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.

Tea Master’s Cup Debuts in Ireland

Tea Master’s Cup Debuts in Ireland

Food & Bev Live, one of Ireland’s leading foodservice and hospitality tradeshows, has partnered with The European Tea Society, to bring the first-ever national qualifying round of the Tea Masters Cup to the two-day event returning to the Citywest, Dublin on the 4th & 5th February 2020. The winner will go on to represent Ireland at international level.

“The launch of the Tea Masters Cup competitions in Ireland is such an exciting development and is perfectly aligned to reflect the renaissance of tea drinking as the next big trend,” comments David Veal, Executive Director of the European Tea Society.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this inaugural event to Food & Bev Live and shining a light on tea – one of the nation’s favourite drinks. The competition will be part of the European Tea Pavilion which will be promoting speciality teas, particularly to the younger tea drinking market.

The Irish Tea Masters will be a unique series of competitions focusing on four different categories: tea preparation, tea pairing, tea mixology and tea tasting, with the overall winner going on to represent Ireland at the International final of the Tea Masters Cup in 2020. The competitions will take place in the European Tea Pavilion, a NEW addition to Food & Bev Live. Attracting specialist tea exhibitors, the pavilion will be home to live workshops, seminars and tea tastings running across both days of the show                               .https://www.foodandbev.ie/tea-masters-cup.html




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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.



                       * BODEGA GARZON MASTER TASTING *


When:             WEDNESDAY, 22nd JANUARY 2020


Where:                       FADE STREET SOCIAL 



Time:              15.00hrs (3pm in the afternoon)



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.


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!

The 2020 French Wine Discoveries Fair will take place in Dublin in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 on Tuesday 14th  January 2020

The 2020 French Wine Discoveries Fair will take place in Dublin in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 on Tuesday 14th  January 2020 and will feature a number of family boutique wine producers and Wine Traders, all of whom will be seeking representation on the Irish market. The 2020 French Wine Discoveries Fair will showcase a number of French wines regions including Bordeaux, Burgundy, Languedoc/Roussillon, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, and Provence

Jean Smullen  Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468

Annual Trade Tasting Invite New Zealand in a Glass 13th Jan 2020

Master Class Pinot Noir with Martin Moran MW
12:30 – 14:00

Come and explore New Zealand Pinot Noir with Master of Wine Martin Moran.  There is no doubting the ever-increasing quality of New Zealand Pinot Noir but in the past 15 years, a growing number of producers have been heading away from the free-draining valley floors towards the richer soils of the hills in search of denser Pinot Noir expression.  Martin will provide an introduction to this at the Annual Trade Tasting in Dublin on Monday 13th January, 2020.  The Masterclass is only open to trade and press and must be pre-booked.  Contact jean@jeansmullen.com to secure a place.

New Zealand in a Glass
Monday 13th January, 2020
Open to trade and press from 14:00 – 18:00
Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

To register: email
or call (086) 816 8468

Julie Dupouy Young named one of the “Future 50”

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Congratulations to Irish Guild of Sommeliers Vice President Julie Dupouy Young on being named one of the “Future 50” by an international panel of judges

IWSC NewsThu 28 Nov 2019

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) have announced the final Future 50 Awards list at the IWSC’s Annual Awards Banquet. The Future 50 is a new initiative, created by WSET and IWSC in celebration of their joint 50th birthdays, to select 50 future influencers of the global drinks industry.

The final list is an exciting collection of the brightest talent from around the globe covering 14 countries, with roles as diverse as distiller, viticulturalist, historian, bartender and food and beverage activist.

The Future 50 have been identified as the wine, spirit and sake industry’s up-and-coming talent from all areas of the trade who have made a significant contribution to the industry in the last three years. Choosing the winners was an exhaustive two-stage vetting process using the knowledge and authority of an illustrious panel of expert judges from around the world. These include Stephanie Macleod (Master Blender, Dewar’s), Richard Paterson (Master Blender, Whyte & MacKay), Xavier Rousset MS (restaurateur), Joe Fattorini (The Wine Show), Ian Harris (WSET) and Allen Gibbons (IWSC), supported by a global regional advisory panel covering 17 countries.

There were more than 600 nominations for the first round, a long list of professionals working as winemakers and distillers, in product development, design and distribution, marketing, journalism, hospitality and everything in between. This longlist was whittled down to 200 in the second round, then to a final shortlist of 82 names.

WSET Chief Executive, Ian Harris, says, “We are delighted with the final Future 50 list.  It offers a real showcase of the young talent that we have in the wine, spirit and sake industries globally. Each of the winners should be very proud of this acknowledgement of their contribution to the industry. We are looking forward to seeing them making their mark and shaping the future of our industry.”

IWSC Chief Executive in Fine Wines and Spirits, Christelle Guibert, says, “Narrowing down the 600+ nominations we received from around the world was a rigorous and lengthy process, with each candidate showing a wealth of talent and expertise. We are confident that the final 50 showcases the brightest sparks of the wine, spirits and sake industries, and look forward to seeing their careers develop over the coming years.”

Oisin Kelly World Champion

What does it mean to be PROUD.

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Honestly, I have had one of the most amazing weeks. For the last few months I have been practicing and practicing for the World cocktail championships, when we arrived in Chengdu I spent every spare minute with my ironing board in the room practicing again and again and the outcome was worth all the work.

It resulted in a gold medal and an award for best young bartender. All of that is great for me but the best part of all is that I get to represent my country, my wonderful industry and the bartenders association of Ireland. It filled me with ecstatic pride to wear a green blazer adorned with the shape of our little rock on it and see the reaction of others as the Irish team spent every minute together. Any bartender in Ireland is winner already if they look around and see the support that we can give to each other.

I wanted to thank all of the bartenders and friends who sent well wishes. I was very unconnected in china but it was overwhelming and very inspirational to see the support we were given. At the event Declan ByrneAndy O’GormanAriel Sanecki and Michał Gadzała were the best travelling companions you could ask for taking me through my routine and supporting me where and when I needed it.
Also the Alan Kavanagh and the team behind us all the way at Edward Dillon, they made it possible for me to represent Ireland and for this I will be forever grateful, we achieved a wonderful result for the Bartenders association of Ireland and for all the supporters behind it.

For all those people wondering about entering the next cocktail competition that comes up, DO IT. If you lose…. Wait for the next one and do that one too and repeat the process. Regardless of the outcome, the cocktail competitions I have entered over the last few years have help to shape and change who I am and made me a better bartender and person because if it. It is always about the experience and journey and most importantly the friends we make along the way.

🇮🇪🍸Irish hospitality til’ I Die 🍸🇮🇪

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Wine Diary Highlights for November  2019

Wine Diary Highlights for November  2019
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The diary is as busy as ever with lots of consumer wine fairs taking place in November.  This weekend O’Briens Winter Wine Festival takes place in Cork (Nov 7th) and Dublin (8th & 9th) lots of producers attending, great opportunity to taste their portfolio.

Mitchell & Son have a Riedel Comparative Tasting in Ashbourne on November 14th.  Not to be missed!John Wilson will present a Rioja Masterclass on Tuesday 19th November, 2019 at The Dean Hotel in Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.  There will be two sessions, 11.00 – 12.00 a.m. or 3.00 – 4.30 p.m.

The tasting is only open to trade & press and places must be booked in advance.  The focus on Spain’s flagship region will include a tasting of 12 wines and the presentation will highlight the latest developments in the region.

To book a place (please specify the time) please contact:  Jean Smullen Email jean@jeansmullen.com or Tel: 086 816 8468

Whiskey Live Dublin 2019  is Ireland’s premier whiskey tasting event. With over 60 exhibitors, all providing whisk(e)y samples. Meet the faces behind your favourite brands, from both Ireland & across the globe. 22nd & 23rd November, 2019 at the Printworks in Dublin Castle. Look out for the exciting Masterclass programme which this year is the most exciting yet with classes presented by Teeling, Dingle, Tullamore DEW, Dublin Liberties, Glendalough, Diageo, Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Michters, Method & Madness, Mitchell &Sons, Macallan and Templeton Rye.
More details here https://www.eventbrite.ie/d/ireland/whiskey-live-dublin/

January 2020

Dates for your diary in January 2020.  New Zealand Annual Trade Tasting Monday 13th January, 2020 and French Wine Discoveries Fair (all wineries seeking representation on the Irish market) Tuesday 14th January, 2020 both at the Radisson Blu in Golden Lane.  More details to follow.

Nov 7th-9th O’Briens Winter Wine Fest Cork & Dublin
Nov 14th Riedel Comparative Tasting in Dunboyne
Nov 19th Rioja Sessions with

50 years since the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale first gathered in Reims

ASI - Association de la Sommellerie Internationale

Turning 50 is always something special.

When a loved one turns 50, we plan a party. Family, friends and companions gather for food and drink and all the good things life has to offer. Glasses are raised and the birthday child is toasted to a fine second act of their life. We rejoice in those who are still with us and commemorate those who are sadly departed. We celebrate together, as a community and a family.

It’s been 50 years since the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale first gathered in Reims in the summer of 1969. Those fifty years have seen tremendous growth and accomplishment, at the international, national and personal level. So we’ve planned a grand party to celebrate. It seems fitting — the ASI is more than just a fond part of our lives, after all. We are family.

But planning a party for an organization is a bit different than planning it for a person or even a business. The ASI is formed from 55 active national association members, 4 observer and 6 applying observer countries across all continents. While some are newer and some older, each of them can and should bask in their role in bringing the ASI to this historic milestone.

Even that is only part of the story. There is no ASI without the thousands of sommeliers who are the backbone of the member organizations. The association’s work — bringing together the national sommelier associations, advancing the profession, defending its ethics and educating consumers — is organized centrally, but cannot be enforced from the top down. It lives or dies based on whether the sommelier members actively carry out and promote its ideas. 50 years is fine proof that we as sommeliers are up to the task.

So this gathering in Reims is ultimately about you and you are part in something magnificent and historic. 50 may sound like a big round number, but for an organization like ours it represents just the start. Instead of feeling old, we should all feel welcomed and embraced. By the international organization, by your national organization, and most importantly by the wonderful colleagues who await you in Reims, the cradle of our work.

I call upon the many presidents of our member organizations to spread the word far and wide to their members about this unique opportunity. After all: anyone can celebrate with champagne. It takes sommeliers to celebrate with champagne IN Champagne.

If you need more convincing, simply look at this issue’s main article, which provides details on the fantastic program of master classes, tastings and tours that will be on offer!


Andrés Rosberg
President, Association de la Sommellerie Internationale

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Ribera del Duero An Open Pour tasting for the trade and press will take place on Wed 23rd October, 2019

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The Spanish region of Ribera del Duero is roughly two hours north of Madrid by car and has 22,040 ha of vineyards  spread between four regional provinces,  Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid.  The great plateau of the Iberian Penisula  lies between approximately 760 to 850 metres (2500 to 2800 feet) above sea level, with some vineyards as high as 945 metres (3,100 feet).  According to the DO regulations, red wines must be made from at least 75%  of the key grape red variety, Tinto del Pais,  a clone of Tempranillo also known as Tinto Fino.   25% of the blend can be made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.
In Ribera del Duero many of the producers prefer to use French oak to create the regions signature style.  Their aim is to create a more vibrant, fruit-forward style of wine with a leaner finish and one that is not as influenced by wood ageing, more typical in other Spanish DO’s.
An Open Pour tasting for the trade and press will take place on Wed 23rd October, 2019 to showcase a number of producers from the region.  All are seeking representation on the Irish market.  The wines will be on show throughout the day.  Trade & Press by invitation only.
RSVP:  Jean Smullen Tel: (086) 816 8468  jean@jeansmullen.com


Wine Diary Highlights for October 2019

Wine Diary Highlights for October 2019

There are lots of trade and consumer events in the diary for October 2019.  A few key events are highlighted below.

Alliance Wines Christmas tasting will take place in Lock’s Restaurant on October 3rd. Invitation only.

The Irish Wine Show Star Wine Awards will be announced by NoFFla at their trade show SIP 2019 Irish Wine Awards on October 7th.  This is invitation only and is open to NoFFla members.

SPIT 2019 Portfolio tasting, this independent groups fifth tasting will take place on Thurs 24th October, 2019 at the Chocolate Factory Art Centre.

Ribera del Duero will hold at open pour tasting on October 24rd  at O’Briens Wine School in Donnybrook.

Pembroke Wines will hold their 2019 Portfolio tasting on Tuesday 29th October, 2019 in the Cliff Townhouse Hotel on Stephen’s Green.

October 23rd Ribera del Duero Open Pour
Oct24th SPIT Trade Tasting
Oct 29th Pembroke Wines Tasting
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The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship

The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship

About The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship:

The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship is awarded annually to a selected writer with a passion for wine and an ambition to pursue a career in wine writing and journalism. The Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellow (“Fellow”) will receive:

1.  A grant of $3,000 to help fund travel and research in a wine region that will be mutually agreed upon with Vinous

2.  Mentoring from the Vinous team

3.  The opportunity to have your work published on Vinous

Submission Guidelines:

1.  A cover letter that describes your interest in wine and your career goals in the field

2.  A current resume

3.  Details of your intended use of the grant, including proposed travel destination and article(s) you expect to write

4.  Links to published articles, including blog posts

5.  An original wine related article of 1,000 to 1,500 words. The subject matter can be on anything to do with wine including, but not limited to, your experience of a particular wine, a visit to a producer or region, wine service and/or social commentary related to wine. Photographs and captions are not included as part of the word count. Selected applicants may also be given an opportunity to have their original works published on Delectable and/or Vinous.


Candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 35 (both inclusive) as of the submission date.

All submissions for the 2019 Fellowship must be received by November 30, 2019 at fellowships@vinousmedia.com

The recipient of the 2019 Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship will be announced in January 2020.

Submissions will be evaluated by the Vinous editorial team. All decisions are final.

Vinous retains all rights to writings by the Fellow that emerge as a result of travels funded by the Fellowship. The destination and travel period will be mutually agreed upon by the Fellow and Vinous. Vinous has the option, but not the obligation, to publish the Fellow’s articles as part of the Vinous Young Wine Writer Fellowship program.

Vinous does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation or marital status.

The information above is accurate as of September 18, 2019 and is subject to change.

Testing times: the untold story behind the Master Sommelier exam scandal


Attica wine director Jane Lopes was stripped of her Master Sommelier title.Attica wine director Jane Lopes was stripped of her Master Sommelier title. Photo: Simon Schluter

Attica wine director Jane Lopes proved her mastery as a sommelier, only to have the recognition stripped away.

The Master Sommelier exam is considered the hardest exam in the world. It has a fiendishly low pass-rate, and since the first exam in 1969, only 262 people have passed the exam globally. (Well, there are currently 262 Master Sommeliers; 280 people have actually passed the exam – more on that later).

The Masters exam is the fourth and final level in a series of exams offered through the Court of Master Sommeliers. It is composed of three parts: an oral theory exam, a service portion, and a blind tasting of six wines in 25 minutes.

Candidates spend upwards of a decade, tens of thousands of dollars, and countless hours of study, practice and preparation to pass the exam. Once a candidate passes, they are a Master Sommelier for life (at least until recently – again, more on that later). There is no recertification, no further requirements for membership. One crosses immediately from mentee to mentor, from student to teacher, from candidate to Master. New Masters are publicly celebrated, revered for their determination and skill, offered pay rises and new positions, asked to teach and educate, and immediately welcomed into a superlative realm of professional achievement.

I passed the exam on September 5, 2018.

It was easily the hardest week of my life. I once read a quote that you’ll often look back on the hard times as being some of the most beautiful. These were not those times. The days leading up to, during, and after the exam were just plain miserable. I wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours each night, my stomach was in constant revolt, and I wavered between bouts of panic attacks and crying spells. Mental and physical health problems had plagued me most of my adult life, tending to flare up in high pressure situations. Not easy to admit, and perhaps not “masterly”, but…the truth.

Lopes: 'Oddly enough, I do look back on these hard times as being beautiful.'
Lopes: ‘Oddly enough, I do look back on these hard times as being beautiful.’ Photo: Wayne Taylor

Even after the exam was over – even after I was crowned a Master Sommelier – my mind and body hovered in residual panic. I still had trouble sleeping and eating for weeks after. While congratulatory emails, messages and calls rolled in, I had a hard time enjoying the post-pass glow. “How does it feel?! It must feel AHHHHHMAZING!” was the constant refrain. I would do my best to muster a believable, “Yes, of course, amazing!” all the while still trembling inside from the trauma of it all.

But at least I could take solace in the fact that it was over. I wouldn’t have to endure a week like that ever again.

