Seasons Greetings to all our Members and Subscribers!
Picking things up post-Covid has been an exciting endeavour for the Wine Spirit Women crew. And while everything sort of chugged along in the beginning, we feel we achieved a lot in 2022.
We collaborated with different organisations to host several tastings and masterclasses, and we created our monthly newsletter, sending regular updates and news to our members and friends.
We want to send a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped Wine Spirit Women throughout 2023. So much of what we achieved this year would not have been possible without your help, and we are extremely appreciative. Wine Spirit Women hope to continue these collaborations in 2023, and push our organisation to new levels and reach more passionate drinks, professionals and enthusiasts.
In April, we hosted an online tasting with A Class of Wine. On the night we tasted Lingenfelder Bird Riesling Germany and Vina Chocalan Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, both available from O’Briens.
In May, we held our first in-person wine tasting at Sister Ray. Our generous sponsors included Lynne Coyle, Boutique Wines, Mitchell & Sons, Mackenway Wines, Rías Baixas & Lynda Coogan, Nude Wine Co, Winespark, Dunnes Stores and Polish Wine Fest.
During the month of June, we joined Boutique Wines on a media trip to Catalonia where we visited the awe-inspiring Perelada winery, following a €50 million investment. The winery is pushing forward in its sustainability efforts and is the first winery in Europe to receive LEED certification. We also visited Casa Gran del Siurana, where we met winemaker Anna Gallisa, who is leading her team to create beautifully balanced wines while combating climate change and its impact on the vineyard.
In July we were invited to a fabulous wine tasting with Wines Direct in their impressive HQ in Mullingar. Wine Spirit Women committee member Trish Nunan wrote about some of her favourites on the day here.
Later in September, we attended a MASI 250th anniversary masterclass with Findlater & Co, where Giacomo Boscaini led us through his family’s wine and we celebrated the winery’s 250th harvest – what a legacy the family have built.
In October we joined together for an evening of theatrics and tasting where we were treated to a one-woman play “As Wine Flows By”, a fascinating story of the history of Argentina’s Catena wines. Again we’d like to thank Cassidy Wines who funded the event, meaning we were able to focus on fundraising for Women’s Aid and we raised €400 for the charity.
And coming up on Thurs 15th December, we have a Port Masterclass with The School of Port with Tom Symington of the Symington family.
PS. It’s online, and there’s still time to register!
We have been able to offer our members free access to Capstone California levels 1 & 2 (worth €500) as well as exclusive discounts to online shops and training services including A Wine Idea, VP Merchants and Vinspire Academy.
This past year we also launched our Q&A series. Here, we have chatted with women working in all areas of the drinks business, allowing us to get to know these movers and shakers a little better. These included Irem Eren (Bev Zero), Antonia Dominguez (Donnybrook Fair), Kate Dempsey (Kinsale Mead), Maggie Domaradzka (Searsons & Polish Wine Fest), Avril Kirrane (Boutique Wines), Ellen Leonard-Bates (Diageo) and Leah Kilcullen (Whiplash Beer).
Congratulations to Irish distillery Boann who scooped five awards at the prestigious Irish Whiskey Awards, making it one of the biggest winners on the night.
Boann co-founder, Sally Anne Cooney commented on the awards, “We are absolutely delighted with Boann’s success at the Irish Whiskey Awards, given the awards’ reputation amongst industry and consumers. Our whole team have been working extremely hard to produce top-quality products that can compete on both the national and international stage”.
Continuing on she said “It’s even more rewarding to me, personally, to see Silks Gin recognised. My mother, Marie, and I have poured our hearts into developing the distillery’s first gin and we are bowled over to see it recognised as the Best Irish Gin in such a competitive category.”
This month, Lynda Coogan and Antonia Dominguez, the hosts of WINE: THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT Podcast, announced that they are now sponsored by ‘Give Wine a Future’ which “is a movement founded by Findlater & Co. in response to the climate emergency.”
We wish you continued success with the podcast and with your new partnership, especially highlighting the issues of environment and sustainability within the context of wine.
The Court of Master Sommeliers is hosting its introductory course and exam on 22nd – 24th January in The Heritage Hotel, Co.Laois.
A little bit about the course below
“Our courses are designed for those who are already working in the hospitality or beverage service sector. Due to the practical nature of the courses, we strongly suggest that candidates do have some prior experience within these industries.
Our next available Introductory Sommelier Course will take place from the 22nd to 24th January 2023 at the Heritage Hotel in Killenard (Ireland). Please see below the link to fully secure your space for our Introductory Sommelier Course happening next January.
This is an excellent opportunity for Irish Sommeliers to begin their educational journey with the CMS. We are fortunate to have the course here on the island. Please see the link below for more information and the Irish Guild of Sommeliers is always available as a resource and study support system for candidates.”
More information can be found here – https://www.courtofmastersommeliers.org/upcoming-courses/european-courses/
For our last Q&A of the year, we spoke to Sevgi-Tüzel-Conghaile. Born and raised in Turkey where she worked in many vineyards, Sevgi studied Oenology and Viticulture in some of the most prestigious wine schools in the world, including Montpellier and Geisenheim University.
Following this, she became an official “Galway girl” when she married a Connemara man and set up a business in Ireland. Now based in Dublin, Sevgi runs A Wine Idea which hosts wine tastings and educational sessions, and she recently launched her online wine shop and tasting room. Read her full Q&A here.
Deluxe Whiskey and Food Experience by Dublin Whiskey Tours
Thursdays and Saturdays
Gin Tasting at Stillgarden Distillery
Beer and Whiskey Pairing at Northern Lights Bar
2nd Annual Festival of Midleton Whiskeys Irish Whiskey Tasting Event
Whiskey Club with Bushmills Distillery
Kilkenny Rotary Club Christmas Wine Tasting at Rothe House
Honest 2 Goodness Wine Fair
Sloe Gin Celebration 2022! at The Fybnoderee Distillery
Wines for Christmas Day with O’Brien’s
Join Master of Wine and O’Briens Wine Director, Lynne Coyle for an online tasting, including 6 wines designed to see you through the Christmas Day celebrations with ease – including Prosecco, Spanish whites, French reds and more. Tickets can be found here
Rueda Wine Tasting Dinner with John Wilson at West Restaurant, Galway.
Xmas party! Hosted by Polish Wine Fest at The Fumbally
Statham’s New Year’s Eve Celebration Dinner
WSW Christmas party to be held in January (details TBA)
Sheridan’s Cheesemongers Ltd. is looking for cheesemongers to fill various roles in their outlets around the country. See what’s available here.
Sandman Hotel Group are recruiting for an Assistant Food and Beverage Manager and a Bartender in Portmarnock. For more information, click here.
Adare Manor is currently looking for a Director of Food and Beverage, a Sommelier and a Resort Mixologist. For more information and jobs visit here.
Jus de Vine in Portmarnock is on the hunt for full and part-time staff over the month of December. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Martins Off-Licence is looking for full-time seasonal staff. Send CV and Letter to email@example.com with ‘Job Vacancy’ in the subject line.