8.12am, Thursday, 9th September, Dublin, Ireland
Wednesday morning gave me a nice surprise. There in the hotel lobby, as I came down to catch up with my Cassidy’s man for the day, were three lovely travelling Australian winemakers: Ben Glaetzer, Phil Sexton and Tim James. It’s always good to swap good ‘you must go here or there’ stories for whatever town we catch up in. There’s probably a very good travel guide to be written from these stories actually.
Then my Cassidy’s man turned up – the very fresh faced, wide eyed and good looking young bloke Peter Whelan – and did I mention that he just looks after the ‘on trade’ or restaurants, and has the 2006 Patchwork Shiraz flying through them at a rate of knots!
Our first stop for the day was the fantastic Ely CHQ Brasserie at Customs House Quay, where I was to have a chat with Kevin Ecock – wine critic, writer and bloke with a wine blog. We’re talking to a lot of folks these days who work with the twi-blog-vid wine world as it’s huge and growing all the time, and we see such weird and wonderful things coming from it. Kevin visited Yalumba and the Barossa earlier this year as part of a tour of several Australian wine regions, so we had a lot of topics to cover – especially the hot question everywhere of how we’re going to keep the Australian wine story up in lights and prominent ongoing. We also had a look at the 2006 Patchwork Shiraz, as this vintage has sold out in Australia, and really – we’ve missed out a bit, because the wine is really starting ‘to hit its straps’ and stretch out all that juicy excellent 2006 vintage fruit over layers of choc plum aniseed undercarriage. I tthink Kevin filled up a tape from our conversation, but that tends to happen when you’re chatting with an Irishman – they’re not short of a word!
At this point I should mention that Peter W has just got some of our wines onto the Ely lists. There’s three wine and food hotspots in the group, and we were at the one down in Docklands yesterday, run by Owen, the best barista – for my money – in Dublin, and if you’re anywhere close, make sure you go in for the Americano with the jug of scalded milk on the side. Worth it believe me – upstairs in the courtyard sunshine, let alone going underground into the brasserie, which is laid out in vaulted rooms that used to be part of a spirit bonded warehouse. Goodness knows how much age old spirit has soaked into those ceilings! Just got to dash for a minute – I’ll be back to finish off with the trade tasting and lunch , because I remembered to get pictures of everything!
PS The other two Ely spots are at Ely Winebar – downtown Dublin city at 22 Ely Place – and Ely HQ gastro pub at Hanover Quay.