in 2003, Mr Aylward admitted that Ireland’s production of wine was “tiny”.


    “In relation to wine production in the future, we will have to wait some time for global warming to take effect,” he joked.

    Mr Aylward apologised for not having any “samples” with him.

    But his motion to join the international organisation of Vine and Wine was passed unanimously by the committee members — which included Fine Gael‘s Billy Timmins and Sinn Fein’s Martin Ferris.

    – Michael Brennan

    The Wine Club PDF Print E-mail
    Written by Frank Corr
    Wednesday, 21 December 2011 09:42
    What, on Earth, was Ireland doing in an international organisation devoted to co-ordinating the scientific and technical aspects of wine-making ?

    In 2004, for some obscure reason, we joined an international organisation representing 40 wine-producing regions of the world, even though Ireland does niot produce a single bottle of commercial wine.

    The only possible explanation for this madness is that some civil servant with a taste for Chateau Lynch Bages, thought it would be nice to meet up with some of the top wine people in the world a few times a year to discuss the finer points of oenology and viticulture over good bottles in some of the world’s better restaurants.

    The bill f or this exercise is quoted at €14,000 a year, but I wonder if that includes travel and ‘subsistence’ ?

    In any event we are well out of this organisation and the €14,000 is likely to be put to better use.

  • Cooley – Beam – USA

    Cooley Distillery sold in $95m deal

    Friday, 16 December 2011

    US drinks company Beam is to buy Louth-based Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery.

    Cooley founder welcomes deal with US drinks giant.

    US drinks company Beam is to buy Louth-based Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery in a deal worth around $95m (€71m).

    Cooley owns and produces the Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell and Greenore brands. It currently sells around 250,000 9-litre cases of whiskey a year.

    The company was founded by chairman John Teeling, who said Beam had the experience and global strength to help the Cooley brands to reach their potential.

    Beam’s brands include Jim Beam bourbon, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac and Teacher’s scotch whisky.

    “Cooley is one of only three sources for Irish whiskey, and the only independent player, so this transaction is a unique and compelling high-return opportunity to enter one of the industry’s highest growth categories,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam.

    Figures show that the volume of Irish whiskey sold last year grew by 11.5% to 4.86 million. The leading markets for Irish whiskey are the US, Ireland, the UK, France, South Africa and Germany.

    Barry Fitzwilliam are the agents for Jim Beam in Ireland and they also distribute the Cooley range of whiskies.

    Barry and Fitzwilliam sponsor product for The Irish Guild of Sommeliers course.

    cooley distillery1

  • Le Grands Concours Strasbourg 2012

    PRESS RELEASE / november 2011
    Strasbourg Evenements organises « Les Grands Concours du monde »
    From April 14th to 16th at the Congress Center Strasbourg (France)
    • Riesling du monde
    • Pinot Gris du monde
    • Gewurztraminer du monde
    The OIV confirms its trust in Strasbourg Evénements and renews
    its prestigious patronage regarding the Grands Concours du monde!
    The Grands Concours du monde, which contribute to foster the promotion of grape varieties throughout the world, is a
    real guarantee of excellence for wine producers and can be considered undubitably as a quality label by the consumers.
    Each year, thanks to the professionalism of famous worldwide tasters (such as oenologists, wine growers, sommeliers,
    cellar directors, professional tasters, specialized journalists …) that credibility gets more and more stronger.
    The renewal of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine patronage also confirms the high quality and
    competences requiered within the whole competition process. This is a guarantee of a rigorous control in the application
    of strict competition rules.
    The OIV Patronage offers a worldwide recognition to the winners.
    Moreover and for the second time, the Grands Concours du monde can rely on the official sponsorings of :
    • the UDSF (Union de la Sommellerie Française)
    • the UOEF (Union des OEnologues de France).
    What’s new, this year ?
    The entry is now open to the sparkling wines within the mono grape varieties Riesling and Pinot Gris.
    Entry deadline for wine producers who wish to present their wines in the competitions :
    March 9th 2012.
    edition 2012
    Entries and information :
    Christine COLLINS, Project Manager
    Téléphone : +33 (3) 88 37 21 23
    Fax : +33 (3) 88 37 37 95
    7 place Adrien Zeller – BP 256/R7
    FR 67007 STRASBOURG Cedex
    Press contact :
    For France, Virginie Lusseyran,
    Téléphone : +33 (3) 88 22 27 35
    Portable : +33 (6) 09 40 30 53
    For international competitors, Frédérique Pierré,
    Téléphone : +33 (9) 51 835 165
    Portable : +33 (6) 84 46 79 49
    in Partnership with With the patronage of

