• Chile Competition 2013

    See details under Education

    This competition is open to professional members of the Guild and Graduates of the Sommelier Courses

    Torreón de Paredes



  • Foods and Wine From Spain

    This event in Galway this week is going to be the largest professional fair in Food and Wine from Spain in the west Coast.

    Food & Wines from Spain, Galway 2013:

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary in Ireland a year full of Spanish activities has just started.

    The first exhibition for trade and media is in Galway

    Tuesday, 26th of February

    Time: 12.00 pm – 17.30 pm

    Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Lough Atalia Road, Galway

    15 importers of food and wines from Spain will meet at the same venue to bring closer to the trade in the West Coast of Ireland some of the best Spanish gastronomy. Over 150 wines and 15 categories of food in show. Two wine seminars about the Celtic wines from Rías Baixas and another two of foods from Spain will complete a day dedicated to rediscover the flavours of Spain.

    R.V.S.P. Veronica Castro. Tel: (01) 6616313.
    Mail: vcastro@mcx.es

  • Deirdre Byrne Making History

    Congratulations to Irish Guild of Sommeliers  member & member of the Bartenders Association of Ireland, Deirdre Byrne, Westin Hotel, Dublin on winning the National Cocktail Championship held at CATEX in the RDS Dublin on 20th February,2013. The competition was run by the Bartenders Association of Ireland and sponsored by Edward Dillon and Co. Ltd.

    Deirdre Byrne from Donegal made history  when she became the first female to represent Ireland in the World Cocktail Championship.

    Deirdre, who was runner-up in the Hot Cocktail competition on Tuesday 19th February, was declared winner of the National Cocktail Championship for her ‘Apricot Blossom’ creation and she will now represent Ireland at the World Cocktail Championship in Prague, Czech Republic later this year.

    On the judging panel was Oliver Murtagh, Vice President, Irish Guild of Sommeliers.


    2012-2013 3 NOffLA winners

    Irish Guild of Sommeliers Tasting 18 February 2013

    Hosted by Mackenway Distributers Ltd and presented by Bren Smith

    Mackenway Distributors is a family owned wine company, set up over 25 years ago by Robert and Christine Smith.  They import high quality wines from all the various wine producing regions of the world, many of whom have won numerous awards such as “White & Red Wine of the Year” and overall “Wine of the Year”at the  NOFFLA  Gold Star Awards.

    Their son Bren, who joined the company six years ago, presented nine wines focusing on three winemakers, Michel Redde et Fils from Pouilly Fumé in the Loire, Domaine Lafage in Roussillon and Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel in Ribera del Duero

    Michel Redde et Fils  Pouilly-Fumé, Loire, France

    Michel Redde and his son Thierry are the fifth and sixth generations of a family which has been grower-producers in the Loire Valley since early in the last century. The estate’s vineyards are situated in the heart of the appellation on the crest of a hillside overlooking the Loire river and are directly exposed to the south.  The soils supporting the Sauvignon Blanc vines vary between two types – chalky clay and clay and silica soils.

    A resolute insistence on absolute quality has earned Michel Redde a place among the top five or six producers in the Pouilly and Sancerre regions, with a reputation for excellence and consistency second to none.


    Pouilly-Fumé AC Petit Fumé 2011

    This wine is made from the youngest vines in the domaine and are aged between 10 and 15 years old.  It has an opulent nose of ripe citrus, tastes fresh and lively and is full of expressive fruit, finishing dry, clean and stylish.  The perfect aperitif!

    Pouilly-Fumé AC “La Moynerie” 2008

    This wine comes exclusively from Michel Redde’s La Moynerie vineyard where the Sauvignon vines are between 20 and 25 years old and grow in diverse sub-soils of limestone, kimmeridgian marl, and clay with flint. The wine is put in stainless steel tanks, wooden tuns and half-wooden casks for 10 to 12 months on the lees until bottling.

    Very pungent aromas with a crisp, minerally, ripe, white fruit character on the palate.  The ideal match for creamy fish. This wine was featured in Decanter Magazine Experts Choice March 2013

    Pouilly-Fumé AC “Les Bois de Saint Andelain” 2007

    Les Bois de Saint Andelain is one of a range of single terroir cuvées produced by Michel Redde et Fils and these cuvées are viewed as unofficial grand cru sites within the Pouilly-Fumé appellation. The vineyard is located at a high point on the outskirts of the village of Saint Andelain on cretaceous flint and silex soils.  Vines are between 40 and 50 years old.

    Flint and citrus aromas jump from the glass.  A broad, weighty style, with plenty of citrus fruit, minerally, a touch of honey, and balanced by a fresh streak of lemony acidity.  Subtle oaky tones emerge on the aftertaste,  owing to its period in wooden tuns for 16 to 18 months.  A classic and elegant Pouilly Fumé.  The highest scoring wine featured in  Decanter Magazine Experts Choice March 2013

    Domaine Lafage Roussillon, France

    Jean-Marc Lafage’s family has been growing grapes in Roussillon for six generations, but it was Jean-Marc who had the ambition to stop selling the grapes and to found a domaine.  He and his oenologist wife, Eliane, founded Domaine Lafage in 1996 with an estate of 138ha of vines across Roussillon, with parcels in the Agly Valley, Aspres and Perpignan specialising in old vines.