New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship recipients announced

Media Release
22 August 2019
New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased to announce the 14 successful sommeliers chosen to participate in
the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship.
The New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship is a global initiative with sommeliers from Asia,
Australia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and USA all eligible
to participate.
The 2019 event will play host to just 16 international sommeliers, including hosts Master of Wine
Stephen Wong, and Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas.
Sommit™ 2019 will be held in Northland, the country’s northernmost, and most spectacularly coastal,
wine region. 2019 also marks the 200 year anniversary of the first planting of grapevines in New
Zealand. Reverend Samuel Marsden records 25 September 1819 as the day he planted a vine in the rich
grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands.
Sommit™ Northland will take place on the two days immediately prior to the anniversary, on 23 & 24
September, and will be an incredibly special Sommit™, exploring the regions, varieties, landscapes and
personalities that make New Zealand wine extraordinary, 200 years on.
As per previous years, the experience remains 100% sommelier-exclusive, with the full day masterclass
being a closed-door session, shepherded by Cameron and Stephen, but not presented by them. The
discussion on the day will be informed organically, by what is tasted in the glass. The sommelier guests
will then head to Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, and finally, Central Otago.
“Sommit™ is like no other experience for a sommelier,” says New Zealand Winegrowers’ Market
Implementation & Education Manager, Felicity Turner. “It is an opportunity to taste amongst
international peers, in the most astonishing New Zealand surrounds, and completely closed door. No
winemakers, no wine marketers, just on-premise industry professionals tasting, discussing and debating
without agenda. It’s a truly unique experience for our guests.”
The 14 successful sommeliers are:
• Delphin Duan, Edition Hotels (Shanghai)
• Toshimichi Okamura, The Ritz-Carlton (Osaka)
• Ashlyn Foster, Quay (Sydney)
• Bhatia Dheeraj, Est. (Sydney)
• Wiremu Andrews, Pt. Leo Estate & Laura Restaurants (Melbourne)
• Brad Royale, Brad Royale Consulting (Alberta & BC)
Media Release
22 August 2019
UK & Europe
• Jacqueline Doucette, Geranium (Copenhagen)
• Julia Sewell, Hide (London)
• Philip Dunne, The Westbury Hotel (Dublin)
United Arab Emirates
• Amit Chavan, Hakkasan (Abu Dhabi)
• Andrew Pettingell, Otium (Los Angeles)
• Chris Struck, Union Square Café (New York)
• Ezra Wicks, Bar Ferdinand (Seattle)
• Jonathan Lopez, The Milling Room (New York)
To date, the programme has hosted six Sommit™ events, for 97 Sommiteers, from 16 countries.
Previous Sommit™ events have seen a marked increase in listings of New Zealand wines in top
international restaurants.

Editors notes:

New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries, with total exports reaching $1.83 billion in

For further information contact:
Felicity Turner
Market Implementation & Education Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
+64 21 552 173

Jean Logo 160x102

Tel/Fax: +353 1 274 5955 Mobile: +353 86 816 8468 Wine Diary https://jeansmullen.com/

Skype: jean.smullen  Twitter: @smullenj Linked in:  JeanSmullenWine

2013 Runner Up IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year Award

2009 Meiningers Wine Business International Most Influential Wine Promoter (Ireland)

Autumn 2019 Wine Diary Update

Now that summer is almost over, time to take a quick look at the upcoming diary events for Autumn 2019.  The diary is starting to fill, and dates for 2020 are already being booked so make sure you have a look at those too.

For anyone in the trade interested in the WSET range of courses, don’t miss Tindal Wine Merchants induction day on Thursday 12th Septembermore details in the diary.

Look out for Portfolio tastings from Liberty Wines (Sept 18th), SPIT (October 24th),  Pembroke Wines (29th Oct) and  JN Wines in Dublin (Nov 5th).

Whiskey Live will also return to  Dublin Castle on 22nd & 23rd November, 2019.

Already it is looking like a very busy pre-Christmas season. If you have any events you would like to include in the diary, please email me at jean@jeansmullen.com  There is no charge to include an event.

Sept 28th Liberty Wine Portfolio Tasting
Oct 7th SIP 2019 Irish Wine Awards
Oct 23rd Ribera del Duero Tasti

New Wine Lecturer Appointed at UC Davis

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education has confirmed that Pat Henderson is to lecture three of the five courses in the college’s online Winemaking Certificate Program.

Henderson is the owner/proprietor of About Wine Consulting and has a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis. He will be teaching Wine Production, Quality Control and Wine Stability from the coming semsester onwards.

The online program provides a scientific and technical framework for production winemaking, with an emphasis on understanding the chemical and microbiological processes of winemaking. Courses include weekly exercises and readings, discussion forums and web-based collaborations in order to provide students with the tools and skills to meet challenges that will arise in their winemaking careers.

“Winemaking is the perfect blend of art, science and mother nature,” said Henderson, who has been working in the wine industry for more than 20 years. As an instructor, he focuses on teaching practical, real-world winemaking skills so that his students understand the “why” as much as the “how.”

“If you understand the science behind the winemaking techniques used in the cellar you can be more creative and explore new methods to craft your wine,” he said. “Knowing the fundamentals also allows you to be more adept in solving problems and adapt to changes as they come up.”

To learn more about the Winemaking Certificate Program, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education will be hosting a free online info session on October 24. Attendees will meet program staff, learn about the curriculum and get an unprecedented look into the online learning platform.

Honorary Membership for John Rigby

John Rigby former Chairman, Vice President, & Longtime council member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers being presented with Honorary Membership of the Guild by Oliver J. Murtagh after today’s AGM held at the Palace Bar Dublin

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, suit and indoor

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, sitting, suit and indoor



14th June, 2019 by Patrick Schmitt

Gerard Basset’s “magic combination of charm and determination” was celebrated this morning at a service of thanksgiving in Winchester Cathedral.

Providing a beautifully-crafted and touching tribute to Basset at the memorial was Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, who addressed leading figures from right across the world of wine, all of whom had gathered at the stunning Gothic cathedral to mark the life of this famously high-achieving sommelier, hotelier, wine personality and author.

Recalling how she had first met Gerard at Chewton Glen – the top-end hotel that launched his career in the UK – Jancis said that she was struck by Gerard’s ability to “give people what they wanted, not he”, as well as his “Poirot moustache” and “cheeky grin”.

From then on, she said how Gerard “kept popping up like a benign cork”, and applauded him for being “far from a wine bore”, while praising his “global legacy”, which, she said, was “his deep love of wine’.

Concluding her tribute, she said that Gerard had “a magic combination of charm and determination that will remain with us forever”.

Also paying tribute to Gerard was his son, Romané, who read Farewell My Friends by Rabindranath Tagore, before telling the congregation that they should remember his father by “perfecting their approach” to wine, which, Romané added, was Gerard’s “passion and his life”.

Meanwhile, Winchester Cathedral’s The Reverend Canon Roland Riem, said that Gerard had made the absolute most of his gifts, while stressing that he was both “admired” and “loved”.

Ahead of this, as he opened the service of thanksgiving, he asked the congregation to “smile with Gerard and savour a life well-lived.”

Gerard was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2017 and underwent a course of chemotherapy before undergoing a major operation in February 2018. Sadly, in July, it was confirmed that the cancer had returned, and in November, he was given a terminal diagnosis and a 6-12 months life expectancy, before dying on 16 January aged 61.

While undergoing treatment Gerard wrote his memoirs, which detail the “life and wines of the world’s favourite sommelier”, his 30-year career in the hospitality industry and rise to the very top of his field.

Called Tasting Victory, the book is being published by Unbound – a website that employs crowd funding to bring books to the market. Please click here to make a donation, which includes a copy of the book when published

Winchester Cathedral was chosen for the memorial service because the city held a special place in Gerard’s heart, as it was here that Gerard opened the inaugural Hotel du Vin, the hugely successful wine-focused chain of hotels he founded with hotelier Robin Hutson.

Read more


A truly global audience gathered for the service of thanksgiving

After days of rain, the first rays of sun appeared just in time for the service



The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale was founded in Reims (France) on June 3rd 1969

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The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale was founded in Reims (France) on June 3rd 1969 – 50 years ago today!

Since that day, it has had the following aims:
– To bring together the national sommelier associations (just one member association per country) and to promote their founding where they do not yet exist
– To co-ordinate actions aimed at developing and advancing the profession by various means (training courses, etc.)
– To enhance the sommelier’s profession and educate consumers
– To defend the ethics of the profession.

Let’s all raise our glass to the official International Sommelier day!

AGM 2019


Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers will be held in the Upstairs Lounge of the Palace Bar 21, Fleet Street, Dublin, 2, on Tuesday 18th June, 2019, at 12 noon

Andrew O’ Gorman, Company Secretary,  Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Alex Findlater dies following riding accident in India

Irish businessman Alex Findlater dies following riding accident in India

Findlater was last of family to lead the wine merchants and retailing business founded in 1823

Alex Findlater, who will be buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold’s Cross,  following a funeral in St Brigid’s church, Stillorgan, next Thursday

Alex Findlater, who will be buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold’s Cross, following a funeral in St Brigid’s church, Stillorgan, next Thursday

The former chairman of Findlater Wine MerchantsAlex Findlater, has died following a horse-riding accident in India.

Mr Findlater was the last family member to lead a wine merchants and retailing business that had been established in Dublin in 1823.

Mr Findlater (81) had lived most recently in CongCo Mayo, where he married his wife, Patricia (Trish), in 2011.

William Alexander Findlater was born the second of five children to Dermot and Dorothea Findlater. The family home, Abilene on Newtownpark Avenue, in Foxrock, Co Dublin, was sold only last month following the death of his mother in 2017. She had briefly been the oldest living person in Ireland.

Mr Findlater followed his father, Dermot, into the family business in May 1956 as an apprentice while studying at Trinity College.

He was made a company director at 21 and, following the death of his father in 1962, became the senior family member in the business. Following a difficult trading period in the 1960s, the Findlater retail business was sold in 1968 to Galen Weston.

The family retained the wine business and continued to trade independently until 2001 which it was sold to C&C, which merged it with its own Grants wine business. The merged business was sold to DCC in 2008 and later to Valeo Foods in 2014.

Mr Findlater will be buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold’s Cross following a funeral in St Brigid’s church, Stillorgan, next Thursday.

WSET Diploma Level 4 Open Day Dublin


WSET Diploma Level 4 Open Day Dublin

Consumer & Trade Event

Date: 13/05/2019 – 13/05/2019 Time: 18:30 – 21:30

Calling all WSET Level 3 graduates or anyone with similar qualifications.  The WSET will be holding an open day in Dublin on Tuesday 13th May to encourage anyone who is actively thinking of enrolling onto the new WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines. Find out how studying for this industry-leading qualification could benefit you.


The WSET will launch launching a new revised version of the Diploma in August 2019. This market-leading qualification will set a new global standard for wine education, building on the success of the current WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits. The programme will provide students with expert-level product knowledge whilst enabling the development of professional skills key to success in the global wine business.


Diploma Programme Manager, Russell Dent WSET Dip will conduct a wine tasting at Diploma level and will offer detailed information covering:

How studying for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines can benefit you

Key changes and updates to the qualification

The structure of the qualification and how each module is assessed

How WSET School will support  you throughout your studies

Available study methods and payment options

The ongoing benefits of becoming part of the WSET Alumni Body


An attendance fee of €10.00 will apply.


To book a place CLICK HERE

Wine Diary Update May 2019

2019 has certainly been an active year so far in terms of wine events, lots of generic activity and portfolio tastings.  May is another busy month for wine events.  Look out for Classic Drinks New Pink Bubbles tasting on Monday 13th May in Cafe en Seine in Dawons Street (details below).

The WSET will be holding an open day for anyone thinking of enrolling for WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits.  It will take place in the Hilton Garden Inn on Custom House Quay, Dublin 1. from 18:30 – 21:30 on May 13th more details in the wine diary.

Dont miss the Romanian Wine Fair on Tuesday 14th May, 2019 at the Hilton (Dublin) Hotel in Charlemont Place starting at 14:00 Open to trade & press.  Most of the producers are seeking representation. (details below).

Fans of natural wine are in for a treat with The Real Wine Fair (May 15th) and the Amber Revolution Masterclass (May 16th) details in the diary.

The Big Alsace Tasting (trade & consumer) is back for a second year and will take place on Wed 22ndMay, 2019 at ely wine bar IFSC, Dublin 1 (details below).

Hats off to Beverley Matthews of L’Atitude Restaurant for keeping the show on the road and then some.  L’Atitude premises were damaged in a fire on St Patrick’s Day this year.  Temporarily without a premises,  Beverley has managed to keep her events going with the help of her many friends in the trade.   A full and very interesting programme of events continue in Idaho Café on Caroline Street, Crawford & Co on Anglesea Street and Ali’s Kitchen on Rory Gallagher Place.

For more details go to http://www.latitude51.ie/

Romanian Wine Fair




The Big Alsace Tasting – Trade & Press Tasting  22nd May

Trade Event

Sliabh Liag Distillery and Silkie Irish Whiskey – Published in SommelierS International Magazine – Issue 164 – May 2019

Sliabh Liag Distillery and Silkie Irish Whiskey

Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Published in SommelierS International Magazine – Issue 164 – May 2019

Image may contain: mountain, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Donegal has a long history of distilling, and while the majority of that distilling was classed as illegal, the county was renowned far and wide for the quality of spirits produced, namely the unregulated spirit – Poitín. By the 1850,s, Donegal was thought to have more illicit stills than the rest of Ireland put together but since the closure of the Burt Distillery in 1841 the area has been left bereft of a legitimate distilling presence. The Sliabh Liag Distillery aims to reclaim the Irish distilling heritage of Donegal, and to create brands that are inspired by both place and people.

James and Moira Doherty, the founders are no strangers to the drinks industry, James has worked in the branded spirits and beer industry for over twenty years. They launched the first legal distillery in Donegal in almost 180 years. The Sliabh Liag Distillery launched its first expression, an independent bottling of Irish Whiskey named Silkie in 2016. Silkie is inspired by the legends long told along the coasts of Donegal of the Silkie or Silkie seals. Silkies take the form of seals in the ocean, and irresistibly beautiful women when they come ashore. On the nose Silkie Whiskey is fresh and malty, bright notes of green apple and a gentle honeyed butteryness. The taste is super soft, exceptionally smooth and elegant, with lively hints of orange zest and stem ginger. On the finish it is warming, graceful and gently melts away. The blue green of the label reflects the colour of the Wild Atlantic from the cliffs at Sliabh Liag in Donegal.

Sliabh Liag: Sliabh means mountain and Liag means flagstones. Sliabh Liag stands sentinel over County Donegal on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic coast. Often described as “a place apart” this remote and beautiful land holds the terroir, heritage and folklore for our team of scatterings to embark on an exciting distilling journey.


It lacks any English or indeed Irish translation, but the French have a word, a romantic and mystical term, for the synergy between soil, climate, tradition and terrain.

It is this synergy that creates the finest of liquids. On the Sliabh Liag peninsula, surrounded by blue-green seas and punctuated by ancient imposing mountains, fairy glens and beaches of silver sand, the stunning landscape is home to vast expanses of heather and peat bogs, formed by abundant rainfall over thousands of years.

Mixed with the fragrant sea spray from the wild Atlantic, the air is strikingly fresh, bracing and leaves a slight salty tang of the sea on the tip of your tongue.

If terroir does have a bearing on spirits, then the Sliabh Liag peninsula is ideally suited to creating wonderful liquids.


Donegal is steeped in a history of legal and illicit distillation, and the Sliabh Liag peninsula and the parish of Glencolmcille were among the most prolific Poitín producing areas in the County. Aeneas Coffey (1780–1839) was an Irish inventor and distiller whose work on continuous distillation transformed the industry  referred to distilling in the mountainous parts of Donegal as being where illicit distillation “has been carried on from time immemorial and been the principal occupation of almost the whole population”.  Poitín, anglicized as poteen is a traditional Irish distilled beverage (40%–90% ABV). Poitín was traditionally distilled in a small pot still and the term is a diminutive of the Irish word pota, meaning “pot”

TASTING NOTES of Silkie Irish Whiskey

Colour – Straw gold with hints of amber.

Nose – Fresh and malty, brisk like green apples, opens to be more honeyed with a gentle butteryness.

Taste – Super soft, honey to the fore, bright, hints of orange zest, digestive biscuits, brioche, butterscotch and stem ginger.

Finish – Warming, elegant and gently melts away.





The TÚATH (tu – ah) – from the old Irish for family or nation, is a conical shaped nosing and tasting glass for whiskey that functions superbly by concentrating & capturing all the aromas and flavours that make Irish Whiskey unique.

The generosity of Irish spirit is reflected in the enhanced chamber capacity delivering a more generous drinking experience.

tuath glass inspired by skellig micheal


Deirdre Byrne, Marketing Manager Sliabh Liag Distillery stated “there are many ways to enjoy this whiskey. It can be consumed neat or with ice, it is also a great whiskey in cocktails due to its light and delicate style. Bartenders and sommeliers especially like to make cocktails with Silkie Irish Whiskey which allows them to experiment with their creativity and set their own specifications when it comes to creating original cocktails”. Deirdre won a gold at the World Cocktail Championships in Prague 2013.

