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, which closed in 2018. I am back working in a consultative role with The Wicklow Wine Company but this is my personal wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wicklow Wine Company 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. 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 Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the 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, February 21, 2012

A Viennese Ball

I am a lucky man: I was invited to Vienna last week to give a Masterclass on Northern Rhone wines by my colleague Frank Smulders MW, who works at the prestigious Palais Coburg hotel. Palais Coburg is one of the finest hotels in Europe with a stunning wine collection and is also a Major Supporter of the Institute of Masters of Wine. Part of the hotel's wine activities is a series of Masterclasses, hence my involvement. While for many, the chance to spend two nights in a 5 Star hotel would be a big thrill, for me it was the chance to taste some fantastic wines. The audience was made up of some of Austria's top winemakers, as well as wine professionals from central Europe and wine collectors.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Organic wine finally arrives!

Today the European Union formally announced that rules for organic wines had been agreed upon. This ends a log process of consultation which started in 2006 and was expected, originally, to have been completed by 2009. A major issue was the levels of sulfites to be allowed, as these varied among organic certifiers from EU country to country. With this agreement in place, a winemaker can now make a wine organically and not just, as was previously the case, a wine made from organically grown grapes.