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The new 50 EURO Mix Case now Online

March 12th, 2013

A great little mix case of 6 wines is now on Sale in house and online. We listened to our customers and these are among the wines they wanted to see on offer. We picked 3 Reds & 3 Whites from some of our favourite vineyards. Normally €63, this is your for only €50.

The Reds

One of our best selling red wines comes from the Languedoc and the Gassac family of wines. The Gassac Classic Red is just that. A Classic at a great price.

Cuvee Jean Paul Rouge – Staying the south of France but moving over to the Vaucluse this is a little cracker that has proved a party favourite since it arrived.

58 Guineas Claret is a great introduction to Bordeaux. A Merlot dominant blend ( Cab Sab is the other variety).

The Whites

The sister to the Classic Red, the Gassac Classic White is for the white wine drinker who likes a little minerality and complexity in their wines. Another firm favourite, especially among the Sauvignon Blanc lovers.

The Spanish wine revolution goes on and this little cracker from the Penedes region has made many a happy party happier. Mont Marcal make a great Cava but their white wine is a little star.

For all of you who enjoy the holidays in Portugal, the Montaria Blanco offers a more complex and food friendly wine. If you want to test your dinner guests with “Guess the Grape”, this is the one that will win you the money.

Get this mix case while its hot. We will change the wines in the future but for now… enjoy.

When Darina met Veronique

July 19th, 2012

We are delighted and proud to be associated with a very special event on August 2nd in Ballymaloe Cookery School. Madame Véronique Guibert de La Vaissière of the iconic Mas de Daumas Gassac vineyard in the Languedoc will present her new cookery book, ‘Savours and Flavours of Mas Daumas Gassac’. To celebrate its launch Darina Allen is having a Long Table Dinner under the unique setting of the Ballymaloe Glasshouse.

A Long table to be filled with food, wine and people

A Long table to be filled with food, wine and people

The food will no doubt be wonderful as it always is in Ballymaloe, but from a wine perspective, the only wines being served at this event are the Mas de Daumas Gassac Grand Cru wines, and they are included in the price.

One of the many rows in the Glasshouse

One of the many rows in the Glasshouse

Two iconic families – one shared vision

Samuel Guibert, Darina Allen and Gary Gubbins

Samuel Guibert, Darina Allen and Gary Gubbins

Aimé & Véronique Guibert, and their family, of iconic French wine estate, Mas de Daumas Gassac, are responsible for what has been described as ‘ The only Grand Cru of the Midi’ , writes Hugh Johnson, and the legendary wine writer, Michael Broadbent described Gassac as ‘ one of the 10 best wines in the world’. Red Nose Wine are proud to represent Mas de Daumas Gassac in Ireland. We have had many a good night with them in the past, both in Ballymaloe and in Clonmel.

Gary Gubbins with Aime and Samuel Guibert

Gary Gubbins with Aime and Samuel Guibert

The Guiberts

The Guiberts

In the introduction to her cookbook, ‘Savours and Flavours of Mas Daumas Gassac, Mme Guibert – ‘… this extraordinary place which had been caringly cultivated for thousands of years and now our home…mealtime around the table are the most special moments, the most beautiful time , deeply imbedded in the memory of all. It is this happiness that I evoke and wish to share with you’

The keeper of the glasshouse

A few weeks ago I called down to see Colm McCan in Ballymaloe, the Tipperary sommelier and a great champion of Gassac wines. He gave me a tour of the Cookery School, the farm and the Glasshouse, which is a very impressive acre under glass. They even have a vine.

A vine in Co. Cork

A vine in Co. Cork

Eileen O Donavan holds court in the glasshouse and we got her to explain exactly what they grow and what might we expect to be eating at the Long Table Dinner..

What exactly is happening

4.00pm Welcome drink and canapés – Mas de Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizant.

4.30pm Darina Allen and Mme.Véronique Guibert de La Vaissière will welcome all with a presentation,

5.30pm/6.00pm Guests move to the glasshouse, through the farm and gardens, to the ‘Long Table Dinner’. Menu by Rory O’Connell, inspired by the cookbook, ‘Savours and Flavours of Mas de Daumas Gassac’ matched with the Grand Cru wines of Mas de Daumas Gassac.