    Domaine Lafage “Côte Est” 2011

    This dry, white comes from the Catalanes area, is a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc/Grenache Gris (from 100 year old vines), 30% Chardonnay and 20% Marsanne.  Uniquely, the blend is made first and then the wine, after which it remains for three months on its lees.  A wonderfully fresh style, with a limey acidity and flavours of pithy grapefruit and honeysuckle.  A great aperitif, or an accompaniment for shellfish.

    Domaine Lafage “Côte Sud” 2010

    Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Syrah from three different terroirs make up the blend in this full-bodied red.  Each variety is vinified separately in open fermenters and the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak casks. Youthful in appearance, it has ripe, dark fruit aromas with a huge fruit attack on the palate balanced by a fresh edge.  Soft, easy drinking and a very fruity red.

    Domaine Lafage “Cuvée Centenaire” 2010

    100 year old Grenache Blanc (80%) and Rousanne (20%) (hence the name) produce this full-flavoured white.  Round, rich citrus fruit with lemony acidity and just a hint of oak giving a creamy, weighty wine.

    Domaine Lafage “Cuvée Nicolas” 2010

    This robust red is made from 65 year old Grenache Noir grown in the Agly valley, aged for six months in barrel and is not filtered.  Garnet coloured, with aromas of soft, dark fruit, hints of chocolate and an almost port-like nose.   Big, dense, black, wild berry fruit and black pepper spiciness on the palate, balanced by a minerally edge.  Perfect with rare steak.

    Bodgeas Resalte de Penafiel, Ribera del Duero, Spain

    Located in Penafiel, in the Spanish D.O. of Ribera del Duero, Bodegas Resalte winery was founded in 2000, with the specific purpose of producing high quality wines.  Resalte combine traditional methods and state-of-the-art technology such as a complete gravity system to produce modern and complex wines.  All the wines are produced from 100% Tempranillo, ranging from 10 to 100 years old.


    Resalte Vendimia Seleccionada 2011

    15 year old Tempranillo, grown in high vineyards produce this entry level red.  Youthful looking, it has inviting berry aromas, raspberry and cherry fruit on the palate, with a spicy touch.  Fresh and juicy on the finish.  This wine spends six months in French 500 litre oak casks.

    Resalte Crianza 2006

    This elegant wine oozes sweet fruit – cherries, plums, raspberries – with spicy oak and balanced acidity giving freshness on the aftertaste.  Tastes like a Reserva style! 25 year old Tempranillo vines grown at high altitude make up the blend and the wine is aged for 15 months in French and American oak casks.

    Tasting notes: Catherine Griffith.


  • Burgundy Wine Master Class

    Members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers invited

    Burgundy Wines Masterclass

    The National Off-Licence Association and the Discover the Origin campaign are again delighted to invite NOffLA members & members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers to discover the wines of the Bourgogne region of France during a special master class.  Taste the delicious and unique wines Bourgogne has to offer, as well as finding out more about food and wine matches. The Discover the Origin initiative features a range of food and wines with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, including Parma Ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, Bourgogne Wines, Port and Douro Wines. Each of these is produced using traditional methods, as well as for having a unique taste and heritage.

    The master class takes place on Monday, March 4th in the Alexander Hotel, Dublin from 11am – 1pm and is presented by expert wine consultant and writer Kevin Ecock. NOffLA members are invited to register today to attend this FREE masterclass by emailing elaine@noffla.ie or by phone to 01 2962326.

  • Febvre

    Febvre Scores in Wine Awards
    7th February,2013
    Febvre Wines and Aer Lingus scored two awards in the Annual ‘Cellars in The Sky’ Awards run by Business Traveller Magazine at a reception held in The Dorchester Hotel, London.   The Awards were Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2008, placed joint third (with Emirates) in the First Class  White Wine Category and third place in the ‘Best Wine Cellar in Business Class’.

    The Awards recognise the best Business and 1st Class wines served by 33 airlines worldwide.   Blind tastings took place in December with four judges independently scoring the wines.

  • Study of Irish Pubs

    6th February 2013

    Researchers from an English university will spend a year studying the Irish pub. The study is funded by the Vintners Federation of Ireland, which is worried by the closure of 1,100 pubs in the past five years, many in rural communities.

    The team, led by Dr Ignazio Cabras, the real ale-loving son of an Italian vineyard owner, wants to explore the role village pubs play in local communities and find ways of halting their decline.

    Dr Cabras (34), a lecturer in economics, business and management at York University’s Management School, has already spent six years conducting similar research on the state of English country inns.