MOVIES & BOOZE: Wine for your weekend

Jean Smullen reintroduces the classic wine

Now that Christmas is over and winter is well underway why pass the time until Spring by taking an evening wine course? There is no better way to increase your enjoyment of wine than by learning more about it. Wines courses are also a great place to meet people and to make new friends.

The Cork Wine School run by O’Donovans starts its schedule in March. Mitchell & Sons in Glasthule have a four week Wine Appreciation Course starting on February 1st. In Thomastown Kilkenny, Wine Academy Ireland runs a range of accredited wine courses offered by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (W.S.E.T.).

In Dublin, Premier Wine Training offers basic wine appreciation and WSET courses. Tindal Wine Merchants also have a WSET course in Dublin starting on January 19th. For more information check out the wine course section in the wine diary here

When I joined the wine trade 25 years ago, my father went out and bought me a bottle of Muscadet to start me on my journey. Back then Muscadet was the Sauvignon Blanc of its day and was a very fashionable wine style. Since then, the rise and rise of new world wines on the Irish market has meant that classic wine styles like this are now almost unknown. Here is a super example of a very drinkable white wine from Northern France.

2014 Domaine Luneau-Papin La Grange Muscadet Serve et Maine Tire Sur Lie €14.95


Whelehan Wines, Silver Tassie, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin.

Muscadet is a light dry wine style from the Nantes region which is South and East of Nantes in Lower Brittany near the mouth of the River Loire. Muscade is made from a grape called Melon de Bourgogne which is a very aromatic and lets face it, “grapy” grape variety. The wine is made from old vines and producer uses organic viticulture practices. This wine was aged on its lees (sur lie) for seven months until it was bottled. Sur Lie in French means “on its lees”. The lees are the dead yeast cells that settle at the bottom after fermentation. Leaving them in contact with the wine for a few months leave a distinctive flavour, making the wine style more interesting.

2012 Finca Decero Malbec €19.95

Stockists: Whelehan Wines

Up to the minute in terms of wine fashion, this wine style is very much enjoying it’s heyday at the moment. From one of the highest sites in the Mendoza region of Argentina, at 3500 feet, the renowned Mendoza appellation of Agrelo is very well know. The vineyard where these grapes are grown takes its name from ‘Remolinos’ – little whirlwinds which keep the grapes dry. This wine from a single vineyard estate is a polished expression of Malbec. Rich in cherry and violet aromas, its stucture feels tight, firm and ready to be eaten with steak. This wine still has some years ahead, you might want to save a case. Very stylish… seductive without being over-powering.


New Zealand Wine Tiki Tour Thurs 21st Jan 2016 Date: Thursday 21 January 2016 Time: 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Venue: Hilton Dublin, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2 Tickets Price €15.00 each

To book your ticket click here

Wine Australia Consumer Tasting Wed 27th Jan 2016
27 January 2016 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the RHA Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2.
TICKETS: €15.00 (incl. booking fee)

To book your ticket click here

More information on the wine diary