All the fun of the wine fair x2

Hurrah! O’Donovan’s massive annualCork Wine Fair – held every November for the last nine years – is to be joined this year by another major wine-a-rama.

Three other importer / retailers around Co Cork are jointly hosting The Good Wine Show. The estimable Bubble Brothers, Curious Wines and Karwig Wines are joining forces to present two tasting sessions on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14 at the Clarion Hotel on Lapp’s Quay in Cork city centre.

Wake up your senses at a wine tasting

This is the dullest picture ever of a wine tasting. I'm sure I have better elsewhere.

Find out more from

Bubble brothers at the Marina or English Market in Cork:
Curious Wines, Bandon, Co Cork:
Karwig Wines, Kilnagleary (between Carrigaline and Crosshaven):

O’Donovan’s ninth Cork Wine Fair takes place the following week, on Thursday, November 19, – also at the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay  –  from 4pm to 9pm.
Get more information and tickets on 021 4296060, from your local branch of O’Donovan’s or on

Both fairs present a fantastic opportunities for anyone in the area who likes wine.  To the many, many people who care about a decent glass of wine but haven’t yet tried tasting sessions (you know who you are) the message is simple: get on board.

Look, I recommend wines here and in my column in the Irish Examiner. But they’re mere hints’n’tips: My real message is that all of us have the equipment to snoot out the gorgeousness of fermented grape juice and that we can have a whale of a time doing so.

Sniffing and savouring one wine can be both a pleasure and an revelation. But you can experience quite an epiphany when you repeat the process with several wines.  (And no, I’m not talking about the effects the alchohol would have if you were drinking it. I’m talking about the engaging with your wines while employing the very worthwhile skill of spitting).

Sidestep everything you think you know, shed any prejudices you may have about grapes, regions – or even retailers – and try out sample after sample. When you set your senses free from your intellect in this way you can experience a sort-of primeval pleasure akin to the felling you get when you’re lost in sublime music*.

Some people treat these wine tasting sessions as one would a bar, enjoying a chat with mates over a glass or two of wine. This makes perfect sense for them, and I wouldn’t try to change that. But it does strike me as a wasted opportunity as it’s a relatively rare chance to sample all those wines and discover your new favourite, which you’d never even known was out there.

Both wine fairs will be offering samples from scores of wines and, should you need further inducement, some tasty bites from quality food producers.


• AND as if to further whet your appetite for this tasting lark, Bubble Brothers is hosting the next of its monthly tutored tastings on Wednesday September 23 at 7.30pm at the The Aga Shop, just behind the Clarion Hotel in Cork. Julian will be joined by winemakers Gordon Gebbie and Ryan Morgan of the Rathbone Wine Group to unveil the retailer’s new range of Australian wines.
Get more information and tickets  (€12) from, or on 021 431 6000.

* Music fitting that description for me at the moment includes Gregorio Allegri’s hypnotic Miserereand Shhh/Peaceful by Miles Davis. Mmmmm.


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