• Election Manifesto Published by Industry Associations

    Election Manifesto Published by Industry Associations

    The leading representative bodies for Ireland’s hospitality sector have come together to produce an election manifesto, centered around the issues of taxation, the ongoing skills shortge, insurance, and the cost of doing business.

    The manifesto was published concurrently by the LVA, VFI, the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

    Speaking at the launch, VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said: “As publicans, the election campaign is an opportunity to make our collective voice heard about the issues impacting our trade.

    “As a Federation of almost 4,000 members we should not underestimate the power of each individual publican engaging with candidates about these issues.”

    The manifesto’s headline issue is that of taxation and calls for the restoration of the 9% VAT rate to help drive international competitiveness. Ireland has the highest excise taxes on alcohol in Europe and a call is being made to reduce this to fall into line with EU averages during the lifetime of the coming government.

    The manifesto also calls for increased investment in hospitality skills development including apprenticeships, equalising training allowances for hospitality apprentices, promoting hospitality careers to school leavers, and boosting the availability of skilled workers via more effective employment permit schemes.

    As regards insurance, the group is calling for urgent action to tackle the huge payouts currently being given to claimants. The incoming government is being asked to concentrate on the Alliance for Insurance Reform’s manifesto to cut unfair personal injury awards; re-balance the duty of care on businesses; set up the Garda Insurance Fraud Unit; and demand lower premia from insurers.

    The general cost of business is the final major issue singled out in the manifesto. Commercial rates, water charges, licensing and other regulatory-driven costs were all referenced as action points to be reviewed by the state.

    Finally, the document asks for a dedicated Minister of Tourism position to be created to act as an advocate for the sector at cabinet level.

  •  DISCOVER THE WINES OF URUGUAY   

    You are invited to an exciting Wine Tasting event we will be hosting next week. Next Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, we will welcome Alec Griffith’s to Dublin from Bodega Garzon in Uruguay and I am delighted to invite you to a master tasting on the wines of Uruguary and Bodega Garzon in Fade Street Social Restaurant.

    Bodega Garzon’s rise to prominence in like no other winery in the world. In a little over a decade the winery has gone from a vision by owner Alejandro Bulgheroni to been recognized as one of the best wine producers in South America and the World with the help of world renowned wine consultant Alberto Antonini. This promises to be a great tasting and introduction to the wines of Uruguay.

    What:              DISCOVER THE WINES OF URUGUAY   

                    

                           * BODEGA GARZON MASTER TASTING *

     

    When:             WEDNESDAY, 22nd JANUARY 2020

     

    Where:                       FADE STREET SOCIAL 

    https://www.fadestreetsocial.com/

     

    Time:              15.00hrs (3pm in the afternoon)

     

    BODEGA GARZON AWARDS

    v 2020 South American Winery of the Year

    v 2018 New World Winery of the Year – Wine Enthusiast

    v Decanter World Wine Awards – Platinum, Best Single Variety Red Wine, Single Vineyard Tannat

    v Decanter World Wine Awards – Platinum, Best South American White Wine, Albarino Reserve

    v Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines – Garzon Tannat Reserve

    v Irish Wine Awards – Winner, Best New World Red Wine

  • Obituary: Georges Duboeuf

    Obituary: Georges Duboeuf

    Wine producer who masterminded the Beaujolais Nouveau boom of the 1980s

    Enterprise: Georges Duboeuf1
    Enterprise: Georges Duboeuf

    Georges Duboeuf, who has died aged 86, was a French wine merchant known as “le roi” (and sometimes even as “le pape”) “du Beaujolais” and was credited with turning Beaujolais Nouveau, a drink once handed out for nothing on village streets, into a major money-spinner.

    In the 1970s, Duboeuf, who had set up his own production company, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, in 1964, was looking for a new idea to steal a march on his rivals. He noticed how villages in Beaujolais had taken to celebrating each new harvest by sploshing raw wine into the goblets of vineyard workers and passers-by.

    The wine was dreadful, but the merriment of the occasion made up for its shortcomings, and the practice spread to the streets of Lyon and even to Paris, where from the 1950s there was an annual race among restaurateurs to get their hands on the first bottles.