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Deirdre Byrne with Andy O’ Gorman

A personalised bottle of Silkie Irish Whiskey was presented to William Wouters, President of the Belgian Sommeliers Guild by Oliver Murtagh President Irish Guild of Sommeliers at the ASI world Sommelier Contest in Antwerp, Belgium during March 2019.

Image may contain: 4 people, including William Wouters and Andy O'Gorman, people smiling, people standing and suit

The distributor for Silkie Irish Whiskey in Belgium is Munros Beers and Spirits, Walhain.     https://www.munros.be/our-products/  Munros sprl Rue des Ourdons, 9/5, 1457 Walhain, Belgium    Mobile & Landline : +32 10 65 24 65

Munros Logo

I conducted a tasting of Silkie Irish Whiskey for a number of delegates attending the ASI World Sommelier Contest and they found this a very interesting Irish Whiskey outlining a number of differences from other Irish whiskies which they were familiar with. They also thought that the bottle was very elegant and were interested in the story of the name Silkie along with an explanation of the words Drioglann, Sliabh & Liag.

The Original Irish Coffee Recipe made with Silkie Irish Whiskey

  1. Preheat your Irish coffee glass by filling it with boiling water for 5 seconds, then pour the water out.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and a good measure of Silkie Irish whiskey into the warmed glass.
  3. Fill the glass to within 1 cm of the brim with hot, strong black coffee. Stir well to dissolve all the brown sugar.
  4. Carefully pour lightly whipped cream over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top of the coffee.
  5. Do not stir after adding the cream; optimal flavour comes from drinking the coffee and Silkie Irish whiskey through the cream. Image result for foynes irish coffee glass

Silkie Irish Whiskey makes a beautiful Irish Coffee – Sláinte


Big Alsace Tasting @ Ely IFSC 22nd May

Invitation to the Big Alsace Tasting

After a successful inaugural year in 2018, the Big Alsace Tasting returns to Dublin as part of Alsace Wine Week.

The trade and press tasting will take place at Ely Bar & Grill (IFSC) on Wednesday 22nd May from 11.00 to 17.30.

There will be a second, ticketed session for consumers from 18.00 to 20.00.

Over 25 producers’ wines will be shown at this walk-around tasting, including: Dirler Cadé, Marcel Deiss, Paul Ginglinger, Hugel, Josmeyer, Sipp-Mack, Meyer-Fonné, Réné Muré, Bruno Sorg, Schlumberger, Trimbach, Cave de Turckheim, Zinck & Zind-Humbrecht

Please RSVP to Frankie Cook at alsacewineireland@gmail.com

Six reasons to love Alsace wines

  1. The wines are so pure, mineral and aromatic that they are a delight to drink.
  2. There’s so much variety across the whole region that there are always new, interesting wines to discover.
  3. They range from the simple to the very complex and reflect where and by who they are made.
  4. The soil mosaic of Alsace is among the most complex of any wine region.
  5. The wines can age well, sometimes for decades.
  6. As they are under-the-radar they represent great value for money.

ROMANIAN WINE TASTING 14th May, 2019 Hilton (Dublin) Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin


As part of the special programme celebrating Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 January 2019 – 30 June 2019), the Embassy of the Romania will be holding a Romanian Wine Tasting in Dublin in the Hilton (Dublin) Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2 from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Tuesday 14th May, 2019

The event, which will also include a program of Romanian music, performed by the RTE ConTempo Quartet featuring Adrian Mantu and Iulian Pusca will be launched by HE Mrs. Manuela Breazu, Ambassador of Romania.

Particiating wineries include:
Avencis (seeking representation), Castel Vinum “Villa Vinea” (seeking representation), Corcova (seeking representation),  Cramele RecasDavino (seeking representation),  Prince Stirby (seeking representation),  Senator Wines (seeking representation),  Ro Wines the Romanian specialist shop based in Dublin will also participate.

The Romanian Wine Fair is being organized by the Embassy of Romania in Dublin.

Mr. Dumitru ANCA, Minister
Counsellor Economic & Commercial Embassy of Romania to Ireland
Ph:   + 353 1 668 1149  E-mail: dublin.economic@mae.ro

Jean Smullen  Tel: + 353 1 86 816 8468  E:  jean@jeansmullen.com

Easter Greetings

The President Oliver J. Murtagh wishes all members & supporters of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers a Happy Easter

Malbec Masterclass at 12.00 noon on Monday 15th April, 2019

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The Malbec Masterclass at 12.00 noon on Monday 15th April, 2019  will be presented by Albert Baginiski.  Albert’s knowledge and  passion for Malbec is inspiring;  his presentation will examine the effect of altitude on the flavour profile of the Malbec grape.

Although Argentina has a continental climate there are two key factors that impact on the quality of the fruit; they are latitude and altitude.  Altitude in Mendoza varies from 600 metres to 1,500 metres above sea level.   The higher the altitude of the vineyard the cooler the region.   For every 165 metre increase the average temperature of the vineyard decreased by 1 degree and this directly affects the wine style.  Those attending will taste a range of Malbec wines from a range of altitudes from specific regions and vineyards in the  Mendoza region.

About Albert Baginiski  Albert has been working in Ireland for 12 years.  He started his wine career in the restaurant at Donnybrook Fair before moving to L’Ecrivian for four years.  Today, Albert is the wine buyer and group educator at FXB restaurants.  Albert set up his own importing company Solera Wine Merchants in 2014, he imports wine from Spain, Italy, Argentina and France.

Places for the Masterclass are limited, so early booking is advised.  Contact Jean Smullen to book your place. Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com Telephone (086) 816 8468

VINEXPO May 2019

Take a look at the Vinexpo Bordeaux program. Version web

Are you ready for a new experience?

Act for change

The Vinexpo Symposium

The wine and spirits industry faces many challenges, one of which is the impact of climate change on the supply chain. In conjunction with the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council, Vinexpo Bordeaux is inviting you to discuss this major issue for our industry in a day-long session on 14 May.

The impact of climate change…

10:00 - 11:30
10:00 – 11:30
… On global vineyards
find out more
12:00 - 13:30
12:00 – 13:30
… On vineyard management and winemaking
find out more
10:00 - 11:30
15:00 – 16:30
… On the wine economy
find out more


Michel Jarraud
Former Secretary-General of the WMO, from 2004 to 2015
Jean-Robert Pitte
Perpetual Secretary of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences
Philippe Mauguin
INRA – President
Brice Lalonde
Former Minister of the Environment
Patrice Geoffron
University Paris-Dauphine – Professor of Economics
Jim Bittermann
CNN’s International Correspondent based in Paris
--- --- ---


A presentation of wines from the Medoc, Haut-Médoc and Listrac Médoc

Discover over a hundred wines by estates in the Medoc, Haut-Medoc and Listrac-Medoc appellation areas.
find out more

Tre Bicchieri 2019 versus 2020

A unique preview of wines competing for a place in the 2020 edition of Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia, the most influential Italian wines guide. find out more

Saint-Estèphe wines and their precious terroir

A major tasting of different vintages of Classified Growths, Crus Bourgeois, Crus Artisans and unclassified offerings – the entire collection of Saint-Estephe wines will be presented by the owners or managers of 30 chateaux.
find out more

Renaissance des Appellations

60 biodynamic winegrowers belonging to Renaissance des Appellations will present their wines.
find out more



Sweet wines from around the world

A journey of discovery featuring the greatest wines in the category.
find out more

Nicolas Feuillatte

A technical tasting of the Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne range. find out more

Gambero Rosso
Vini d’Italia

11 wines for 11 awards, the best of the best from the 2019 Gambero Rosso Guide.
find out more


E-commerce: what it takes to sell wine online

Thanks to IWSR research, discover how will e-commerce develop over the next 10 years.

Presentation of the Vinexpo/IWSR study:
2018 – 2023

Wine & Spirits global market trends.

Wine journalism
in digital times

Is wine journalism still needed? Or is it enough that millions of users click on “like” for their favorite wine?

Access conditions to Masterclasses & tastings are available on each event description.

See the daily program

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Jean Smullen Wine Diary Highlights for April 2019

Wine Diary Highlights for April 2019
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April is another busy month for the wine trade with lots of events and activities taking place.  Wines from Spain will be running their 4th Spanish wine week from 8th-14th April, 2019 with a nationwide programme of events.  Details on http://spanishwineweek.ie

Tomorrow April 2nd don’t miss the Grapecircus and Nomad wine tasting in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin 2. from 11.00 to 17.00  Trade & Press only Enrico Fantasia and Charles Derain also promise French & Italian smart comments!

Gilbeys/Bibendum are on the road this week with their wine tasting roadshow of the new wines from their portfolio.  Cork (Apr 2nd), Galway (Apr 3rd) Dublin (Apr 4th – details below), Belfast Apr 8th.

Don’t miss the Georgian Masterclass in the Westbury on April 10th (details below) followed by a small wine fair.  10 producers will be showing their wines and seeking rep on the Irish market.

The Argentine Wine Fair and Masterclass will take place in the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place on Monday 15th. Details below.

Monday 15th April Argentine Wine Fair & Masterclass
Wed 10th April Georgian Masterclass & Wine Fair
Thurs 4th April Gilbeys/Bibendum Dublin Tasting


The Embassy of Georgia in Ireland
The National Wine Agency of Georgia
 in partnership with The Doyle Collection
cordially invites you to attendGEORGIAN WINE MASTERCLASS – PRESENTATIONconducted by sommeliers from the National Wine Agency of Georgia

on Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Venue: The Westbury Hotel
Grafton Street, Dublin 2
14:00 -17:00
(Trade & Press only)
      Wine masterclass starts at 2pm to 3pm;
Free pour tasting 3pm to 5pm

R.S.V.P. & to book Masterclass place:
Jean Smullen, Mobile: (086) 816 8468
email: jean@jeansmullen.com
Note:  Masterclass places must be booked in advance
Georgia has an 8,000 year old history of making wine.  Numerous archeological discoveries have left historians in no doubt that Georgia is the birthplace of wine.  What makes Georgian wine making so unique is their centuries old wine making technique, known as Quervi.  Wine is fermented in clay vessels to create rich organic wines using the same methods used in the Neolithic era.  This ancient Quervi winemaking technique is now listed as a UNESCO intangible heritage.  Georgia has over 500 indigenous grape varieties in 10 wine making regions with a variety of climates and mesoclimates where wine is very much a part of Georgian life and culture.Some of the wineries already signed up to take part in the 2019 Georgian Wine Fair include: 
Alexsi Tsukilashvili, Director, ARMUNJI  LLC; Ketevan Zautashvili, Winemaker, ARMUNJI  LLC; Lika Dentoshvili, Marketing Director, Sesiashvili; Giorgi Mandzulashvili, Director, Marndzulas Marani; Gvantsa Tchigvaria, Marketing and Export Manager, Chrebalo Wine Cellar; Irakli Khakhutashvili, Director,Wine House Gremi

Julie Joins Sommelier Elite

Julie Joins Sommelier Elite

 Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers


The winner of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier in Ireland competition Julie Dupouy, Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin and portfolio brand ambassador for champagne brands with Edward Dillion and Co. Ltd., represented Ireland at the World Sommelier Contest in Antwerp, Belgium  and gave an excellent performance with a final placing of 8th out of 66 competitors from 63 countries. Julie has been a very worthy representative of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.
Julie is pictured with William Wouters president of the Belgian Sommeliers Guild being presented with a personalised bottle of Silkie Irish Whiskey by Oliver Murtagh president Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Andrew O’ Gorman
The winner was Marc Almert from Germany 2nd place Nina Højgaard Jensen, Denmark and 3rd place Raimonds Tomsons, Riga, Latvia.
Julie has been in the wine business since 2003. She started working in France and shortly after moved to Ireland with short stops in Belgium, Luxembourg and Scotland.
Her education started with languages and French literature studies, but she decided that she wanted to become a sommelier. Julie passed her “mention complementaire sommellerie” in 2003. Since then she has studied with the WSET and achieved Diploma in 2015 as well as WSET Level in Sake in 2017.
She has held the title of ‘Best Sommelier of Ireland’ since 2009. Before competing in Ireland, she entered the Best Sommelier in France in 2008 and was one of the 12 semi-finalists.
Julie also competed at the World Contests in Tokyo and Mendoza and the European contest in San Remo and Vienna.
Her best international performance was at the ASI World Sommelier Contest in Mendoza 2016, where she was placed 3rd.
Today, the responsibilities of modern sommeliers go far beyond merely serving wines. On top of a complete knowledge of their field and an indispensable gift for human relationships, they must also display a considerable understanding of purchase and stocks management. Today’s sommeliers are also associated with the marketing of the business.
The World’s Best Sommelier Contest has been in existence since 1969. The contest facilitates exchanges between hotel and restaurant professionals, encourages competition between entrants, motivates them to perfect their skills, and helps widen knowledge of the sommelier profession in the public. The competition takes place every three years in one of the ASI member countries that has been authorized to host the event by the ASI.

What does it mean to be the Best Sommelier?

What does it mean to be the Best Sommelier?

On Friday, March 15, after a week of highly demanding, hotly disputed competition in Antwerp, Belgium, a young man of 27, Marc Almert, from Germany, became the 16th person in the world to hold the title of Best Sommelier of the World. In the finals, he was joined by two remarkable candidates: Nina Højgaard Jensen, of Denmark, and Raimonds Tomsons, of Latvia, who respectively finished second and third.

During the finals – and throughout the week – the skill and knowledge displayed by all the candidates was incredible. The level of difficulty has been rising constantly, over the years, and more and more candidates are rising to the challenge. That’s how we had to select a 19th semi-finalist, this year: the scores were simply too close. The growing talent and ability of new candidates also explains why some who were seen as favourites by many saw their contest end at the semi-final stage: the general level of excellence is just that high, nowadays.

It cannot be stressed enough how impressive it is to come out on top of such an amazingly qualified international field. And for us at the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, such high-level performance means every competition is also an opportunity to adjust and learn, strengthen the tests and improve the scenarios, logistics and judging.

The results are about excellence in skill and knowledge, and maybe more about grace under pressure than perfection. When doing a sommelier’s work, on a restaurant floor, all sorts of unexpected things can happen. To be at the top of the profession, one must  stay focused despite occasional adversity, keep one’s ears and mind open to the needs of the people being served, and remain humble and adaptable. If everything has gone smoothly one night, it doesn’t mean it will go the same way the next night: adjusting to the circumstances is key to turning the skills into an art.

During the finals, Marc Almert impressed the crowd with his skill and precision, but he charmed them with his presence and his detailed attention to the “clients” seated on the stage for the final tests. In some ways, one could say that he became the champion because he used his skills and knowledge to put his clients first. At the highest level of performance, the sommelier profession remains all about service.

As we take stock of a highly successful event, I want to give special thanks to the whole ASI team, from the Board and the Technical Committee to the communications and marketing team, including the social media and film crew who have helped give the event unprecedented worldwide visibility. I’d also like to praise the work of the presidents of the national associations and their teams. Organizing the national contests, encouraging young sommeliers to compete, supporting their training, all that means long hours stolen away from family and holidays, often for years, always without remuneration, and limited recognition. This commitment, at the national level, is what makes ASI great and is pushing the level of sommellerie around the world.

Last but certainly not least, I want to deeply thank organizing committee president William Wouters and all his team for the incredible amount of work they put in to ensure the success of this most important event. As the competition grows, this becomes ever more challenging. Many thanks also to the international delegations who travelled to the contest, and everyone else who joined in the preparation and organisation of the week, as well as the many partners who provided essential support and opportunities for learning for our sommeliers – and delicious wines.

Andrés Rosberg
President, Association de la Sommellerie Internationale

Impressions from the competition

For one winner, in this latest Best Sommelier of the World contest, there are 65 candidates who don’t make it there. Impressions and reactions from the semi-finalists and other candidates are quite a mix, from thrill to disappointment. But everyone who participated praised the quality of the program and the opportunities for learning, whatever their results.

Candidates had to be well prepared, said Canadian semi-finalist Pier-Alexis Soulière. “It’s the world championship. You have to expect the unexpected.”

Andrea Martinisi, semi-finalist from New Zealand, testified to the demanding character of the ASI Best Sommelier of the World competition. “Emotionally, it’s a bit of a roller coaster. There is a lot happening. It’s been a hard few days, but I’ve done my best, so no regrets.” Same for Loïc Avril, from Australia, who certainly was hoping for a shot at the finals. “It’s a marathon. A very long run. You need to take a single step at a time,” he said, adding that the waiting between the end of the semi-finals on Wednesday and the announcement of the finalists was particularly unnerving. Having master classes helped him remain positive and patient.

Fredrik Lindfors, from Sweden, was positive after the end of the semi-finals. “The competition is absolutely fierce, and it means everything is very close. But I just enjoyed everything and had a good time.”

