Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

Filomena Kaguako

The Orgasm Gap: ‘We have this frustrating myth that sex is easy and innate’

Aoife Drury

Single parenting in a pandemic: ‘I cry alone in the car so the kids don’t...

Lia Hynes

Author Ruth Gilligan: ‘I have slowly colonised our flat’s small second bedroom into my writing...

Sophie Grenham

About 400,000 women in Ireland have this condition and don’t know

IMAGE

Why the 2021 Golden Globes are being overshadowed by controversy

Jennifer McShane

3 rural homes in Co Cork on sale for €175,000 and under

Megan Burns

GALLERY: Beautiful gowns from The Golden Globes through the years

Jennifer McShane

Practical and stylish: 12 baskets we absolutely love for every budget

Megan Burns

Image / Editorial

Fergus O’Halloran’s Fireside Wine Recommendations


by IMAGE Interiors & Living
19th Sep 2017

Fergus O’Halloran is the Managing Director of The Twelve Hotel in Barna, Co Galway where his passion for wine has culminated in a 500-bin wine cellar and regular Wine Spectator Awards for The Most Outstanding Wine Lists In The World.


A recent wine trip to South Africa’s wine regions was a massive eye opener: I went to Swartland, Stellenbosch, Franshoek and all around the Cape. I tasted all these amazing wines like Paul Cluver’s wines in Elgin or Shiraz by de Trafford. Lately I’ve been enjoying drinking South African Chenin Blanc and Shiraz. South African Chenin Blanc was such an industrial wine many years ago but the quality of what they’re doing now is phenemonal.

This autumn, I’ll be drinking Italian Amarone for its full-bodied intensity and warming effect. There’s nothing nicer than sitting by the fire having a glass of Amarone that’s been brought up to 18C. Come home from work and open up a bottle of Amarone and let it breathe for half an hour and enjoy a glass. That’s just heaven.

A favourite autumnal pairing that we did last year was a squash confit with white sauce on pizza served with Pinot Gris from Alsace. Rioja’s dusty leathery sour cherry flavours pair well with autumnal dishes, or spicy wines like Grenache with mushrooms. We love to add spices to dishes as simple as a Connemara casserole for a little kick, and you could serve that with a Nebbiolo or South African Shiraz.

The thing I love most about my job is sitting together with the two other sommeliers in the kitchen, tasting the chef’s food and deciding on wine matches. We’ll agree and disagree, and we’ll learn from each other. It’s hard to make the time for it but it’s something we look forward to.

My most memorable wine experience was at the end of my first real wine trip – we spent about two weeks doing all of Napa – when we finished up in Oregon in a place called Amity Vineyards. The owner Myron Redford was away for two days and myself and my wife stayed in his house. When he arrived back he opened up his whole wine library and we sat around the pool one day just tasting all these amazing wines going back from years. After that I fell in love with Pinot Noir from Oregon. I’ve picked grapes in Chateau Rothschild, I’ve done tastings in Pichon Longueville, I’ve enjoyed really classy wine dinners – but that one memory really stands out.

For me, the most exciting wine today is being produced in South Africa, but also Italy and Spain. We’ve been importing our own Pecorino from the Marche region for five years and it’s our number one selling wine. I went on this mission to replace the Pinot Grigio we were doing by the glass and discovered a Pecorino with same characteristics but just with so much more flavour: it has this really unique kind of anise behind it. Now we import palettes of it every year from this one producer.

The best value wines today are coming from Italy and Spain – if I look at what we’re pouring by the glass, (when you’ve got to be very conscious of the pricepoint), the vast majority is Italy and Spain. I also rate Lidl and Aldi as stocking really good quality wines.

My dream cellar is right here in Barna. I’m very fortunate. We have 500 different wines on our list and I can taste anything thanks to the Coravin system, which has opened a whole new world for us.

In conversation with: Aoife Carrigy, wine & drinks editor of Image Interiors & Living

SaveSave

Also Read

home in Ballsbridge house
EDITORIAL
This grand home in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 is priced at €2.95 million

Just a 15-minute drive from the city centre (and with...

By Grace McGettigan

EDITORIAL
8 quirky-yet-perfect Christmas gifts for the Netflix addict in your life

While the dawn of the Netflix era has been great...

By Jennifer McShane

EDITORIAL
The 12 steps to surviving Christmas

Hire cleaners, have one party to rule them all, and...

By Laurence Mackin

sore eyes UTI period
EDITORIAL
Health Check: What are prostaglandins and how do they affect my period symptoms?

If you find yourself suffering with symptoms like cramping, sore...

By Erin Lindsay

Covid crying
EDITORIAL
Tears, fears and tissues: The 5 types of Covid crying we’re all by now familiar with

It goes without saying that most of us have had...

By Edaein OConnell

books
EDITORIAL
8 brilliant books worth reading (that you may have missed)

 With so many brilliant books out in 2020, there’s every...

By Jennifer McShane

EDITORIAL
9 beautiful Champagne glasses to order in time for NYE

Ring in the New Year (and bid a welcome adieu...

By Lauren Heskin

EDITORIAL
5 classic movies you must watch during the festive season

Jennifer McShane celebrates the classic films of her childhood that made...

By Jennifer McShane