O’Briens Wine Beer & Spirits
33 Spruce Avenue Stillorgan Industrial Park Co. Dublin Ireland Ireland
+353 1 2931040 online@obrienswine.ie Monday-Saturday 10:30am-10pm Sunday 12:30am-10pm


  • A Return to the Classics.

    Along with most wine bloggers, I am probably guilty of directing most my attention to the new wines on the scene, all the better if they come from an upcoming or even a surprising region or if they are produced using a largely unheard-of grape varietal or winemaking technique. Not that there is anything wrong with this per se, but it would be a shame not to give a mention to the some of the established classics every now and then.

    After all, these are the wines that for most of us (myself included), first got us thinking seriously about wine, and if truth be told, these are also the wines I most often select from when choosing a wine to enjoy at home.

    My first choice, Chablis, is in my opinion, the definitive dry white wine, and few producers in Chablis have such an extensive range of brilliant wines as Jean-Marc Brocard. From basic, right up to Grand Cru they excel. These are wines for the real Chablis lover, balancing wonderfully pure fruit and steely minerality. Their Chablis AC (€24.95 down to €18.95) is a benchmark for the region, showing the conference pear, chalky minerality and steely firm, citrusy acidity it's renowned for.

    Jean-Marc Brocard and his Son, winemaker Julien enjoying the fruits of their labours, amidst their vines.

    Next up is a wine from one of the Loire valley’s very best producers, Langlois-Chateau, which is owned and run by Champagne House Bollinger, whose quality charter is applied rigorously to all the wines of this great estate. Their Château de Fontaine-Audon Sancerre (€21.95 down to €18.95), has a terrific purity of fruit, with elderflower and piercing lemon peel freshness against a background of chalky minerality.

    The grape growing and winemaking at Château Fontaine-Audon is overseen by winemaker François Régis de Fougeroux.

    On to the reds now, and no collection of classics would be complete without including a Bordeaux. The example I have chosen, Château La Raz Caman (€19.95 down to €16.95), is sourced from a single vineyard which is planted on 'clayey limestone, stony' hills on the right bank of the Gironde, just across the river from Pauillac.  It is an ambitious and charming wine made with 30% new oak barrels from four varieties that has plenty of black fruits, vanilla, spice, and supple tannins.

    Just-picked, these wonderfully-ripe, plump Merlot grapes are destined to form part of the blend for Château la Raz Caman

    For my next choice, we must cross the Pyrenees into Spain. Based in Cenicero Rioja, Monte Real farm 300 hectares of Tempranillo vineyards with the objective of making modern fruit driven Rioja. They can trace their heritage back over 100 years and this coupled with a modern winery allows them to straddle tradition and innovation. Monte Real’s Reserva (€20.95 down to €12.95), consistently delivers a little more weight and depth than its peers, and although light in colour, it has plenty of fruit on the nose including blackberry and cherry supported by nut and toasty oak notes with the full palate also showing the classic vanilla character Rioja is renowned for.

    Monte Real's Rioja Reserva, spends many years ageing in their thoroughly modern cellars.

    On to Italy now, and to San Felice, where the search for quality has always been of paramount importance and this has encouraged new initiatives for the replanting of its vineyards, technological innovation in the wine cellar and experimentation. Yet through all of this, their wines remain true expressions of the Tuscan landscape from which they come. San Felice’s Il Grigio (€22.95 down to €18.95), has great concentration without being too big or flashy. Boasting real Sangiovese, black cherry character, this is as authentic as Chianti Classico gets.

    Sangiovese vineyards surround San Felice's breath-takingly-beautiful Tuscan estate.

    Best of all, we are offering 20% back onto your loyalty card for any six wines purchased from this Friday the 17th right up until 10.00pm on Sunday, November 26th, so there can be no better time to pop into your local store and reacquaint yourself with these classics or indeed any of the more than 200 exciting wines we have on promotion.

    *Please note,  prices are correct at time of publishing, these offers will end on January 2nd, 2018, please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.

  • Perfect Pink Wines

    As I write, the sun is beating through the office window, and with this in mind, I have decided to return to the topic of Rosé for my blog today.
    Regular readers will by now that I am a huge fan of Rosé wines, the main reason being that can be such good wines for food-matching, particularly with the grilled fish, barbecues and salads filling our tables just now.
    I have chosen four wines below which should illustrate what a wonderfully diverse wine style Rosé can be.
    The most classic region for Rosé has to be the South of France, so to start I am going with a new wine from the Languedoc region, Gérard Bertrand's  Hedonisme is a delicious, berry-scented, organic, dry-Rosé.  Bursting with fruit on the palate & quite full-bodied for a Rosé but all very well-balanced.

