• Argentina

    The 2014 Argentine Trade Tasting will take place  on Tuesday 15th April, 2014 in Dublin .

    Trade & Press will be invited to taste a range of Argentine wines, most of which are currently available on the Irish market . The trade and press tasting on April 15th will run from 12.00 noon  – 6.00 p.m and is by invitation only.

    Participating wineries include: Andeluna; Apalmanta; Domaine Bousquet;  Boedga  Callia;  Catena Zapata; Viña Cobos (seeking representation);  Dante Robino;  Dona Paula; Finca Sophenia;  Bodega La Rosa; La Riojana  (seeking representation);  Luigi Bosca; Masi Tupungato; Mentel; Michel Torino;  O. Fournier;  Pascul Toso;  Bodega Piedra Negra (Lurton); Saletin; Santa Ana; Trapiche;  Trivento.

  • Scotland

    Scotland warms to vineyards as climate heats up


    ASKED to name the wine most associated with Scotland, a cynic might say Buckfast. Not for much longer, however; in September, as Scots prepare to vote in the independence referendum, the country’s first wine grapes will be harvested.

    The Scottish vineyard is in Upper Largo on the south coast of Fife, just across the Firth of Forth from Edimburgh.

    The vines were planted by Christopher Trotter, a chef and hotelier from Aberdeen. He was acting on the advice of one of his farming friends, who had confidently predicted that owing to climate change Fife would “have the climate of the Loire Valley” within 20 years.

    Mr Trotter planted 100 vines three years ago. Their roots are now fully developed and, with the right amount of sunshine, the grapes should be ready for harvesting in September.


    “We have a south-facing, sloped bit of land which overlooks the Firth; the sunshine is fantastic, and St Andrews, which is 15 minutes’ from us, has some of the highest sunshine [levels] in the UK, never mind Scotland,” Mr Trotter said. “So with all those things put together, I just thought: ‘Well, it’s worth a go’.”

    The situation of the vineyard is crucial: no hills to block out the precious sunlight, good drainage to cope with the inevitable rain and little haar – the sea-fog common on Scotland’s eastern coast. But Mr Trotter’s main advantage has been a rapidly warming climate: last July, temperatures averaged 21.4C in Fife, the second highest on record.

    “It’s a fact that the Champagne growers are nervous that it’s getting too hot in Champagne,” he said.

    Mr Trotter is growing three varieties: Solaris, Siegerrebe and Rondo. All were chosen for their early ripening properties.

    They can be harvested before Scotland’s October wind and frosts begin to bite.

    Of the three, the Solaris variety from Germany has performed best and, Mr Trotter hopes, will provide a medium-dry white wine. (© Independent News Service)

  • Whiskey Tastings at the Palace Bar

    Japanese Whiskey Tasting Thursday April 10th, 7.30pm @ Upstairs Palace Bar Tickets €30.

    The interest in Japanese Whiskies is phenomenal which is good and bad. The bad is that we only get limited allocations whilst the good is that this tasting will sell out! The tasting will feature 8 whiskeys which include Nikka’s amazing Yoichi 20 year-old & Taketsuru 21 year-old, Suntory’s Yamazaki 18 Year-Old and Hibiki 17 Year-Old.  Tickets are €30 or €27 for Whiskey Club Members. Tickets are available in store or by phone (01 6759744), limited to 30 Tickets.


    Gordon & Macphail Single Malt Tasting Thursday 1st May, 7.30pm @ Upstairs Palace Bar Tickets €25.

    A unique tasting of 8 whiskeys from this superb independent bottler will consist of Single Malts from some of the best Scottish distilleriers including Macallan, Linkwood, Mortlach and Old Pulteney. Tickets are priced €27.50 or €25 for Whiskey Club Members. Tickets are available in store or by phone (01 675974 )Celtic Whiskey Shop, 27-28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2,





  • Mackenway Wine Portfolio Tasting

    Mackenway Wine Portfolio Tasting

          Wednesday April 9th 2014

    11.00 – 17.00

    Trade & Press

    Morrison Hotel, Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1


    We very much look forward to welcoming the Members of The Irish Guild of Sommeliers on Wednesday the 9th April 2014.

