Happy Christmas and heres to a New Year with New Adventures

Hi everyone

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2015

Sincere thanks to all my customers, my fantastic wineries and everyone who helped, encouraged and supported Wine Alliance for the last four and a half years. Lots and lots of great memories, wonderful wine experiences, friendships, learning and loads of fun.

I’m leaving you all in the safe hands of the good people of Curious Wines who will work with my suppliers and customers from the start of January 2015. Its great that my work will carry on and grow from strength to strength with the Curious Wines team

I’m not going totally way from wine that said. I hope to see you on one of the many evening and weekend wine courses I’ll be teaching in 2015 or at one or more of the public and corporate wine tastings I’ll be giving throughout the year.

The Wine Alliance blog will continue and will have a renewed focus on wine information, education, trivia and independant, objective reviews of wines, wine books and lots more besides.

Enjoy the holidays and I hope you enjoy some delicious and interesting wines in good company



A Thirst For Wine Knowledge


Encouraging signs that the general public are getting more and more interested in learning about wine

Last night I was giving the 3rd of 4 evening classes on the 4-week WINE FUNDAMENTALS LEVEL 2 in the wonderful Latitude 51 in Cork’s fair city

The format is both fun and educational. Last night the students learned about the regions, grapes and wines of the New World. We covered the Old World last week and the previous week, we covered how to systematically taste and evaluate wines. A nice blend of theory and lots of tasting. Next week, its sparkling wine and fortified wines.

We blind tasted two of the 6 wines last night and the students were on fire ! They really nailed the tasting notes. I was suffering from the early stages of the dreaded “man flu” but they stepped up the the mark and there was lots of discussion back and forth across the table about the wines. Great to see.

I’m finding that more and more people, both in the trade and everyday wine lovers are asking for wine courses and corporate tastings. The thirst for wine knowledge is alive and well and living in Cork city and county. Happy days !


WSET Wine Australia Study Trip Cover Arrangements


Back in January I was delighted to win the Wine & Spirit Educational Trust’s Wine Australia Scholarship for the High Achieving Graduate in Europe.

The prize consists of a two week study trip to Australia’s wine regions. I am leaving for Australia on Wednesday the 8th October, and will return to Ireland on Thursday 23rd October. Its a very intense trip with winery visits and presentations from 8am to 9.30 pm each day – I’m not complaining !  However it will mean that I wont be contactable during that time and will have limited access to email. The time difference will also make it difficult to deal with day to day matters for Wine Alliance.

So I have made arrangements with the good people of Curious Wines who will cover for me when I am away.

You can contact Curious Wines as follows . . . . . .

Phone Matt or Ian in Curious Wines on  1800 99 18 44 and let them know its an order through Wine Alliance


You can email your order to commercial@curiouswines.ie (please CC me on the email – maurice@winealliance.ie)

Orders will be delivered within 48 hours as normal.


Beam me down Scotty ! Dont forget the wine !

Off to an exciting Cork Culture Night Virtual tasting in Latitude 51.

The Bringing The WineGeese Home team of Beverly of Latitude 51, Colm from Ballymaloe and myself are delighted to take part in this wonderful series of events taking place all over the city and further afield.

3 winemakers are joining us for a tasting on Skype. The winemakers will speak to us about their wines and vineyards, all live,  thanks to the wonders of technology !

Here is the lineup !

Dermot Sugrue of Wiston Estate Winery will be telling us about his wonderful sparkling wines, live from his estate in West Sussex, UK.

Wiston Estate Winery products




Marion Smith of Elgin Ridge Wines joins us from Elgin, South Africa to tell us all about her lovely Sauvignon Blanc


Summer at Elgin Ridge

Last and by no means least, Fleur McCree of Little Beauty joins us from New Zealand (via London) to tell us about her Pinot Gris

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It all kicks off at 5pm to a packed house



Corgo Da Regua in the Irish Examiner


Delighted to see our very popular Douro wine, Corgo Da Regua featured by Leslie Williams in his wine column this weekend in the Irish Examiner. Such a lovely wine and some of the nicest people in the world to work with.

Its a stunningly beautiful location too in the Douro Valley – well worth visiting if you ever get the chance. In the meantime, you can taste the Douro in this classic example of the wine style of the region.


Support Your Local Campaign Launch


Leslie from the Irish Examiner sent me the following – might be of interest to you

The Cork launch is on Tuesday 29-April in  The White Horse Ballincollig 4.00pm

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The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland invites you to attend the launch of a major national campaign

‘Support Your Local…’

On  Monday 28th April 2014

from 7pm

In  Vintage Cocktail Club, 15 Crowne Alley, Dublin 2

Entertainment by Duke Special’s Gramophone Club

Social photography will be issued by Photocall Ireland.


This event is the evening launch party for the ‘Support Your Local…’campaign. A media briefing is being held earlier the same day at 11am on Monday 28th April in Buswells Hotel. You are very welcome to attend this also.

What will be announced at the media briefing in Buswells Hotel:

·         Details of a new report by Tony Foley from the DCU Business School: ‘Drinks Related Employment in Dail Constituencies’ will be launched

·         Details of a series of regional media events around the country over the coming weeks will be announced

·         An industry-wide pledge clarifying the members’ position on the necessary steps that must be taken in order to address alcohol misuse will be issued

·         Details of a new website SupportYourLocal.ie will be provided

Media Contact: Q4 Public Relations          01 475 1444

Ruth O’Byrnes                   086 055 8331 / ruth@q4pr.ie

Colin Taylor                         086 783 2502 / colin@q4pr.ie



La Pinaleta Rioja 2012 Rioja Spain

Pinaleta RiojaCountry / Region : Rioja, Spain

Year : 2012

Grape Variety : 80% Tempranillo / 20% Garnacha / Mazuelo

Style : Warm, Spicy Red

ABV : 13 %

Drink By : 2017

The Winemakers

The Osborne – Osborne family have connections with the wine trade as far back as 1772. The company has privately owned estates in several quality Denominations of Origin in Spain including Ribera Del Duero, Rueda, Toro, Priorat, Cava – Penedes and Rioja. The company’s philosophy is a continuous study of the vineyards and their soil. The estates’ terrains are divided and the wines obtained are selected and treated individually at all times both during the production and ageing processes. They ensure that the result of this whole process is a unique reflection of the personality of the vineyards. This is how Viñedos Iberian was created with the aim of producing wines that accurately reflect the terrain and estate from where they originate.

The Wine

The grapes were obtained from vineyards of the Rioja town of Fuenmayor. After selecting them and its preparation proceeded to give them a new barrel aging and second year French oak for 1 – 2 months. The nose has aromas of fruits from the forest with soft spicy notes of its time in oak. The palate is wide and balanced with a palate full of ripe red fruit and an elegant aftertaste reminiscent of cherry liqueur cream.

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