    A simple grilled chicken salad will allow Gérard Bertrand's Hedonisme Rosé to shine.

    We cross the Pyrenees into central Spain for my next choice, which is made from the most traditional grape used for Rosé; Garnacha (or Grenache in the south of France), but apart from the choice of grape variety, Naranjas Azules is anything but traditional.
    In the winery, these black Garnacha grapes are handled in exactly the same way as if making a white wine, yielding a very pale pink Rosé that remains deliciously crisp and dry. For food matches think tapas such as Seafood Paella or Prawns Pil-Pil.


    The name Naranjas Azules (Blue Oranges) is a reference to the un-expected and this un-orthodox method of winemaking, also un-expected, the eye-catching pink box doubles as a water-proof wine cooler!

    Next up is Italy and the region of Lake Garda in particular, Bertarose is a blend of the local grape variety Molinara and Merlot, both of which are grown on the gently sloping hills which sit above the Lake.

    Anyone who has visited this area will surely agree with me that this must be one of the most picturesque locations in which to grow grapes.
    I like to think that all this natural beauty can’t but have inspired the winemakers in delivering a rich, full-flavoured Rosé bursting with ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit, this is a must try - a sumptuous Rosé that over-delivers in every way.

    Barbecued pork chops with a simple marinade of lemon and garlic would be the perfect partner for this wine.

    Molinara vines overlooking the Stunning lake Garda

    For my final selection, we have to head south, nearly 9,000km in fact to the South African region of Stellenbosch.
    It is here that Delheim craft their wonderfully exotic Rosé, using their national grape variety Pinotage and just a splash of Muscat. This wine sits firmly in the 'bursting with fruit' camp, just off-dry in style and packed with ripe raspberry and cherry flavours.

    All that fruit makes this wine a great match for lightly-spiced Asian dishes.
    If ever a wine deserved to be called ‘Sunshine in a Glass’ this is it!

    Delheim's beautiful Stellenbosch Estate

    All of the wines above are included in our buy one get one ½ price promotion all summer long.

  • Brilliant BBQ Wines

    With a  fairly good weather outlook ahead, I thought now would the perfect time to have a look at some simple guidelines on how best to pair wines with BBQ dishes successfully.

    Above all, you should choose fresh, fruity, wines; zesty, citrusy whites, and bright, fruity reds and take care to avoid overly oaky wines either red or white and also avoid any red with heavy tannins.

    My top tip though would be to try a Rosé, pink wines are fantastic barbeque wines as they are incredibly versatile and very food friendly.

    To put you in the mood to fire up that grill, I have picked out some of my BBQ favourites below, all of which either included in our ongoing French Wine Sale which runs until Wednesday the 24th, or our Rosé promotion which runs all summer long.

    From Southwest France, Le Labyrinthe Côte de Gascogne (€9.95 down from €13.95 save 29%) is wonderfully fresh & fruity with grapefruit aromas and underlying exotic fruit. The zesty & refreshing palate finishes long on those exotic notes. For a real treat serve it with some sizzling chilli and garlic prawns.

    Provencal rosé and summer is a match made in heaven


    An incredibly sophisticated Provencal Rosé, Mirabeau (€16.95 buy 1 get 1 half-price) offers a combination of ripe red fruits and zesty apple fruit on the palate with a refreshing zip of acidity. This is a wine that tends towards elegance, rather than power, yet it has a very impressive finish. As I said above Rosé wines are very versatile and work well with most Barbeque dishes, but to see this wine at its best, try it alongside some mildly spiced Chicken Kebabs.

    Neasa & Laurent Miquel at their Languedoc estate


    From a leading Languedoc estate, owned and run by winemaker, Laurent Miquel and his Irish wife Neasa, Les Beauchamps Syrah (€10.95 down from €14.95 save 27%) is youthful and vividly fruity with juicy cherry and blueberry fruit and could even be served lightly chilled. This is just the wine to go for with homemade beef burgers.

    Gérard Bertrand surveys his organic vineyards

    For my last selection, I have a chosen another red, Solensis (€14.36 down from €17.95 save 20%) which is made with organically grown Syrah and Grenache from the sun-drenched vineyards of the Languedoc. From these perfectly ripe grapes, Legendary winemaker Gérard Bertrand has crafted a delicious red, jam-packed with ripe bramble fruit. This wine is just crying out for a charcoal grilled rib-eye steak.


  • Celebrate Spanish Wine Week With Us

    Just In case you hadn’t heard, we are right in the middle of the second, annual Spanish Wine Week.

    This exciting initiative from the Spanish embassy will see numerous tasting and events taking place right across the country all week, including this Thursday night at Smock Alley Theatre, where O’Briens Wine Director, Lynne Coyle MW will be hosting a very special tasting (unfortunately now sold-out) which will include an exciting mix of some of the best new-wave wines, and established classics such as Rioja Gran Reserva.