There might even be some music

There might even be some music

Dinner €120 (including wines) – Advance booking essential
Proceeds will go to East Cork Slow Food Educational Project
Please Email the Ballymaloe Cookery School at to reserve a place

Article – Horses for Courses

May 24th, 2012

The communions are in full swing as I write this on a sunny / cloudy Saturday morning. I passed a good few white dresses and stressed parents on the way into work this morning. We have a five year old’s birthday to contend with but it seems less daunting than the communions.

Knobbly knees and Dairy Milks

My memory of my communion is my neighbour buying me a red confirmation rosette instead of a white communion one. Everyone noticed and laughed outside St Marys church. At least my mother didn’t dress me in shorts like some of the lads. The sight of the knobbly knees brigade deflected away from my Red rosette. There were no wine laden dinners in those days or €50 notes in a card. Careys Lounge was the post communion setting and Dairy Milk the reward for making the big step on your spiritual journey.

Anyway, memory lane is an indulgence the good wine public of Tipperary won’t suffer too much longer, so I better talk about wine. I want to compare wines to the breeding of horses, if I may. I recently joined the FUSE initiative, which is an networking organisation among businesses in the South East of Ireland. They organised a breakfast meeting in Coolmore this week and I jumped at the chance to attend.

I had never been there and have long been fascinated by what they do. I was lucky enough to attend the Ryder Cup in Ireland a few years ago and it was organised to such a word class level, it made me really proud to be Irish. Coolmore had a similar effect.

The Great Galileo

I am way off the point now, but in an attempt to be succinct, Coolmore is a world leader, and sets worldwide standards for others in their industry to try and reach. It is an example of what the Irish can do well, but it is coupled with an execution and vision that sets it apart. I came out of the visit very inspired, and I got to meet Galileo. I was hoping to meet Dylan Thomas as he made me some nice money a few years ago. I owe him at least a lump of sugar.

A fine Tipperary Stallion

A fine Tipperary Stallion

Hey Camelot – who’s your Daddy?

A good friend on mine in London, originally from Clonmel is an avid follower of Ballydoyle and the great Aidan O Brien. He has put a ‘small’ wager on a horse called Camelot in the Epson Derby. The horse is favourite so why is that strange? He placed the bet ante post at over 20-1. I have a very nice case of wine set aside for his hopeful winnings.

Who's your Daddy

Who's your Daddy

Communions, stallions and very little wine – what are we to do. Those familiar with Coolmore will know about a horse called Northern Dancer, and his son Saddlers Wells. My mate Galilieo is a son of Saddlers. The breeding in this line of horses has created a roll of champions that is the envy of the racing world. Wine is quite similar, but slightly different.

The 1855 classification in Bordeaux tells us what were the great wines of that year, and bye and large, they still hold true. They were broken into five groups with the 1er Cru at the top. One of these five is Chateau Margaux and it was regarded the very best estate in Margaux back then, and still is. Chateau Latour and Lafite are still seen as the standard bearers for Paulliac. Their ‘breeding line’ has stood the test of time.

Chateau Margaux – the Coolmore of Wine

Chateau Margaux - the Coolmore of Wine?

While I appreciate that vines don’t breed as a stallion and brood mare might, the fact exists that the same vines are consistently producing great wines year after year. Over 150 years after their greatness was recognised, they are still the standard bearers. While the root vine and terroir are a part of this, there is also constant reinvestment and the attention to detail is staggering.

There are many examples of vineyards within the list that didn’t maintain their attention to detail and have fallen back into mediocrity. While they maintain their place on the list, the prices paid for the wines reflect their true standing.

The manicured vines of Chateau Margaux

The manicured vines of Chateau Margaux

Equally, if I go out and look for a pieball pony and breed it with any old willing mare, there is a good chance its offspring will not challenge Camelot or any of his siblings at Epsom. I could go and buy a few hectares in the south of France and go and make wine. I can be as meticulous as I like, but if that land is not suitable for making great wine, I will join the many who live in the pleasant world of mediocrity.

That is not a bad place to be, as long as you know where you are. I must stress I am talking about the top end of wine here. This should not take from the fact that most of the wines we drink and gain pleasure from do not fit into this elite group. It should be stated that previously unheralded parts of the world have created superstar wines. The Languedoc is now producing some of the finest wines in the world. They are a fraction of the prices of the top Bordeaux and Burgundy. Seabiscuit does exist in the wine world.

