The evenings may be drawing in, but there’s plenty to look forward to. From hot new reads to must-see gigs, the edgiest fashion events and gastro trends to the newest voices in podcasting, our writers have rounded up the best of what’s coming your way this autumn
Steven Van Zandt’s autobiography, September 28 Little Steven, as he has long been affectionately known, has had quite a life — there’s his decades-long membership of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and an acting career that has become ever busier since his breakout role in The Sopranos. That’s all in his new memoir, Unrequited Infatuations, but so is an account of a strict New Jersey upbringing and the moment when he swapped Christianity for rock ‘n’ roll.
Duran Duran’s return, October 22
They may be synonymous with new wave and 1980s synth-pop, but Simon Le Bon and the various unrelated Taylors are still going strong. Future Past will be Duran Duran’s 15th album and boasts several intriguing guests, including Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and Swedish pop star Lykke Li. Giorgio Moroder is among the heavyweights on production duty. Ready for the dance floor?
Damon Albarn’s new solo album, November 12
It’s hard to keep up with Damon Albarn. Not only is he Blur’s frontman, but he’s also a leading light in Gorillaz and his extra-curricular adventures includes membership of The Good, the Bad & the Queen. Now, seven years after his last solo album, he’s back with The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows. The new music will whet appetites for his February shows at Dublin’s National Concert Hall.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss make long-awaited return, November 19
Is it really 14 years since the Led Zeppelin belter and the bluegrass-country queen delivered the wonderful Raising Sand album? It enjoyed such universal acclaim and bagged six Grammys that it was easy to imagine that it would be the first of many collaborations between the pair. Finally, after a number of aborted efforts, Plant and Krauss are back and with Raise the Roof. Like its predecessor, it was produced by the veteran T Bone Burnett and will feature 12 new recordings of songs by legends and unsung heroes, including Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint and The Everly Brothers. The single, Can’t Let Go, which was originally recorded by Lucinda Williams, suggests the album will be another winner.
Peter Jackson’s new Beatles documentary, November 25
These are good days for Beatles obsessive. Disney+ has recently given us McCartney 3, 2, 1, in which Macca chats music with Rick Rubin, and now, after years of toil, the Lord of the Rings director arrives with the three-part documentary The Beatles: Get Back. That was the original name of Let It Be, the Beatles’ final studio album, and Jackson’s film goes deep into its creation and release. It’ll air on Disney+, too.
Gemma Dunleavy, The Academy, November 6
The Dubliner has aroused plenty of excitement on the basis of a handful of singles, but the hype is justified. Her songs on debut EP Up De Flats evoke the pleasures and pains of inner-city life. She knows of what she sings — after all, as her Twitter bio puts it, she’s “Sherriff Street born, bred ‘n’ buttered”.
Alanis Morissette , 3Arena, November 25
Like many big arena shows, this one was supposed to happen last year. Better late than never. The Canadian may not be part of the zeitgeist like she was in the mid-1990s, but if you were smitten by her monster-selling debut Jagged Little Pill, you won’t want to miss her revisiting Ironic, and the rest.
Nature is healing?
Arts festivals are doubly so after a fallow 18 months, as the great and good of Irish literature convene to celebrate the best in Irish writing and publishing. Established in 2006, the Dublin Book Festival is an autumn highlight, with events usually taking place in venues across the capital. 2020’s festival moved online to great success, and thus far, announced events of the 2021 programme will also be taking place online. Still, expect a sense of occasion as Kodaline singer Steve Garrigan chats with Fergal D’Arcy ahead of the release of his debut book (Oct 14) and Keith Barry talks about his latest book, Brain Hacks, with Gerry Kelly (Oct 24). Tickets for both events are €8 (or €22 if you fancy buying the book). See dublinbookfestival.com for details on further events.
