Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grand stretch in the evenings

Happy Thursday

Due to popular demand, we will be back open till 8.30pm now on Thursdays (as well as Friday & Saturday) - our €5 corkage deal is now available EVERY DAY!

Next Wine Event

A date for you Diary - Friday, March 6th - we will have our friends from Villa Locatelli / Angoris in beautiful Friuli over early March and we will be hosting a wine dinner in Fitzpatricks Killiney Castle on the date at 7.30pm - we will have a sparkling wine reception and the taste 4 wines with a matching menu from the team in Fitzpatricks - all for €45. Book your place with Carol as usual on 01 2353054 and we will have more info closer to the time.

Wine Deal for the next few weeks

Also from Friuli, Pradio are lovely wines and we have their Sauvignon Blanc and Refosco on a 2 for €30 deal at the moment - a saving of €3 per bottle. They will be open over the weekend if you want to try them.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Wine Dinner in Beaufield Mews - February 6th

Ok, January is nearly over so we feel in need of a decent Wine Dinner and where better to start than with 2 of our favourite places - Bordeaux and Beaufield Mews.

We have Lionel Latorse from Vignobles Latorse coming over to guide us through a range of wines from AC Bordeaux Sec through to Saint Emilion Grand Cru and we will match it with some classic dishes in the warm and elegant surrounds of Beaufield Mews.

It all kicks off on Friday, February 6th at 7.30pm with a drinks reception and will follow with a delicious 3 course dinner with wines to match.

The cost for all your food and wine is €50 per person.

We hope you can join us for what will be a special evening.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why Leo Varadkar shocked me yesterday

After hearing about Leo Varadkar coming out on the radio yesterday (I think we all knew didn't we?....good-looking man, no sign of a girlfriend etc etc...) I had a look on his twitterfeed to see he was proudly proclaiming that he is "on the dry" for January as part of the campaign by the Irish Heart Foundation.

I know they mean well and I believe the Irish Heart Foundation do great work (I have a family history that makes me think I might need their support at some stage). I also know that Minister Varadkar has to come out and support these initiatives, but I think it misses the point on a few fronts.

Firstly, what we should all aspire to is a sensible and healthy approach to alcohol in our society. Binging at Christmas and fasting in January is neither healthy nor sensible - it is the alcohol equivalent of yo-yo dieting. It will do nothing except reinforce bad habits. Whatever happened to moderation?

Secondly, giving up wine at any time of year is clearly a bad idea as the health benefits of wine consumption in moderation are well documented at this stage, but January is a particularly bad month to try and give up. It is a month when you need warmth and comfort - big casseroles and a glass of red by the fire. It is too cold and miserable to even contemplate water with your dinner.

Lastly, January is grim enough for us wine merchants with those ridiculous new years resolutions without having some officially sanctioned campaign to give it up altogether! Drink less, but drink better - that's what I say - all year round!

Now, where did I put my runners.....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Annual Wine Fair next Thursday and John Wilson tomorrow

Annual Wine Fair - Thursday November 13th


So, just a quick reminder about our 16th (!) Annual Wine Fair next week in Fitzpatricks Killiney Castle from 6-9pm. Carol and myself have been putting together a great list of nearly 100 wines for you to taste. We have a LOT of new stuff in this year, so it will be a great night. If you choose to put in an order, you will avail of some great prices on the night. Ticket are €10 but call in to the shop and speak nicely to Carol and I'm sure she will look after you. Hope to see you next Thursday!

Last Call for Rentacrowd!
John Wilson (Irish Times wine writer) is launching his new book tomorrow (Friday 7th) evening at 5.30pm in the shop. Please call in, we will be sampling a few of his recommendations and he will be signing copies...what better way to start the weekend?

See you soon,


Monday, November 3, 2014

Upcoming Events

It's that time of year again - Halloween is over and the all too quick run in to Christmas (I am officially allowed) begins...we have a couple of things happening to get you in the mood.

Book Launch Friday 7th at 5.30

First up, the Irish Times' wine scribe, John Wilson, is paying us a visit this Friday 7th at 5.30pm to launch his new book Wilsononwine  - in which he describes his favourite wines of the year. We will be tasting a selection of his recommendations in the shop from 5.30pm sharp.

