SPIT Festival flyers and posters

SPIT Festival, 13th October 2016, Smock Alley Theatre

“Don’t miss this wine festival….If you want to sample a vast array of high-quality, out-of-the-ordinary wines, you should be there.”

Mary Dowey, Gloss Magazine  September 2016.


SPIT Festival flyers and posters

Buy Your Ticket for SPIT Festival instore


SPIT (Specialist Professional Independent Tasting) Festival is now in its third year and is a collaboration between five of Ireland’s most vibrant and exciting wine importers: VinosTito, Wine Mason, Nomad Wines, Grape Circus and Le Caveau.  Their aim is to showcase the diversity of interesting, authentic artisan wines available on the market here. Despite its small size, the Irish wine sector is one of the most exciting in the world and the quality and interest of wines imported here is second to none. This is driven by an ever-evolving restaurant and food culture and by adventurous, well-travelled consumers and the wines imported by the SPIT collaborators feature heavily on the best restaurant and wine-bar lists in the country.

Other collaborators at the festival are The Irish Times wine columnist John Wilson, one of the top sommeliers in the world, Julie Dupuoy and blogger Paddy Murphy of The Vine Inspiration, as well as our own good selves at Green Man Wines providing tapas for hungry revellers on the evening.


SPIT Festival 

13th October 2016


Banqueting Hall,

Smock Alley Theatre 

6-7 Lower Exchange Street, Dublin 8 


Tickets €30 (includes your own tasting glass and booklet) 

Available in-store from Green Man Wines


Smock Alley Theatre Ticket Sales

Places limited to 200

Hope to see you there!

Gorgonzola, smoked salmon and crackers

Picture by Itziar Telletxea Rocha. Gorgonzola, smoked salmon and crackers tapa board at SPIT 2015

Evening of wine, food and conversation with Elena Pantaleoni and Nicholas Sciackitano of La Stoppa

We had the pleasure and honour of having Elena Pantaleoni of Azienda Agricola La Stoppa visit us on Tuesday 19th April. She spoke to a packed house here in Green Man Wines about La Stoppa, her wines and her wine growing/making philosophy. La Stoppa is a 50 hectare property located in the Colli Piacentini in north-west Emilia-Romagna. Founded in the late 19th century by a wealthy lawyer named Gian-Marco Ageno, the estate was bought by Elena Pantaleoni’s father in 1973. At the time, the estate focused on producing international style wines. Elena inherited the estate in 1991 and by 1996, she and head vignaiolo Giulio Armani began to execute the vision they had for the future of the estate. They replanted 32 hectares of Barbera and Bornada, as well as a small amount of Malvasia Candia, Ortrugo and Trebianno, all of which were much more suited to the hot climate (it can be hotter than Sicily during the summer) and heavy clay soils of the Colli Piacentini. The vines were worked organically from the early 90s and La Stoppa received organic certification in 2008. Elena, in typical humble fashion, describes herself as ‘la custode de la vigne’, merely a guardian, until she in her turn passes the estate to the next generation. Her low-key, but powerful conviction is that her responsibility is to farm and make wine in as sustainable, non-interventionist and authentic a way as possible. The wines qualify for Colli Piacentini DOC, but are bottled as Emilia IGT because she feels that the rules of the DOC do not allow the authenticity of the terroir to speak. Her stances on the necessity of truly artisan (as opposed to industrial) production, the use of indigenous grape varieties, yeasts and minimal intervention in the cantina have made her a leading voice for devotees of natural, artisanal wine. She featured in Jonathon Nossiter’s 2015 documentary ‘Natural Resistance’.

Elena Pantaleoni Real Wine Fair, London, April 2016

Elena Pantaleoni Real Wine Fair, London, April 2016

La Stoppa ‘Trebbiolo’ Emilia Rosso IGT 2013 

13% abv €21.95 

La Stoppa Trebbiolo 2013


60% Barbera, 40% Bonarda from the youngest vines of La Stoppa. Organically grown, wild yeast fermented and sees only stainless steel and cement tank. Trebbiolo takes its name from the Valley of the Trebbia River which runs to the south of the city of Piacenza.

Sweetly fruited kirsch, some funk/brett at first, which clears quite quickly. As it opens and gets air, there is a sensation of graininess , wild herbs, sun-warmed stones. Off-dry (the warm 2013 vintage carries about 7 g/l of residual sugar), light/medium-bodied, sweet ripe kirsch fruit again with a savoury, prosciutto-like umami character. Immensely appealing and drinkable and would be excellent with charcuterie and cheese.


Vertical Tasting of 3 vintages of Macchiona 

The Macchiona cuvée comes from vineyards planted between 20 and 40 years ago on the  nutrient-poor clay soils of La Stoppa at altitudes of around 250m above sea-level. The climate here is really warm, hot almost: during the summer, it can be warmer than parts of Sicily. Elena explained that the soils here are poor in nitrogen, although rich in phosphorus and potassium. This results in red wines which can be closed and quite reductive when young. Bottle age is essential for these wines to mellow out and show at their best. 2007 is the current release and we tasted a small vertical of 3 vintages: 2007, 2006 and 2002.