    In between now and then should you have any questions please call me, Bren Smith on 087-2032060 or email me on bren.smith@mackenway.com

    And I will look after you or any of the members of the Guild.image006


  • Burgundy Masterclass

    Discover the Origin and NOffLA Masterclass for Members in April

    Tuesday, April 8th , 2pm – 4pm

    Alexander Hotel, Fenian Street,  Dublin 2

    Register to elaine@noffla.ie




    NOffLA, in conjunction with the Discover the Origin campaign, is inviting members to attend a Bourgogne Wines Masterclass on Tuesday, 8th April in the Alexander Hotel, Dublin.  Discover the Origin is an established European Union campaign designed to educate and excite food and wine fans about food and drink products, all with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. This initiative unites a tantalising fusion of fine food and wine, including Parma Ham, Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Bourgogne Wines, Port and Douro Wines. Each product is unique to the region in which it is produced and celebrated the world over for its flavours, history and traditions.


    This two hour course, presented by wine expert Raymond Blake, will take you on a journey through the Bourgogne wine regionand the iconic wines it has to offer. Register today to attend the free masterclass by emailing your details toelaine@noffla.ie

  • DIT Repeats Game Success


    Pictured are (Back row) – Joanne Hayes, Febvre, Fiacra Nagle MD Compass Group Ireland, Honorata Waraksa, DIT. Font row – Caroline Millar, DIT, Lara Elise Creighton, DIT, Nicky Logue FIHI, President IHI, Kate Beahan (Team Captain), DIT and Lisa Brady, DIT.


    A team of five students, representing Dublin Institute of Technology was selected for the second consecutive year as the outright winner of the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) Business Management Game 2014, in association with our new main sponsor Compass Group Ireland at AVIVA Stadium/Meetings & Events and the winning team prize sponsored by Febvre & Co.

    The team scored top marks in the competition that attracted eight teams representing young hospitality managers of the future from all over Ireland. The 29th IHI Business Management Game, which took place in the AVIVA Stadium, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 is also supported by Irish Hotels Federation, HOTS and Forás na Gaeilge.

    At the presentation of the awards, Captain Kate Beahan, on behalf of other members (Caroline Millar, Lisa Brady, Honorata Waraksa and Lara Elise Creighton) spoke of the team’s delight in winning the overall prize which is a special gourmet experience at the Michelin star Chapter One Restaurant in Dublin’s Parnell Square. There, award-winning Chef, Ross Lewis will devise a special tasting lunch for the winners, showcasing what makes Chapter One such a celebrated destination.  Each course will be carefully paired with wines specifically chosen by Febvre, and Chapter One sommelier, Ed Jolliffe, courtesy of wine importers Febvre and Company. The Awards and Certificates were presented by Nicky Logue FIHI, President of IHI; Fiacra Nagle, Managing Director, Compass Group Ireland and Joanne Hayes, National On-Trade Key Accounts Manager of Febvre & Company and Tim Fenn, CEO Irish Hotels Federation.

    Competition, as usual, was intense. Game participants spent two days devising a strategy for their business while managing financial constraints aligned to other challenges which reflected the specific concerns facing our industry today. HOTS provided an online programme developed to pitch for Irish business in clearly identified target markets, working within achievable budgets and using the marketing tools available to deliver results.

    The winning team, under the tutorage of John Ryan & Clem Ryan, competed with seven others including Institutes of Technology from Galway-Mayo, Dublin, Letterkenny and Tralee as well as Shannon College of Hotel Management for the top prize. Judging took place over two days and the adjudication panel was made up of senior members of the Irish tourism and hospitality industry, under the chairmanship of Martin Mangan, General Manager of The Conrad Hotel, Dublin 2. Also on the judging panel were Martina Flood, Operations Manager Sport & Leisure, AVIVA Stadium Events and Liz Kennedy Burke, Kennedy Burke & Associates.

