About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I am about to open a wine shop in DĂșn Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library and this is my wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wine Library and the opinions expressed herein but I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy. From June 2013 until May 2017 I was the Retail Manager for The Wicklow Wine Company. I was a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events, Trips and Governance Committees Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let's do lunch

In the dim and distant past the now defunct Wine Board of Ireland had enough class to throw a decent graduation party for those who completed their WSET Diploma. Now, in these straitened times all I can afford is a good lunch so, starting last year and in conjunction with John McDonnell of Wine Australia, I host a lunch at L'Ecrivain. John is involved as Wine Australia sponsor the prize for the best overall Diploma mark and he sponsors the wine for lunch while I pay for the food.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweetness and light

Here's the thing - apparently a lot of people think sweetness in wine is not good, so they look down on consumers who drink sweet wines. These sweet critics are partially responsible for the poor commercial state of classic German wines (based, as they are, on a balanced palate of sweetness and acidity) but they also make ordinary folk feel bad about their choice. Indeed, some years ago I was gently slagged in a well-known NOffLA off-licence for buying Blue Nun - "There's a Master of Wine and he drinks Blue Nun!" - but imagine if the punter in the queue behind me had just picked up a bottle of BN as well? They'd think to themselves, why spend my money here?

Get a life - take a wine course!

There was an interesting article in the Scotsman recently about a survey which showed that consumers are bamboozled by wine. In it, we are told that consumers are confused by the wines on offer and are confused by the specialist staff - this is in supermarkets, now. There are a few things about this survey which one might argue with but the really interesting thing is this simple question: why do consumers think they ought to know about wine?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

See what happens when you try to regulate quality?

The admirable Jane Anson has an article in Decanter in relation to a new "classification" system to be introduced in St Emilion for the 2012 vintage. Apparently, a number of producers got a bit annoyed the last time the rankings were evaluated and now, a whole new system has had to be put in place.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where does a decade go?

And I'm not talking about rosaries LOL! It seems hard to believe but it is ten years since the winemakers of the Clare Valley, in South Australia, decided to switch more or less en masse to using Stelvin closures rather than cork. Since then, a lot has changed in the world of wine for the better and we really should appluad their foresight and bravery.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's in a good cause...

What is? Why, the Corkscrew wine fair this Sunday - tickets from the Corkscrew so why not enjoy some fine wine tasting and help others at the same time?