• 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

    RSVP to
    Jean Smullen  Email:  [email protected]
    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 [email protected] 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
    [email protected]
    or call (086) 816 8468

  • Julie Dupouy Young named one of the “Future 50”

    Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text


    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.

    Image may contain: Oisin Kelly, text

    Image may contain: Oisin Kelly, standingImage may contain: 2 people, including Oisin Kelly, people smiling, people standing and suit

    Image may contain: 6 people, including Michał Gadzała, Oisin Kelly, Andy O'Gorman and Ariel Sanecki, people smiling, people standing

    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 ???

    Image may contain: Oisin Kelly

  • Wine Diary Highlights for November  2019

    Wine Diary Highlights for November  2019
    View this email in your browser

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

    No photo description available.

    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  [email protected]


  • 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
    Copyright © 2002-2019 Jean Smullen

    mailing address is:
    [email protected]

  • 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 [email protected]

    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.