Despite his deep disappointment after the finals, where he felt he’d missed the mark, Raimonds Tomsons from Latvia spoke eloquently of the sacrifices made as a young father preparing several hours a day to prepare for the great event (“I have a great wife,” he said convincingly). He also mentioned he loved what the semi-finals had to offer. “It was dynamic, very fast, lots of tastings, very specific practical tasks as well – and very tough.” Always ready to challenge himself, he just announced that he will take another run at the world title in 2022.

Others, like Martynas Pravilonis, pointed out the impact of the competition’s growing visibility. “I think the sommelier profession will grow, because it’s such a good show,” said the semi-finalist from Lithuania.

Many of those who didn’t make it past the first round remained entirely positive about the experience. Dustin Chabert, the first American candidate in many years, didn’t feel let down by his elimination after the first round, which he saw as a “glass half-full kind of situation”. “Conversation with wine people from 65 different countries is [really] awesome”, he added in a colourful Facebook post, after the end of his competition. Indeed, opening new horizons and worldwide conversations is a big part of what the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest is all about.

A week of discovery in Antwerp

Thanks to the hard work by the Belgian organizing committee, everyone who took part in the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest had a great opportunity to discover Antwerp’s eclectic mix of history and modern character in everything from architecture to food and culture. Candidates, delegations, journalists and other participants had the chance to see and taste all sorts of local specialties, like fries, chocolates, diamonds, beer, and even Belgian wines!

A dozen or so master classes were also offered throughout the week, creating learning opportunities for the candidates and participants, with a wide range of programs, from a vertical of eight vintages of Château Beaucastel’s Hommage Jacques Perrin cuvée to an exploration of biodynamics and Languedoc terroir with Gérard Bertrand, a presentation of ancient Catalan grapes revived by Torres Family, and more technical tastings exploring the effects of bottle size or closure permeability on wine profiles. “It’s very good, because competitions like this are all about learning,” commented Martin Bruno, the semi-finalist from Argentina, when asked about the week’s program. “There was a high level of quality and knowledge in the master classes, especially on Thursday and Friday,” concurred Satoru Mori, the Japanese semi-finalist.

Many positive comments were made about the many sommeliers who volunteered, under the coordination of the Guild of Belgian Sommeliers. In addition to pouring dozens and dozens of bottles, switching over from one master class to the other could require changing over as many as 2,400 glasses in 20 minutes! “I need to thank the sommelier team, for all the service they did during the master classes,” said Chinese semi-finalist Reeze Choi. “They worked very hard and very fast.”

Austrian Wine and Côtes du Rhône, in particular, offered the candidates and other lucky attendees the opportunity to discover the best their regions have to offer during their platinum master classes, while also supplying a vast selection of wines, changing every night, at the Bar des Sommeliers – with many somms spending time at the bars taking notes, even well after regular hours. “An amazing and inspiring program,” insisted Reeze Choi about the Austrian and Rhodanian contributions to the program.

The complete list of the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest’s partners is available here. Thanks to all of them for making the event so memorable.

Marc Almert Is the New ASI Best Sommelier of the World

Marc Almert Is the New ASI Best Sommelier of the World

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing

Sommelier from Germany takes the most coveted title in the profession after facing a record number of candidates, through three rounds of fierce competition in Belgium
Antwerp, March 15, 2019–At the end of a final round where the three top competitors had to show their knowledge of wine and talent for service and hospitality in front of an audience of over 1,100 people, Marc Almert, a 27-year-old sommelier from Germany who works at the Baur du Lac Hotel in Zurich, was declared the winner of the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World.

“This week has been like a dream, and the dream has come to its conclusion without waking up. I’m honored and humbled to walk in such great footsteps,” declared an elated Marc Almert, after the announcement was made on the stage of Antwerp’s Elisabeth Centre, where three finalists had been competing in the last of three rounds of demanding tests covering every theoretical and practical aspect of the sommelier profession. The three finalists, Marc Almert, as well as Nina Højgaard Jensen, of the Kong Hans Kælder restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Raimonds Tomsons, from Vincents restaurant, in Riga, Latvia, had been announced earlier in the afternoon, just before the finals began, so candidates had to be ready to go immediately. Nina Højgaard Jensen finished second and Raimonds Tomsons, third.

The live final round, which was also live streamed worldwide via YouTube and Facebook, was the culmination of a whole week of competition that brought a record 66 sommeliers from 63 countries to the beautiful city of Antwerp. All the candidates competed on Monday and Tuesday, before 19 semi-finalists were chosen and went through another, wide-ranging series of tests (service, pairings, theory, technical and commercial questions, etc) in the second round. The final round, performed live, put the finalists in a simulated restaurant situation that put to the test their abilities for service, but also their knowledge of wine, food and other beverages. Belgian minister of Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services, in charge of Administrative Simplification, the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and North Sea Philippe de Backer, and Antwerp Vice-Mayor Koen Kennis were present to congratulate the winner and two runners up and handed them their awards and gifts from the contest’s Belgian partners.

“It’s been incredible to see the level of skill displayed by all the candidates, over this week. The level of difficulty has been rising constantly, over the years, and more and more candidates are rising to the challenge. It cannot be stressed enough how impressive it is to come out on top of such an amazingly qualified international field,” said ASI president Andrés Rosberg. “I also want to deeply thank everyone in the organizing committee, here in Belgium, the international delegations that travelled to the contest, and everyone from ASI who joined in, as well as the many partners who provided essential support and so many great opportunities for learning for our sommeliers – and delicious wines.”

“We are very proud to have hosted the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest in Belgium. It’s actually the third time that Belgium has hosted the event, out of 16 editions, and that’s a great tribute to the dynamism of sommellerie in our country,” said William Wouters, president of the Belgian Sommelier Guild and president of the contest organizing committee. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for sommeliers from around the world to come together and not only compete, but also to exchange ideas, and learn from each other’s different perspectives and realities. Thank you to our partners, our volunteers, our whole team and everyone who made this possible.”

ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest 2019

The following may be of interest to you.
#asiworld2019   #asibestsomm   #asisomms
Please follow us in social media:
Facebook: @asisomms
Instagram: @asisomms_
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Will a woman finally win the title? Where will the winner come from? Will it be an established star or a surprise winner? This – and much more – is what we shall find out on the evening of March 15th, at the outcome of the contest finals, in the wonderful Elisabeth Center, in downtown Antwerp. Those who will be in Antwerp and would like to attend the finals can procure tickets at www.BestWorldSomm.com. Others will be able to follow every stage of the competition through social media, and even a live streaming of the final round through ASI’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

ASI World Sommelier Competition in Antwerp

by Jean Smullen

Published 09/03/2019

Good luck to Julie Dupouy who will be representing Ireland at the ASI World Sommelier Competition in Antwerp in Belgium on March 15th.  Julie who came third in the world two years ago at the ASI World’s in Argentina is one of the hotly tipped favourites for the title this year.   Will a women do it?  Will Julie lead Ireland to Sommelier glory?  You can book tickets to attend at the Elizabeth Centre in Antwerp via the website www.BestWorldSomm.com

Or follow every stage of the competition on social media, or via the live streaming of the final round on ASI’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

Facebook: @asisomms Instagram: @asisomms_ Twitter: @asisomms YouTube: @asisomms

Andy O’Gorman and all the team at the Irish Guild of Sommeliers wish Julie the very best of luck this year, as indeed do everyone in the trade here in Ireland.

Good luck Julie!

Julie for World Contest

President Irish Guild of Sommeliers Oliver J. Murtagh & members wish Julie Dupouy a successful ASI Best Sommelier of the  World Contest in Antwerp, Belgium, 10-15 March, 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Hopefully this will be Julie’s year to win the gold medal. Good Luck to You Julie.

The World’s Best Sommelier Competition has been in existence since 1969. The competition facilitates exchanges between numerous hotel and restaurant professionals, encourages healthy competition between entrants, motivates them to perfect their skills, and helps widen knowledge of the sommelier profession in the public at large. The competition takes place every three years in one of the ASI member countries that has been authorized to host the event by the ASI.


French “good ol’ boy” brought love of wine to Atlanta

Jean-Pierre Yves Durand

MAY 26, 1939 – JANUARY 13, 2019

It is with great sadness that I & the Irish Guild of Sommeliers learned of the death of Yves Durand, Atlanta Georgia. May He Rest In Peace.
Yves was a great friend to me over many years. I met him at many international sommelier events in countries such as Japan, Croatia, USA, just to mention a few.
 Deepest sympathy to his wife Inge, his son Thomas (Robin), daughter Tanya (Darren), his two sisters in France, Nicole and Isabelle, plus five grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Mr. Durand was a longtime member of The Commanderie de Bordeaux and Chaîne de Rõtesseur which helped him gain knowledge of all wines and ultimately achieve many awards including the following: In 1985, he was named Best Sommelier in French wines in the United States and was presented the award by Julia Child. In 1986, Yves represented the United States in Paris at the prestigious International Sommelier Competition. He placed first in the blind tasting category and third in the overall competition. In 1987, he wrote, Connoisseur’s Guide to Bordeaux Wines, twelve years in the making. Mr. Durand received one of the highest awards from the French Minister of Agriculture in September 1990 when he was decorated Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mèrite Agricole for his achievements in promoting French food and agriculture. In 1996, the National Academy of Television, Arts and Science presented Mr. Durand with an Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement in Individual Excellence/Performer for his GPTV program Wining and Dining with Yves Durand.
Obituary of Jean-Pierre Yves Durand
Yves Durand and his wife Inge brought fine dining and style to Atlanta’s early dining scene. Durand was also one of the best sommeliers in the U.S. and introduced many Atlantans to great wine on his tours of Europe with select groups. Photo: Courtesy of the family
Jan 16, 2019 By Bill Banks

Growing up in southwestern France, Yves Durand attended grade school where children were served diluted wine between lessons or with lunch.

France abolished the practice in 1981. Nevertheless, for Durand it started a lifelong obsession with the grape, or actually 10,000 grapes, for that’s about how many varieties exist.

One of his protégées Gil Kulers, now the head sommelier and beverage manager at the Piedmont Driving Club said recently, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Yves knew all of them.”

When Durand and his wife Inge moved to Atlanta in the mid-1960s, the city was a wasteland for gourmets and oenophiles alike. The couple opened one of Atlanta’s early French restaurants, Rue de Paris, and Inge recalled recently, “In those days the first thing people asked for was a cocktail and coffee. Together! They didn’t know how to drink. They didn’t know how to drink wine, except Blue Nun (then a pervasive and populist German wine).”

The feisty and imperious young Durand prefaced his early Rue de Paris wine list with, “cou rouge, (rough translation, “red neck”) don’t go any further.”

But he warmed up to his adopted hometown in 1985, when he beat 14 competitors for Best Sommelier in French wines in the United States. After Julia Child gave him the award, he told a reporter, “I am really glad to win this for Atlanta, because I know what top quality restaurants we have … I enjoyed telling all those people in New York that I am just a good ‘ol boy from Atlanta.”

Albeit one who transformed the epicurean landscape.

“They called him the godfather of wine in Atlanta,” Kulers said. “He made folks really want better wine. Before Yves there were no quality wines coming into the state of Georgia. But I’d say Atlanta right now in one of the top five U.S. wine markets.”

Jean-Pierre Yves Durand, 79, died Jan. 13 in his Roswell home from liver failure. Visitation is 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 17. The funeral will be in the Chapel of Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Rd., Roswell. A graveside service follows at Green Lawn Cemetery & Mausoleum, also 950 Mansell Rd. Roswell.

He was born in 1939 in the Bourg-de-Visa, a village in the Gascony region and grew up in Vichy. He spent the war years in the countryside where his grandfather made his own wine.

When he was hitchhiking through Europe at 19, he spotted 16-year-old Inge in Copenhagen. He told her he was looking for The Little Mermaid, the famous bronze statue.

“I was dragging my bicycle around,” she said. “At the time he didn’t speak Danish and I didn’t speak French, so we struggled with our English. I told him I could take him to the Mermaid. What can I say? He was handsome.”

They married in 1960, but initially had a trans-European relationship, with Inge in Copenhagen and Yves working as a waiter in Stockholm. Later they immigrated to Montreal, but despite the dazzling restaurants and French culture Inge said, “One winter was enough.” In 1965 they came to Atlanta and Yves was hired as a waiter at the Chateau Fleur de Lis, perhaps the city’s first French restaurant.

That was long before Atlanta became The ATL, where the closest to fine dining was the Coach and Six and the Switzerland House, both on Peachtree Road. In 1967, the Hyatt Regency opened and Yves became manager of Club Atlantis on the ground floor. Five years later he and Inge opened the first Rue de Paris in a then-thriving Underground Atlanta.

In 1974 they opened the second Rue de Paris in Buckhead. Yves was the front man, or as Inge said, “He was the one who knew everybody and kissed the hands of all the ladies.”

In 1981, he hired a 19-year-old waiter named Michael McNeill, who recalls those days as “a very flashy time in [Atlanta] restaurants.

“[At Rue de Paris] you had the classic dishes,” he said, “where you carved a rack of lamb at the table, and frenched the vegetables (cut into thin slivers). The dinner would last two hours. They had a little bar, no TV in sight. Customers were dressed to the hilt and the waiters wore tuxedoes. It was like Atlanta’s Downton Abbey.”

But in 1983 Yves had the first of five hip replacement surgeries and could no longer take days on his feet in the restaurant. He and Inge sold the name Rue de Paris, and he launched a second career.

In 1987, he published “Connoisseur’s Guide to Bordeaux Wines,” based on 30 years worth of his tasting notes.

He won best sommelier in French wines in the United States in 1985 in 1986 and, representing the U.S., he placed third in the Paris International Sommelier Competition. In the mid-1990s he also won an Emmy for achievement and excellence for his Georgia public television program “Wining & Dining With Yves Durand,” that ran for six episodes over two years.

All the while he was training and mentoring many young sommeliers, with several becoming masters.

He was renowned for tastings held in the cellar of his Roswell home, eight per year and always in winter. The Durands also served pate, cheese, salami, French bread, turkey and, as Inge added, “always the quiche.”

Beginning in the late 1980s Yves began leading overseas tours of vineyards and chateaux, usually to Southern France, but also to Spain and Italy, with four tastings daily at different chateaux.

Real estate attorney and friend Richard Smith, who went on nearly every one, remembers a visit to Giverny, France, the hometown of impressionist painter Claude Monet. It was there that the local sommelier challenged Yves to a blind tasting, a demanding exercise where memory, logic, art, along with the palate, play intricate roles.

“To watch him taste is something, to see him work it around in his mouth,” Smith said. “He believed you could taste it once, or twice, but never three times. Same with the nose. Then he’d start to answer the individual questions, narrowing them down to smaller and smaller circles.

“In this particular time,” Smith said, “Yves got the producer right, the country, the region, the grapes—he got everything right, right down to the chateau. Except for one thing, he got the year wrong, and I think he only missed by one.”

He is survived by his wife Inge, his son Thomas (Robin), daughter Tanya (Darren), his two sisters in France, Nicole and Isabelle, plus five grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Photo taken in Zagreb, Croatia 1996

Gerard Basset RIP

It is with great sadness that the Irish Guild of Sommeliers have learned of the death of Gerard Basset. May He Rest In Peace.

Deepest sympathy to Gerard’s family from the President Oliver Murtagh and members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Arguably one of the greatest wine professionals of his generation, Gerard Basset is the Sommelier‘s Sommelier; he is a former World Champion Sommelier and the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and MBA Wine honours.

Parallel to this has been Gerard’s business success, first with his co-founding the hugely successful Hotel du Vin Group and latterly with his award winning, New Forest boutique wine hotel, Hotel TerraVina. As a business figure, Gerard has been responsible for inspiring and mentoring a generation of young sommeliers, and his innovative approach to training has led many to competition and business success in their own right.

In June 2011 Gerard was appointed OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire – acknowledging his extraordinary contribution to the British hospitality industry and the crowning glory of a remarkable career that has seen him become one of the most credible, approachable and respected figures of the wine world.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Andy O'Gorman, people smiling, people standing

Santiago, Chile 2010 

Back in Santiago the candidates then sat a full-day examination which comprised three written papers covering all aspects of beverages and cigars – ranging from the wines of the world to spirits, liqueurs, beers, non alcoholic drinks including teas and coffees. This was followed by a blind tasting of two wines, questions on the marriage of food and wine and a practical test. This was followed by the semi finals and the finals. For the final competition the candidates assembled before an audience of 1,000 guests and three competitors were selected to compete in the final competition for the title of “The World’s Best Sommelier”. Over more than three hours of competition the candidates were tested in the following categories: blind tasting of spirits and liqueurs, the correction of a wine list and the service of wine to guests in a restaurant, the service of champagne and an aperitif (cocktail), among other practical tests. Andrew O’ Gorman Irish Guild of Sommeliers was selected as one of the judges for both the semi finals and the finals.

After a very short wait as the judges deliberated, Gerard Basset representing the United Kingdom was declared the winner with Paolo Basso representing Switzerland, 2nd place, and David Biraud representing France in 3rd place.

