Life Food & Drink

Friday 24 January 2020

The social drinker

Loose Canon on Drury Street in Dublin
Loose Canon on Drury Street in Dublin

Tom Molloy

Last week, this column looked back at the changing tastes when it came to beer and spirits over the past decade.

The sudden rise in small distilleries was probably the single biggest trend among drinkers - along with the popularity of gin and Aperol spritz - but wine drinkers also saw plenty of changes.

Most wine merchants are reporting a waning interest in new-world wines among Irish drinkers, and a renewed fascination with French and Spanish wines, along with increasing interest in organic and biodynamic wines.

Wines from Chile remain popular with Irish drinkers, but Australia and New Zealand are losing ground. The reasons seem clear to me: new-world producers have become lazy and boring at the lower end of the market, which is where most of us live and play.

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European vineyards have also learned a few tricks from Down Under. Labels are easier on the eye, and names are easier to pronounce. Few people like to drink wines that they cannot pronounce, so authorities in some countries have introduced new categories which are easy to say.

Organic wines, made from grapes grown without pesticides, and biodynamic wines, made from vines grown in ecologically sound vineyards, have also seen a huge rise in popularity over the past decade as more of us worry about chemicals.

Paris has had organic wine merchants and cafes for quite some time, but I think I'm right in saying that the rather wonderful Loose Canon on Drury Street in Dublin, pictured, is Ireland's first organic wine shop. Charming, quirky and full of unusual-tasting wines and cheese, I doubt it will be the last. I predict plenty more organic wine shops selling European wines across Ireland as the new decade gets into its stride.

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