If Seabiscuit was a vineyard

Places like the Terrases du Larzac always had the ‘breed’ in the land, but it was never properly harvested. Bulk wines are all about volume, while fine wine is all about concentration. These two cannot co-exist so when serious wine makers came in, they brought execution and vision. The latest scores for La Peira have just been released and they are touching 100 points. I have tasted most of the top Bordeaux wines, and La Peira is a serious contender.

Jeremie Depierre shows me the cellars in La Peira

Jeremie Depierre shows me the cellars in La Peira

Many more experimental winemakers will go and get clippings from the great estates of the world transplant them to their vineyard. Aime Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac did this back in the 1970s in his now famous estate. People thought he was mad, but he grafted Burgundy Pinot Noir, Bordeaux Cabernet, Piedmonte Nebbiolo and many more to create a unique vineyard that was eventually described as the Grand Cru of the Midi.

The great Languedoc pioneer Aime Guibert and his son Samuel

The great Languedoc pioneer Aime Guibert and his son Samuel

A very fine affair in Ballymaloe

While his Grand Cru red is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, there are 19 or so other varieties that Samuel Guibert describes as the salt and pepper. Samuel’s mother Veronique co founded the vineyard with Aime and she has written a book based on cooking among the vines in the Gassac Valley. I am honoured to co host an event for the launch of this book on August 2nd in Ballymaloe.

Darina Allen and her team in the famous Cookery School are having a long table dinner in the grounds of the school with Madame Guibert’s book being the inspiration for the menu. The Grand Cru wines are going to be served as the Allens and the Guibert’s talk and taste their way through a feast of food and wine. Get your tickets quick as this is a small intimate event.

Who’s coming to Epsom?

So, I will be cheering on Camelot on June 2nd and hoping to move a case of La Peira to my ante post hero. I may have to consider going over to Epsom to make sure all runs smoothly. Now there is a plan worth pursuing. We could organise a bus from McCarthys in Fethard. I’ll bring the wine if someone else brings the tickets.

The new Loyalty card scheme is proving very popular. The Silver cards are free, and after 10 stickers ( earned every time you spend €25 ) you get FREE WINE. You also get a Gold card and at the end of that, there is even more FREE WINE, and you move on to the revered platinum card. The May sale if still on, so call in for 20% off the Languedoc and South Africa.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at, visit our All New Facebook page at or follow the ranting on Twitter –

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”

Gary and Mike’s Bon Voyage

May 21st, 2012

Our good friends at Curious Wines have put a trailer together for a video of a trip myself and Michael Kane ( not the actor ) made last year to Mas de Daumas Gassac and La Peira in the Languedoc.

I have the footage as well, so if they hand me on the edit, I can always put out a behind the scenes version. I will post the ‘film’ and its sequel as they are published. Here’s the teaser …

20% OFF Languedoc & Sth Africa

May 4th, 2012

May is here and we can start to dream about the summer. We will be offering a little sale for the merry month of May and offering 20% off on some of our favourite Languedoc wines. I watched the film Invictus this week, so I will also throw our Paarl Heights wines from South Africa into the sale.


The Gassac Collection
Gassac Classic Red @ €7.19 (normally €8.99)
Gassac Classic White @ €7.19 (normally €8.99)

Guilhem Red @ €7.99 (normally €9.99)
Guilhem White @ €7.99 (normally €9.99)

Albaran Cabernet – Syrah @ €9.59 (normally €11.99)
Elise Merlot – Syrah @ €9.59 (normally €11.99)
Faune Viognier @ €9.59 (normally €11.99)

The Reserve the Gassac has been renamed Pont de Gassac and is also on offer for only €11.99 (normally €14.99)

The Red is fantastic and we still have a little of the Reserve white left over, but this is also on special.

The Best of the Rest

Grandiose Cabernet Sauvignon

Corbieres St Lucie

Malis Cotes de Roussillon

Delsol PicPoul de Pinet

Agnel Minervois

Chateau Calce Cotes de Roussillon Villages

Star Buys

Dignite Syrah

Mas de L’Ecriture ‘Emotion

South Africa

The vineyards of South Africa

The vineyards of South Africa

We are also offering Paarl Heights Shiraz and Chenin Blanc on offer. €7.19 (normally €8.99)

Don’t forget, all of the SALE wines count towards the Loyalty Card points.

