• Enrico Muscetra

    L/R Shinya Tasaki, President Association Sommelier International presenting Andrew O’ Gorman, Irish Guild of Sommeliers  with the Emozioni International Prize as winning Journalist,Nichi Stefi, Jury Member for Emozioni Prize, Stanislas de Roccofort de la Vinniere, Moet & Chandon Champagne, Giuseppe Vaccarini, President Association Sommelier Professional Italy.EMOZIONI ANDREW O GORMANEnrico Muscetra




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    Sculpture, Champagne and Diploma presented to Andrew O’ Gorman at Villa Nobel, Sanremo, Italy, September,2013


    In the evening of the 27th September,2013 at Villa Nobel ,the final resting place of Alfred Nobel, who gave his name to the famous Nobel awards and thanks to the collaboration with the Province of Imperia, hosted “Emotions”, a competition created by ASPI, the Italian Sommelier Association and ASI ,the International Sommelier Association with Moët   &   Chandon Champagne, dedicated to the best journalistic or literary works that have as their theme the profession of sommelier.

    The following were nominated for the journalist award: Nenan Basaric from Serbia, Philippe Faure-Brace from France and Andrew O’ Gorman from Ireland. Andrew O’ Gorman was announced as the winner.

    The judges for this award were as follows:Giuseppe Vaccarini, President of the Italian Sommelier Association, Shinya Tasaki, President of the International Sommelier Association, Nichi Stefi, Producer  National Radio-Television,Italy,Marco Bolasco, Chief Editor and CEO of Slow Food Editore and Michele Lenochi, Professor/Headmaster of the Faculty of Science Cattolica University.The jury evaluated the works of the candidates received, nominated the three finalists and also selected the final winner.

    It was a great honour for me personally, the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Ireland to receive such an award. I was presented with an original bronze statue from the famous Maestro Enrico Muscetra, a Diploma and a Jeroboam of Moét & Chandon Champagne.

    Sincere thanks to Oliver Murtagh, President, Irish Guild of Sommeliers for submitting my name for this prestigious award.


  • Wine sales plunge

    24 DECEMBER 2013

    WINE sales have plummeted by up to 10%this year as repeated government tax hikes eat ever further into the cost of each bottle.

    The taxman now enjoys a windfall of nearly €5 every time you pull out the cork on a bottle of wine costing just €8.

    And the repeated price increases are having an impact, with a new survey showing that 28pc of people are drinking less wine than they used to.

    A survey by Wolf Blass & Lindeman’s ahead of Christmas showed that for every €1 increase in the price tag, the number of consumers who stop buying a brand almost doubles.

    This means duty hikes of €1.50 a bottle slapped on wine over the last year have forced many customers downmarket in their choices.

    Wine seller Evelyn Jones of The Vintry off-licence in Rathgar, Dublin, said that these increases had a huge impact.

    Most customers would not go over a certain threshold such as €8 or €10, she said, and they wouldn’t raise that just because there was more tax on the bottles.

    So, without knowing it, people might be paying €10 for a bottle of wine but getting a much cheaper wine than the same price would have allowed two years ago.

    “It’s a real challenge to find wines at the price people will buy them, and to explain that it’s the Government which is getting so much of the price,” she said.

    “It’s become very hard for the artisanal producers to compete against industrially produced wines; you end up with less quality and choice,” she said.

    Revenue figures to the end of June show a 10pc fall in wine sales this year — even before the October Budget excise increase added another 50 cent to prices, said Ms Jones, who is also chairperson of the National Off-Licences Association (NOffLA).

    Christmas is the time when wine shops try to make up for some of the decline in spending, but she said it was an increasing challenge with supermarkets using alcohol as a loss-leader to get shoppers in.

    Some 12 off-licences had closed this year alone and NOffLA was predicting up to 25 more could shut their doors in 2014.

    “The whole independent retail sector is struggling to compete with big supermarkets, but for those of us selling wine the Government has thrown in huge excise increases as well, said Ms Jones.


    Wine expert Jean Smullen said that a once-vibrant industry was being felled by the Government’s refusal to consider the effect of tax increases on jobs. Over 60 jobs had been lost this year already, but because wine wasn’t produced in Ireland, there was no consideration given to its employment record.

    Irish people drank 107 million bottles of wine last year, according to Irish Wine Association figures.

    Well over half the bottles purchased cost under €8 and eight out of 10 of them cost less than €9.

    Irish adults drink around 17 litres of wine a year, which is less than half the 40-plus litres a head drunk in France, Portugal and Italy.