Red Line Book Festival, October 11
Elsewhere on the internet, the Red Line Book Festival involves a week of events. Among its highlights is author Rob Doyle reading from, and discussing, his novel Threshold with author and critic Nicole Flattery. The Observer described Threshold as “[taking] the form of 11 freewheeling, pharmaceutically messy vignettes in which a not-so-young literary man roams far-flung locales”. And for the princely sum of nought, you can see what exactly that means, too. This event is online on Tuesday, October 13 at 8pm. Booking required: see redlinebookfestival.ie
Clint and Ron Howard’s memoir, October 28
There’s no shortage of gripping Hollywood memoirs out there right now, but Clint and Ron Howard’s The Boys, lifts the lid on a lesser-known Hollywood family. The memoir examines the careers of the brothers’ childhoods, starting with their careers as child actors. While Ron found great success after Happy Days, his personal happiness left much to be desired, and Clint’s acting career was on the wane by his late teens, sending him into a period of crisis. A fascinating look behind the velvet curtain at the true emotional cost of fame. Published by HarperCollins.
The Jonathans’ novels, October
If Hollywood has The Chrises (Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt), modern literature has The Jonathans (Safran Foer, Franzen, Lethem). Two of the three are gearing up for book releases this autumn: Lethem’s novel The Arrest (out November 12, via Atlantic) examines a scenario in which the staples of modern life — cars, computers, airplanes — stop working. Jonathan Franzens’ Crossroads (out October 5, via 4th Estate) is described by its pre-sale blurb as “the stunning foundation of a sweeping investigation of human mythologies”, whatever that means.
Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land, September 28
If you enjoyed Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, there’s plenty to appreciate in his new novel Cloud Cuckoo Land (via 4th Estate). With characters figuring life out in 15th-century Constantinople, modern-day Idaho and decades into the future, the scope of Doerr’s book is truly mind-blowing.
JR Thorp’s Learwife, November 2
Maggie’ O’Farrell’s Hamnet blazed a trail by diving into the lost history of Mrs William Shakespeare, JR Thorp’s Learwife tells the story of King Lear’s wife in a blistering reimagination. Lear’s queen — mentioned only twice in Shakespeare’s play — has been written out of literary history for centuries, but no more. With King Lear dead, it’s now up to the queen to find out why she was banished, and what will become of her, in a story with several parallels in the present. This debut from Cork-based Thorp is must-do for fans of Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters, Par Barker and Natalie Haynes. Published by Canongate.
Call Us What We Carry, December 7
It’s not an easy task to steal the show from Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, but at Joe Biden’s inauguration, the relatively unknown poet Amanda Gorman did just that. The 22 year old brought all the feels to the star-studded event and woke up a day after to 1.1 million followers from Twitter, and endorsements from celebs like Mark Ruffalo and John Legend to Hillary Clinton. Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry collection (via Chatto & Windus) is bursting with urgency, hope and lyricism.
Armistead Maupin, October 16-17
If Netflix’s 2019 series Tales of the City floated your boat, spend an evening with the man who created the original book series. The much-loved American writer Armistead Maupin lands into Dublin’s Liberty Hall (October 16) and Belfast’s Ulster Hall (October 17) for an in-person chinwag. Take it from us, the 77 year old is every bit as magnetic and charming in person as his books might lead you to believe.
Scared of scripted podcasting?
If you usually listen to comedians chewing the fat, you may be a bit put off by the idea of scripted podcasts, but nowadays, they’re more audio Line of Duty than The Archers. Horror fans should check out Cadence13’s first “audio movie” Treat (out Halloween), starring Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka, about a mysterious outsider with supernatural powers infiltrating an American town.
Meanwhile, Zaya (out this winter) sounds like the perfect binge listen — a student sets out to rescue her brother after she witnesses his violent kidnapping in Brooklyn — and stars Suki Waterhouse. And if you’re mourning the end of Insecure, Issa Rae is launching HBO’s first scripted podcast with companion show We Keep Looking, exploring race issues in America, this autumn.
There’s something for every taste on the Irish podcasting scene. Music lovers can discover the beloved records of stars like Denise Chaila and Pillow Queens with Andrea Cleary’s My Favourite Album (via Tall Tales, from September), Paige Behan and Jake Corder give trans voices a platform on The Trans Vibe, and All Things Considered “examines why we do the things we do”.
If you like Off Menu…
For foodies, the wildly popular Off Menu and Table Manners are go-to podcasts, but for less celebrity with your food chat, Bon Appetit’s new food podcast, aptly called Food People (out this autumn), answers food questions, like the best way to cook chicken or the best air fryer to buy. Probably not one to listen to in the gym, but the perfect kitchen companion.