This is a free event but it will be short and sweet as we have normal Friday business to get on with as well so we hope you can pop in.

Wine Fair Thursday 13th from 6pm to 9pm

This is our 16th Wine Fair and it is still one of our favourite nights of the year - we will have a huge range of great wines open for tasting and we have had quite an influx of new wines this year so we are really looking forward to sharing them with you. As always there will be great discounts available on the night so that our great customers can get some of their Christmas shopping done at very keen prices.

Apart from anything else, it is a brilliant night out - tickets are available now for €10 from the shop - call Carol on 01 2353054 for more information.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wine Fair Thursday, Nov 14th

Tis the season for the wine fairs and we have our 15th(!) one coming time flies!

I have just done the list and we have some great wines lined up, from our new Greek range from Kiryianni to fine white Burgundies from Pierre Yves Colin-Morey and from a simple Sauvignon Blanc to some world beaters like Felton Road, this is a tasting not to be missed.

Over 80 wines, some great deals and a brilliant night out. Call Carol on 01 2353054 to book a place or turn up on the night and we will sort you out.

 Details as follows:

On the Grapevine Annual Wine Fair

Thursday, November 14th from 6pm - 9pm

Fitzpatrick's Killiney Castle Hotel, Killiney, Co. Dublin.

All welcome!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another open letter to Michael Noonan

Last year, after the shock of the budget, I penned a letter to Michael Noonan, you can read it here. I have to say I only wrote it to vent my frustration at the time and wasn't expecting to get any response from the Minister or from the Department of Finance.

I was right. Tumbleweed ensued....

However, as we look forward with bated breath to our 6th austerity budget, and with the restaurant sector doing a great job with their Keep Vat % campaign, I have grown increasingly annoyed at the lack of voice for the wine trade. Where are NOFFLA? There was a press release from the Irish Wine Association in the middle of August when all politicians are on holidays and the rest of the country weren't paying attention, but nothing else. So here goes again.

Dear Minister Noonan,

I'm sure you are busy right now putting the finishing touches to the budget, but I would like to write a short letter in defence of our humble wine trade.

As you know, you put the excise duty up on wine in last years budget by 81c + VAT, bringing the current level of excise on a bottle of wine up to €2.78 per bottle. This is way higher than the excise (per degree of alcohol) on beer in this country, the highest duty on wine in the EU and six times higher than the EU average. In the country we are supposed to try and emulate in every way, Germany, there is no duty on wine at all! What I'm saying is that, no matter which way you look at it, duty on wine in this country is way too high and certainly shouldn't go any higher.

In our trade - and I personally am only a tiny, tiny cog in the wheel - we are in the almost unique position of handing over more than 50% of our monthly turnover to the revenue commissioners in the form of duty and vat. So, our revenue bill each month is by far our biggest outlay every month and this has gone up by 40% as a result of last year's budget.  Most of us are hanging on by our finger nails and any further increase will surely destroy the independent trade and hand even further power to multinationals.

Jobs. Businesses going bust will lay people off. I don't need to explain that one.

Smuggling. I already have had numerous cases of restaurants telling me about people approaching them offering wine at €4 per bottle for COD and out of the back of a van. This wine is obviously not coming out of a bonded warehouse. Any further increase will see this activity take off like a rocket.

Below cost selling - will is still on offer for €4, €5. Do I need to do the maths? OK out of €5, there is €3.80 in tax so either they are getting the wine for free and magic pixies are packing it and transporting it or this wine is below cost and is being sold as a loss leader. Not only does this fly in the face of any semblance of responsible retailing of a dangerous substance, but the exchequer loses out with every bottle. It makes all sorts of sense to stop it. At the moment, you can buy a bottle of Heineken for 0.90c or a bottle of Volvic for 0.99c.

I really hope you can see sense to leave what is left of our trade alone and, if you need to tap the alcohol industry for money, try to be imaginative and find it from the only sector who can afford it - the supermarkets.

All the best and good luck next week.

Yours sincerely,

Gabriel Cooney
On the Grapevine