About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. 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. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. 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.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Well, how was it for you?

Well, I'm now in the Qantas Business Lounge in Singapore Changi, finishing off my posts about Landmark. So, I suppose, I have to ask whether it did what I had expected and whether it achieved its objectives.

To the first question is the answer is that it exceeded expectations so much as to be almost unquantifiable. We had an excellently organised week (well done to Lucy and Prue, to Paul, to P J , James and all the others who worked so hard to keep things running smoothly), we had three excellent core tutors who were able to guide us, debate with us and laugh as much as we did (well done to Michael, Tony and Andrew) and a great range of guest speakers who are too numerous to mention.

On top of that we had a great range of wines - some of these are so rare that they may never be tasted in public again; many were donated from private cellars for our benefit. I have to say, you feel very humble when people who have never met you are willing to do this. The wines showed us Australia in 4 dimensions - the three of apace as we explored almost every region in Australia and the 4th of time as we saw wines going back to 1909! Diversity was one of the tutorial's aims and this was achieved brilliantly.

Finally, we had a great group of students - this group gelled extremely well and I can honestly say that this was one of the best groups I've ever met. I have been at other tasting events where not everyone added to the group dynamic but here everybody got on and played their part. The organisers are to be commended for their ability to select people as well as they selected wines!

In relation to the second question it certainly achieved the first of its objectives - there are now 12 confirmed apostles (we were disciples but we've graduated!) and we will be spreading the word as best we can. As to the second objective, the message being understood - well, only time will tell but I expect this to be achieved as well.

I have to say I was very sad to leave - it has been a great week and, I confess, I feel quite emotional about it in much the same way as Jamie Goode. The generosity and friendliness of all we met and those we didn't is seriously impressive - I cannot imagine such a level of altruism in the Irish or UK wine industries. Landmark is based on the well-known Len Evans tutorial which is free for participants. Total cost of the LE is probably AUD100,000 yet those who attend have only to get there, once they've been selected. Get that - the industry sponsors the tutorial as it believes this is the best way to get the message across. Think about that - can you imagine this happening at home? Anywhere else? I can't.

Anyway, I'm now on my way home with much to think about and I am truly grateful to Landmark for the professional benefits but also the personal benefits of having met such a great group of people. Thank you.


Unknown said...

Hi Dermot. Discovered your blog through RF wine. One of two Irish MWs. Wow!

DermotMW said...

Hi Matthew,

I'm not sure who R F Wine is and there are way more than 2 Irish MWs - 4 born in Ireland (Alan Crowley, myself, Fergal Tynan and Carmel Kilcline), one born in the UK of Irish parents (Martin Moran) and, if you forget the Good Friday agreement, two in Northern ireland (Robin Kinahan and Jane Boyce).

Thanks for the comment, though.

Unknown said...

Still, pretty impressive. Good independent wine bloggers in Ireland - robertfranciswine.ie and sourgrapes.ie - check 'em out, and keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

Hi Dermot,
Sounds like a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience. So now it's over will you continue blogging?
Thanks very much for your teaching in the recent advanced cert, pity you were not there for the exam but you had a good excuse.
The exam went well (I think..) so now whaere am I going to find the money for the diploma!

Thanks again

Eoin C

Jamie Goode said...

Hey Dermot, great to meet you at the tutorial. A great experience. Now I face the daunting task of writing it all up.