2019 Borsa Vini Tues 5th Feb 2019

THE EVENT: The Italian Trade Agency will bring a delegation of 32 Italian wine producers from Italy and the islands to Dublin on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 from 12.00-18.00    Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.
The 32 producers presenting their wines all come from the regions of AbruzzoCampania, Calabria, Emilia Romagna, Fruili Venezia Giulia, Piedmonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicily and Toscana  all are seeking representation.
THE “WINE EXCHANGE”: Borsa Vini means “wine exchange”, if you are looking for quality wines that are innovative and commercial, then this event  offers the best opportunity for importers to update and expand their portfolio of Italian wines.
MASTERCLASS: John Wilson, Irish Times wine writer will lead  Masterclass to discover the wines from Italy north, south and central as well as the islands. Places are limited and will  be assigned on first come, first served basis.
11.00-12.00 Wine Masterclass


RSVP to  (Dublin)  Jean Smullen  Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com Telephone (086) 816 8468

Dalcassian Wines & Spirits Portfolio Tasting

Come join us this February for a portfolio tasting day in Dublin’s Morrison Hotel and The River Lee Cork.The Portfolio day will give you a chance to come and taste the extensive range of top wines we have from all across the world, an opportunity to speak to the wineries present on the day and enjoy a series of masterclasses demonstrating the range of top spirits we have in our range

Not only this but we will also have a unique opportunity for all the attendees to taste a single cask of Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey from The Shed Distillery as it matures & before it is released end of 2020. The Shed Distillery has distilled the first Irish Whiskey in Connacht in over 101 years and it wont disappoint

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Saint Chinian Wine Fair Mon 4th Feb 2019


Date:               Monday 4th February, 2019
Time:               12:00 – 18:00
Venue:             Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2.

One of the Languedoc’s historic appellations, Saint-Chinian is located close to the town of Béziers and the source of many very good quality red, white and rosé wines.

A group of 15 producers will be travelling to Dublin to seek representation on this market.

A walk-around tasting for journalists and wine trade members, featuring 15 producers from the Saint-Chinian appellation and a free-pour table with a selection of the latest Saint-Chinian “vins virtuoses” ambassador wines, chosen each year by blind tasting.

The 15 estates attending this event are:

Clos Bagatelle; Domaine Canet Valette; Mas de Cynanque; Domaine de Cambis; Château la Dournie; Château Fonsalade; Domaine Boissezon-Guiraud; Domaine des Jougla; Domaine Lanye Barrac; Domaine la Lauzeta; Domaine la Madura; Château Milhau-Lacugue; Domaine de Pech Ménel; Château du Prieuré des Mourgues; Château Viranel

To attend, Contact:  Jean Smullen Tel: (086) 816 8468  E: jean@jeansmullen.com

SommelierS International pour Wine Paris 2019 (SommelierS International Wine to Paris in 2019) Inbox x

Wine Paris in 2019

In 20 days Wine Paris opens its doors and offer a rich and diverse content! Image 5
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30 masterclasses led by French and international experts to get to the heart of the southern and northern identities. Places are limited, book now!
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The leading international wine business event in Paris

Wine Australia Masterclass Wed 30th Jan 2019 Booking Details

With more than 100 unique grape varieties grown across 65 distinct wine regions, find out what makes Australian wine unique at the Australian Trade Tasting.
– More than 250 wines

– Women in Wine focus table featuring iconic producers and emerging stars

– Producers in market and seeking distribution

Participating wineries at the 2019 Australia Trade tasting  include:

Balnaves, Barossa Valley Wine Company, Brookland Valley, Croser, Chambers Rosewood, Charles Melton, Clonakilla, Cullen, Dalrymple, d’Arenberg, De Bortoli Wines,  First Creek Wines, Giant Steps, Grant Burge, Grosset, Hardys, Houghton, House of Arras,  Jansz,  John Duval, Kirrihill Wines,  Knappstein,  Leasingham, Levantine Hill, Milton Park, Mitolo,  McGuigan, McWilliam’s Wines, Mount Horrocks, Mount Langi Ghiran, Mount Pleasant, Patiritti, Petaluma, Plantagenet,  Peter Lehmann, Reynella,  S.C. Pannell,  Shaw + Smith, Silkman, Sir Ian Botham Wines, St Hallett, Stonier, The Other Wine Co, Thomas Hardy, Thorn-Clarke,  Three Lions, Tolpuddle Vineyard, Vasse Felix, Wakefield Wines, Willunga 100, Yalumba, Xanadu, Yering Station.

McLaren Vale Masterclass 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Places are limited and must be prebooked. They are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Venue: The Round Room,  Mansion House.  To book contact Jean Smullen
McLaren Vale’s old vines and 180 years of winemaking experiencehas revealed a new generation of winemakers that are pushing boundaries and starting new traditions. Find out how winemakers are experimenting with alternative varieties and new styles to create something extraordinary. Explore the diversity of McLaren Vale and the innovative spirit of the region’s winemakers in this master class, led by The Wine Detective and McLaren Vale Ambassador, Sarah Ahmed

CONTACT: Jean Smullen Tel: (086) 816 8468  E:  jean@jeansmullen.com

Didier Fiat R.I.P.

Didier Fiat R.I.P.

by Jean Smullen

Published 04/01/2019

Sad news of the death  of one of Ireland’s top Sommeliers Didier Fiat, on December 28th, 2018.

Didier was the Head Sommelier at the Kildare Hotel & Country Club for many years and was one of the emerging stars of the developing wine industry in Ireland from the 1980’s onward.   Many of the countries top Sommeliers began their career under the tutelage of Didier, including Alain Brais and Simon Keegan.

Didier represented Ireland at the ASI World Sommelier competition in Brazil in 1992 where he achieved 3rd place.  It was an enormous achievement for him and the Irish Guild of Sommelier and was one of the pivotal moments in the growth of the modern wine trade in Ireland.

Based in Kildare more recently Didier ran a small successful importing company supplying many of Ireland’s top restaurants and off licences.  Our sincere condolences to his wife and children.

Qu’il repose en paix

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam


 Didier_Fiat_With_Glass_Small Didier Fiat 

  • 1992 Bronze Medallist(3rd Place) in the World ‘Best Sommelier’ Competition  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil representing the Irish Guild of Sommeliers
  • 1992 won the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier in Ireland competition
  • Won the Sopexa Ireland ‘Best Sommelier’ in French Wines. 
  • Was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma.
  • He was also the Head Sommelier & Wine Buyer at the 5 Star ‘K Club’ for 14 years; has written wine articles for various publications such as Cara Magazine and Wine Ireland and even found time to give a few wine tasting presentations on the TV3 Show ‘Good Morning Ireland’.

In 2005 Didier turned his full attention to developing Classique & Gourmet Wines Ltd.

Oliver Murtagh, Irish Guild of Sommelier Chairman, Andrew O’ Gorman & David Dennison attended the competitions in Rio de Janeiro 

Wine Diary January 2019 Events Preview




Wine Diary Highlights for January 2019

January Diary Highlights
Details of all these events are in the wine diary.The 2019 trade tasting season will begin with a number of generic wine fairs: on Monday 14th January, 2019 the New Zealand Wine  Fair- Flavours of New Zealand will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Golden Lane, Dublin 8.  Two days later at the same venue on Wednesday 16th January, 2019 The French Wines Discoveries Fair will see 35 French producers, all of whom are seeking representation on this market, heading for Dublin to do business.  On Monday 30th January, 2019  the Australia Trade Tasting a showcase of premium Australian wines will take place in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dawson Street.

On Monday 4th February, the Saint Chinian AOP Wine Event,  a group of producers from the region will hold an event in the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place.  All are seeking representation. Tuesday 5th February, 2019, Borsa Vini the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) showcase,  will bring a delegation of 35 Italian wine producers from Southern Italy and the islands to Dublin. The 35 producers presenting their wines all come from the regions of Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily, Abruzzo, Molise and Sardegna and all are seeking representation. The event will take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Monday 14th Jan 2018 Flavours of New Zealand
Wed 16th January, 2019 French Wine Discoveries Fair
Australia Trade Tasting 2019
Copyright © 2002-2019 Jean Smullen

mailing address is:



 Liam Aherne, Palace Bar, Dublin being presented with a portrait of himself

 Liam Aherne, Palace Bar, Dublin being presented with a portrait of himself which was commissioned by the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. 
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 Oliver J. Murtagh President of Irish Guild of Sommeliers making the presentation to Liam. Also included in the photo are Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Willie Aherne, Palace Bar.

Flavours of New Zealand 14.01.2019

New Zealand Winegrowers will host its 22nd tasting of New Zealand wines in Ireland on Monday 14th January 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.  Time: 2.00-6.00 p.m.
Dublin Trade masterclass (13:00)
Exploring New Zealand’s Regional Heroes
Join John Wilson on a journey around New Zealand wine regions to showcase New Zealand’s classic regional and varietal expressions.  Places at the Masterclass are limited and must be pre-booked.  Please contact Jean Smullen to book.
Themed Tables
The Sommelier Sauvignon Selection
Sommeliers who have been to New Zealand onSommit, the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier scholarship have nominated their favourite Sauvignon Blanc discoveries on the trip.  This is a selection of those Sauvignons which stood out to them and would work well on a restaurant wine list.
Chardonnay is grown throughout New Zealand and strongly reflects our terroir and the huge regional diversity.   A wide-range of Chardonnay styles are produced in New Zealand, from fruit-driven and unoaked, to luscious examples with complexity, elegance, and a touch of oak.  This tasting is a small snapshot of what the country can offer for this most versatile of grape varieties.

Participating wineries for the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers annual tasting include:  Askerne Winery, Awatere River, Babich,  Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Lawsons Dry Hills, Mt Beautiful Wines – Teece Family Vineyards, Nautilus, Oyster Bay,  Pegasus Bay, Sacred Hill, Saint Clair Family Estate, Seifried Estate,   te Pa Family Vineyards, Villa Maria, Waimea, Wither Hills, Yealands Family Wines

R.S.V.P. TO  Jean Smullen jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468

The Robin has landed at the Palace

Willie Aherne’s Whiskey Palace at the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin was chosen as the first on-trade establishment to release a 17 year-old single cask Irish whiskey.

Redbreast 17 Year Old Single Malt was exclusively bottled for Willie Aherne’s Whiskey Palace. A historic day here in The Palace, first Dublin pub, to have a redbreast single cask Irish whiskey. Exclusively bottled, yield of 540 bottles, 59.7%, 17year old from cask 18831. The whiskey was aged in  a first-fill ex-Sherry cask. The result is a limited edition collectible whiskey. The whiskey was introduced at a tasting in the Whiskey Palace on 21st November,2018 at which  bottles were released for general sale.

Willie Aherne of the Whiskey Palace said: “Our shelves are already full of the finest selection of Irish whiskey but the addition of this label, unique to us, has been a dream in the making for many years. Since we announced that we’d be releasing the Redbreast 17 Year Old there has been great anticipation among whiskey collectors and enthusiasts alike.

At the launch Willie also stated we chose to partner with Irish Distillers for this venture due to the consistent quality of their whiskey and multiple awards won by the distillery over the years We knew they would produce a special whiskey for us at the Whiskey Palace. This is the coming together of two great houses that have such a strong history and heritage.”

The Palace has attained international acclaim for its singular devotion to the promotion of Irish whiskey. In excess of 300 of the finest Irish whiskies can be savoured here attracting whiskey connoisseurs from far and wide. This excellent range of Irish whiskies has been developed by Willie Aherne. When Bill Aherne, acquired the palace in 1946 it was common for public houses to have their own bottled whiskey and The Palace Bar had the renowned “The Palace Brand Whiskey”. August 2011 The Palace Bar revived this tradition of having its own bottled whiskey again with the exclusive single cask “The Palace Bar 9 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey” which was launched on 18th August, 2011.

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.

November, 2018 Redbreast 17 Year Old Single Malt is a prestigious addition to their offering. It’s on sale in the bar for €25 a measure, with a bottle priced at €350.

Redbreast 17 Year Old Single Cask begins with a smooth mouthfeel, and then exposes mild nuttiness and dried fruit character. As the tannins evolve, slightly drier notes come to the fore, along with roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. The pot still spices linger, while the sweet fruit character fades, leaving the oak tannins continuing to the end.

Today, the Palace Bar is run by Willie Aherne ably assisted by his father Liam.

Oliver Murtagh, President and Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers attended the function last night on the invitation of Willie Aherne.

Willie Aherne Palace Bar & Whiskey Palace


Let’s Get Fizzical


Let's Get Fizzical by Pippa Guy

Flavours of New Zealand 2019 Consumer Show

Flavours of New Zealand 2019 Consumer Show

by Jean Smullen

Published 02/11/2018

New Zealand Winegrowers will host its 22nd tasting of New Zealand wines in Ireland in January 2019.  With a number of key New Zealand wineries showing at the Dublin show in 2019 there will be over 150 New Zealand wines available to taste. The consumer tickets are now on sale.   This is one of the most popular consumer wine events and is a great way to start the wine New Year!

Participating wineries for the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers annual tasting include:  Askerne Winery, Babich,  Brancott Estate, Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Lawsons Dry Hills, Mt Beautiful Wines – Teece Family Vineyards,  Oyster Bay,  Pegasus Bay, Sacred Hill, Saint Clair Family Estate, Seifried Estate,   te Pa Family Vineyards, Villa Maria, Yealands Family Wines

FLAVOURS OF NEW ZEALAND – DUBLIN 2019   6:30 pm – 8:30 pm 

Monday 14th January, 2019   Venue:  Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

Tickets are now on sale price €15.00. A great idea as a Christmas stocking filler for the wine enthusiast in your life.

To purchase tickets you can use the following methods:

To purchase a ticket to the 2019 New Zealand event CLICK HERE   (Credit Card accepted)

Or contact Jean Smullen in Dublin. Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com  Telephone (086) 816 8468

One Of Ireland’s Most Expensive Bottles Of Whiskey Goes Under The Hammer


One of only 117 bottles available worldwide, the Midleton 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition is the lot to watch at the forthcoming Irish Whiskey Auctions. Expected to sell in the region of €15,000, this exclusive premium Irish whiskey is just one of over 200 lots that will be listed on the online auction, which goes live on November 16 at www.IrishWhiskeyAuctions.ie.

Organised by Irish Whiskey Auctions, the company held its first auction last month, with 167 lots up for sale and buyers logging on and bidding from Ireland, UK, Germany, USA and Singapore. Among the lots sold were the complete collection of Irish Midleton Very Rare (34 bottles), selling for €36,100 to a publican from Waterford, and an early collection of ten bottles of small-batch Dingle whiskey, which was sold for €5,500 to a bidder in Singapore.

Superseding Expectations

“In January this year, the idea of building Irish Whiskey Auctions came to me during a conversation in L. Mulligan whiskey shop, Dublin. In less than one year we have superseded all our expectations, launching and hosting ‘Ireland’s first online whiskey auction’ with 167 lots and the average bottle selling for €550 – significantly surpassing our expectations of €200 for the average bottle in the first auction,” said Anthony Sheehy, founder of Irish Whiskey Auctions.

Spanning nine days, the next online auction launches on November 16th at 5pm and runs until 7pm Sunday 25th November. Users must register to participate in the auctions, but sellers can sell for free as there’s no listing fee for the November auction.

Investors And Investments

Irish Whiskey Auctions was founded by Irish couple Anthony and Catherine Sheehy, and investors include publicans and whiskey enthusiasts Alan Campbell, owner of The Bankers Bar on Trinity Street, Dublin, and Willie Aherne, owner of the Palace Bar on Dublin’s Fleet Street.

The company has already invested over €100,000 in creating the online platform, developing bespoke technology to enable a streamline and fair auctioneering process. One of the features includes an automatic page refresh every two seconds, which ensures buyers have the most up-to-date information in real-time.

“A Simple Decision”

Commenting on the company and his involvement with it, Campbell said, “I have been involved in the whiskey world for the last 20 years and whilst whiskey auctions are common across the UK and indeed Europe, it is hard to believe there wasn’t an online whiskey business portal in Ireland before now.

“There’s huge demand for Irish whiskey and it’s now widely-regarded as an investment buy from collectors across the world. When Anthony approached me about this opportunity, coupled with my knowledge of the market and the export growth figures, it was a simple decision to get involved. I am excited to be a part of this new venture and am looking forward to seeing some amazing and rare whiskies come to light.”

Treasure Hunting

With monthly auctions planned, the company is appealing for people from across Ireland to check their cupboards and presses for hidden treasures, whether it is a bottle, case or a complete collection, which could be sold in one of its upcoming auctions or to get in touch for a free valuation.

“A New Beginning”

Speaking about his passion for whiskey and involvement with the company, Aherne added, “Whiskey runs throughout our family history at The Palace Bar, so much so that in October 2013 I opened the Whiskey Palace above my family-owned tavern – The Palace Bar – and we even produce our own whiskey brand.

“I am really excited to be a part of Ireland’s first platform that will promote Irish whiskey worldwide as well as acting as a marketplace for buyers and sellers. Irish Whiskey Auctions hails a new beginning for collectors and fans of whiskey.”