La Stoppa ‘Macchiona’ Emilia IGT 2007 

15% abv €31.95

Macchiona 2007

Deep, velvety looking ruby garnet colour with a little orange on the rim. The wines are unfiltered and unfined and there is a bit of ‘materia‘ in the glass.  Luscious and ripe on the nose, kirsch, ink, warm earth, charred red pepper, some volatile acidity, but just enough to contribute complexity. Dry, sweetly fruited, savoury, zesty acidity. Soft, mellow mouthfeel, great freshness and length. Warmth on the finish, the only evidence of the 15% alcohol. So hard to carry these levels of alcohol without the wine feeling overblown, but this carries the alcohol perfectly. Open and expressive now, will continue to evolve over next 5-10 years. Would be wonderful with ‘bullfighters’ stew’/macheronade.


La Stoppa ‘Macchiona’ Emilia IGT 2006

14% abv €POA (special order only, not usually available in Ireland)


Notes of sous-bois, squashed, just-picked, ripe blackberry and hedgerow fruits. Dry, medium-to-full body: where the 2007 is all about voluptuousness, this shows elegance and finesse on the finish. Very long length and energy, this is just beginning to approach its peak-will continue to approach peak over next several years and will hold for easily 10-15 thereafter.


La Stoppa ‘Macchiona’ ‘Dieciannidopo’ Emilia IGT 2002

14% abv €POA (special order only, not usually available in Ireland)

Macchiona 2002

2002 was a very difficult vintage; wet, hail-stricken and with very low yields. It wasn’t ready to be released to market and furthermore, most importers shunned it, preferring the 2003. La Stoppa only released the 2002 after 10 years (thence the ‘dieci anni dopo’ label). It bears the hallmarks of the weather of the vintage. It is undoubtedly lean, where the other two wines are fuller, richer, rounder. However, it has superb grip, length and elegance. It also will benefit from still further bottle age-I have the sense that it will evolve very slowly and well over at least the next 10 years. I’d like to taste this with roast lamb or pork shoulder.


La Stoppa ‘Ageno’ Emilia IGT 2011

13.5% abv €33.95


Ageno 2011

Approx 70% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Ortrugo, Trebbiano given 3 months skin contact, half matured in stainless steel tanks and the other half matured in used French oak barriques, then a further 2 years in bottle before release.

Skin contact white wines have been traditional in the warmest regions of Europe, but the tradition has been lost with ‘progress’. Malvasia suits perfectly being made with skin contact as it has thick skins and is wonderfully aromatic (as the name suggests!) Ortrugo contributes acidity to the blend.  The 2011 is more open and accessible than previous vintages, namely 2010 and 2009, which are dense, multi-layered and slow-evolving.

Beautiful coppery/orange colour. With time open and air, this gets more and more layered. Balsamic notes,  aromas of black tea, orange peel, then rose and Turkish Delight. Dryish, light-bodied, delicious acidity and a little tannic grip on the palate. Drink with cheeses, or with freshly-made pasta, butter and sage or simply as a vino di meditazione at the end of a meal.


La Stoppa Malvasia Dolce Frizzante 2015 

7% abv €19.95 

What a lovely way to finish a tasting of such intense and complex wines! Light, frothy, off-dry (residual sugar of g/l). White peach, lightly floral, simple, but delicious purity. Ideal as an aperitif, although Italians would drink this more as a light dessert wine with fruit desserts. It is a ‘mosto parzialemente fermentato’ wine. The method is to pick the aromatic Malvasia grapes quickly and do a very gentle pressing. The juice or ‘mosto’ partially fermented in an autoclave, with the fermentation stopped by reducing the temperature. This results in a low alcohol, frothy, gently sweet wine.

Guide to choosing an interesting wine for Mother’s Day

Why not choose something different for your mum to enjoy this Mother’s Day?


Here are a few of our top suggestions for gorgeous alternatives to the ‘usual suspects’ of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Prosecco.


1. Austrian Grüner Veltliner 

One of our favourites is from the redoubtable Birgit Eichinger. She has made a name for herself as one of the very top winemakers in Austria in a relatively short space of time and makes wines with lovely texture, mouthfeel and balance. Tasting through her wines recently at the Austrian Wine Fair in Dublin, we were impressed by the precision balance and energy of her entire range.

picture of Birgit Eichinger and family

Birgit Eichinger and her family

Try…. Birgit Eichinger, Grüner Veltliner ‘Klassik Wechselberg’ Kamptal DAC 2015 (Austria). 

“Deep green gold. Mid weight with lovely mouthfeel and texture. Great energy, purity and finish.” COBG, 10th February 2016


2. Vouvray from the Loire Valley 

Catherine works alongside her husband Pierre Breton and together they make a formidable team. Their estate is certified organic by Ecocert and biodynamic by Demeter and they practice very low intervention in the cellars, typically adding no more than 10mg/l of sulphur at bottling only. (EU Law permits up to 210 mg/l of SO2). The ‘Dilettante‘ range is Catherine’s own project.

