Dublin Wine Bars
There’s a problem though; they are in London and…well…I’m in Dublin.
Why do I like them? It’s simple – their wine lists are really exciting. In fact, both would put most of the banal Dublin lists to shame.
You’d think it’d be somewhat straightforward – fill your list with interesting wines, offer a decent selection of them by the glass, stash away a few rarities by the bottle, and change the whole thing up every few months to keep it fresh. So why isn’t everyone doing this?
There are of course some in Dublin who are – Ely and Stanley’s come immediately to mind – but it’s become worrying that, in recent years, the overriding theme of many wine bar lists is ‘play it safe’. Even the long time favourite amongst winos in Dublin, Fallon & Byrne, seems to have pared back on the variety in its relatively recent revamp. Thankfully, there is still the odd gem lurking on the shelves asking to be opened on their €1 corkage ‘Happy Mondays’.
My mini-rant should not be confused as a rallying call for wine bars to list 200 bins, but surely a winelist of any size where the terms ‘well made’ and ‘perfectly fine’ are considered the pinnacle rather than the bare minimum is a cause for concern.
Bucking the trend are the wine shop / wine bar hybrids like 64 Wine in Glasthule, Grapevine in Dalkey and the recently opened Green Man Wines in Terenure (which I have still yet to visit!) who can all draw on their retail sections for inspiration. Cavern at Baggot St. Wines are hoping that their €5 corkage offer on wines bought in the shop above will keep people coming back for more.
New life elsewhere on the wine bar scene comes in the form of Canteen at the Market in Blackrock. I’d heard great things about the restaurant so was very keen to try the wine bar once it opened. The wines are all sourced from La Rousse Wines meaning that they are already onto a winner in the excitement stakes! At the opening shindig they were pouring magnums of Lapierre Morgon. Need I say anymore?