October Newsletter

The autumn chill has entered the air, and we’ve been reaching for the hot water bottle more and more this month. Although the sun may be taking a siesta there are still plenty of things to keep us busy this winter, and as always we’ve got news, events and career opportunities to keep you on your toes.

This October our chairperson Sinéad travelled to Copenhagen to attend the MAD Academy for a week of classes, exploring the topics of environment and sustainability. The MAD Academy was set up by chef René Redzepi of three Michelin-star restaurant, Noma, to equip future leaders of hospitality and food to affect positive change in their professions. You can catch up with some of Sinéad’s MAD experience here

Great Irish Beverages launched the first Irish Food & Drink Month nationwide festival with events throughout October. Venues all across the country are hosting a variety of events – you can find the full programme here.

The Institute of Masters of Wine will host a free webinar exploring the role of packaging in the wine trade on 19th October. Packaging accounts for the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions within winemaking and the lessons learned in this webinar can be applied to all kinds drinks packaging, not just wine. Register today.

The Champagne Louis Roederer WSET Bursary is now open to BAME wine professionals. Two candidates will be granted a bursary to complete their WSET level 3 and further their careers within the industry. Visit www.bamewineprofessionals.co.uk for more details. 

Celebrations are on the cards for Cork-based meadery Kinsale Mead, as they were crowned Drink of the Year at the Irish Made Awards presented by Irish Country Magazine. Hats off to WSW member Kate Dempsey, Kinsale Mead’s co-founder and all the team. Slánte.

At the end of August, we attended a Brazilian wine masterclass where we tasted a variety of wine styles and even tasted wine in a can. This recent article in Decanter explores canned wines and their growing popularity.

Earlier in 2022 Food and Wine magazine announced their Drinks Innovators of the Year. Among them were some incredible women we think you should read about. Including Uncle Nearest CEO Fawn Weaver and Master Blender Victoria Eady Butler – two females creating space for black female voices in the world of whiskey. Did you know that it was Nathan “Nearest” Green, an enslaved man in 1850s America who taught a Jack Daniel to distil Tennesse Whiskey? You can read their remarkable story here. Click here for the full list of Drinks Innovators of the Year.

In her most recent article for The Independent wine writer Aoife Carrigy points to Garnacha Blanca as the perfect grape for the cooler autumn months. 

In September we attended a Masi masterclass with Giacomo Boscaini, who is the 7th generation of the Boscaini family making wine in Valpolicella. Hosted by Findlater & Co it was a fabulous way to celebrate the 250th harvest of the Boscaini family in the prized vineyards of Vaio dei Masi, a little valley in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica region.

The wines tasted during the masterclass included;

Fresco di Masi Bianco
Fresco di Masi Rosso
Colbaraca Soave Classico Superiore
Riserva Costasera Amarone Classico
Toar Classico Superiore
Vajo dei Masi 1997

This was followed by a beautiful dinner at Glovers Alley where we were treated to a five-litre bottle of Vajo dei Masi 1997, which was simply stunning. It was truly fascinating to hear about the family’s rich history in winemaking and the strides they’re taking in the area of sustainability. If you want to learn more about this historic harvest, you can listen to this podcast.

In this month’s Q&A we chatted with Ellen Leonard Bates who is a Strategic Accounts Manager at Diageo Ireland. We find out how Ellen began her career in the drink industry and what advice she would give to anyone starting out in the business. You can read the full Q&A here.

Waterford whiskey lovers will want to pencil the 25th of October into their diaries. The Waterford Whiskey Society will host a Lough Ree Distillery tasting with founder Michael Clancy. The event will take place in person at The Munster Bar with a Zoom option also available.

In Belfast, Lean In NI Entrepreneurs and Lean In Belfast (and all Lean In networks) are hosting a Women Entrepreneur’s Coffee Morning on 21st October. The event is free to attend and aims to be a casual affair for women to meet fellow entrepreneurs and network.

Olé! Spanish wine fans won’t want to miss this Spanish exploration with Wines Direct. On 22nd October, guests will taste eight wines from across the country, exploring the diversity and value of this region. Buy tickets in-store at Wines Direct HQ in Mullingar or online.

The Rioja Wine Festival is here! WineOnline.ie is bringing you the top Rioja producers under one roof in an event not to be missed. Two sessions will take place on the 22nd October from 2pm – 5 pm and 6pm – 9pm, with wine writer John Wilson running two masterclasses per session. Snap up your tickets while you can.

The Listowel Food Fair will run from the 27th to the 31st of October, celebrating 25 years of Irish food and drink in Kerry.

In Ennis, local whiskey experts Paul Quin and Eric Flynn will introduce participants to the four pillars of Irish whiskey styles on 29th October. Guests will enjoy tasters and learn an overview into the world of whiskey.

The Locke Bar in Limerick will present a Redbreast Whiskey and Food Pairing on 3rd November. Guests will enjoy five whiskeys alongside a carefully curated dinner menu.

A Class of Wine will host a Rueda masterclass in Galway on Tuesday 8th November. Wine expert and Master of Wine candidate Antonia Dominguez will present the wines, and food expert Blanca Valencia will showcase the gastronomy of Castilla Leon. Trade only. Please contact Lynda Coogan to RSVP.

On 14th November, The Crafty Vintner will host an evening of Taylor’s port and food with special guest export manager Amanda Lloyd. Guests will also receive a 10% discount on Taylor’s products on the night. 

Dublin hotspot Volpe Nera is hiring for a full-time Front of House position. The right candidate will enjoy a 4-day week, which we can totally get behind. Full job spec and application details are here.

One Pico is recruiting a Waiter to join the team. Interested parties can email their CV and cover letter to info@onepico.com FAO General Manager Andrew Scott.

Ely Wine Bar Maynooth are seeking a barista to join the team. Contact Ely directly.