So long as you’re not lactose intolerant, or vegan, or you’re not engaging in a strict Dry January/ February/ March etc., you really can’t go wrong with a date centred around wine and cheese.
The whole concept of wine and cheese is informal, relaxed and fun, and thanks to the low lighting and sultry music that often sets the backdrop in these establishments, it makes things suitably sexy, if that’s what you’re going for...
Piglet, Cow's Lane, Dublin 8
Now this is a really quirky spot, bursting with atmosphere, character and fun in what must be the most quiet area in Temple Bar. Piglet has featured on a number of food critics’ “best wine bar” lists, thanks to their impressive offering of Italian edibles and specially curated wine menu. A lovely place to go on a first date.
Chapter One, Parnell Square N, Dublin 1
For €35 you can indulge in their nine-piece cheese board - a real speciality for any cheese lovers out there. What’s more, the wine list includes rare and exclusive vintages, fine clarets and superb Champagnes and sparkling wines, as chosen by their in-house sommelier.
Bagots Hutton, Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 1
This relaxed wine lounge which adopts comfortable low seating and low, atmospheric lighting which seems to create a bridge between Georgian Dublin and modern New York. They also frequently offer incredible midweek deals, such as a free cheese board when you buy a bottle of wine, making it a complete steal.
Ely Wine Bar, Ely Place, Dublin 2
Wine tastings at Ely are fun, informative and educational, and cover everything from tasting and assessing wine to food and wine pairing. You’ll also learn how to spot a fault, pick up a bargain and navigate a wine list, with the help of Ely’s award-winning Sommelier, Ian Brosnan.
Olesya’s Wine Bar, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
Their “French and Irish Cheese Platter” has a stunning assortment of the various cheeses, and your waiter will be more than happy to help you pair it with a suitable wine of you choice. The Camembert Fondue is also well worth trying, if you want to double-up on the cheese offering.
La Ruelle, Joshua Lane, Dublin 2
La Ruelle have an undeniably vast selection of wines; with over 80 wines, ports, sherries and champagnes from all over the globe to choose from, you’re sure to find something you love. Their dish of Roast Fig Stuffed w/ Goat Cheese is one of particular acclaim.
The Port House, South William Street, Dublin 2
Specialising in mouth-watering Spanish pintxo and tapas, if you’re set on an evening of wine and cheese then we recommend ordering a bottle of red, and attempting one of each of their seven cheese dishes on the menu. It might sound a bit decadent, but trust us, your taste buds will thank you.
Sheridans Cheesemongers Shop & Wine Bar, Church Yard Street, Galway
Sheridans Cheesemongers have become a veritable Irish institution; a name that people have come to associate with the finest cheese in the land. Their bright and breezy Galway wine bar is a particular delight, and one that any self-respecting cheese aficionado must visit at least once in their life.
La Touche Wines, La Touche Place, Wicklow
A veritable Greystones institution, La Touche Wines is the go-to spot whenever the sun shines upon this seaside town. With a selection of high chairs and wine barrel tables outside, it’s rare to pass by and not spot a group of wine afficiendos soaking up the last of the day’s sunshine alongside a crisp glass of pinot and elegant cheese board.
Salt, Victoria Road, Cork
The outdoor seating area makes Salt a particularly gorgeous spot to share a bottle of red with your date “du jour”, be it under the stars or in the heat of the Cork sun. And don’t be put-off if you’re gluten free, they have GF bread which is so good that you’re gluten-full friends could even enjoy it too. Top it with cheese, fig jam and balsamic onions from their french cheese board, and you’re onto a winner.
Main image via latouchewines4u.ie