As restrictions ease, live podcast shows are returning to the theatre, with home-grown faves The Blindboy Podcast (November 1, 8 and 29 at Dublin’s Vicar Street) and Niall Breslin’s Where Is My Mind (October 1, 2, 3 in Limerick, Dublin and Galway) taking to the stage. Meanwhile, the hilarious and, well, creepy The Creep Dive held live shows at Acushla in Shankill over the summer — keep an eye on their social media for upcoming dates.
True crime without the gore
True crime pods often tell the same stories with increasingly gory details, but the best bring fascinating new tales and fresh takes on old horror. Welcome to Your Fantasy dives into the dark side of the Chippendales (complete with murder and arson), while TV series Very Scary People is getting a companion podcast later this year from CNN, revisiting the true story of the Amityville murders. Best keep a light on.
Jon Stewart takes on podcasting
Jon Stewart will be tackling topics from the news cycle and how we can affect change on his new Apple TV+ show The Problem with Jon Stewart, but luckily for us, the show — out this autumn — will be accompanied by a podcast, so we can investigate the world’s woes on the move.
The fresh voice
Despite being a total podcast newbie, Namulanta Kombo won the BBC World Service International Podcast Competition with her project, To My Daughter (out). The 15-part podcast is about the experiences and advice mothers around Africa and the world want to pass on to their daughters, and looks set to be a poignant listen.
The queen of pop-culture podcasting
If Karina Longworth’s golden voice doesn’t get you hooked on her pop culture podcasts, the content will. Try the long-running You Must Remember This, which ambitiously tells the story of Hollywood through heavy research and fascinating narrative, or the new series Love is a Crime, which tells the story of the marriage between film-noir star Joan Bennett and Hollywood producer Walter Wanger.
Climate change is the big theme of the moment and a growing body of eco-theatre is making waves. When you call an Irish show Rising, everyone imagines it will be about 1916. But this video installation/audio performance by Brokentalkers is about sea levels rising, and brings the climate crisis smack into the centre of our Capital city. October 7-9 at the Liffey Quays, part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Root, devised by Shanna May Breen and Luke Casserly, is about Ireland’s lost forests and it hands the microphone to a tree. Sept 30-Oct 2, Samuel Beckett Theatre. Also part of the DTF. Hunting Darwin, from Sligo’s Blue Raincoat, is an expedition to Antarctica in search of an Emperor Penguin egg during which hardy travellers confront nature’s might. Sept 29-Oct 9, The Factory, Sligo.
The Border Game, October 2-23, Lyric Theatre, Belfast
This new play by Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney emerges just in time for the centenary of the Irish Border. On a borderlands farm, a woman’s fence has been destroyed by vandals and she recruits a hungover man to help repair it. The writing duo of Patrick and Kearney displayed plenty of comic political chutzpah in their recent play The Alternative, so this fence-building border play has first-rate labourers behind it.
iGirl, October 9-30, Abbey Theatre, Dublin
Olwen Fouéré appeared in Ullaloo, Marina Carr’s Abbey debut on the Peacock Stage in 1991. Since then, she has popped up in the premieres of several other Carr plays, including By the Bog of Cats and The Mai. This writer-actor collaboration reaches a new level in this one-person show. Eager eyes will watch this first production directed by the new Abbey artistic director Caitríona McLaughlin. Also part of the DTF.
Pure Mental, from November 6, nationwide
Presented by Riverbank Arts Centre, County Kildare, this debut theatrical one-man-show by popular presenter Keith Walsh, delves into the struggles and challenges of the 40-something Irish male. Walsh’s family thought he was going mad, so he took himself off to therapy. Whilst there, his mid-life crisis morphed into a mid-life awakening, which morphed into this play.
Fidelio, November 7-13, Gaiety Theatre
Irish National Opera brings you Beethoven’s only opera in a bang-up production in Ireland’s prettiest theatre. Soprano Sinéad Campbell Wallace is Leonore, who disguises herself as a boy to gain access to the prison where her husband Florestan (tenor Robert Murray) is held. The original early-19th-century story of persecuted political prisoners has plenty of contemporary echoes and this classic European opera remains relevant in theme, as well as eternal in musical splendour.