Irish Whiskey Auctions offers collectors and first-time buyers and sellers a simple and professional platform to access the finest whiskey with global reach. The next auction launches on November 16, 2018. For more information, visit www.irishwhiskeyauctions.ie.

Media Release: New Zealand Sommelier scholarship

Ian Brosnan of Ely wine bar Ely Place

New Zealand Winegrowers 2019 Sommelier Scholarship recipients announced
New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased to announce the 18 successful sommeliers chosen to participate in
the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship.
The New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship is a global initiative with sommeliers from
Australia, Asia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and USA all
eligible to participate.
Limited to just 20 attendees, the two-day Sommit™ will be hosted in Hawke’s Bay on the 25 & 26 January
2019, by NZ Master of Wine Stephen Wong and UK Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn.
The event is a celebration of the lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine, with particular emphasis on
the facets that resonate with the sommelier community and is just one part of an intensive programme
of 11 days, including the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough and the Chardonnay
and Sparkling Wine symposium in Gisborne.
“It has been a privilege to welcome such a talented and passionate group of wine professionals to New
Zealand on the scholarship programme, exploring the depth and breadth of New Zealand’s many wine
regions,” said New Zealand Winegrowers’ Global Marketing Director Chris Yorke.
Sommit™ is a closed-door sommelier-only event, and a very different kind of tasting that is directed by
the attendees based on what they taste in the glass. “At the end of their experience we hope the scholars
will share personal wine discoveries and insights from their trip with their customers and the wider
sommelier community – something we simply cannot replicate in a classroom. We look forward to them
becoming true ambassadors for New Zealand wine,” said Mr Yorke.
The 18 successful sommeliers are:
• Arneis Wu, Joel Robuchon (Shanghai)
• Kerry Qin, Bellagio Hotel (Shanghai)
• Mathias Camilleri MS, CE LA VI (Singapore)
• Matthew Dunne, Solotel (Sydney)
• Emma Farrelly, State Buildings (Perth)
• Stephanie Jacob, Supernormal (Melbourne)
• David Murphy, One Penny Red (Sydney)
• Bridget Raffal, Sixpenny (Sydney)
• Véronique Rivest, SOIF Wine Bar (Quebec)
United Arab Emirates:
• Luca Gagliardi, Pierchic Restaurant (Dubai)
New Zealand:
• Candice Chow, Go To Collection (Queenstown)
UK & Europe:
• Melania Battiston, 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen
Ian Brosnan, Ely Restaurant Group (Ireland)
• Emma Ziemann, Thörnströms Kök (Sweden)
• Vanessa Da Silva, Ninety Acres (Peapack, New Jersey)
• Jillian Riley, NoMI (Chicago, Illinois)
• Winn Roberton, Bourbon Steak at Four Seasons (Washington D.C.)
• Emily Tolbert, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (Houston, Texas)
To date, the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship has hosted five Sommit™ events for 79
sommeliers from 15 countries. Previous Sommit™ events have seen a marked increase in listings of New
Zealand wines in top international restaurants.
Visit https://www.nzwine.com/en/events/new-zealand/new-zealand-wine-sommit/
for more information on the scholarship process and programme.
• New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries, with total exports reaching $1.7
billion in 2018.
For further information contact:
Rhonda Finlay
International Education Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
+64 226513319

livestream of ASI Competition Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 18 October

 livestream of ASI Competition Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania

We offer a livestream of the finals of ASI Competition Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania.You can also follow our social media channels to get more insights. FacebookInstagram and Twitter. The hastags we are using are #asiasiaoceania2018, #asibestsomm, #asisommsThe stream will start on Thursday, October 18th 2018 at 14.30 h (Japanese time / GMT +09:00) and you can see it here below

If the stream should not be visible here, please view it directly at ASI’s YouTube-Channel.

Chilean Open Pour Tasting Tuesday 23rd October

The Embassy of Chile in Ireland have great pleasure in inviting you to attend aChilean Open Pour Tasting in Dublin on Tuesday 23rd October, 2018
The wines will be available to taste from 11:30 – 17:30

The tasting will take place at theEmbassy of Chile, 44 Wellington Road, Dublin 4.
The format of the tasting is as follows:

  • Wines will be lined up by region
  • No wineries or agents will be present, allowing you to taste uninterrupted
  • Tasting Catalogue listing RSP and stockists will be provided

We hope you will be able to join us to see what Chile has to offer.  A light lunch will be available from 12:30 – 13:30
We look forward to seeing you then.

Cristian Streeter
Chilean Ambassador to Ireland

From a market perspective, Chile is still the number one country of origin for Irish wine drinkers, with Australia, France and Spain following after that.  Sales of new world wine continue to account for 62.9% of all wine sales on the Irish market in 2017

R.S.V.P. To
Jean Smullen – Tel: (086) 816 8468
email:   jean@jeansmullen.com

“Albarino/Alvarinho”Masterclass 12th of November – CANCELLED

“On Monday 12th of November from 10.30am to 12pm, Bren Smith, from Mackenway Distributor Limited, will be hosting a masterclass for the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. The theme will be “Albarino/Alvarinho” with wines coming from different countries, including Uruguay!
To book your seat, please contact you julie at down2wine@gmail.com
Please note this tasting will be starting at 10.30am sharp so please make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes in advance. Also, please bring your own tasting glasses. The venue for this tasting will be Ely CHQ.”

Masterclass organized  by Julie Dupouy

Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)

3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)

WSET Diploma

WSET Sake Level 3



As part of the annual Rhône Wine Week activities in Ireland, Côtes du Rhône wines would like to invite you to The Big Rhône Tasting, taking place on Tuesday 6 November 2018 at ely Bar & Brasserie in Dublin.

The tasting will be an opportunity to try over an exciting range of Rhône wines from a diverse range of interesting and innovative producers. The wines on offer will include Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages as well as wines from the Northern and Southern Crus of the Rhône Valley.

The tasting will be an opportunity to try over an exciting range of Rhône wines from a diverse range of interesting and innovative producers. The wines on offer will include Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages as well as wines from the Northern and Southern Cru of the Rhône Valley.

Masterclass for the Off Trade  11.00-12.00 p.m.

Title:   “Retailing Rhône and why to go off the beaten track
Our tasting takes a look at some of the Rhône‘s smaller less well known southern AOP’s including Rasteau, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.  We will explore Côtes du Rhône and the rise in popularity of lighter red wine styles and of course, we will look at white wine styles from the Rhône.  The tasting will highlight current consumer trends and why the southern Rhône is such an important category for Irish retailers.

Masterclass for the Restaurant Trade  03.30-04.30 p.m.

Title:   “Rhône wine regions take another look”
We will explore and the rise in popularity of lighter red wine Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Village  and will look at why they are such a good fit with a broad range of menu styles.  We take a look at current consumer trends and why it’s worth going off the beaten track with some of the Rhône’s less well known appellations.   We know that when dining out for a special occasion, such as an anniversary dinner, when the Irish consumer trades up it is usually with a French wine.  Rhône offers great value and punch way above their weight in terms of price/quality and margin.  Our restaurant masterclass will highlight some of the key wines currently available and will also look at white wine styles from the Rhône.

The masterclass will be presented by Jean Smullen WSET Dip
Places are limited, therefore if you would like to attend please RSVP by Thursday 1 November tojean@jeansmullen.com  to confirm your place at the Masterclass.
The Big Rhône Tasting

Date:                     Tuesday 6 November 2018
Time:                    10.30am to 5pm
Location:               ely Bar & Brasserie IFSC  Dublin 1
RSVP:                    info@rhonewineweekireland.com
by Tuesday 1 November 2018

Pembroke Wines

Pembroke Wines



22nd October, 2018

10.30AM – 5.30PM

Pembroke Wines is thrilled to invite you to taste the wines from our portfolio. A host of very special guests on the day will be pouring their own wines. These include Anthony Hamilton-Russell from South Africa, Comtesse Alexandra de Vezailles of the historic Chateau des Bachelards in Beaujolais, and Benjamin Laroche from Chablis.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be representing the legendary wines of Stephen and Prue Henschke from Australia, and the highly-respected Pinot Noirs from actor Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks estate in Central Otago, New Zealand.

We now represent Bodegas Pujanza, the much-heralded Rioja producer. Be sure to taste these!

This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare your wine lists for the upcoming festive season, and to try a few gems that we don’t usually have open.

Please RSVP to let us know you’re coming, and feel free to bring your colleagues along, or to share this invitation with anyone from the trade who might like to attend.


Bodega Garzon – Uruguayan Wine Master Class -CANCELLED

Bodega Garzon – Uruguayan Wine Master Class

Date: Monday 1st of October

Time: 10.30am (please be there 10/15 minutes earlier)

Where: Ely CHQ

Please  book with Julie Dupouy at down2wine@gmail.com.

There is a charge of €10 for non members attending

Thanks to Bren Smith Mackenway Wines for offering this masterclass to the Guild

Bodega Garzon – Urugyan Wine Master Class by Alexander Griffiths

Located in a fantastic setting 525ft (160m) above sea level in the Garzón hills some 5km from the Atlantic Ocean, Bodega Garzón is considered the most extraordinary wine estate in Uruguay.  With the advice of world renowned enologist Alberto Antonini, the hills of Bodega Garzon were planted with a complex network of vineyards that produce wines with a strong identity, expressing the inimitable character and features of the Garzón terroir.

During the tasting Alexander Griffiths from Bodega Garzon will take the Guild members through a range of seven wines from Bodega Garzon, explaining the planting practices, micro climates and wine making process which combine as making the fabulous Bodega Garzon wines and explain why the world is looking at Uruguayan wines with a whole new set of eyes.

Masterclass organized  by Julie Dupouy

Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)

3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)

WSET Diploma

WSET Sake Level 3

Dear Members,

Please make a special effort to attend & be in attendance 10/15 minutes before the masterclass commences.

Your full attention should be given to the presenter and given the respect he deserves.


Report on masterclass and tasting of Sherry wines from Fernando di Castilla


“On Monday 19th of September, Jan Pettersen, owner of Bodega Fernando de Castilla, in Jerez, hosted a masterclass for the members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.
This was a fantastic opportunity for our members to discover or rediscover the different styles of wines produced in the region of Jerez guided by the expertise of Jan. Some of the wines tasted included their classic Fino, aged under flor for 3-5  years. A light-bodied wine, made from free run juice only, with a lots of salty characters ; ideal pairing with fresh oysters according to Jan.
The next two wines were two Amontillado with two different ages, the Antique being over 20 years old. Amontillado wines start as Fino and after a few years, the wines are fortified to a higher level of alcohol (18% abv.) to continue their ageing in an oxidative environement which will gives them some richer, earthier, more savoury characters.
The last two dry wines of the day were the Oloroso from the House and the very rare Palo Cortado.
The tasting was concluded with a sampling of a very old Pedro Ximenes. A wine with an average of 500 gr/L of sugar but demonstrating an incredible balance. Intense, luxurious and incredibly complex, a real meditation wine.
Finally, Jan introduced one of his newest creation. A vermouth based on Sherry wines and over 20 botanicals. A beverage not available in Ireland yet but with great potential to seduce the Irish consumers!
Thank you very much to Jan Petterser and to Tindal wine company for organising such a special masterclass”
Report by Julie Dupouy
Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)
3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)
WSET Diploma
WSET Sake Level 3

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Countdown to the ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2019

The partners joined Antwerp to accompany this presentation of the competition to the press.
 The partners joined Antwerp to accompany this presentation of the competition to the press.

The diamond capital will become that of the sommellerie next March. An exceptional meeting of which Terre de Vins will be one of the partners.

Fifty years after the first ASI competition for Best Sommelier in the World won by Frenchman Armand Melkonian, Belgium has been preparing for more than two years to welcome once again (*) the most prestigious event. And this Tuesday, September 18, less than six months of the event, the case took a very concrete turn with a presentation of the stakes of the competition, the ambitions of the organizers and the commitment of the partners.

While the member countries of the International Sommellerie Association still have a few weeks to select and register their representative, the three shots were given in a building with futuristic architecture that dominates the commercial port of the Flemish city. In the presence of Andrès Rosberg , Michèle Chantôme and Philippe Faure-Brac , respectively president, secretary general and treasurer of the ASI, William Wouters, president of the Gilde of the sommeliers of Belgium, spoke with humor and emotion the long preparatory work.

For if the more than sixty expected participants train on a daily basis in order to better defend their chances, in the shadows a team of volunteers works in Belgium to offer them the best possible conditions during the competition. And here, everything is a matter of means! The contribution of the partners at the forefront of which include the wines of the Cotes du Rhone and Austrian Wine is therefore essential to accommodate the national delegations and the media that will follow the contest disputed in three stages.

A multi-faceted contest

In this context, Terre de Vins (represented in Antwerp by Rodolphe Wartel its director) and its readers will occupy a privileged place since our title was chosen as a press partner for France as were Decanter for the United Kingdom and Meininger for Germany. A media orientation that goes in the direction desired by President Andres Rosberg upon his election, a little over a year ago in Bordeaux.

The contest is also an exceptional promotional showcase. To exploit this facet, France wine has largely mobilized in the image of Gérard Bertrand, the Malartic vineyards, the Clarence Dillon estate and the Perrin Family who have joined a very international pool of support where appear actors of the world Portuguese, Italian and Spanish winemakers. Domains and houses that will accompany the competition with master classes, tastings and presentations during the lunches and dinners planned in Antwerp from March 10th to 15th.

Finally, the diamond world will also contribute with, for the winner, a cluster-shaped brooch set with white and green diamonds. A unique model specially made for the occasion by the Untold house.

(*) In Brussels in 1983, after two Italian successes, Jean-Luc Pouteau brought the title back to France.

Below: Rodolphe Wartel and William Wouters united by the same desire to promote the profession of sommelier through the 2019 world.

California Wines’ Sommelier Sessions!



Become part of the brand-new California Wines’ Sommelier Sessions!

We will run a series of Sommelier-led wine sessions. These will not only be a great opportunity to network with your peers, but also to train and develop your California wine knowledge and your Sommelier skills. An ideal opportunity for those preparing for their WSET qualifications, MW or Court of Master Sommelier exams. Anja Breit, former Head Sommelier of the two Michelin starred Ledbury Restaurant in London, will lead the Sommelier Sessions.

How Sommelier Sessions works:

We will organise several different wine club activities such as masterclasses, wine talks/discussions and blind tastings. You will have the opportunity to taste 12 – 20 Californian wines at each session. 

Our inaugural tasting is on Monday 17th September, at Pembroke Wines, Burlington House, Waterloo Lane, D4, from 3-5pm.

And we kick off with a blind tasting! Wines will be divided into flights, themed by region or variety, and tasted along with some themed questions to keep you focused! A great opportunity to sharpen up your blind tasting skills!

Californian wines are the perfect backdrop for this blind tasting series – such a geologically diverse region produces wines that show a great range of climates and terroirs. Most of the state’s wine regions are found between the cool Pacific Coast and the warm Central Valley.  Indeed, the Pacific Ocean and large bays, like San Francisco Bay serve as a tempering influence to the wine regions throughout the state by providing cool winds and fog that balance the heat and sunshine, leading to an incredible diverse range of wines.  Learn about these factors by tasting through the line-up blind and challenging yourself to identify the key characteristics of Californian’s different regions.

How to secure a place:

Sommelier Sessions are by invitation only, there will only be industry professionals present and we will focus together to learn and master Californian Wines. To register, please reply with your name, company and position to: jmcgovern@wineinstitute.org 

Justine McGovern

California Wine Institute

+353 87 617 6790

Irish Guild of Sommeliers announces candidate for ASI World Contest 2019


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Julie Dupouy – Young


The President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Oliver Murtagh has announced that Julie Dupouy – Young will be the Irish Guild of Sommeliers candidate at the ASI World Sommelier Contest which will be held in Antwerp, Belgium in 2019. The deputy candidate Tomasz Szczepanski was also named.

Julie Dupouy – Young works as a Sommelier at Chapter One Restaurant Dublin, Champagne Brand Ambassador Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd as well as running her own independent Consultancy, Down2Wine.

She is the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland 2018, a title she has held since 2009.

Originally from France, Julie Dupouy – Young has lived in Ireland for many years, and has previously worked as sommelier for the Michelin star Greenhouse Restaurant, Village at Lyons and two-Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud among other restaurants.

Tomasz Szczepanski is the Head Sommelier at Shanahan’s on the Green Restaurant Dublin. He achieved second place in the 2018 Irish Guild of Sommeliers Competition and was also placed fifth in the Polish National Sommelier Competition.

Originally from Poland Tomasz Szczepanski has worked at Las Tapas de Lola, Marcel’s and La Maison restaurants in Dublin. Prior to coming to Ireland he was a Wine Sales Representative at Centrum Wina (Wine Centre), Kraków, Poland. He was awarded the Junior Sommelier title in 2014 in Warsaw, Poland.