    PRESS RELEASE / november 2011Strasbourg Evenements organises « Les Grands Concours du monde »From April 14th to 16th at the Congress Center Strasbourg (France)• Riesling du monde• Pinot Gris du monde• Gewurztraminer du mondeThe OIV confirms its trust in Strasbourg Evénements and renewsits prestigious patronage regarding the Grands Concours du monde!The Grands Concours du monde, which contribute to foster the promotion of grape varieties throughout the world, is areal guarantee of excellence for wine producers and can be considered undubitably as a quality label by the consumers.Each year, thanks to the professionalism of famous worldwide tasters (such as oenologists, wine growers, sommeliers,cellar directors, professional tasters, specialized journalists …) that credibility gets more and more stronger.The renewal of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine patronage also confirms the high quality andcompetences requiered within the whole competition process. This is a guarantee of a rigorous control in the applicationof strict competition rules.The OIV Patronage offers a worldwide recognition to the winners.Moreover and for the second time, the Grands Concours du monde can rely on the official sponsorings of :• the UDSF (Union de la Sommellerie Française)• the UOEF (Union des OEnologues de France).What’s new, this year ?The entry is now open to the sparkling wines within the mono grape varieties Riesling and Pinot Gris.Entry deadline for wine producers who wish to present their wines in the competitions :March 9th 2012.www.portail-vins-du-monde.comedition 2012Entries and information :STRASBOURG EVENEMENTSChristine COLLINS, Project ManagerTéléphone : +33 (3) 88 37 21 23Fax : +33 (3) 88 37 37 95ccollins@strasbourg-events.com7 place Adrien Zeller – BP 256/R7FR 67007 STRASBOURG CedexFrancePress contact :AvenuedelapubFor France, Virginie Lusseyran,Téléphone : +33 (3) 88 22 27 35Portable : +33 (6) 09 40 30 53virginie@avenuedelapub.comFor international competitors, Frédérique Pierré,Téléphone : +33 (9) 51 835 165Portable : +33 (6) 84 46 79 49fedepierre@hotmail.frin Partnership with With the patronage of

  • Dubliner

    The Dubliner is a distinctive Irish whiskey liqueur and a truly inspirational marriage of flavours. The blend of honeycomb, caramel and whiskey flavours combine to create the product’s unique eclectic taste, Dubliner Irish Whiskey Liqueur is designed to capture the essence of Dublin culture brought together by the immortal words of James Joyce: “When I Die, Dublin Will Be Written In My Heart’.

    The drink appeals to both connoisseurs of fine liqueurs and the ever increasing number of new Irish whiskey consumers. It also makes for excellent cocktails which tantalise the taste buds but some would say that the Dubliner is perfect just the way it is!

    The Dubliner has just won three Gold medals at the Micro Liquor Awards scooping a Triple Gold, a Gold Medal in Taste and a Gold Medal in Packaging & Design.

    Established in 1993, First Ireland Spirits was founded on the principles of cost efficient manufacturing and high quality products. First Ireland Spirits performs its nimble magic upon a pastoral canvas near the village of Abbeyleix in County Laois. Rural as the setting is, our home is anything but rustic. Under its roof there works a state of the art facility capable of blending and bottling our ever increasing variety of premium Irish beverages. Beyond the automated line and intricate testing equipment lie blending and storage vats, packing equipment designed specifically to ensure that deliveries are properly and promptly directed  and a larder filled with the delicate flavours, spices and herbs necessary to achieve the wide variety of tastes produced here. Our home is beyond spotless and all care is given to the storage, movement, blending and packing of our products. Pure is a popular expression and wholly fitting to the continuing tradition of our house of magic spirits.

    The Dubliner, a distinctive Irish whiskey liqueur and a truly inspirational marriage of flavours. A blend of honeycomb, caramel and whiskey flavours marry together to create the product’s unique eclectic taste, Dubliner Irish Whiskey Liqueur is designed to capture the essence of Dublin culture.

