• Whiskey Live 2014



    With just over 1 month until Whiskey Live Dublin 2014 we are delighted to confirm that all the exhibitor stands are sold out in what promises to be the best Whiskey event ever held in Ireland. Midleton distillery will obviously be there showcasing their Single Pot Still range (hopefully, with a new release or 2) & Kilbeggan with the new Connemara 22 Year-Old & probably the new Kilbeggan 21 Year-Old. From Ireland we also have Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, Teeling, Knappogue Castle, Echlinville distillery, Blackwater distillery, Dingle distillery, Green & Yellow Spots, Irish Whiskey Awards, Jack Ryans, The Palace Bar, Alltech distillery, Walsh Whiskey, Dubliner, Glendalough & Celtic Casks (With upcoming releases Seacht, Ocht & Naoi). From Scotland we have Isle of Arran, Glengoyne, BenRiach, GlenDronach, Glenglassaugh, Gordon & MacPhail, Benromach, Bowmore, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch & more. From Japan Suntory & Nikka. From the US, we have Alltech, Jim Beam, Bulleit, Jeffersons, plus more tbc. We have 6 whiskey masterclasses (2 for trade & 4 for consumers) with full details below with tickets very limited.

    This year a number of top notch Dublin restaurants (Etto, Koh, L Mulligan Grocer) will prepare some bite size dishes to match some of the whiskeys in attendance. We’re also partnering with the cities top chocolate company Cocoa Atelier to do some Whiskey & chocolate pairings.

    We have a special guest, Jack McGarry from The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog’s in New York who specialises in Irish Whiskey cocktails. In July 2013, he was honoured with the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail International Bartender of the Year award. Along with Jack, we will have 6 top bartenders from Dublin partnering with different whiskey brands and showing another side of Irish whiskey.

    If you want to learn more about Irish & world whiskies or would just enjoy a great afternoon or evening of food & drink sampling then there is no better event than Whiskey Live Dublin 2014.


    Whiskey Live Dublin 2014 – Saturday 25th October, Round room at the Mansion HouseDawson Street, Dublin 2

    Session 1 2pm-5.30pm, Session 2 6pm-9.30pm

    Date: Saturday 25th October

    Session 1: 2.00pm-5.30pm

    Session 2: 6.00pm-9.30pm

    Venue: The Round rooms at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2

    Tickets: €37.50 and must be purchased in advance. A minimum of €10 per ticket will go to Downs Syndrome Dublin.

    Tickets can be bought at the Celtic Whiskey Shop, 27-28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 or by phone (01 675 9744).

    Also, tickets are available from https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/whiskey-live-dublin-2014-tickets-12176392919


    Part of the reason I took over the running of Whiskey Live Dublin was that the industry needs a successful event showcasing all that is good about Irish Whiskey. However, I also saw it as a good opportunity to raise some money for charity. My youngest Eoin has Downs Syndrome and gets some fantastic & much appreciated help from many people so we will use the event to raise money from both ticket sales & a well stocked raffle for Down Syndrome Dublin.


    All masterclasses will be held at the Whiskey Bar, Bar 37 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Tickets available from Celtic Whiskey Shop, 27-28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 or Tel: 01 675 9744. Tickets are strictly limited & must be purchased in advance.


    12 noon-12.50pm Trade only by invitation – How to utilize Irish Whiskey in a world class beverage program by Jack McGarry from The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog.


    1pm-1.50pm Benromach distillery – A classic Speyside

    Tickets €10, all proceeds to Downs Syndrome Dublin. Limited to 25 people.


    2pm-2.50pm Benriach Distillery Company – “A DECADE OF DISCOVERIES” –   Benriach – Glendronach – Glenglassaugh

    Tickets €10, all proceeds to Downs Syndrome Dublin. Limited to 25 people.


    3pm-3.50pm Trade only –  A world of Beam Whiskies. Trade only by invitation. Contact Paul McCartney 087 225 8324 orPaul.McCartney@BandF.ie


    4pm-4.50pm How to utilize Irish Whiskey in a world class beverage program by Jack McGarry from The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog.

    Tickets €10, all proceeds to Downs Syndrome Dublin, Limited to 25 people.


    5pm-5.50pm Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey from Midleton distillery.

    Tickets €10, all proceeds to Downs Syndrome Dublin, Limited to 25 people.


    Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green,

    27-28 Dawson Street,

    Dublin 2


    Tel: 01 675 9744

    Fax: 01 675 9768


  • Tullamore DEW Whiskey Tasting

    IWS guys enjoying the craic 17th Sept 2014

    Ken Quinn organisor of the tasting in center of photo

    Irish Whiskey Society

     Tullamore D.E.W., the new distillery & Irish Whiskey in the US

    Date: Thursday, October 2nd
    Time: Doors open: 7:30pm (please wait in the bar before this time so we can set up the room)
    Tasting begins: 8:00pm sharp
    Where: Gresham Hotel,
    O’Connell St.;
    Dublin 1.
    Tickets: Members of Irish Whiskey Society: €10
    Non-members: €15
    Please reserve and pay for your place on our booking page.
    If you go to www.irishwhiskeysociety.com and on the top left hand side of the page click on booking.