Sham, November 17-20, Belltable, Limerick
This new play by Paul Meade for Gúna Nua Theatre is a contemporary retelling of Hamlet set in gangland Limerick. On the death of her father, Sham returns to an urban estate and gets stuck into revenging her father’s killer. Spoken word, poetry and prose tune into local Limerick lingo, whilst putting the deadly drug trade under the microscope.
Upcycle designer Nicole McLaughlin
Would you wear lingerie made from freshly-baked croissants (a brassant)? What about slippers fashioned from court-ready tennis balls? Or utility shorts patched together from old gloves? For graphic designer turned cult Instagram artist Nicole McLaughlin, upcycling knows no bounds and every material is fair game. From her New York apartment, McLaughlin, who has collaborated with everyone from Hermès to Prada, pokes fun at the seriousness of the fashion industry by using ordinary objects in unexpected and extraordinary ways. What’s more, McLaughlin’s work has also allowed circular fashion to shine at a time when the industry is reflecting on its devastating environmental impact. Allow yourself 20 minutes to explore her upcycled treasure over on Instagram at @NicoleMcLaughlin.
The French Dispatch, October 22
Nobody does star-filled whimsical wordplay, Instagrammable interiors, and ice-cream-coloured ensembles like auteur Wes Anderson. His latest pastel-hued feature-length is billed as a love letter to journalists and includes appearances by everyone from Saoirse Ronan and Frances McDormand to Timothée Chalamet and Willem Dafoe. Fashion fans will be pleased to know that four-time Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero (Marie Antoinette, 2006, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014) is responsible for the saccharine looks for Anderson’s sepia-toned world. Expect neat skirt-suits, turtlenecks and no shortage of berets.
If you need further proof of fast fashion’s demise, consider this: London-based design duo Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova (designers in residence at Sarabande, the charitable trust established by Lee Alexander McQueen), AKA Auroboros, create cyber clothing as well as science-meets-fashion collections IRL that crystalise on the skin and metamorphosise over time. The future of fashion is here. auroboros.co.uk
Fashion photography from the 1990s – curated by Claudia Schiffer, September 2020 to January 2022
Claudia Schiffer can officially add curator to her expanding CV. The OG supermodel will curate a time-capsule exhibition in Düsseldorf (where she was first discovered aged 17), which will bring viewers through the last three decades of her shining career via photography, and memorabilia from her archive. Works by Juergen Teller, Karl Lagerfeld, Corinne Day, Herb Ritts and Ellen von Unwerth are among those featured. kunstpalast.de
The Sustainable Future of Fashion September 21
Is the future of fashion a sustainable one? Can luxury goods be part of a circular economy? And is luxury resale the future of fashion? These are some of the questions that will be put to Ronan O’ Dalaigh, founder of Irish compnay thriftify.ie; Anne-Marie Tomchak, founder and CEO of DesignTracker and co-founder of Share Joy; and Sandra Murphy founder and creative director of Afore After, at the inaugural SX21 TheSustainabilitySummit.earth. Taking place virtually over three days, the event will bring together thought leaders from the worlds of fashion, tech, medicine, engineering, law and beyond, to share and learn about climate justice and positive environmental change. thesustainabilitysummit.earth
Rose Plays Julie, September 17
Writing and directing partners Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor have made some intriguing films in the past, but the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called this one “their best work yet”. The excellent Ann Skelly is Rose, a watchful, silent veterinary student whose precarious personality is derailed when she finds out she was adopted. Her real mother is a well-known TV actor called Ellen (Orla Brady), and when Rose begins stalking her, an explosive confrontation ensues. A gripping psychological thriller.