Giuseppe Peruzzi R.I.P.

From Jean Smullen’s website

With great sadness I learnt of the death of Giuzeppe Peruzzi who died on Monday  30th July, 2018.  Giuseppe was a long standing member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and a regular attendee at many of the tastings in Dublin.

No wine event was complete without Giuseppe there and his support for all the trade events for many many years was very much appeciated by us all.

Sincere condolences to his wife Egidia and his children Walter and Fabiola.  He will be sorely missed by everyone in the wine trade who knew him.

His funeral will take place on Friday morning, August 3rd at St. Attracta’s Oratory, Meadowbrook at 10.00 am, followed by cremation at the Victorian Chapel, Mount Jerome, Harold’s Cross at 12.30 pm.

Vi esprimiamo le nostre sentite condoglianze

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam


“I’m so, so sorry to hear of Giuseppe’s death RIP.

Giuseppe was such a gentleman, gracious and concerned and was so nice to me since the first day I joined the IGS. I’m so happy we met again in CHQ recently and had some funny banter just before our last tasting. I will always have very fond memories of Giuseppe.

Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam dílis

Possa la sua gentile anima riposare in pace” (Máirín Uí Murchú)



ASI 49th General Assembly

Association de la Sommellerie Internationale reinforces its
commitment to the growth and future of sommellerie worldwide at its
49th General Assembly 


Paris, France, July 26, 2018– As the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) prepares to celebrate its 50thanniversary, in 2019, the 49thGeneral Assembly, held recently in Tbilisi, Georgia, reiterated its goals of modernizing and reinforcing the sommelier trade and widening its international reach. The Association also prepared for a very full three-year agenda that includes the Best Sommelier of the World contest in Belgium and the 50thanniversary celebrations in Champagne, both in 2019, as well as continental competitions in Japan, Cyprus and Australia and an annual meeting in Ningxia, China.

More than 70 delegates from 47 member countries took part in the 49th ASI General Assembly. They gave strong support to President Andrés Rosberg and the Board of Directors and their vision for the development of ASI and the sommelier profession. Through various presentations in the Georgian capital, the Board and various committees explained their approach to bringing ASI further in line with the current industry context, and to support contemporary sommeliers as their contribution and influence keeps getting more and more significant.

The President and Board of Directors stressed the importance of ASI’s almost 50-year history, and reiterated its commitment to the values of the profession, such as hard work, excellence, humility, love for wine and constant learning. At the same time, Rosberg pointed out the importance of making sure ASI flourishes and reinforces what makes it unique, as the largest global sommelier association and the leader in international  sommelier contests and as an association invested like no other in the future of sommellerie.

New observer members
Peer F. Holm, president of the German Association, is succeeding Jean Pallanca of the Monégasque Association as head of the By-Laws Committee, a position Pallanca had held for more than 20 years. The two of them led the vote for new membership applicants. Two countries were voted in as new observer members; New Zealand and the Philippines. They were respectively represented in Tbilisi by Ms. Celia Hay and Ms. Charmaine Wang. In addition, Peer Holm had meetings with several other potential new members who are interested in applying next year.

Competitions and meetings
Reports of past and upcoming continental and world sommelier contests were also presented by representatives of the host associations. Michelle McCarthy (on behalf of Canadian president Mark DeWolf) reported on The Best Sommelier of the Americas contest, which took place in Montréal in May. Saiko Tamura-Soga (on behalf of Japanese president Shinya Tasaki) presented the program for The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest, taking place in Kyoto this coming fall. William Wouters, president of the Belgian Sommelier Association and Vice President for Europe, laid out the schedule for The Best Sommelier of the World contest, which will take place in Antwerp in March 2019. Georgios Kassianos, president of the Cypriot Sommelier Association, presented a preliminary program for The Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa contest in 2020. Sarah Andrew, co-president of the Australian Sommelier Association shared plans for The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest for 2021. As Australia was the only candidate and presented a solid proposal, ASI voted unanimously for this bi-continental contest, the first in ASI’s history to be held in Australia.

The 2019 general assembly was given special attention by Secretary General Michèle A. Chantôme, since it will coincide with the celebration of ASI’s 50th anniversary, scheduled to take place in France in June 2019. Seeing that June also marks the anniversary of the Union de la Sommellerie Française, UDSF president Philippe Faure-Brac offered to host the general assembly in Paris before the 50thanniversary celebrations, which will take place in Champagne, the birthplace of ASI.

The Ningxia wine region, in China, is ASI’s newest partner and has offered to host the Annual Meeting and general assembly in 2020, a proposal that was agreed upon through a unanimous vote by ASI members.

Two of ASI’s partners were present and gave brief speeches about their companies. Sommeliers International, a partner for more than 10 years, was represented by president Eric Allouche. Sébastien Lézier, owner of new partner Ligne W/Château Laguiole gave a presentation on his company, and also presented all Assembly participants with a sample of their product: a special corkscrew made from used wine barrels, engraved with Georgia 2018 and ASI’s new logo.
The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale is a non-profit making association founded in Reims on the June 3-4, 1969, and based in Paris, France. It brings together the national sommelier associations of sixty countries, and represents a global community of thousands of sommeliers around the world. It promotes sommellerie worldwide by increasing awareness, developing sommellerie where it doesn’t exist, and improving the level of sommeliers where it does, and educating consumers and professionals alike. It defends the ethics of the profession and advocates for the consumption of alcoholic beverages in moderation. It is notably responsible for major international sommelier competitions, including continental contests as well as the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest held every three years since 1969.

Please find links to video material below. These may be used freely with credit to: ASI/Grupo CactusCine
Should original files be needed, please contact Liora Levi.

Georgia general assembly 2018
Shalva Khetsuriani on Georgian wines
For information, contact :
Michèle Aström Chantôme
Director PR, Communication & Marketing Committee
+ 212 (0) 665 99 88 98

Liora Levi 
Head of Media & Communication
+47 412 74 207

New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship Applications Open

New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship Applications Open
by Jean Smullen
Published 13/07/2018

New Zealand Winegrowers has today opened applications for the 2019 Sommit™ Scholarship for Sommeliers from the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. First launched in 2015 with Sommeliers Australia, the scholarship is now a global initiative with the European sommeliers joining scholars from Australia, Asia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA in 2018.

The New Zealand Wine Sommelier Scholarship provides passionate wine ambassadors the opportunity to take part in a memorable wine experience, discovering the regions, varieties, landscapes and personalities that make New Zealand wine unique. Limited to just 20 sommelier attendees, the 2019 Sommit™ will be held in Hawke’s Bay on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of January.
Hosted by Master of Wine Stephen Wong, the events are a celebration of the lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine, with particular emphasis on the facets that resonate with the sommelier community. Joining Stephen this year as a host, will be a former alumni of the Sommit™, Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn.
“The Sommit™ programme is a unique experience for sommeliers from around the world to explore the world of New Zealand wine first hand, but also to meet and network with fellow sommeliers and discover and share their highlights,” says Chris Stroud, New Zealand Winegrowers Marketing Manager – Europe.  “Our objective is that these sommeliers will become true ambassadors for New Zealand wine, sharing personal wine discoveries and insights from their trips with restaurant guests and the wider sommelier community.”
VERY IMPORTANT  –   Those applying must be Bone Fide working Sommeliers in Ireland who have buying power and are actually currently working for a hotel, restaurant or other relevant establishment.



“Rioja” and the “Spanish Embassy” will be holding a masterclass and tasting about Rioja, focusing on the last regulations approved by the control board and different wine styles.

Presented by

Pedro Jimenez  “Certified Rioja Wine Educator”

The tasting and masterclass are only open to Trade and Press.

If you would like to register, please use the link below


It will take place on the 13th June from 12pm to 13:30pm

VENUE: “Instituto Cervantes” Lincoln House, 6-16 Lincoln Pl, Dublin 2, D02 VH29

ASI APAS Contest of the Best Sommeliers of the Americas, Canada 2018


Press release

Closing an historic week for sommeliers of the Americas at the ASI & APAS Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas, Canada 2018

Pier-Alexis Soulière now focuses on
The Best Sommelier of the World contest 2019

Montreal, May 25 – The new best sommelier of the Americas, Mr. Pier-Alexis Soulière, said he is now focusing on The Best Sommelier of the World contest, Belgium 2019, after closing an intense week of competition with 19 other sommeliers from 10 countries representing the continent.

As the winner of  the ASI & APAS Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas, Canada 2018, Soulière qualified directly to the sommelier world’s most important competition. Soulière became the best sommelier of the Americas last Thursday after winning a dramatic final over Argentina’s Martin Bruno, who came in second, and Canada’s Carl Villeneuve Lepage, who took third place.

The results confirmed that Ms Valeria Gamper, from Argentina, finished number four, and became the best female sommelier of the continent. Regardless the tradition of female competitors winning the previous editions, this 2018 edition of the competition had only two women taking part. Misato Inaoka, representing Chile came in on the tenth position.

Behind Valeria Gamper, the other semi-finalists ranked in this order: Luis Antonio Morones Lopez, from Mexico, was fifth, Diego Arrebola, from Brazil, sixth, Joseph Ruiz Acosta, from Peru, seventh, and Steve Ayon Espitia, from Mexico eight.

At the gala dinner proceeding the announcement of the winner, Andres Rosberg president of ASI, talked about the future of sommellerie and the new generation of strong competitors with great skills and talent. At the end of his speech he presented the final ranking of the candidates:
4. Valeria Gamper, Argentina
5. Luis Antonio Morones Lopez, Mexico
6. Diego Arrebola, Brazil
7. Joseph Ruiz Acosta, Peru
8. Steva Ayon Espitia, Mexico
9. Federico de Moura, Uruguay
10. Misato Inaoka, Chile
11. Andres Villegas Green, Colombia
12. Paulo Limarque, Brazil
13. Pablo Rodriguez, Uruguay
14. Gonzalo Troncoso, Chile

The remaining participants were: Mr. Juan David Quintero from Colombia, Mr. Dario Rosario Mejía and Mr. Federico Díaz Macias from The Dominican Republic, Mr. Simon Zalimben and Mr. Christian Mezger from Paraguay and Mr. Diego Vásquez Luque from Peru.

After 3 days of competition most of the candidates and delegates accepted the invitation to attend a three-day trip to Nova Scotia with visits at various wineries, courtesy of CAPS partners. ASI is also grateful for all the help and support provided by its own partners. (see the list of partners below)

Upcoming events:
15thto 18thof October 2018 The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania is taking place in Kyoto. Japan has one of the world’s largest sommelier associations with more than 13.000 members.
10thto 15thof March 2019 The Best Sommelier of the World is due in Antwerp, Belgium. Preparations for the contest have already been on going for a year.
For any inquiry on media, please contact Liora Levi
For all other inquiries please contact Michèle Chantôme Aström

Official images 

Social Networks
Facebook: @AssociationSommellerieInternationale
Instagram: @Sommellerie_ASI
Twitter: @Sommellerie_ASI


Official program 



“Viu Manent – Masters of Colchagua”, Tasting, taking place this Thursday 24th May at 14.00hrs in Cavern Wine Bar on Baggot Street. Please see below the details of the tasting.





14.00hrs – 15.30hrs

About Viu Manent

Viu Manent is a Chilean winery owned by the Viu family. Viu Manent is the current Wines of Chile Winery of the Year, while in 2017 Decanter called them Chile’s Masters of Malbec with over 50 different clones. Viu Manent was founded in 1935 when the Catalonian immigrant Miguel Viu-García and his two sons Agustín and Miguel Viu-Manent founded Bodegas Viu in Santiago de Chile. They bottled and sold wine on the local market under the “Vinos Viu” brand.

In 1966 Miguel Viu Manent fulfilled his long-time dream of making his own wines when he acquired the Hacienda San Carlos de Cunaco in Colchagua. This traditional estate included 150 hectares of vineyards planted to noble, pre-phylloxera vines, as well as a winery and manor house. It was no coincidence that he chose this particular property; it had long supplied the much of the wine he sold as Vinos Viu.


The Viu Manent Philosophy

What exactly is one’s own? … ”That which identifies us and by which we can recognize ourselves.”

“ We love our property, our family and our traditions. We love our work, which we see as the motor that can propel us toward fulfilling our dreams. We believe in transcendence, in putting our heart into things and that the only way to do something is to do it to the best of our abilities. We have a strong bond with wine; we love its living essence and its sensitivity. We believe that Chile is a privileged territory for the production of wines and that Colchagua is a magical valley where the soil, climate and grapes seem to be blessed.”

–        We believe in attention to detail and in respecting the environment.

–        We believe that history and tradition provide us with knowledge and experience, while innovation and modernity help us to advance toward our goal.

–        We believe in teamwork and in the talented, professional and committed people who work with us.

–        We are committed to transmitting this philosophy into our daily mission.


We look forward to welcoming you to this great “Viu Manent – Masters of Colchagua”,  tasting and sharing some of Chile’s great wines with you.

Please RSVP to info@Mackenway.com

Council Meeting

The next council meeting will be held at the Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin on 15th May at 11am

ASI News, New Logo & Julie

07.05.2018 BY ASI
Best sommelier of Ireland in 2018 is Julie Dupouy Young

Julie has been in the wine business since 2003. She started working in France and shortly after moved to Ireland with a short stop in Belgium, Luxembourg and Scotland too.

Her education started with languages and French literature studies, but she decided to go to catering as she wanted to become a sommelier. Julie passed her “mention complementaire sommellerie” in 2003. Since then she has studied with the WSET and achieved Diploma in 2015 as well as WSET Level in Sake in 2017.

She has held the title of best sommelier of Ireland since 2009. Before competing in Ireland, she entered the Best Sommelier in France in 2008 and was one of the 12 semi-finalists.

Julie also competed at the World Championship in Tokyo and Mendoza and the European championship in San Remo and Vienna.

Her best international performance was at the World Sommelier Contest in Mendoza 2016, where she placed 3rd.

Her dream is to show to the world that a lady can be No1 in the world of sommellerie.

Her qualities as a sommelier are widely recognised and as a judge in some of the most prestigious wine events in the world, the Decanter Awards in London among others.

Today she is working as a sommelier in a Michelin-star restaurant called Chapter One in Dublin 1.

As Best Sommelier of Ireland in 2018, we asked her few questions, and here is her response:
Q1: You won the sommelier contest in Ireland in 2018. Did you expect it and how do you feel about it?

Julie: I am delighted to have won the title of Best Sommelier of Ireland again. You can’t ever expect to win a competition. You can be confident that you have done the work and that you have the potential to earn it, but you still need to be able to deliver your best on the day. Things went very well this time, and I am delighted with the result.

Q2: How do you think the title of Best Sommelier of Ireland will change your life?

Julie: I am incredibly proud to have won Best Sommelier, and hopefully this will give me the opportunity to work towards my ultimate goal and dream which would be the first woman to win the World title. This title would then allow me the platform to inspire other sommeliers, particularly women.

Q3: What is the status of sommeliers in Ireland? What can be improved?

Julie: Despite the fact that we do see a considerable amount of improvement regarding the wine culture in Ireland, there are not many sommeliers in the country. First of all, there is no official qualification delivered in the country to become a sommelier. I think it would be fantastic if we could see a sommelier certificate offered by the catering schools in Ireland. The WSET is very present, but the focus is on knowledge and not the service aspect of the job. A few people in the country now travel around Europe to attend the Court of Master Sommelier classes which shows that there is a growing interest and that people are willing to invest in their wine qualification, often taking time off on their holidays, but I believe that it should be available in the country.

Q4: You have a great knowledge about food and wine. What do you think you can do to promote your national beverages and gastronomy?

I absolutely love the food offering in Ireland lately. The standards of quality, especially when it comes to meat, dairy products, locally grown vegetables and sea food is outstanding and I do my best to spread the good word as much as I can on social media. I also have been invited to talk at “Food on the Edge” this coming October which is a great honour as ethical eating and food education is a topic which is very dear to me. Regarding beverages the offering of craft beers, gin and whisky has boomed in the last few years and I am always proud to bring some examples with me to different countries I go to introduce them to my colleagues and peers. In Chapter One Restaurant we also have by the glass the only Irish wine produced by Lusca and a strawberry wine produced by the Wicklow Way Wines, it gives an opportunity to the tourists visiting the restaurant to sample some local beverages and to the locals to discover some products they might not be familiar with.

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A S I – N E W S
May 2018
ASI presents new logo and monthly newsletter
by Andrés Rosberg

Welcome to our first issue

Please allow me to introduce our inaugural newsletter, which will be sent to you in the beginning of each month with the news of ASI, its national member associations, and, of course, its partners. We encourage you to resend it to the members of your association, and to share your news with us so we can tell the world about it!

ASI is now gearing up for its first continental competition of the year: the ASI & APAS Best Sommelier of the Americas contest, which will be held at the end of May in the fantastic city of Montreal, Canada, and will gather together the best two somms from eleven Pan American countries. This major event is a tremendous opportunity to increase the exposure of our global association and to improve the overall level of sommellerie throughout the Americas, and we will report about it in next month’s issue of #ASInews.