  • DIT 2013

    Photo: Oliver Murtagh, President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers


    5th November,2013

    The Irish Guild of Sommeliers teamed up with the Bartenders Association if Ireland  to introduce hospitality trainees to our respective trade associations. Also there was, Deirdre Byrne, Ireland’s Gold Medal Winner at the World Cocktail Competition in Prague earlier this year. A fun learning session was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Mike O’ Connor, DIT Lecturer and Dr. Frank Cullen, Head of School (acting) for making this possible


  • Last orders

    Last orders as band of brotherly brewers dies off

    A six-pack of Westvleteren 12 is displayed at Ales Unlimited on December 12, 2012 in San Francisco, California.

    8 DECEMBER 2013

    DEMAND for Europe‘s elite Trappist beers, brewed in monastic seclusion behind abbey walls, is at an all-time high — but soon there may be no one left to make them because fewer people want to become monks.

    The International Trappist Association (ITA) stipulates that only beers made by the monks themselves or under the monks’ supervision can be awarded the hallowed label of ‘Authentic Trappist Product’.

    With fewer people joining an order, the breweries are struggling to find suitable recruits. At Belgium‘s Orval monastery — one of only eight in the world producing certified Trappist beers — the number of monks is now 12, down from 35 a few decades ago.

    Trappist beer has been gaining in popularity, in part because of its scarcity. Under ITA guidelines, the beer must be sold only to provide for the needs of the community or the monastery, and not for general profit. The US in particular has developed a taste for the brews, and last week a monastery inMassachusetts became the first outside Europe to be given permission to start brewing its own.


  • €132k

    Corks pop as vintage case of wine sells for €132k

    A picture taken on June 15, 2013 shows a bottle of the Chateau Cheval Blanc's Premier Grand Cru Classe A, in Saint-Emilion, southwestern France.

    A picture taken on June 15, 2013 shows a bottle of the Chateau Cheval Blanc’s Premier Grand Cru Classe A, in Saint-Emilion, southwestern France.


    A Case of 1947 Cheval Blanc wine has been bought for €131,600 in one of the most expensive purchases in a French auction, it emerged yesterday.

    The sale price means that each bottle costs almost €11,000.

    Packaged in its original wooden case, the bottles were re-corked at the St-Emilion chateau during the 1990s to protect the wine from oxidation.

    “The price may seem high but compared to the true value of this lot, it’s not over the top,” said Aubert Boge of Millesimes, the wine merchant, who bought the case on behalf of a private collector earlier this month.

    “1947 was the vintage of the century for this chateau, it is mythical,” he said. “Bottles of 1947 are very difficult to find.”


    “This wine is undoubtedly one of the greatest Bordeaux of all times, not only because of its rare quality but also due to its extensive lifespan, as it could still be kept and enjoyed 50 years from now with no problem at all,” said Michael Ganne, Christie’s wine specialist.

    Robert Parker, the wine critic, has awarded the wine a perfect 100-point score. “The huge nose of fruitcake, chocolate, leather, coffee, and Asian spices is mind-boggling. The unctuous texture and richness of sweet fruit are amazing,” he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


  • Chapter One


    Martin Corbett

    Martin Corbett above & Ross  Lewis opened Chapter One in 1992 in the basement of the Dublin Writers Museum on Parnell Square in Dublin’s city centre and has gone on to win many awards and a loyal following.

    A truly stunning book, Chapter One: A Story of Irish Food is a fitting tribute to the achievements of the restaurant and of the Irish food industry.Chapter 1Ross Lewis

    THE AUTHOR                                                                                Ross Lewis

     Ross Lewis is an Irish Michelin star winning head chef and co-owner of the restaurant Chapter One. From Cork, he studied Dairy Science at UCC. He discovered cooking as a living while working on a student visa in the United States. He has worked at Odin’s, Dolphin Brasserie and Le Chat Botté Restaurant at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Geneva. He came back to Ireland in 1990 and took the chance of taking over Chapter One in the Dublin Writers Museum and the restaurant started trading in 1992. Lewis also served three years (2001 – 2004) as Commissioner General of Eurotoques. In 2011, he was the head chef for the State Banquet during the State Visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland. He is married with three daughters and lives in Seapoint, Dublin.

  • The Palace Bar

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    Presentation of a bottle of Tyrconnell  *****Irish Whiskey & Spirits of Ireland Update, the cover of which shows the latest whiskey launched by the Palace Bar to Liam & Willie Aherne, Whiskey Palace at the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin,1                                                                                                                                                                                  

    The presentation was made by Oliver J. Murtagh, President, Irish Guild of Sommeliers

    In October 2013 the Palace opened a whiskey bar called Whiskey Palace and on the same night launched a new whiskey called Palace Bar Fourth Estate Single Malt.  The name the ‘Fourth Estate’ refers to the time when the journalists would frequent the Palace Bar and use it as if it were their office.

    This is bottled from a range of casks all the way up to 21 years old. All the whiskey is single malt, and it is safe to say it originated from a distillery in Northern Ireland.