On Monday, November 19, Wines of Chile hosted a high-profile Press Tasting at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin, Ireland.
Eighty-six wines from 30 vineyards were presented to an audience of 24 prominent representatives from various areas of the Irish media and wine trade.
Journalist and wine blogger Kevin Ecoc, who published a very enthusiastic account of the event, noted, “what impressed me is that regardless of its ability to churn out fruity inexpensive numbers the country continues to push forward with ever increasing ranges of high quality wines. They have widened their quality varietal offerings and are now putting some fine blends together. They now have an offering for the future. When Ireland begins to trade up again it will find a treasure trove of exciting wines waiting for them on the far side of the Andes.”
The successful Irish Press Tasting showcased Chile’s wine regions and styles, focusing on mid-priced wines in the categories of white, rosé, red, and sparkling.
The overall objective of the event was to introduce Chilean wine to the Irish audience at the beginning of the Christmas trading season, taking advantage of the opportunity for additional publicity and exposure to boost Chile’s profile in Ireland.
As a “silent tasting,” each attendee enjoyed a pleasant and personal tasting experience.
Event organizer and wine journalist Jean Smullen – Wines of Chile’s representative in Ireland – writes, “The format of a “silent tasting” was well received by those attending. I noted that the press seemed to be tasting on a themed basis. [For example], John Wilson [of The Irish Times] indicated that he wished to focus on regions.
“The layout by region was helpful for this as the wines were presented by region, which emphasized the regionality of the grape varieties and highlighted the various styles. [Point-of-sale] material including maps and leaflets were also available to those attending.”
Irish journalists in attendance included:
- Liam Campbell of Irish Independent and Easyfood
- Aoife Carrigy of Irish Mail on Sunday
- Tomas Clancy of Sunday Business Post
- Maureen O’Hara of Irish Daily Star
- Ernie Whalley of Sunday Times (Irish Edition)
- Leslie Williams of The Examiner
- John Wilson of The Irish Times
- Caroline Byrne of Irish Gardening Magazine
- Corinna Hardgrave of Irish Tatler Magazine
- Paul O’Doherty of The Advertiser (regional newspaper for Mayo, Mullingar and Athlone)
- John Brophy of Drinks Industry Ireland
- Kevin Ecock of Checkout Magazine
- Rob Gilmore & Shane McNally from Empty Glass wine blog
Sommeliers and on-trade customers, as well as independent off-trade buyers were also present, including:
- Kevin Towey of the Towey Group
- Rene Vignolles of L’Ecrivain
- Thomy Suffe of Pearl Brasseries
- Julie Dupony, Irish representative at the 2013 World Sommelier Competition
- Margaret Breski of La Cave Wine Bar
- David Cope of Cope of Castledermot (Londis)
- Julie Dupony of Laurance Caubet Wine Importer
- Máirín Uí Mhurchú of Dromcain Guest House
- Guiseppe Peruzzi of Kapriol Catering
Chilean Ambassador H.E. Leonel Searle and Commercial Consul Cristian Oschilewski Lucares rounded out the high-profile guest list.
Additional media publicity about the tasting has been very positive so far, and Smullen anticipates ongoing reviews and media reactions for up to six months into the future, ensuring that Wines of Chile’s cogent message is disseminated to a broad European audience.
The following Chilean wineries participated in the Ireland Press Tasting:
Aresti; Aviary (Casas del Toqui & Alto Los Romeros); Botalcura; Vina Carmen; Vina Casablanca; Casa Marin; Casa Silva; Chocalan; Concha y Toro; Cono Sur; Cousino Macul; De Martino; Emiliana; Errazuriz; Estampa; Vina Leyda; Loma Larga; Luis Felipe Edwards (Auroritas & Marea); Vina Maipo; Mont Gras; Nativa Eco Wines; Odfjell; San Pedro (Castillo del Molina); Santa Carolina; Santa Rita; Miguel Torres (Santa Digna); Undurraga; and Viu Manent.