    Intrigued by the razzmatazz, Duboeuf wondered whether the wine, originally released each year on November 15 (now on the third Thursday of November), might have a wider market.

    Over the next few years, under the marketing slogan “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive” (originally a hand-scrawled sign seen in a Lyon bistro window), he set to work to spread the atmosphere of revelry and anticipation around the world.

    Throughout the 1980s, he held Beaujolais Nouveau festivals which were attended by celebrities, including Michelin-starred restaurateurs, and his enthusiastic promotion of the wine led to its annual release date becoming known across the world as Beaujolais Nouveau Day. By the peak of the boom in the late 1980s, Duboeuf was selling more than 250,000 cases a year, with restaurateurs around the world competing to be the first to take delivery.

    The British record of two hours from release to uncorking was claimed by the Savoy Hotel in London, which had a case dropped in by the Red Devils of the Parachute Regiment.

    The Beaujolais region has long been regarded as Burgundy’s poor relation. Duboeuf, however, put it on the wine connoisseur’s map, and on the back of the Nouveau phenomenon built a business empire that came to dominate wine production in the region.

    Georges Duboeuf was born on April 14, 1933 in Creches, near the village of Chaintre, in Pouilly-Fuisse, an appellation in Burgundy which specialised in Chardonnay and where his family owned a few acres of vines. Georges showed enterprise from an early age, delivering wines to restaurants on his bicycle. By the end of the 1950s, his Pouilly-Fuisse had developed a following not only in his native Burgundy but also in Paris.

    But Duboeuf’s customers soon began demanding something more: “Chefs like Paul Blanc and Paul Bocuse told me: ‘Your Pouilly-Fuisse is terrific, but we want red wines’,” he recalled. So he went to the nearby Beaujolais region and began recruiting producers, eventually founding Les Vins Georges Duboeuf and expanding his own wine production, purchasing grapes from selected vineyards and putting his own name prominently on every bottle he made, using colourful, eye-catching flower labels on his bottles as early as the 1970s. The Beaujolais Nouveau mania faltered from the 1990s, but in recent years it has come back into fashion in many parts of the world, notably in Japan.

    Georges Duboeuf, who died on January 4, married Rolande, the daughter of a fellow wine salesman, in the early 1960s. She survives him with their daughter, Fabienne, and their son, Franck, who has run the family business since 2018.

    © Telegraph

  • Wine Courses

    The wine buff: A new course of action?

    New year, new skill: January is the perfect time to sign up for a wine course4
    New year, new skill: January is the perfect time to sign up for a wine course
    Corinna Hardgrave

    Corinna Hardgrave

    January may be ‘dry’ for some people, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop learning about wine. See it more as a time to plan for the year ahead; and why not make it doubly interesting by signing up for a wine course? One of the courses that really caught my attention is the DIY wine course set up by former sommelier Michelle Lawlor, who recently launched the Nude Wine Company. You can order a number of different courses online, and each is delivered to you as a kit, with six bottles to taste, and notes.

    “The beginners’ course (€100) is a mixture of France, Spain and Italy, touching on a few wine styles,” says Michelle.

    “There’s an Italian course, a Spanish one, a fine wine one and a mini one. All the (other) wine courses are held in big cities around the country, so if you live too far away, or don’t have the time to commit to a four-week course, this is perfect.”

    Michelle suggests that you team up with a group of friends, and while there is no need to taste all the wines in the one evening, it’s a good idea to taste at least two, so that you can compare and discuss them. She has found that people can feel a little intimidated when they visit a wine shop or restaurant; they have an idea of what they like – Rioja, for instance – but are nervous about trying something new.

    “There are fun facts about the wine, the styles and the theme, so you learn words that help you describe a wine. So, if you like this wine, you like oaky wine, you like full-bodied, you like rich, you like spicy, you like high tannin, high acidity, low tannins,” she says. “The whole point of it is to make it easy. It’s not for people who already know loads about wine. And the videos on the website just make it accessible and normal, and not a thing that fancy people do.”

    Michelle sources low-intervention wines that are organic or biodynamic, and you will find some, like the reds from Cahors and Rioja on the beginners’ course, in top restaurants such as Chapter One.