    Andrew O’ Gorman, 27/11/2011.

  • Yao Ming-China-Wine

    Yao Ming – China Wine Boom

    While Yao Ming was growing up in Shanghai, wine was served with ice cubes. It wasn’t until the 7-foot-6-inch Chinese basketball star spent time with National Basketball Association teammate Dikembe Mutombo, a 7-foot-2-inch Congolese player, that he began to appreciate wine.

    “I always watched him at our dinners and I’d sometimes ask him ‘Why are you doing that?'” said Mr. Yao, swirling an imaginary glass. “I was just trying to copy him.”

    Now retired and living in his native Shanghai, Mr. Yao is an unlikely connoisseur and a trailblazer on the Chinese wine scene. The 31-year-old is launching his own Californian winery geared exclusively for the Chinese market this week called Yao Family Wines.

    Distributed by French beverage giant Pernod Ricard SA, bottles in the first 5,000-case run will be labeled simply Yao Ming and aimed at the top end of the market.

    The wine, made from cabernet sauvignon grapes harvested in 2009 from California’s Napa Valley, is priced at 1,775 yuan (US$289) a bottle. (The price includes a 27% import duty and a 17% sales tax.) A second wine, called Yao Family Reserve, will be released later this year, and its small 500-case production will be even pricier.

    “I really like Napa Valley,” said the former center. “California represents vacation, casual [living], sunshine—everything related to a good quality of life.”

    Yao Family Wines currently doesn’t own any vineyards in California, but is aiming to acquire land in the next few years.

    California couldn’t have a better pitchman in China than Mr. Yao. He is one of the country’s biggest stars and is credited with boosting China’s interest in the NBA. During his nine seasons with the Houston Rockets, his games were broadcast on national television in China, and he was selected to carry China’s flag during the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He has endorsed everything from Apple Inc. products to his father’s Chinese restaurant in Houston.

    Mr. Yao’s appreciation for wine grew in parallel with its acceptance in his home country—wine consumption in China doubled from 2005 to 2009. But wine imported into China came predominantly from France, and he spotted a market opportunity for Californian wines.

    Mr. Yao asked BDA Sports International, the agency that represents him, to explore the idea of starting his own Napa Valley winery. In 2009, with BDA’s assistance, he found a team of wine experts to help him realize his vision, including winemaker Tom Hinde, who had made wines for Flowers Vineyard and Winery and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates. “We tasted a lot of wine together and got to know him in a way so I could express his personality in the wine,” said Mr. Hinde. “He’s physically imposing, but he’s also very personable and gentle. We wanted to capture that in the wine.”

    Mr. Hinde insists Yao Family Wines isn’t a short-lived bid to capitalize on China’s wine boom and the star’s celebrity before either of them wane. He said the business plan is based on a 10-year timeline.

    Mr. Hinde and four others involved with the winery are minority shareholders in the venture, while Mr. Yao is the principal owner. Neither Mr. Yao nor his winemaking team disclosed how much has been invested, though wine-industry experts estimate that it requires $2 million to $5 million to get a winery to reach full production.

    While most of the wine sold in China is from domestic sources, the imported market has grown dramatically. Bottled-wine imports—as opposed to cheap bulk wine that is imported in large tanks for bottling in China—grew 240% from 2008 to 2010, according to data from China Customs.

    China has a heavy bias toward French wines. Last year, France led bottled-wine imports with a 47% market share. Australia ranked a distant second with 16% of the market. The U.S. came in sixth, trailing Italy, Spain and Chile, with a 6.4% share.

    Chinese collectors have bid top dollar for the world’s most sought-after bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy at auctions in Hong Kong, putting the city ahead of London and New York in sales.

    In September, 2011 an anonymous Chinese bidder spent $539,280 on a single lot of 300 bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild wine at a Sotheby’s wine auction in Hong Kong.

    Mr. Yao’s new winery isn’t his only business venture. He is the owner of his first professional basketball team, the Shanghai Sharks, and an investor in a digital-music site called Top100.cn.

    Mr. Yao is also attending classes at Shanghai Jiaotong University. He is going to miss a day of school this week for one of the many launch events scheduled for the new winery.

    “I’ll need an extra bottle for my history professor so he can give me a good grade and let me skip his class,” Mr. Yao said.