Single Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tuscany

Olive oil

Imagine a steak without salt.  Enjoyable, but missing something…. Drinking a top notch Italian wine without food falls into the same state of limbo. This was brought home to me yet again, at a Masterclass on Single Estate Extra Virgin Olive oil in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Dundrum, presented by David Gleave, MW, of Liberty […]


Introducing Brimoncourt Champagne

Brimoncourt giraffe

A rainy and relatively quiet June afternoon coincided nicely with an invitation from Boutique Wines to the launch of Brimoncourt Champagne in Ireland.  The venue was Pichet Restaurant,looking good after a revamp about a year ago.  The warm welcome from Johnny and Phil from Boutique Wines, as well as Jeremy from Pichet lifted my spirits […]

Albariňo, anyone?

white wine & tapas

One of my favourite summer whites is Albariňo, thanks to its light body and fresh taste.  Its flavours are subtle and elegant – grapefruit, pear and peach are accented by a certain saltiness, reminiscent of a whiff of seashore.  It’s crisp rather than overtly acidic. Occasionally a feint spritz of carbon dioxide is left in […]

Chilled reds

chilled red

I’m frequently asked about chilling red wines, particularly as people return from drinking chilled reds on holiday abroad.  Very often in warmer regions, the challenge is to keep red wines from becoming too warm and soupy,  so they are kept under refrigeration.  A chilled red on a warm day can be refreshing, rather like iced […]

Outdoor eating & wine


How is it that food tends to taste better outdoors?  Is it that fresh air works up an appetite, or that everyone helps out (for a change!).  Or that relaxing feeling of warm sun on your skin. Perhaps it’s that people linger and spend time with each other, rather than sloping off to watch TV […]

WSET Diploma 2016


The 2016 WSET Diploma in Dublin is now open for enrolment and full details can be found on the WSET website.    Note that WSET runs this course directly from their London office – contact Joseph Hallam ( directly if you have any queries. -        Enrolment deadline: 3rd October 2016 -        Course start: 7th November 2016 -        […]

2016 Wine Wish List

Wine  Wishes

If I were to create a wish-list of what I’d love for 2016, it would read something like this: That the proposed minimum pricing legislation is carefully thought-out before being implemented.  I for one, do not want to have to pay even more for wine.  I have yet to be convinced that pricing will impact […]

Wines for Christmas Day

turkey & wine

If you are part of a large gathering on Christmas Day, choose wines which will appeal to everyone, rather than anything too esoteric. Save your prized bottles for a quieter time, when you can appreciate them better, and not have to worry about excited children knocking over glasses! If you are having a fish starter, […]