    “Most of the wines come in at under €20, enough for an occasion. You don’t have to spend loads of money to have a nice wine,” she says.

    If you live in the Kildare area, Michelle will be doing a four-week course in Two Cooks in Sallins for €150 (twocooks.ie). You will also find great wine courses at Ely CHQ, Mitchell & Son, the soon-to-be-re-opened L’Atitude 51 in Cork, wineacademy.ie in Kilkenny; and in Galway at woodberrys.ie, fwwineconsulting.com and awineidea.ie.

    For professional certification, check out the WSET courses run by Maureen O’Hara at premierwinetraining.com which start at €150, and WSET courses at O’Briens Wine, Tindal Wine and the Cork Wine School run by O’Donovan’s off-licence.

  • 20/01/2020. Blind tasting workshop & Sake masterclass

    Join us for a 60 minutes blind tasting workshop with Julie Dupouy followed by a Sake Masterclasses hosted by Colly Murray from Retro Vino.

    About this Event

    The workshop will be a great opportunity to train your blind tasting skills, expecially for those of you preparing for a WSET or Court of Master Sommelier exam or for a Sommelier competition. The workshop will run from 12.30 to 1.30, please arrive 15 minutes early to make sure that we can start on time. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN GLASSES.

    After the workshop you will get a 30 minutes break to refresh, eat, grap a quick coffee, rince your glasses, etc, while we prepare the room for the 60 minutes sake masterclass which will be running from 2pm to 3pm.

    This very interesting event has been organised by Julie Dupouy Vice President Irish Guild of Sommeliers, Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS),3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI),WSET Diploma, WSET Sake Level 3.

    Please make a special effort to attend.
  • Jurica Gojevic Adare Manor’s top Sommelier

    The wine buff: A toast to the new decade

    Bubbling over: Champagne and sparkling wines are a must for toasting a new decade2
    Bubbling over: Champagne and sparkling wines are a must for toasting a new decade
    Corinna Hardgrave

    Corinna Hardgrave

    For me, it’s always an occasion to raise a glass of very nice bubbly, but until recently I had no idea of the origin of the ‘toasting’ tradition. Until a fellow wine scribe, Kate Hawkings, asked on Twitter about the origin of clinking glasses, and this in turn led to a discussion on toasting. One theory dates it back to the Romans. When a poor-quality wine was all that was on hand, a piece of toast was put in the jug to soak up the acidity and add some flavour. However, the first written record was in the 16th century and appears in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, when Falstaff demands, “Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t” – sack being a fortified white wine, and the toast literally meaning toast.

    So not a very auspicious start to the grand act of toasting, but by the 18th century, this tradition had climbed the social scale to honour people, present and absent, and from there emerged ‘the toast of the town’.

    If we were to pick a toast of the town in Ireland this year, it would have to be Jurica Gojevic, the head sommelier at Adare Manor and the one-Michelin-star Oak Room restaurant there, who was crowned UK and Ireland Sommelier 2020 by Michelin. This is the first year of this hugely prestigious award, so it’s doubly wonderful to see it land on such a fine sommelier in Ireland.

    Jurica_adare_manor_edit

    And adding to the firsts, The Oak Room at Adare Manor has just been announced as the first Irish Krug Ambassade, meaning it is in very exclusive company indeed, joining 59 individual restaurants and hotels across the globe and their top sommeliers. Juri first tasted the Krug Grande Cuvée 164th edition when he was working at Dublin restaurant The Greenhouse and has had it on his wine lists ever since.

    “Krug is made in small quantities, meaning there is a limited supply around the world; it is very special,” he says. “The way the Champagne is blended adds to the magic of Krug. They keep different Champagnes for 10 to 15 years and blend them beautifully, creating a breathtaking finished bottle.”

    And what is the best way to open a bottle of Champagne? First up, it should be well chilled. “Unscrew the wire cage six-and-a-half times exactly,” says Juri. “Tilt the bottle to 45 degrees and, keeping your thumb on top of the cork – never remove it – turn the bottle to the right, not the cork. The pressure will release the cork gently and nobody will be harmed or alarmed.”

    Happy New Year to you all!