Sunday 20 April 2014

Oireachtas wine could be a 'big cellar'

We, as a nation, need to tack our complex relationship with alcohol

IT has taken four years of struggle, grief and begrudgery since the first proposal, but Leinster House finally has its own brand of "Oireachtas wine" for sale just in time for the Christmas retail rush.

Supporters of the move have claimed a branded Dail wine could be "an attraction for tourists" and noted other parliaments such as "the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly" have their own whiskey and wines.

The first bottles of Oireachtas wine started appearing on, and leaving, the Dail bar shelf last week.

Within the bar the "souvenir and gift wine", which come in a tasteful black "presentation bag" with golden lettering, retails at a pricey €15 a bottle.

Thirstier punters, or generous TDs and senators can also purchase a mixed case of 12 bottles at a reduced price of €140, whilst it costs €21 in the restaurant.

For fans of red, the wine in question is a cheeky 2012 French Merlot, that at a 13pc alcohol volume, appears to have a bigger kick than many of our TDs and senators, whilst the white is a Sauvignon Blanc.

"It's not a specially commissioned wine, it's not our own grapes, we just add the label that is supplied free of charge by the company," an Oireachtas source noted anxiously.

Commenting on the development another individual happily declared "not only can you wine, dine and opine in the Dail but you can even get a carry-out".

The launch will displease Gerry Adams, who has in the past complained about how the Oireachtas own-brand wine proposal was "bizarre and shows how out of touch some members of the Oireachtas really are".

Sunday Independent

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