While on a trip to Ireland with my mom (and about two dozen other folks) we toured around via bus. The itinerary was flexible enough that I got to explore on my own. So I used a few pockets of time to check out two Dublin wine bars. (Thanks to Lauren Mowery for the intel.)
A Duo of Dublin Wine Bars
Loose Canon Wine & Cheese
Spot number one was Loose Canon. Ok, it’s a cheese shop. But I’m calling it a dang wine bar, sue me! During the day, they sell cheese and bottles. At night, they pour a few select reds and whites and one skin contact wine. It’s standing room only and you can also (of course) order some cheese and cured meats. They focus on natural wines.
My first visit was at night right before closing, so I had time for one glass. I went for the 2016 Testalonga El Bandito Cortez, a Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Cool label, huh?
But I had a sad face because I didn’t get to sample any food. So next time I came back earlier in the evening for three of my favorite food groups: meat, cheese, bread. (Bonus: fruit!).
How about some toast, cheese, plums, olive oil drizzle? Yes, please. I accompanied the dish with a glass of Ottavo Bianco from Piedmont in Italy, perfect pairing.
The coppa came on a separate plate, and I refrained from eating it all until I could get a glass of red.
[SIDEBAR: These are very nice plates, I wish I could have taken them home. But I left them behind, like a law-abiding, non-awful human being. Of course, I could have asked where I might purchase such fine and finely-hued dishes.]
My patience was rewarded with a glass of Fins Als Kullions, a chilled red (and white) blend from Penedès, Spain. This is an ideal wine with cured meats.
And you know I love me a 1L bottle.
But like a glass of wine, when it comes to Dublin wine bars sometimes one is just not enough. So I also checked out the ultra-charming Piglet.
It was on my list, but I actually went there because on my first visit to Loose Canon, they weren’t serving wine yet. So I asked the person working there where I should go. Did I mind walking? Of course not. Head to Piglet, she said.
I strolled on, embracing a new adventure.
Piglet Wine Bar
I love tiny bars! Piglet has a nice patio, but I migrated to the inside where there are maybe a half-dozen bar stools. Head upstairs for very cozy table seating that makes you feel like all the cares of the outside world are a light year or two away.
Piglet has a really great by-the-glass list. And the bottle selection is excellent, too. There are plenty of magnums to choose from for your party-starting needs. The food looks incredible but, alas, I was in recent post-lunch mode. But, hey, let’s try some wine.
Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Dry 2016
I was so grateful for the sweater weather in Ireland after some extremely oppressive days/weeks/month of soul-crushing heat/humidity in New York. Cooler temps also means time for richer white wines, and the Chateau Dereszla did not disappoint.
It’s a blend of Furmint (85%), Muskotály (5%) , Kabar (3%), and Hárslevelű (7%). Fifteen percent of the wine spends time in oak barrels.
I then shifted gears to a fantastic Austrian red.
Arndorfer Vorgeschmack Red 2016
The Arndorfer is a blend of 80% Zweigelt 20% Pinot Noir. It’s got a touch of smoke, a few virtual grinds of black pepper, and a blackberry-esque finish.
A great all-purpose red, I don’t think there is any food that wouldn’t love being next to it. They would be swiping right on each other, etc. Austrian red wines are very underrated. Highly recommend exploring Zweigelt as a starting point.
Ooh, I almost forgot to show you the inside. Let’s take a look, ok?
So while Guinness and Jameson (the whiskey, not me!) may be foremost on your mind, don’t forget to visit a few Dublin wine bars. I’ve just scratched the surface but you can’t go wrong with either of these memorable spots.