wine
Held in Mitchell and Son’s Wine Shop in CHQ on Wednesday night as part of the Five Lamps Festival, A Wine Goose Chase is an hour-long one woman theatrical performance fusing interactive wine tasting with storytelling in an intimate setting. Susan Boyle treated us to the history of wine and the influence the Irish had on its development. It was eye-opening, entertaining and educational. She took us through the Monks to the Celts and the Vikings and regaled us of tales of the wine geese. These wine geese are the Irish men who left Ireland in the 18th Century and established themselves in the wine industry around the world. She spoke of smells, memories and above all of her love for wine.

We also got to enjoy and taste the wines she was speaking about all of which had Irish connections. Wine One was a Riesling from the Wakefield Estate in the Clare Valley in Australia. It was a single wine, a first growth Bordeaux, which inspired Bill Taylor to take the plunge and to purchase a block of land in the Clare Valley and set about crafting quality wines to rival the French. This was followed by a Rose from Chateau Clarke of Bordeaux. Rose always reminds me of the summer and holidays and this particular one was very light. Chateau Clarke has bared Irish man Tobie Clarke’s name since he purchased the land in 1818. Susan spoke about Bordeaux, the capital of the wine world today, which became home to many of these Irish who immersed themselves in the wine trade. Today, Bordeaux boasts many distinctive Irish names including Barton, MacCarthy, Kirwan, Dillon, Phelan, Hennessy and Lynch.

Irish emigrants were also involved in winemaking from Mexico to South Africa to the remote regions of Australia and New Zealand. To finish and it being Malbec World day, we finished up with a newer wine El Commandante Malbec. All the way from Argentina, it was founded in 2006 by Irish wine lover and former Army Commandant, Michael Lynch. The winery is now run by his son, Tom.

We rounded the night off by tasting Green Spot Whiskey produced exclusively for Mitchell & Son. This Single Pot Still Whisky is unique to Ireland. It was my first-ever tasting of whiskey and it was a bit too strong for me, I think I’ll stick to the wine. There was another performance on after ours although we were told to sit and enjoy while Susan went round the tables answering any questions.

This one-woman wine show premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Never fear if you missed its appearance at the Five Lamps Festival, Thomas Barton wines is sponsoring this play at the Dublin Bay Wine Experience, which is taking place in Dun Laoghaire on May 18th and 19th. ‘Bringing the Wine Geese Home’ is a wine initiative, in association with The Gathering, which will feature wine events and promotions that focus on wineries with an Irish connection. Tickets are €15pp and can be purchased from: The offices of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chambers or from www.dublinbaywineexperience.ie

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