    Natasha Kinsella FIHI, Chief Executive of the Irish Hospitality Institute, speaking at the awards ceremony said: We are delighted with the new support provided by Compass Group Ireland and this new venture has provided a very different element to the game with a focus specific to contract catering & event management. In line with this all competitors demonstrated a clear ability and an excellent understanding of how to achieve these goals and, irrespective of the individual results, will leave the games with a template that can and will work, through adjustment, for many years to come.  Their innovative thoughts and solutions leave us very confident about the calibre of our managers of the future.  The future of the Irish hospitality and tourism industry is in safe hands!”


  • Jameson clashes with Jamieson over name

    CALIFORNIA wine maker and Irish Distillers have clashed over the use of the ‘Jameson’ name, highlighting the growing success of the whiskey on the international market.

    Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, was previously known as Reata Winery and last year its name was changed by owners Alyssa O’Hare and Bryan Gordon. It’s the southern-most vineyard in California‘s famous Napa Valley and located not far from San Francisco. The company behind the 300-acre vineyard is called Madison Vineyard Holdings.

    Last December, Pernod Ricard-owned Irish Distillers sought a time extension to allow it to oppose the registration of the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards name.

    Irish Distillers wrote to Madison’s trademark lawyer just two weeks ago, informing him that Madison’s use of the word ‘Jamieson’ is “confusingly similar” to ‘Jameson’. It told Madison’s lawyer that the use of the ‘Jamieson’ name is “likely to cause consumer confusion and/or the appearance that your client’s business originates from or is endorsed or authorised by Irish Distillers” and that Madison’s use of the ‘Jamieson’ moniker “constitutes trademark dilution”.

    It also demanded that Madison “immediately cease all use of Jameson trademarks or anything confusingly similar”. It also wanted the US firm to account for all the revenue generated from the use of the ‘Jamieson’ name, “including sales of wine bearing the Jamieson label and sales of services inNapa, so that we may assess the damages resulting from Madison’s infringing activity”.

    Madison has asserted that there’s no possible likelihood of confusion between the ‘Jamieson Ranch Vineyards’ and Jameson whiskey. It has sought permission from a California court to be allowed to continue using the ‘Jamieson’ name. Initial disclosures are due in May.


  • Ukraine

    Oliver J. Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers sends support to the Sommeliers in Ukraine  and   sincerely hopes that you will very soon have freedom and peace in your country.

  • Wine Appreciation

    Kellys Resort Hotel & Spa

     Rosslare Strand, Co. Wexford

    9 – 14 March 2014

    Beaujolais is recovering its identity thanks to winemakers likeDominique Piron. Dominique Piron is the 14th generation winemaker at the family estate, Domaine de la Chanaise. Working side by side with his American wife, enologist Kristine Mary, the Pirons farm 45 hectares of vineyards scattered among several different crus in Beaujolais, namely Fleurie, Morgon, Chénas, Brouilly, Régnié and Moulin-à-Vent. Join Dominique & Kristine for a tasting of some of Beaujolais finest wines. Monday & Tuesday 6.00 – 7.30pm.

    Now head of the vineyard passed from Father to son for eight generations, Eric Forest produces wines from vines planted between 1930 and 1979. An amazing wine selection from Pouilly-Fuisse, Saint-Veran and Macon-Vergisson. His rich understanding of nature and biodynamics, much of it inherited from his grandfather, has formed Eric’s approach to viticulture and winemaking. Working his vines entirely manual, with ploughing and hand-hoeing between the rows. – and no use of synthetic herbicides or pesticides here! Eric Forest is a young, charming and passionate man, with a deep understanding of his region and his terroir. A tasting not to be missed. Wednesday & Thursday 6.00 – 7.30pm.

    Wine Tasting Dinner – Join us on Wednesday evening for a wine tasting dinner, enjoy interesting food and wine combinations. Limited availability, Wine Cost is €30pp (meal included in hotel full and half board packages).

  • Tindal Wine Tasting

    Tindal Wine Merchant’s portfolio  tasting

    March 5th 2014 at the Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Dublin,2.

    Tickets €10 online at Tindalwine.com/events or €15 at venue