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The Day I met the King

September 23rd, 2011

The media is a funny fish. Nobody talks about you for months, and then in the same week, you get on TV and have the biggest DJ in the country plug your wines all week. I covered the TV appearance in my last article, but I didn’t tell you about Ray Foley.

Ray Foley and his wine guy

Ray Foley and his wine guy

For those of you who listen to Today FM from 12.00 to 2.30 every day, or watch TV3’s “Take me out” dating show, you will know Ray and his very personable style of broadcasting. He comes across as very down to earth on Radio and TV, and that’s exactly what he is like in real life. What follows is the story about how I got to meet the King of the Afternoon, as he known to his listeners.

Twitter is to blame

Last year I was happy on my holidays in France and took a very random check of Twitter, where I noticed a friend of mine suggesting as an online wine merchant for Mr. Foley. He was looking to get a case sent out and he put out the call. I followed up Eimear’s tweet with some of my own and Ray ended up buying wine for me. I became Ray Foley’s wineguy.


During the week of the Long Table Dinner Ray and his team were having their own version of Come Dine with Me, where they took turns to have each other over for a meal. I tweeted that if he sent me on the menu; I would match and send up the wines.

Ray began to talk about it on air and brag that he had his own wine guy. He sent on the menu and I chose wines and had them sent up. He gave me a regular plug on the Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday morning saw me rise late after the equal success and excess of the previous night’s Long Table Dinner.

Panic on the streets of Clonmel

I tweeted Ray as I forced down my porridge and intravenously injected my coffee. “Did the wine get there OK”? A quick tweet came back and said “Not yet”. The hangover sweats were joined by the blind panic sweats.

I called the courier and was told that after the wines were collected on the Tuesday, the van was ploughed into by a car as it approached the depot. Was it a rival wine company or a simple twist of fate? I got myself together and showered and got to the office very quickly.

I rang Ray and explained what happened. On a seperate and slightly disturbing note, it is quite scary the amount of people who asked me for his mobile number after this whole thing gained momentum. If Ray is reading, fear not for it will never be released by me. Anyway, Ray was very nice about it and said he would use other wines and give me a plug when my wines got there.

The Stalker goes to Dublin

I had a choice. I could have crawled back to bed or I could seize the initiative. I had been getting such great publicity all week that I was not going to let it lie. I told Ray I would deliver the wines later that day to his house in Dublin. He tried to talk me out of it but I insisted and said I would be happy to do it. He may now have been worrying about my potential as a stalker.

I drank a lot of water and ate as much as I could. I rang my friendly butcher Pat Whelan and got one of his famous ice boxes. These are what he uses to transport meat nationwide and keep it fresh and cool. If it worked for Wagyu steak, it would surely work for chilling white wine ahead of Ray’s dinner that night.

As I started my journey, Ray’s show was in full swing and he told the sorry tale of the courier and his wine ‘crashing’ to the nation and I was getting major props and kudos from his crew in the studio for offering to get up the wine myself. We are now talking in radio street vernacular that some of you might need to translate.

I made it up to Dublin and his house. I didn’t expect Ray to be there himself but he was, and invited me in to the kitchen. I explained all about the wines and he was particularly interested in Chateau Miraval, which is owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I got my photo taken with Ray ( and the van ) and was on my way home.


The next day as they dissected Ray’s ‘Come Dine with Me’ dinner, they gave more great publicity to Red Nose Wine. They did a great piece on Brad and Angie being stuck in on a Saturday night and grabbing a bottle of their Miraval wine. They fight over the remote as Angie refuses to watch Friends.

So a big thank you to Ray and his plugging of my business. I will of course be introducing The Ray Foley collection of wines. For a list of Ray’s wines, be sure to call in to the shop and I’ll tell all.

I am very often quoting lyrics from songs from Mr. Dylan or Mr. Cohen among others. Sometimes they are relevant to the article, and sometimes they are not. This week I would like to quote Mr. Phil Lynott. “When you came in my life, you changed my world”.


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For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Paul writes:

We rammed the courier, Gary. Now stay away from the media or next time we’ll pull the plants out of your garden!

Gary Gubbins ( writes:

Bring it on Paul
I’ll get Ray to disrespect you on national radio … my poor courier is still not back to work…

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