Down through the years, we've known quite a few people who have bought wine in bulk here to bring back to Ireland or the UK. It makes sense, if you have driven down here and have some room in your car, to stock up on some of the fine wines that the region has to offer.
When we were conducting wine tours in this region, Suzanne and I had an idea to bring good quality Roussillon wines to Ireland where we found the quality of french wines, in a certain price bracket, to be, well ... shite really. We represented 5 of our favourite vineyards at a wine expo in Dublin. The who's who of the Irish wine trade were there as well as all the well respected wine journalists. The merchants circled our table like sharks .. who were these newbies, this fresh meat? They tasted our wines and declared them indeed quite fine ... but they only wanted to talk to us if our wines were less than €2 a bottle!!!!!
As we were representing independent small vineyards, there was no way they could produce wine at this price .. the bottle, label and cork would nearly cost this much for heavens sake!
So.... most of the french wine you drink in Ireland in the lower end of the market is the stuff you buy in France for less than €2...ie plonk.
The wine journalists, par contre, loved us and they all wrote articles about the fantastic wines we had brought from the Roussillon...
Tomas Clancy "At a gathering of French winemakers at Sopexa’s autumn French Wine Fair in Dublin earlier this month, it was two sisters from Limerick who stole the show when they unveiled a number of intriguing wines"
"The pick of the bunch was the Domaine Treloar, Three Peaks Cotes du Roussillon 2006 (91) which is an astoundingly intense and savoury grenache, syrah and mourvedre blend that would shame many a Chateauneuf-du-Pape."
So my advice is, if you like good quality French wine, to stock up if you can when you are here...
Some points to ponder if you're buying for a wedding or an event:
- You are allowed to bring 120 bottles of wine per person into Ireland for personal use without paying any additional taxes. However, if you have your wedding cert with you , and can prove that your purchases are for private consumption, you can bring as much wine as you like
- The wedding experts recommend that a half a bottle per person at a wedding should be enough - however, if it is an Irish wedding : double that!!!! Always buy a little more than you anticipate - well, it won't go to waste afterwards, will it?
- Do taste alot of wines - good advice is to opt for middle of the road wines - nothing too adventurous or wacky. Good fun to have a blind wine tasting with some friends
- Look at your menu and decide what wines will go with what you have chosen to eat
- Get advice from the experts - meet the winemakers, vineyard owners or cavistes who will be very happy to help
- After the food for your wedding, the drinks will probably be the other big expense - it's worthwhile to spend a little time to get it right
- Negotiate the corkage with your hotel
Chin Chin - Enjoy!!