About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library and this is my personal wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wine Library and the opinions expressed herein but I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. From June 2013 until May 2017 I was the Retail Manager for The Wicklow Wine Company. I was a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events, Trips, and Governance Committees. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Monday, December 10, 2012

More on the budget

The good people at Cases Wine Warehouse have an interesting piece following on from last week's budget and the way in which the Irish wine market is developing. All small retailers will have to increase the cost of wine in their shops at various stages between now and Christmas/New Year as duty-paid stock runs out. This means that their customers will see various wines going up by about €1.50 per bottle, or more. This will lead to a deal of customer resentment, especially as many of the big supermarkets may very well hold their price, either by losing margin or by negotiating better deals with the big wholesalers. I have been a long-time supporter of minimum pricing which would help deal with a major health issue as well as giving small retailers a somewhat more level playing field. If the Government had ring fenced 15%, say, of the new duty increase to help maintain carers' allowances, then maybe people might have felt somewhat better about paying a higher price - I drink, some who really needs care gets looked after - but there is a disconnect between policies and the social consequences. The real problem, however, is that the current alternative (FF, SF, PBPA etc.) aren't worth voting for!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Being for the benefit of Mr Flanagan (or simple maths for politicians!)

On Budget night, Charlie Flanagan made a right fool of himself by tweeting that the Budget can't have been too bad i the Irish Times was leading with the duty increase in wine. Immediately challenged by Conor Pope about this inaccuracy, he failed to respond. On top of that, he keeps churning out the standard political lie that it's only a €1 increase. So, for the benefit of politicians who have no mathematical ability and have never run a small business, here's the deal.