IFI Documentary Festival, September 20-26
A rich programme at this year’s Documentary Festival will include some strong Irish entries. Ross Killeen’s Love Yourself Today explores the emotional power of Damien Dempsey’s music, Alex Fagan’s The Irish Wedding charts the experiences of brides and grooms across the country, and Kim Bartley’s elegiac documentary Pure Grit follows a grimly determined Native American bare-back horse racer in Wyoming. Garin Hovannisian’s I Am Not Alone and Mary Sue Connolly’s Overdosed are among the US films in a festival that will include streamed and cinema screenings. More info on ifi.ie
No Time to Die, September 30
Originally due out in April 2020, No Time to Die has been bumping its release forward ever since in an attempt to outrun the pandemic. And with a budget of almost $300m, there’s a lot riding on the movie’s success. Cary Joji Fukunaga took over the shoot after Danny Boyle’s departure due to “creative differences”, and Daniel Craig has sworn this will be his last Bond outing. In the film, 007 has retired from active duty when he becomes involved in the search for a missing Russian scientist. How well No Time to Die does may depend on the lifting of Covid restrictions.
To the Moon, October 8
Tadhg O’Sullivan follows up his wonderful 2017 documentary The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid with this haunting exploration of man’s obsession with the moon. Featuring stories and archive footage from all over the world, the film ponders the deep human connection to all things lunar, and explains how the dusty orb has come to symbolise emotional and spiritual longing, and helped inspire the dawn of interstellar travel. An outstanding piece of film-making.
Dune, October 22
Filmmakers have fallen at the formidable fence represented by Frank Herbert’s labyrinthine science-fiction epic, which, to date, has proved pretty much unadaptable. Enter Denis Villeneuve, the hugely talented Canadian filmmaker whose previous work includes Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. He has split Dune into two parts, and this first film is a splendid-looking adventure starring Timothée Chalamet as the messianic Paul Atreides, heir to a galactic dynasty who is cast adrift on the punishing desert planet of Arrakis, where enemies hover in the dunes. I think it’s tremendous, but if Dune doesn’t make its money back, we may never get to see the sequel, which has not yet been green-lit.
Cork Film Festival, November 5-21
Last year, like many another cultural events, the Cork Film Festival was driven online and, despite the best efforts of all concerned, watching things virtually is not the same as sitting in a cinema. Happily, the 66th Festival will mark a return to public screenings in an event that will blend online and in-person events. That means more marquee screenings of new Irish and international movies, with special guests, debates and Q&As. A good reason to head south this autumn. The programme will be announced in early October. corkfilmfest.org
It’s been an extraordinary year for the Mullingar actor, who was last seen in the Wicklow hills filming Netflix’s forthcoming Irish historical drama The Wonder, opposite Ciaran Hinds and Florence Pugh. A graduate of DIT and the Bow Street Academy, she quickly moved from small parts to big ones, and was hugely impressive as the no-nonsense Ursula in Nick Rowlands’ 2019 feature Calm with Horses. Her TV work has included Shane Meadows’ hard-hitting English drama series The Virtues, and Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves, but in 2021, her career has really taken off. Algar was wonderful as a repressed 1980s film censor in Prano Bailey-Bond’s acclaimed horror film Censor, and her portrayal of an undercover cop in Channel 4’s recent thriller Deceit. A star in ascendant.
The Shrink Next Door, Apple TV+, November 12
Apple TV+ has been very busy toiling away on its autumnal offerings. Following the October releases of HG Wells-inspired Invasion (boasting Sam Neill with a vastly improved American accent) and its feature-length Velvet Underground documentary, Apple subscribers will then be treated to some comedy noir. Based on Joe Nocera’s “true events” podcast of the same title, The Shrink Next Door stars Will Ferrell, Kathryn Hahn, and Paul Rudd as the fabled psychiatrist to the stars.
tick, tick...BOOM! Netflix, November 19
In the wake of the universally acclaimed Hamilton, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with this adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical. Just who is this Jonathan Larson? He’s only the mind behind revolutionary theatrical hit Rent. Given how Miranda’s musical efforts in the recently released Vivo were received (poorly), one can only hope this offering hits the mark.
Positive, Sky/NOW TV, December
For almost two years, we have been “learning to live with” coronavirus. It’s all too easy to forget about the faction of society that has been “learning to live with” a virus for 40 years... Told by the key players who confronted this terrifying disease, Positive is the definitive and ultimately uplifting story of the onset of the HIV/Aids epidemic this side of the Atlantic. Over the course of three episodes, viewers will see rare archival footage, and meet HIV patients and real-life heroes — including healthcare workers and activists on the front line — still working tirelessly to conquer the virus.