Have a great Bank Holiday.

A Spring Wine Sale

March 15th, 2012

As Led Zepplin once roared, its been a long time since Rock’n'Roll. We have not been as active as we might be on the old internet of late, but we had been busy finding new wines which will make their way onto the factory floor so to speak in the next few weeks and months.

Ahead of all this, we have a sale, and rather than try dump all the old stuff that we are trying to shift, we are offering some of our very best wines. First come first served.


These are the wines on Sale :

La Mano Mencia ( now €7.19 )
Pago Malarina Rioja (now €8.79)

Gassac Classic Red and White (now €7.19)
Grandiose Cabernet Sauvignon (now €7.19)
Clarion Rhone Red (now €8.79) / 58 Guineas Claret (now €7.99)
Malis Cotes de Rousillon (now €7.99)

Santa Alicia Merlot Reserva (now €7.99)
Santa Alicia Sauvignon Blanc Reserva (now €7.99)

New Zealand
Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc (now €11.99)
Waihopai Sauvignon Blanc (now €10.39)

See you online or in the shop where we will have some of these wines open for the tasting.

The Night They drove old Dixie down

October 28th, 2011

There is no relevance between this title and this blog, but I did want an excuse to insert the You Tube clip from this classic song from The Band.

I was involved in two very special evenings recently, when Samuel Guibert from Mas de Daumas Gassac came over to see us, We had a dinner in Inch House ( which I will cover in a subsequent Tipp Food blog ), but we also went down to Ballymaloe House and a tasting followed by a wine dinner. It was a great night and we had a huge crowd in Ballymaloe’s fantastic Grain Store venue.

Before that, we went over to the Cookery school where Samuel adressed the students and then we caught up with Darina Allen for a quick chat.

Samuel Guibert, Darina Allen and Gary Gubbins

Samuel Guibert, Darina Allen and Gary Gubbins

Smile Lads, they might turn up ...

Smile Lads, they might turn up ...

They did ... A big crowd in the Grain Store

They did... A big crowd in the Grain Store

Samuel Guibert on stage

Samuel Guibert on stage

Let me tell you a story about wine

Let me tell you a story about wine

Tomas Clancy interviews the great Myrtle Allen

Tomas Clancy interviews the great Myrtle Allen

We also launched the en Primeur offer on the night. You too can buy these great wines for a fraction of the cost. Details are here.

Buy Wine from the Barrel and save save save

October 26th, 2011

Following the visit of Samuel Guibert to Ireland last week, we’re delighted to offer our second En Primeur campaign of Mas de Daumas Gassac.

En Primeur is a way of buying wines while they’re still in barrel, well ahead of bottling and release, and with considerable savings on the final retail price. You pay the En Primeur price for the wines in advance, then pay for the excise duty, VAT and transport costs upon landing in Ireland. Transport is provided on a groupage basis with other clients so works
out much more cost effective than trying to organise on an individual basis.

I went down to Gassac to check that the wine was evolving

I went down to Gassac to check that the wine was evolving

checking the 2011 vintage with Samuel Guibert

checking the 2011 vintage with Samuel Guibert

A message on the 2010 Red from Aime Guibert :

2010 VINTAGE REPORT FROM AIME GUIBERT – “A TREAT!”Ever since the end of fermentation, it’s been quite clear that the 2010 red Mas de Daumas Gassac is an outstanding vintage – powerful and oozing flavours.
The moderate summer, with no burning sun but equally not a drop of rain, was responsible for the delicious savors. Then, in early September, when the grapes were already ripe, a few scorching days ‘roasted’ them, resulting in a lightly ‘caramelized’ taste.

A splendid vintage, very full and rich, bursting with ripe fruit; it’s already a delightful drink, but will develop beautifully as the years go by. Born of a vineyard that’s over 30 years old, the 2010 vintage can thus be enjoyed while young, but you can be sure it will age magically if you put it down in a good, cool cellar.

Véronique, Samuel, Gaël et Roman GUIBERT

Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2010

Red 2010

A very late spring and long summer lead to one of the latest harvests – picked by hand as usual – in the past 10 years with a reasonable yield. The 2010 resembles its big brother 2009 as the very ripe fruit is balanced by the sharp acidity that makes the wines from the cool Gassac Valley distinct and rich.
The 2010 red will impress many by the elegance it delivers now with a long finish that lingers on the palate. For those with patience, we recommend waiting 5 years to start enjoying the more evolved, earthy undertones that emerge with age.

Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2011

white 2011

The first flower appeared around the 10th of May showing signs of an earlier harvest than 2010, but with a cool month of June and a very moderate month of July, picking was in early September. With a dominant blend of Viognier, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Petit Manseng, the Daumas Gassac white continues to provide an explosion of apricot and passion fruit aromas in its youth. With a superb density and freshness in the mouth, the emphasis is on fruit and minerality.

Mas de Daumas Gassac Rose Frizant 2011

rose frizante

A fresh naturally sparkling wine made from a single fermentation and no dosage, the Rose Frizant has fine bubbles and a fruity finish. It is made using the younger Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the Grand Cru vineyards.


The duty and VAT are at current rates and hopefully this won’t change in the budget. You never know, the duty or VAT might go down, which will of course make this cheaper again.

Call on 052-6182939 or email us on to order now.

The 2010 Mas de Daumas Gassac red, and 2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac white and Rosé Frizant, will be ready for release in February/March of 2012. You can now purchase them En Primeur through Red Nose Wine.

Final orders for Mas de Daumas En Primeur 2011 must be received by Monday 7th November 2011.

When Rachel Allen met Red Nose Wine

October 18th, 2011

Red Nose Wine had the great pleasure of visiting Ballymaloe House recently for a photoshoot with Rachel Allen and our friend Michael Kane from Curious Wines. Colm McCan, Ballymaloe’s Tipperary born sommelier gave us a great welcome.

It was all to publicize our upcoming tastings / wine dinner with Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac on Thursday Ocotber 20th in Inch House and Friday in Ballymaloe. Details of which are here

Here are some of the pictures.

This wine lark is great fun

This wine lark is great fun

Picking a nice wine for dinner

Picking a nice wine for dinner

Dinner in the wine cellars of Ballymaloe

Dinner in the wine cellars of Ballymaloe

winemaking  pic1.jpg



The Legend of The Languedoc

September 27th, 2011

2 Fantastic Wine Tastings / Dinners

Last April we had visit from Samuel Guibert and a very momentous tasting in Hickeys Cafe in Clonmel. Ever since this tasting, I have had many people asking about a return visit. I am delighted to announce that Samuel is coming back and bringing his world famous Mas de Daumas Gassac with him. And if that’s not enough to get you all excited, then I should tell you that we are having 2 events.

Samuel talks about his beloved Gassac wines

Samuel talks about his beloved Gassac wines

Tipp Food meets French Wine

We are having a wine dinner on Thursday evening October 20th with Samuel in fellow Tipperary Food Producers Network Inch House. Nora Egan’s Black Pudding is famous the world. Inch House is also very well known for its fine dining restaurant. This is a unique opportunity to sit down with a member of one of the iconic wine families of France and taste some of the best wines in the world. Contact Red Nose Wine on 052-6182939 or Inch House on 0504-51348 to buy tickets. Tickets are only €60 for 4 courses and a selection of wines including the Grand Cru Red & White. Places are limited.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine and Samuel Guibert in the Gassac Valley

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine and Samuel Guibert in the Gassac Valley

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Aime & Samuel Guibert

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Aime & Samuel Guibert

The Legend of Irish Food meets the Legend of the Languedoc

If you can’t make Inch House, then we are having a tasting the next day, Friday October 21st in one of Ireland’s iconic food destinations, Ballymaloe House. Red Nose Wine are co hosting the tasting with Curious Wines, our Cork friends in wine. The tasting will include a vertical tasting of the Grand Cru Mas de Daumas Gassac red, a unique opportunity to taste multiple vintages of this iconic wine. Tickets are only €15 and are available online, in the shop or also from Ballymaloe and Curious Wines.

The seated tasting will be followed by a separate wine dinner in Ballymaloe House, at 9.00pm, where 4 courses will be served with a selection of the Daumas Gassac wines including the Mas de Daumas Gassac Red. Tickets for the wine dinner are available only from Ballymaloe House and are priced at €85, including 4 courses, tea/coffee and wine.

I am very much looking forward to meeting Myrtle and Darina and all of the Allens again. I had a great time on my last tasting there.