    See details of Whiskies tasted on NEWS/TASTINGS

  • South African Wine Tasting Evening

    South African wine is happening right now! Jancis Robinson can’t stop talking about it and we have a full suite of new South African wines in our shops! To help us introduce them to you, we will be joined by Dr. Eilis Cryan (gastroenterologist by day, wine lover and importer in all the spaces in between) on Thursday 2nd October for a tasting of outstanding and award-winning South African wines. This is a tasting not to be missed!

    7pm sharp, Thursday 2nd October in our CHQ shop.  Tickets €15. For more information or to book please click here or contact Mitchell & Son CHQ on 01 612 5540.

  • Excise duty pushing wine sellers to the brink

    61% of independent off-licences will sack staff if excise duty rises

    8.2 million cases of wine were sold here in 2013 – 700,000 fewer than in 2012.Wine importers and distributors have blamed “disproportionate” increases in excise duty for an 8pc drop in the number of cases sold in Ireland last year.

    Some 8.2 million cases of wine were sold here in 2013, around 700,000 fewer than in 2012. Despite this, excise receipts rose considerably, up from €231m in 2012 to €302m last year.

    The Government added a 50c excise duty increase on a 750ml standard bottle of wine in the last budget, which followed a €1 increase the year before.

    Ireland now has the highest excise duty on wine in the EU at €3.48 per bottle.

    These rises have hit customers seeking cheaper wines the hardest. While 32pc of a €24 bottle of wine consists of VAT and excise duty, this figure rises to 59pc for a bottle costing €8, or €4.69 of the total price. The actual wine comprises a staggeringly low 11c of an €8 bottle.

    Discount stores like Lidl and Aldi are now stealing market share from other sellers, rising from 12pc to 19pc in the last year. Chains lost 4pc, but still control half of the market, as independent sellers suffered an 11pc slump.


  • Coffee & Tea Festival

     September 12th–14th, 2014                 Industrial Hall, RDS Dublin

    The Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival is a show dedicated to celebrating all that’s new and exciting on the Coffee and Tea scene. From harvesting to brewing and artisan catering to equipment, this show will showcase every aspect of the coffee & tea world and all the enjoyment that goes with it

    Opening Hours:
    Friday: 12pm – 8pm – Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 5pm

  • VINEXPO 2015

    The next Vinexpo exhibition will be held in Bordeaux, France from Sunday 14th to Thursday 18th June 2015.

    This will be the 18th Vinexpo and it is as ever a major event in the industry calendar that no wine and spirits professional can afford to miss. The next show will include many new features to be announced in the coming months.

    Vinexpo 2015 will take place from 14 to 18 June

  • Jule Dupouy Interview

    ame: Julie Dupouy

    Nationality: French

    At the moment: Republic of Ireland


    Julie Dupouy - France.jpg

    Currently: Sommeliere


    Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?

    Being French, wine used to take part of most of our meals at home when I was a child. Nobody would consume it in quantity but would have one glass or half a glass of wine at lunch and/or dinner, sometimes mixed with water. My grandparents on both my dad’s and mom’s side were growers and would make their own wines as well as growing other fruits and vegetables. I think my very first encounter with “fine wine” was on my 16th birthday with a bottle of Margaux, Chateau Marquis de Terme of my year of birth. I did not really like wine at this time but finding out that wine could be kept for so many years fascinated me. A few month later, I decided to stop general studies to enter a catering school to become a sommelier

    What specific traits or skills should a Sommelier(e) possess for professional performance and is there any person with that qualities you especially admire within the wine industry?

    First of all, I think a sommelier should be someone passionate with a love for studies. The world of wine is in constant movement and the more you learn, the more you realize how little you knew and how much more there is left to know!

    Apart from his knowledge, I believe that what makes a good sommelier is his personality. A sommelier should be humble, friendly with a good sense of people. Very often, the sommelier is seen as someone very intimidating in a restaurant. When you go to a table, you might have maximum 2/3 minutes to understand who is sitting at a table, what do they like or are used to drink, what they are looking for, what body language/way of speaking make them comfortable or uncomfortable, etc…. A good sommelier should understand people quickly and be diplomatic.

    I have met many people that I admire within the wine industry but the first person that comes into my mind has to be Gerard Basset.

    What would be your advice to a young Sommelier(e) i.e. Commis Sommelier(e) where to look finding an adequate position at home or abroad? Any further tips?

