David Gallagher is co-owner of Green Man Wines together with his wife Claire O’Boyle Gallagher. Their shop and winebar in Terenure, showcases artisan wines from quality-driven producers. David is known to many from his days as manager of Berry Brothers and Rudd and more recently of Fallon & Byrne’s wine cellar.
At this time of year, the wines I find myself drawn to are the classics, particularly white and red Burgundy and value can be found. I tasted Domaine Andre Bonhomme’s newly released Vire Clesse ‘Cuvee Speciale’ 2015. Organically grown, old-vines and a great vintage, it is ripe and rich, but with a vein of stony, mineral acidity. I have just picked up a parcel of exceptional red Burgundies from Meo-Camuzet and will treat myself to a bottle of the Nuits-Saint-Georges 2005 with a special dinner over the Christmas period.
Some of my favourite winter food and wine pairings are rib of beef with good horseradish, wild mushrooms, creamy mash and a bottle of something great from Tuscany like the Le Pergole Torte 2012. Not simply a great Tuscan or Italian wine, it’s one of the world’s elite wines, with layers of juicy, dark fruits, warm cigar wrapper, liquorice and spice, crushed flower petals and smoke.
For me, the most exciting wines today are being produced around the world by growers who are working in a less interventionist way, using little or no chemicals. The best wines are incredibly drinkable and enjoyable, even more than that, they have a sense of where they came from, and a kind of joyous energy that is very life-affirming. The Loire, Beaujolais, Sicily, Austria, South Africa and Australia seem to be hotbeds of new exciting wines at the moment.
The best value wines today are as they always have been for me: from regions and producers which aren’t the ‘big names’. These producers are usually small farmers and growers who just want to make a product that is true to their place and culture and tastes good with the local food, a wine that they themselves are happy to drink and share.
My dream cellar would contain a wide variety of wines for every occasion and drinking time frame, but for longer term enjoyment would have at its core good Champagne, red and white Burgundy, some Bordeaux, Rhone, Piedmont and Tuscany.
The most memorable wine I’ve ever tasted was Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 1982, tasted in the early 2000s. I had no real expectation from it, but its complexity, balance and elegance after twenty-odd years in bottle blew me away. I recently bought a case with which to celebrate my son’s 21st birthday.
The thing I love most about my job is the ever-changing nature of the people, wines, foods that I come in contact with. Every day brings something new. I also love the craic when the whole place is buzzing with energy and people having fun.
In Conversation with: Aoife Carrigy, wine & drinks editor of Image Interiors & Living
Portrait: Melanie Mullan