About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library and this is my personal 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 in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. 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.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Singing for your supper...

People like me often have to sing for our supper and recently I had a great time at a wine dinner hosted by The Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) on 18th October, 2018. Many of my best customers in The Wine Library are RIYC members and I also have a few friends therein!

The theme of the evening, set by Garry Fleming and Gareth McGinty, was "New world, old vines". The meal was four courses and I had to choose a wine for each course.
We started with a Tiger prawn cocktail with horseradish cream & avocado served in an iceberg lettuce leaf; to match I chose the Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne 2017 (Wines Direct). This wine is well known within the trade as it ages fantastically, getting deeper in colour and developing lovely tertiary characters of beeswax and lanolin. I chose it in part because of its ability to age well (although a young wine it can easily become a tasty old wine!) but also because I love Tahbilk's wines generally. If you should ever find yourself near Nagambie Lakes, pop in - the visit is well worth it. The dish was lovely, a genuine appetiser and the wine went very well, still young but just a hint of development showing on the nose.
The next course was  Shredded pork risotto, which was served with Kanonkop Pinotage 2015 (Findlater & Co.). I had tasted this wine last year when singing for my supper in Stellenbosch and it had shown superbly.so I had no hesitation in choosing this wine. Again, still very young but Kanonkop are still, in my humble opinion, one of the best producers of pinotage - a grape I am not mad about!! It showed beautifully being full-on, rich and round and was, I think, the favourite wine of the assembled company.
Next was Herb crusted rack of lamb served with dauphinoise potatoes, sauteed cabbage & a red wine jus. To go with this I needed a big, rich, juicy red so I chose Langmeil freedoom, Shiraz 2015 (Robb Wines). This was an easy pick - this wine is made from the oldest vines in the world - planted in 1843 and still going strong (RIYC was founded only 12 years before that in 1831!). Very few people (even within Australia) know just how deep Australia's vine heritage is - Tahbilk's 1860 Shiraz is made from vines planted in 1860 and still producing and there are loads more such vines down under. Truly a new world old vine! Again, stunning and, for me, the top wine of the night, going very well with a perfectly pink lamb rack with the classic plummy notes of a youthful Barossa shiraz matching the meat.
Finally, a super Treacle tart served with fresh cream which I paired with Chris and Robyn Pfeiffer's Rutherglen Muscat (Karwig Wines). Chris and Robyn are two utterly lovely people and their wines are gorgeous (and not just the stickies!). The tart was yummy and the generously poured muscat went down a treat.
Overall, a lovely night in great company with well-presented dishes - lovely!



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