Julie Dupouy was crowned the World’s 3rd Best Sommelier in 2016 when she represented the Irish Guild of Sommeliers in Mendoza, Argentina and was named Ireland’s Best Sommelier 2018 just yesterday. While working as a sommelier in Dublin, she also runs an independent consultancy, Down2Wine.
In red wine I have a soft spot for an Austrian red wine called Cuvee Vom Berg by Muhr-Van de Niepoort. It is a blend of Blaufrankisch and Syrah from the Carnuntum region. I love the generous fruit, spice, floral characters and minerality of that wine balanced by a silky, elegant and digest palate.
Lately I’ve been enjoying drinking wines from volcanic terroirs. I love the incredible energy and character that they can have. I particularly like the wines made by Suertes del Marques from Tenerife and by Vinhos Barbeito in Madeira.
For me, the most exciting wine today is being produced as naturally as possible and has purity, energy and vibrancy. I am always moved by natural wines from the Loire Valley from producers such as Nicolas Reau or Le Clos Tue Boeuf or by the wines of Vino di Anna in Sicily.
I also like skin contact white wines even though they can be quite unusual in style (and probably not everybody’s taste). One of my favourites is Sacrissassi Bianco from Le Due Terre producer in Friuli.
The best value wines today are to be found in’specialised wine shops. They might cost overall a few extra euros than in a supermarket but they often offer a big jump in terms of quality. Some of my favourite wine shops are Green Man Wines in Terenure, The Corkscrew in Dublin 2, 64 Wines in Glasthule, Jus de Vine in Portmarnock and Gibney’s in Malahide.
My most treasured wine experience was tasting Krug Clos du Mesnil in the Clos du Mesnil. Tasting this mythic champagne standing in this tiny single plot surrounded by walls was just incredible. There was a surreal atmosphere with a light breeze and a very unique luminosity… and the champagne was delicious!
But the most memorable wine I’ve ever tasted was Hermitage Red, Jean-Louis Chave 1990. When it comes to Hermitage wines, this producer is the Reference. The 1990 vintage was pretty exceptional in many parts of France. The wine had a very unique sheen to the colour and an energy that I had never experienced before: the complexity, intensity and depth of flavours was incredible. There was a dimension to this wine which was absolutely unique.
My dream cellar would contain a selection of wines from everywhere around the world with no restriction of space nor budget and it would have a tasting area where I could invite my friends!
In conversation with: Aoife Carrigy, wine & drinks editor of Image Interiors & Living
Featured portrait: Al Higgins