• European Young Sommelier 2016


    Irish Guild of Sommeliers Competitor selected. Shane McHugh from Co. Roscommon & The Savoy Grill in London, part of the Gordon Ramsay Group

    Shane Mc Hugh 2016



    Châteaux & Domaines Castel  Cup Competition to find the best Young Sommelier in Europe 2016, London 9th & 10th October

    Irish Guild of Sommeliers Entry 

    Email your entry by 27th July to andrew.ogorman2015@gmail.com

    Dear Colleagues – (from Nick Scade, MBE , FIH,UK President, Academy of Food & Wine Service)

    You may recall that three years ago The Polish Sommeliers Association organised the first Châteaux & Domaines Castel competition to find the best Young Sommelier in Europe. The winner ultimately was from The Netherlands. So last year Edwin Raben, President of the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers, organised the 2nd annual Châteaux & Domaines Castel Cup Competition to again find the best Young Sommelier in Europe.

    Last year the UK candidate won so this year 2016 it is the UK’s turn to organise the event! It will therefore be held in London on the 9th and 10th October and more details are attached.

    We therefore invite each European country to consider sending a candidate to London to represent their country. We are seeking to find the 12 best candidates from Europe to attend the event and would very much encourage you to nominate someone to represent your country.

    The Competition is being organised by The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom in association with the Academy of Food & Wine Service who will provide the technical committee set up which uses A.S.I. standards and includes the following conditions:

    We therefore invite each European country to consider sending a candidate to London to represent their country. We are seeking to find the 12 best candidates from Europe to attend the event and would very much encourage you to nominate someone to represent your country.

    1.         Young Sommeliers.

    2.         With a maximum age of 30 years on the date of the competition.

    3.         Working in a restaurant.

    4.         Off trade is not allowed.

    5.         All the usual topics are examined.

    The provisional program (more details will follow)

    •           Sunday 9th October & Monday 10th October 2016.

    •           arrival on Sunday morning the 9th.

    •           In the afternoon the theoretical test will be held.

    •           Sunday evening welcome dinner hosted by Castel.

    •           All the practical tests on Monday morning and afternoon.

    •           The final in the late afternoon.

    •           followed by a gala dinner hosted by Châteaux & Domaines Castel

    •           Departure Tuesday the 11th.

    Accommodation (more details to follow)

    A quality 4* West Central London Hotel ( to be confirmed soon but probably in the High Street Kensington area near to the Underground (Metro) Station)

    We would ask you to initially support and nominate someone and submit their résumé / CV and a photograph (jpeg file would be best) together your association’s endorsement for their selection.

    If they are successful in reaching the final 12 they would then be invited to attend the event and complete a formal registration form and would need to be able to travel to London on the 9th October where the competition will take place on the 10th followed by a Gala Awards Dinner that evening where the winner will be announced. The final twelve candidates will also be invited to send a jury member to assist in the judging process which will be organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service’s competitions technical committee.

    We are of course indebted to the headline sponsors, Châteaux & Domaines Castel,  and they and other sub sponsors will host the event and provide all delegates and jury members with two nightsaccommodation and meals in central London whilst they attend the event, together with invitations to the Gala Awards Dinner on the final night.

    The only obligation for the participating countries will be to pay any travel costs involved to get the candidates and jury members to central London and of course there is no reason why this cannot in itself be sub sponsored within each participating country if you so wish.

    I do hope very much that you will consider nominating a candidate to represent you country just as soon as possible and in any event by no later than the 31st July. Nominations and the candidates résumé should be sent initially to the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom for the attention of  John Croft john.croft@wineguilduk.orgwho are organising the event on behalf of Châteaux & Domaines Castel.

    In the event your candidate is selected then we may request further details for the competition promotional material.
    Kind regards, Sincères salutations, Mit freundlichen Grüssen, Met vineuze groet,

    Nick Scade

    Nick Scade, MBE , FIH,UK President, Academy of Food & Wine Service

    Tel: +44 (0)1491 629 251    Mobile: +44 (0)7836 735 213    email: nickscade@btinternet.com




  • Masterclass/Tasting Reports


    A big thank you to Ely CHQ and in particular  Ian Brosnan for their support with the organisation of the tastings. There was no charge for the room this year and this was extremely generous of them.