Also, after ten months of hard work of the new Board and Committees of ASI, we’re starting to reap what we have sown. There is more and more good news coming our way. Today we are honoured to unveil ASI’s new logo to the world, approved by the vast majority of our members, and praised by our partners! There is something intrinsically universal in the shape of a circle that perfectly symbolizes the very nature of ASI. From a practical standpoint, the circle is also an incredibly versatile form that ideally suits our needs!

Building on a rich history, ASI is evolving to meet the needs of both current and future generations. The new logo and newsletter are just two examples of how ASI envisions its future by creating opportunities for increased member and industry engagement, building international commitment to the profession, and expanding outreach to the sommellerie community. In other words, making our association stronger and more global than ever.

Enjoy reading and we look forward to having you with us on the journey!

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Meet Julie Dupouy

Tholins wine & food

Meet Julie Dupouy


On some of my trips as active in the Swedish sommelier association, I have had the privilege of meeting this talented and talented summer traveler who, with his goal awareness and sharpness, is a good example for many both in the competition scene and in everyday work. Since there is still a lot of male dominance in our profession, it is always nice to highlight talented and intelligent women like Julie.

Julie is born in the city of Agen, located in southwestern France, now living in Dublin since 2007. The reason she has chosen to settle there has to do with the Irish hospitality and the warmth she has met. Her sommelier education took her in the city of Nerac. After completing her studies, she moved to Ireland to work and study at WSET in London. Now she has acquired 15 years of experience in sommelier work around Europe.

Her contestants, she joined France in 2002 when she still went to school. The first success she had in 2008 in the French Championships where she went to the semifinal. After that, it became the World Cup in Tokyo 2013 where I met her for the first time. Today she is Irish Masters in Summer Celebration. In the major international competitions she has participated in EM 2013, 2017 and the 2013 and 2016 World Championships in Mendoza, she finished third.

On the question why she competes in summer celery she answers-I love challenging myself, when you compete, you must be able to perform great international knowledge in the competition scene as well. In order to do this you need to know yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses. You need to be prepared to work on them. International competitions can help you strengthen your profile while contributing to increasing your professional network. Unfortunately, there are still more men than women in international competitions.

Julie does not like being seen differently just because she is a woman and does not like questions like “Do you think women are better testers than men? “For she does not think that’s the case. Of course, men and women are different but she does not like being judged by gender. If you are better or worse, it depends on how much you have trained in relation to your fellow competitors, male as well as female. Generally, she thinks that women tend to be a little less self-confident than men and it seems that they have less self-confidence in industries traditionally dominated by men, which can be difficult in times of high performance requirements. So if she with her contestants can inspire and convince other female summerers that there is nothing to be afraid of and that everything is possible with hard work,

I also asked what the competition gave her? Then she answers – increased self-confidence and security. It has helped her to constantly improve herself and that there is still a lot of work left to do. It has also taught her to remain humble. With this, meetings have been encountered with amazing people, including those who have been her role models and inspirators as young sommelier. Many of her dreams have been realized thanks to the competition.

On my question about the three biggest passions in life, Julie – Vin answers.

Her hobbies are crossfit, golf and and of course cooking and hanging out with good friends along with something good to drink.

Do you want to visit Dublin and the restaurant that Julie is working on, go to Chapter 0ne with a star in Guide Michelin.

Julie Dupouy
3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)
Best Sommelier in Ireland since 2009 (IGS)
WSET Diploma
m : 087 9130292
Twitter : @JulieDupouy1


White Hag Brewery Visit

A group from the Irish Guild of Sommeliers visited  the White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co. Sligo on 12th April. Thanks to Amy O’ Callaghan and Do the Brewer for giving the group a most informative tour of the brewery and an excellent tasting of a diverse range of craft beers.            https://thewhitehag.com/

A presentation was made to Amy O’ Callaghan by Oliver J. Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers on behalf of the visiting group.

Oliver thanked Amy O’ Callaghan most sincerely for organizing an excellent programme for the visit of  the group from the Irish Guild of Sommeliers to the White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co. Sligo.
“The brewer Do was most informative in explaining the production process and the different beers tasted. Overall it was very interesting to taste such a diverse range of craft beers to suit all palates.
Your hospitality and generous gift of beers for all was much appreciated.
I wish you and all connected with the brewery every success for the future”.
The White Hag Irish Brewing Company

The White Hag Irish Brewing Company is an award winning craft brewery from Sligo, Ireland. A young Irish team and a master brewer from Ohio, US,  exploded on the Irish brewing scene in 2014 with a huge range of unique beers. Over the past 4 years they have grown to have their beer available in good pubs, beer shops and hospitality across Ireland, the UK, Northern Ireland, France, Russia, Germany and Italy.

The White Hag has been voted Best New Irish Brewery 2015, Beoir Best Irish Brewery 2017 and best Irish beer 2017 by Global ratings platform RateBeer.com. Since commencing brewing in June ’14, they have had beers in the top 3 individual Irish beers of the year for 2015, 16 & 17.

So, whats with the name?

The White Hag is a mythical character and entity, who is essentially Mother Nature. The area of the north west and indeed Ireland is steeped in mythology and lore, with most place names and landscape features linked to characters and happenings from ancient times. The mythology of our area represents Ireland and Irishness like no other aspect of our culture, and we see it as a credible way to present our brand of brewing and beers. The main reason for our exact location of the brewery in Sligo is the water from Lough Talt, which is just the right PH balance for making great  beers. The lake itself is fed by streams from the 600 million year old Ox mountains.

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HAGSTRAVAGANZA at The White Hag Brewery

Since we started the brewery in 2014, we have met some brilliant characters and brewery crews across world. It struck us that when two or more breweries get together the atmosphere turns into a collaborative, collective aspiration to work together in pursuit of endless possibilities.

We also noticed that the best events are run by breweries hosting other breweries, and we’ve wanted to create that type of event since we’ve started out. Our Second Birthday allowed us realise we could do it properly when 260 beer fans turned up at two weeks notice, to drink with us and our favourite breweries. Last year 23 of the best breweries we’ve met on our travels brought beers never poured in Ireland, and joined over 1000 punters in descending on Ballymote to create a magical festival, HAGSTRAVAGANZA. So we’re doing it again.

We are focusing on bringing sixteen breweries from ten countries leading the way in craft beer, pouring three beers each. We will also have a select crew of the best Irish Breweries pouring a unique beer each. Aside from breweries who we’ve done collaborations with, ALL of the breweries are new to HAGSTRAVAGANZA, and ALL of the beers have never been poured here before.

So, lets get you some tickets… https://www.eventbrite.ie

When: 28th July 2018, 2pm – 10pm

Where: The White Hag Brewery, Ballymote, Co Sligo.

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Wines of Argentina will be holding their 6th Argentine Wine Fair on Wednesday 11th April, 2018. 


The Embassy of the Argentine Republic  in Dublin, in association with Wines of Argentina will be holding their 6th Argentine Wine Fair on Wednesday 11th April, 2018.This year’s theme is “Malbec you know me and you don’t” – at the Dublin tasting a themed table will highlight the regionality and individual vineyard styles of Malbec available here.

The 2018 Argentine Trade Tasting will take place  in the Wellesley and Fitzgerald Rooms at the Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2 from 12:00 – 18:00.  Trade & Press only.

The 2018 Argentine Fair  is being jointly organised by Wines of Argentina and the Embassy of Argentina in Dublin. Contact:  Diego Sadofschi or  Andrés Guiñazú Embassy of Argentina  E: comercial_eirla@mrecic.gov.ar

RSVP   Jean Smullen
Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468

Archway Lager

Archway Lager, an expert blend of 3 hops and 4 malts used to create a lager that’s exceptional in both substance and flavour.


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Guild Officers 2018/2019

Guild Officers 2018/2019
Oliver Murtagh President, Harriet Connolly Treasurer, Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, Seamus Murray Vice President Irish Guild of Sommeliers

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Best Sommelier of Ireland 2018 Julie Dupouy

Congratulations to Julie Dupouy on Winning the Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition 2018 which took place today at the School of Culinary Arts & Food Technology, DIT Cathal Brugha Street Dublin


Julie Dupouy –Young has been crowned ‘Best Sommelier in Ireland’ by the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

She is pictured with her trophy which was presented by Oliver Murtagh, President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. (Picture by James Robinson).
The French-born sommelier, who had just moved from the Greenhouse Restaurant to Chapter One, emerged winner in a day-long competition held at DIT Cathal Brugha Street.
She scored highest marks following a series of tests involving theory and practical work, in which sommeliers from some of Ireland’s leading hotels and restaurants also participated.
Tomasz Szczepanski , head sommelier at Shanahan’s Restaurant in Dublin was runner-up and Andrezej Dasiak sommelier at Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone was placed third.
The prizes were presented by Oliver Murtagh, president of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers, who thanked wine sponsors Wines Direct, the management of DIT Cathal Brugha Street and the judges for their involvement in the competition. Photos by Jimmie Robinson


Mary O’ Callaghan, Council member and immediate Past President IGS, former Best Sommelier and International competitor

Attila Pecsi, Sommelier, General Manager, Fishbone Restaurant, Dublin

Anke Hartmann, Sommelier, Operations Manager, The Press Up Group of Hotels and Restaurants, Dublin

Judith Boyle, Lecturer Food and Wine, School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology

Frank Corr, Journalist, Editor, Author and founder of HOSPITALITYENEWS.ie, Hon. Member IGS

Balazs Kiss, Sommelier, Hospitality Training Manager, Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

Ian Brosnan, Sommelier, Wine Director, Ely Restaurants, Dublin

Competition subcommittee

Oliver J. Murtagh, President IGS, Tony Conlon immediate past Vice President IGS, Mike O’ Connor, Assistant Head of School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, DIT, Seamus Murray, council member IGS, John Rigby, Past President IGS and council member IGS, Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary IGS

Wines sponsored by Wines Direct     www.winesdirect.ie

Photography by Jimmie Robinson




Report by Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers

A day of intense competition took place at the Blue Room Restaurant, School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin on Wednesday 7th March competitors from prestigious establishments battled it out for the title of Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland title 2018.

A wide ranging questionnaire and written analysis of a red wine and a white wine were completed by all the candidates and from that emerged three finalists after a very close contest.

The three finalists were as follows: Julie Dupouy, Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin, Tomasz Szczepanski , Shanahans on the Green Restaurant, Dublin and Andrzej Dasiak, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. All finalists displayed their skills and knowledge over a wide range of practical tasks judged by an expert panel of judges representing the hospitality industry, hospitality education and journalism. The entire competition was overseen and run in a professional manner by Oliver J. Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers ably assisted by the technical committee.

After an intense afternoon of competition Julie Dupouy emerged as the eventual winner with Tomasz first runner up and Andrzej in third place. The judging panels were high in their praise of all three finalists and stated that Julie Dupouy was a worthy winner after a highly contested competition by the other candidates. The wines for the competition were sponsored by Wines Direct www.winesdirect.ie

Mike O’ Connor, Head of Academic Studies DIT stated that it was an honour to host such a prestigious competition at DIT and went on to say “The School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology at DIT has been in existence under different guises for over half a century and has an international reputation for the excellence of its graduates. It is the leading provider of education, training and research for the culinary and food-related industries in Ireland. The School provides a range of unique and innovative programmes in a modular format including higher certificate, degree, masters’ degree and postgraduate research degrees.”

The “sobering challenge” posed by Brexit to the Irish Tourist industry was highlighted. With its negative effects on visitor numbers from a weakened sterling and uncertainty reminds us that we are an island nation dependent on the vagaries of other large economies and there is never room for complacency in the hotel and restaurant sector.

Oliver J. Murtagh President thanked all the competitors for entering and hoped they enjoyed the experience and encouraged them to continue with their studies. He wished them all well for the future in their chosen profession.




The Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 Has Been Announced


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 2018 Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition

2018 Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition will take place on the 7th March,2018 at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin,1 

The competition is open to all Professional Members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers aged 18 years or older, of Irish citizenship or legally able to work in Ireland, who exercise the trade or function of sommelier in Ireland, who is a member in good standing of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers
The following individuals may participate in the competition:

Maîtres d’hôtel, servers, restaurateurs  and all other individuals holding a sommelier role in the dining room of a licensed establishment in which wine is sold, provided they justify an experience of at least two years in the profession prior to the competition.  All entrants must be fully paid members up of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

All completed applications including confirmation of employment can be emailed to the Secretary Andrew O’ Gorman Email:    andrew.ogorman2015@gmail.com for approval. Acceptance of the applications will be confirmed based on the Rules and Regulations for the competition.

Forms were emailed to members on 9th January, 2018 with a closing date of the 22nd January, 2018 for receipt of entries.

Meetings February & March 2018

The next council meeting will be held  on 13th February, 2018, 11am 

AGM 13th March,2018, 11am

Both meetings at The Palace Bar, Fleet Street, Dublin 1

Tastings January/February 2018

Tuesday 23rd of January
from 11am to 1pm  in Ely Wine Bar CHQ
Anne Roque, from Domaine Laroche, will host a Masterclass about Chablis 1er left bank VS Chablis 1er cru right bank. This tasting was supposed to be taking place earlier this year but was cancelled at last minute because of the storm Ophelia.
Anne Roque is coming especially to Ireland to host this tasting so please make sure to book this date. You can email Julie at down2wine@gmail.com to book your space. Don’t forget to bring you own glasses !
Tuesday 27th of February
from 11am to 1pm in Ely Wine Bar CHQ
Anton Miller, Master Brewer at The Spital Brauerei in Bavaria is flying especially from Germany to host a Masterclass for the IGS’ members. Anton became the youngest master brewer ever in Bavaria at the age of 21. He is a qualified beer sommelier and is a jury member of the World Beer Cup and European Beer Star. This a great opportunity so please don’t miss it ! Book now with Julie at down2wine@gmail.com. Don’t forget to bring your glasses!


Discover the  diversity of French wines & meet 30 French Producers in Dublin

• From boutique family producers to negociants and cooperatives
• Fantastic regional representation from the classics to emerging regions
• Wine suitable to all trade sectors – both on and off-trade / independents and multiplesThe French Wine Discoveries Fair will feature wines regions that include,
Alsace,  Beaujolais, Bordeaux,  Burgundy, Champagne, Cognac,Languedoc/Roussillon, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Provence, Savoy and Sud Ouest.To see the list of participating producers CLICK BELOW:
https://jeansmullen.com/WineDiary/Index/138Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.
Time: 10:30-17:30
Date:  Monday 15th January, 2017RSVP to: Jean Smullen  Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com
Telephone (086) 816 8468


Annual Portfolio tasting on the 20th of Feb in the Guinness Storehouse

Classic Drinks Invite




Invitation to attend the 21st Annual trade tasting featuring New Zealand Wine at the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4. Thurs 18th Jan 2018 Time: 14:00-18:00

Masterclass presented by Martin Moran MW entitled New Zealand Aromatic Varieties and Smaller Plantings will commence at 13:00 Places MUST be pre-booked and are offered on a first-come, first served basis.  Please email Jean to book a place.

Participating wineries at the 2018 New Zealand Wine Fair  include:

Akarua, Babich,  Blank Canvas,  Brancott Estate, Burn Cottage,  Cloudy Bay, Delta Vineyard,  Felton Road, Foley Family Wines,  Framingham Wines, Giesen,  Greywacke, Hennessy Hall Wine Co,  Kim Crawford, Kumeu River Wines,  Lawsons Dry Hills, Marisco, Mount Riley,  Oyster Bay, Pegasus Bay,  Rapaura Springs, Saint Clair Family Estate,   Spy Valley Wines, Stoneleigh,   te Pa Family Vineyards, Tinpot Hut, Trinity Hill,  Villa Maria, Wild Earth, Wither Hills, Yealands Family Wines
To register to attend or to book a place on the Masterclass contact Jean Smullen

Dublin:  Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com  

Telephone (086) 816 8468

Australia Day Tasting – Dublin

The Australia Day Tasting, the largest trade tasting of Australian wine in Ireland, is now less than two months away.

For 2018 we’ve moved to The Mansion House to accommodate even more wines, exhibitors and visitors.

There will be over 300 wines from 54 wineries. Some of the producers may be familiar names like De Bortoli and Vasse Felix, others will be new discoveries such as Howard Park and Voyager Estate that are seeking distribution.

This is also your chance to meet the people behind the wines. Winemakers and winery owners flying over for the event include Andrew Watson (Woodlands Wines), Chris Pfeiffer (Pfeiffer Wines) and Trevor Dickinson (Dickinson Estate Wines). 

Also don’t miss the Iconic Australia Focus Table. From fresh Hunter Valley Semillon to rich Rutherglen fortifieds, this area will give you a taste of Australia’s most enduring and iconic wine styles.

We hope you can join us to explore the quality and diversity of Australian wine.

Dublin • 29 January 1pm – 6pm

The Round Room, The Mansion House, 2 Dawson Street, Dublin