Conversations With Friends RTÉ
There is oodles of entertainment being bolstered by the license fee this season. Not only is Angela Scanlon’s rescheduled Ask Me Anything finally getting aired, audiences will also be treated to a number of co-productions, including Conversations With Friends, the new Hulu/BBC Three/RTÉ three-way based on Sally Rooney’s first book. The 12-part series commenced filming in Northern Ireland last April and, yes, it’s being helmed by Lenny Abrahamson and the rest of the Normal People crew.
Landscapers, Sky and NOW TV
Sky is positively coming down with comedy this season, with new ventures including Military Wives (Sharon Horgan), not to mention Deirdre O’Kane’s new stand-up show, which is set in the fabulous confines of the Olympia theatre. When it comes to drama hitting this autumn, all anyone is talking about is season three of Succession (October), but there is plenty more in the form of this original crime drama...
In Landscapers, Olivia Colman and David Thewlis star as a couple of fantasists, mentally on the run for almost two decades. By way of additional details; expect an abundance of dead bodies being discovered in the back garden of a middle England gaff.
Get that edge
When chef-of-the-moment Gráinne O’Keefe of Ballsbridge’s new Mae Restaurant commissioned bespoke knives from eight Irish makers, it signalled that the handmade knife had become Ireland’s most covetable kitchen item. It’s been a while coming. Gubbeen charcuterie producer Fingal Ferguson’s sideline of beautiful west Cork knives have been hot property amongst international chefs and obsessed foodies for years. His pal Sam Gleeson is a furniture-maker turned bladesmith of such sought-after skill that he is building a crowdfunded knife-making school with his wife, the talented chef Niamh Fox, on their land near Ennistymon. Besides featuring among the choice of steak knives at Mae, Gleeson and Ferguson are two of 13 members of the Association of Knife Makers Ireland. knifemakersireland.org
Inspired by the grilled and deep-fried skewer culture of yakitori, kushiyaki and kushikatsu in Japan, where 20-course menus of flavour-bombs on sticks are not uncommon, the husband and wife team of Jonny and Kate Boyle are back this autumn with a new season of pop-up Sticks dinners. Keep an eye on their Instagram (@sticks_dublin) for details — and for teasers from their current series of “family dinners” cooked by way of thanks to friends in hospitality. See also sticks-dublin.squarespace.com
Be a gastro-geek
Deep dive into Ireland’s multicultural culinary landscape with season three of Spice Bags podcast from the inimitable trio of Blanca Valencia, Mei Chin and Dee Laffan; get your whiskey geek on with podcasts like Irish Distiller’s A Perfect Blend series; or bring your domestic mixology to the next level with the ground-breaking new Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails (published November 4 and edited by the hugely knowledgable duo of David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum, who are also co-presenters on the entertaining Life Behind Bars podcast).
Tinned fish goes gourmet
Spanish conservas (gourmet tinned fish) are having a moment in the US, where chic restaurants and tapas bars serve top-quality mussels, octopus or clams straight from the can. Typically pickled or preserved in olive oil or traditional sauces, conservas remain somewhat elusive here in Ireland, largely limited to an albeit growing selection of quality tuna, sardines and anchovies — but October’s Spanish Food & Wine Week will be helping to celebrate this unique Spanish speciality. foodswinesfromspain.com
The year of the grocer
What was surely the year of the artisan grocer has far from run its course. William Despard of Bretzel Bakery’s newly conceived Irish Food Emporium has popped up on Dublin’s historic Duke Street with his pick of award-winning Irish artisan foods. Meanwhile, the new-breed gourmet food store from fishmonger Niall Sabongi and chef Karl Whelan, Terenure’s Saltwater Grocery, is taking things to the next level with in-store meet-and-greet tasting sessions with top food producers and wine importers.
Let me introduce you
It takes a bright spark to give a new twist to a hot trend, but that’s what Eamon FitzGerald has done with his take on the wine subscription model, which usually involves delivery of a monthly box of curated wines at a set price. With Wine Spark, you pay a €10 monthly membership to access your personal pick of quality wines imported directly from Eamon’s impressive international contact list, sold to you at cost price (including shipping and tax) with no retail mark up. winespark.com