    14th November


    The tasting with Charles Derain about White Burgundy wines was extremely interesting. It was a great opportunity to discover and rediscover the multitude of facets of white Burgundy wines.Charles, previous Head Sommelier from Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and now owner of “Nomad wines company” demonstrated the importance and impact of terroir throughout Burgundy wine regions. Charles’ knowledge is second to none when it comes to Burgundy wines and it was a privilege to have him share his knowledge and passion with the Guild.
    A masterclass about red wines from Burgundy should be taking place during the new year as Charles kindly offered to share more of his knowledge with the Guild. (Date to be confirmed)
    1st November
    The tasting on Tuesday given by Barbara Boyle MW from Mason Wine company was extremely interesting.
    Barbara talked to us about the impact of temperature of service on Rubis Port and tawny Port. This topic was her research paper for the Master of Wine.
    It was fascinating to see how different the perception of aromas/flavours/tannin/alcohol/acidity/sweetness, etc was with the different temperatures of service. This is was an especially interesting topic for the trade as having access to such knowledge could help customers’ experience of Port wines be improved in restaurants and hotels.
    Nov111 Nov 11Nov 1


    17th October, 2016

    Campania, Basilicata and Sicily with Enrico Fantasia

    The tasting on Monday 17th October went very well and was extremely interesting. 12 members attended the tasting.
    Enrico Fantasia, who owns Grapecircus wine company and Piglet wine bar in Dublin, gave  a fantastic talk and tasting about indigenous grapes of Campania, Calabria and Sicily. We got the chance to discover and rediscover grapes such as Falanghina, Greco Bianco, Fiano, Nerello Mascalese, Magliocco, Frappato. Enrico’s knowledge is incredible and not only he talked with true passion about these wines but he also had plenty of anecdotes and historical references to keep things entertaining and interesting.
     The wines tasted on the day were :
    Falanghia Irpinia DOC “insania” Bambinuto 2015,Fiano Cilento “Cumale”Casebiancho 2014,Greco di Tufo DOCG “Picoli”, Bambinuto 2013,Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Judeka 2015
    Etna Rosso DOC, Guardoilvento, 2014, Calabria Rosso IGP, Chora, 2013,Calabria Rosso IGP, Toccomagiocco 2008
    The tasting concluded with a sparkling Aglianico from Campania called “Il Fric” and produced by “Methode Ancestrale”


    15th September,2016 Masterclass with Alex Starey, South Africa. This was an excellent tasting

    Tim Aiken regards Keermont as a “first growth” level in South Afica in his classification. Alex Starey is in charge of viticulture and winemaking at Keermont, a boutique winery set in an amphitheatre between the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountain ranges. This masterclass was organized by Barbara from Mason wines.



    19th September, 2016

    Masterclass with Harriet Tindal 0n Climate change and its influence on alcohol levels in classic regions. This was an excellent tasting.

    Sept Tasting

     Reports on tastings submitted by Julie Dupouy


  • TP Whelehan

    The funeral of TP Whelehan  took place in Dublin on 12th July.Many figures from the wine trade attended the funeral Mass in St John the Baptist Church in Blackrock. The eulogy was delivered by TP’s brother Harry Whelehan, the former attorney general.

    The late Mr Whelehan was a wine writer at a time when wine sales in Ireland were considerably lower than they are today, and consumer knowledge and education were much less well developed.

    Against this background, his articles stood out as hugely influential in the development of wine appreciation in Ireland. He was considered one of the most informed wine tasters in Ireland.

    Mr Whelehan ran a substantial family business, distributing pharmaceutical and other products. It was sold to the Verbena Group in 2010.

    Mr Whelehan and his wife Anne had three children: Rebecca, Kevin and David, who has followed in his father’s footsteps in developing an expertise in wine. He runs the wine shop and restaurant, Whelehan’s Wines, in Loughlinstown in south Dublin.