Pierre et Catherine Breton picture

Pierre et Catherine Breton courtesy of www.domainebreton.net

Try… Catherine Breton ‘La Dilettante’ Vouvray Sec AC 2014 €22.95

“Catherine and Pierre Breton, leading producers in Bourgueil, also produce this fascinating dry(ish) Chenin Blanc, made by biodynamic methods. It has wonderful rich, luscious pineapple and peach fruits, seemingly low acidity, yet retains plenty of life. At a mere 12% alcohol, it is light, yet juicy. Try it with scallops or prawns.” John Wilson: IRISH TIMES Bottle of the Week & Best 100 wines of the Year (of 2009 vintage)

Metropolitan Opera Competition: Win opera tickets and wine

Classical Arts Ireland‘s new season of live opera in cinemas from the Metropolitan Opera in New York continues on 31 October at 4pm (please note earlier start time than was advertised in some venues) with Wagner’s early masterpiece Tannhäuser. To celebrate, Classical Arts Ireland have a pair of tickets to give away to this screening at a venue of your choice (24 to choose from!) plus a wonderful gift box of 2 bottles of critically acclaimed German wine specially selected by ourselves.

Here is the link to enter. Be quick, competition closes at noon today!




Wines for Metropolitan Opera Competition

1 bottle of Wagner Stempel Spätburgunder 2013, Rheinhessen 13%
(Irish Times Bottles of the Week, 10 October 2015)
 1 bottle of
Max Ferd Richter Mülheimer Sonnenlay ‘Zeppelin’ Riesling , Mosel 2014




“Choose a job you love. You’ll never work a day in your life” by Pádraic Gilligan

We were thrilled to read and be mentioned in this blog post by Pádraic Gilligan aka Padraicino about the merits of doing a job you love. Pádraic outlines how his choices throughout his education and career all reinforced each other until he created a job, his company SoolNua, that married many of his interests and talents.

His story and that of the enterprises (like Mr. Jeffares Blackcurrant Carroll and Luttrellstown Castle) that he mentions, made me reflect on the changing nature of both work and education. The speed with which technology, not to mention the market, is moving, has meant that it is more important than ever for anyone starting out (or indeed changing career direction) to play to their unique strengths, follow their interests and allow space for flexibility in their careers. There are jobs which exist now that may not exist in the next ten years, but by the same token, there will be opportunities that we probably can’t even envision at the moment… So students, follow your heart if it is pulling you in a particular direction and give yourself room to weave your unique tapestry 🙂




Here’s a brain-teaser: How can you have a glass of wine from a bottle, without pulling the cork?

Answer: The Corvin Wine Access System, recently launched in Ireland. Its USP is that it enables a bottle of wine to be enjoyed a sample or a glass at a time, over the course of weeks, months and even years, accessing the wine via a medical grade, ultra-fine needle. When the needle is withdrawn from the cork and a puff of inert (argon) gas blankets the remaining wine, the cork will naturally close back around the tiny puncture. The applications for this are manifold: from wine students who want and need to taste fine and rare wines to further their knowledge and experience; to wine collectors who wish to assess how their wines are evolving in bottle; to restaurants and wine bars like ourselves who are excited by the prospect of offering their customers a chance to taste fine and rare wines by the glass without having to worry that only one glass will be sold and the rest will spoil. Pretty revolutionary we think!


The first wine broached (accessed and tasted 7th July 2015) was:

Massolino Barolo DOCG ‘Parafada’ 2007


14.5% abv

Massolino Barolo Parafada

Pale garnet with a broad, pale, almost watery looking orange rim.

The nose is sumptuous: velvety, complex and evolving with each swirl of the glass. There is at first a sweet, rose-like floral note, which changes to warm gravel, then black cherries and raspberry ruffles, then through warm spice and fruit to gravel again.

On the palate, it is medium-bodied with liqueur-like cherry fruit and gravel. Everything is in almost perfect harmony and drinking beautifully at the moment. The mouthfeel is very silky, with balanced acidity, but with a firmly tannic edge just, to remind you that this is Nebbiolo. The alcohol is high, but in perfect tune with the other elements of the palate and there is no sense of clumsiness or hotness that can come fro Medium plus length on the finish. A real pleasure to taste now, it should hold for another 7-10 years.

Read more

large format bottles

Wine Tasting Wednesdays March-June 2015

Join us every second Wednesday for “Wine Tasting Wednesdays”. Each evening we’ll highlight a different theme, be it a specific grape variety, region or style. We’ll also have guest speakers and winemakers from time to time. Six wines will be tasted each evening with a light supper of cheese, charcuterie and nibbles served to complement the wines. These tastings are Informative yet fun and informal and the interactive nature means that both novice and more experienced palates can each learn from each other.


Spaces are limited-tickets should be bought in advance to secure your place. Sign up in store for our newsletter and be the first to know about upcoming events and offers!

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Email: david@greenmanwines.ie
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