    I suppose internet is a very good place to start looking. Some websites such as the UDSF (French Sommeliers Association www.sommelier-france.org) and the European Sommelier association (www.sommeliers-europe.com) have some very good jobs ‘opportunities and are updated regularly. Also checking the Relais & Chateaux website can be a good solution. I often found that you have to be careful when registering with some catering agencies as you might end up dealing with people that are here to sell you and not necessarily help you find a role that suits you.


    When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?

    I have always been taught at school about wine pairings and I realized after a few years working that they are not necessarily the most important part of a wine recommendation. Of course you have to be able to offer them if a customer asks but if someone is having a tasting menu and wants to order one bottle of wine you have to change strategy!

    First all, it might sound strange, but I would always ask people what colour of wine they are looking to order, independently of what they are eating. Many people only drink red wine and love eating fish.

    Secondly, I would check with them if there is a style of wine that they are generally happy to drink or that their particularly enjoy so I can base my recommendation not only on the dish but also on their taste.

    Regarding a budget, if you are not sure how much people are willing to spend, you can politely ask “do you mind me asking what budget you have in mind” (but that should be done if only you feel it is the right thing to do with these customers…. For example not at a business lunch or when someone is hosting the table!). The other solution is to make a few recommendations in three different price brackets and then judge the reaction of the customer. Don’t offer anything above €150 (roughly) as if someone is looking to spend more you will know about it.

    Finally, if someone is asking your opinion on a bottle of wine at a certain price point and you think that it would not be suited for them, do not suggest anything else way more expensive as you might only end up losing the customer’s trust !

    What’s your philosophy about glasses? Are you working with well known brands or are you considering new brands as well and how do you determine?

    Regarding glasses, I always make sure that they are a couple of “safe options” in each colour (white and red) but I also like having some interesting options that most people may not have heard of as glasses are often the occasion to surprise and educate people.

    When it comes to serve glasses, it is always done at the table as I like people to taste the wine first to make sure that they like it and to get a chance to explain my choice or give some indications about the wine.

    I also think that a wine by the glass selection should change regularly (at least a part of it).

    What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?

    I know it is not always easy to get to taste the dishes when working in a restaurant (unfortunately too many chefs still do not understand the importance of a sommelier in the establishment and the necessity to get the staff to taste new dishes regularly!)

    I suppose the first thing I would suggest to pay attention to when pairing a dish with a wine is the flavour profile of the dish (style of sauce, spices? herbs?). After this, the balance of taste has to be carefully determined (is it salty, bitter, acid or sweet). If there is a protein in the dish what category does it fit in? (poultry, fish, red meat, game, etc). Finally is the dish a classical dish or does it seem to take some inspiration from a country in particular. (Then the wine choice could be made within this country) The more components on a plate, the more difficult the pairing becomes.

    Once all these elements have been thought of, it is time to decide if you want to make a pairing by matching or by opposition… Finally don’t close yourself into thinking wine only when giving advice for a pairing. (Especially if it is by the glass). Nowadays, people are very happy to taste other products such as sake, beers, whiskey, etc…

    Wine list:

    What are the key ingredients for creating a wine list for a restaurant and what is your opinion on some ridiculous pricing on wine in restaurants, do you have tips on how to determine markups?

    Well, unfortunately we have the highest excise duty on wine in Europe in Ireland so the prices on wine lists are becoming a real issue here. Everywhere I worked was looking to do 70% margin on their wines….. Personally, I always wished that I had been able to charge 70% margin only on “house wines” and wines by the glass and I wished I had have more flexibility in term of margin in the rest of the list to try to encourage people to drink better….. Unfortunately I do not know many restaurants which are willing to do so.

    How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?

    I attend to as many tastings as I can and I try to incorporate new wines, new regions, new countries and new producers regularly on the list. I also try to stay updated as much as I can on new products. Living in a country that doesn’t produce wine is a real advantage for that; it seems to be a little more open minded for novelty.

    I also use a lot certain websites on the internet, twitter and read some drink magazines.

    How would a new vineyard get the attention of someone like you to notice their wine and what’s the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?

    If the wine is already being imported in the country, then I should be able to taste it through the supplier’s portfolio tasting. Otherwise, it unfortunately happens regularly that I get to taste some wines that I really like while on holidays or wine trips and I can’t find them in Ireland as they are not imported.

    Favorite pick:

    If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?

    If I was a grape variety I would love to be Riesling. It is versatile, ranges from bone dry to very sweet without ever losing balance, it has a wonderful aromatic palette, and generally lots of minerality. I found it an incredibly pure, refined variety and has the potential to be long lived !

    What are the top 3 types of wine (your faves) would we find in your home wine collection and what’s your desert island wine?

    •         German Rieslings
    •         Red Burgundy
    •         Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley

    Not easy to pick one desert island wine…..for today let’s say Coteaux du Loir Vieilles Vignes Eparses 2009 du Domaine de Belliviere.

    Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?