Aoife Carrigy catches up with Peter Hogan, who runs Fish Shop restaurant and neighbouring wine bar with Jumoke Akintola.
Peter Hogan’s love of wine has helped put the small restaurant (Fish Shop Queen Street) and neighbouring wine bar (Fish Shop Benburb Street) that he runs with Jumoke Akintola firmly on the map for Dublin wine lovers interested in trying something fresh, unique and delicious. Aoife Carrigy finds out exactly what's in his glass this summer.
Lately I’ve been really excited by the possibilities of the ‘forgotten’ white grape of Burgundy, Aligoté. You have to look hard but there are some fantastic examples out there from the producers like de Villaine and Sylvain Pataille. The wines tend to be quite mineral and packed full of fruit which works great with seafood. They also tend to offer good value for money. We've been re-working the wine lists for the restaurants and we’re excited to showcase some of these there.
For me, summer means rosé, both in the restaurant as well as at home…or rosado to be exact. Although the trend at the moment is definitely towards the pale-coloured, dry and crisp style from Provence, at Fish Shop we are really excited by its Spanish counterpart, rosado, a wine that’s still dry but deep in colour and full of flavour.
We have a small stash of one of the rarest and best rosados from the Rioja producer Lopez de Heredia in the restaurants but for everyday drinking there is a great example out there called ‘Sonrojo’ from Navarra producer Calandria.
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The thing I love most about my job is learning about wine. It's completely fascinating. The more you learn the more you realise how little you know, but tasting wines, reading, listening to podcasts, visiting wineries and most importantly meeting the people who make the wines… my job is full of opportunities to further my understanding and I love it. Rarely having to ever drink bad wine is a plus too!
My most memorable wine experience was a recent trip to Tenerife to visit one of our favourite wineries, Suertes del Marques, thanks to our amazingly generous and talented friends Rafa and Antonio from wine importer Vinos Tito.
The winery is stunningly beautiful and completely unique with 200-year-old vines trailing up the steep slopes of the El Tiede volcano in the north of the Island. We've been selling a really special white wine from them called ‘Vidonia’ since we opened and drinking this wine overlooking the vineyard that made it was a really memorable experience.
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For me, the most exciting wine today is being produced in Spain. Spain’s wines are so diverse it is hard to think of it as a single wine region but there are fantastic wines being made all over.
Some of our favourites include some very fine wines being made from old-vine Garnacha in the Gredos Mountains just outside Madrid by producers like Commando G; and fantastic quality Albariño from Galicia from the likes of Albamar and Zarate. Also, any wine from South African producer Craig Hawkins' Testalonga winery which is just getting better and better.
The best value wines today are coming from Beaujolais in France, which is a fantastic place to look for subtle, delicious wines that are a pleasure to drink and won't break the bank. Lapierre, Foillard, Daniel Bouland and Louis Claude Desvignes are a few names to look out for.
My dream cellar would contain lots of vintage Champagne. Regular access to really good Champagne is sadly something which will probably always be the stuff of dreams and most every situation is improved by it!
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