    If you have missed out on this tasting, don’t worry as we still have lots in-store offers on Spanish wines and there will be a great selection of Spanish wines on the tasting table in all our stores this weekend.

    To whet your appetite, I have picked out a few of my favourite wines below.

    Regular readers will know I have used this forum many times before to highlight the afore-mentioned new-wave wineries, so for today’s selection I have stuck to the classics; Albariño and Rioja.

    Grown in the Galicia, the cool and wet north-west corner (known to locals as green Spain) Albariño is without a doubt Spain’s best cool climate white wine.

    Owner/winemaker, Jesus Alvarez Otero makes one of our all-time favourite Albariño’s. His crisp refreshing Contrapunto (€12.95 down from €18.45), has attractive pear, peach and lemon fruit but more as there's a chalky mineral streak and a zesty fresh finish. This is just the perfect wine for spring and summer drinking - think sunshine, friends, and seafood Tapas, particularly Pulpo a la Gallega.

    Pergola-trained Albariño vines in Pazo Señorans cool-climate vineyards

    One of the finest estates in the Rías Baixas DO, ideally located at Vilanoviña, in the Pontevedra town of Meis, the vineyards benefit from coastal-influences and mineral-rich soils allowing Pazo Señorans to make seriously good Albariño (€18.95 down from €22.95), delicately floral on the nose with hints of lemon and pear. This opens up on the palate to reveal a complex, mineral-driven white with an incredibly long finish. It should go without saying that this wine is the ideal partner for a Seafood Paella.

    Rioja has long been one of Ireland’s favourite red wines so, you may know that there are four main categories of Rioja, each with its own distinct flavour profile related to its ageing programme in the winery: These are Joven, Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva. I have chosen a Crianza and a Reserva for today’s line-up.

    Consistently rated as one of Spain’s greatest producers the Eguren family have revolutionised modern Spanish wine. From their dynamic Riojas at Sierra Cantabria to their highly-regarded Tempranillo from central Spain the range is beyond impressive. Their Crianza (€15.95 down from €17.95) is a wonderfully dark Rioja which, rightly, suggests the fruit will be intense as it's full of juicy blackberry character, with just a whiff of oak.  This restrained oak-use makes this wine incredibly when it comes to food matching, working well with everything from cured meats to fillet steak.

    The Iconic Murrieta winery at the Ygay estate.

    An iconic Rioja house, Marqués de Murrieta are among the finest examples of Spain's most celebrated wine region, and their winemaker María Vargas is rightly considered to be one of Spain’s greatest winemakers. María’s greatest obsession is to extract the maximum expression of the region’s ‘terroir’, applying different wine-making techniques according to the variety, vine age, orientation, and the soil, choosing the optimum moment of ripeness of the fruit, as María says herself,

    “The hardest thing when making a wine is giving it its own unique personality, and when someone tastes it and can identify it, it makes you very happy.”

    María's personality is very much on display in Murrieta's Reserva (€19.95 down from €23.95), which beautifully merges the traditional and the modern; unmistakably Rioja but with wonderfully rich, ripe fruit. This wine would be the perfect choice to serve with char-grilled lamb cutlets.

    To top it all off, I should also mention that all the wineries above will be showing their ranges at our Dublin Wine Fair on the 5th & 6th of May.


  • What’s New

    One of the great things about Irish craft beer is that there are constantly new beers to try and this month is no different. Here are just a few picks from the last couple of weeks with a mix of new core beers and limited releases.

    For those of an adventurous mind set try the collaboration between White Hag and MacIvors Cider, Silver Branch Apple Sour. For this White Hag brewed a golden ale with their own house yeast, which they also use for their Púca, they then blended this golden sour with brett cider from MacIvors. It still maintains a sour beer character but with background flavours of brett cider adding to the complexity. Keep an eye out later in the year as we may see a barrel aged version.

    Lets not forget the hop heads

    For those looking for IPA you could be in no safer hands than with Eight Degrees brewing and their new limited release Trans-Pacific. Brewed with the classic American West coast hop variety Citra and Australian varieties Ella and Vic Secret. This upfront Citra dominated IPA giving zesty tropical fruit notes of grapefruit and passionfruit among others, while the Australians bring spicy and floral aromas and flavours. In short, another all-round excellent IPA from the masters of the style.

    Staying on the IPA theme, Boyne Brewhouse have been busy perfecting their core range and now comes the latest addition Boyne IPA. This is an exceptionally balanced and deceptively easy drinking IPA with notes of citrus, grapefruit and mango and a bright pine bitter finish. It’s easy to see why this was a recent winner of a gold medal and the Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup.

    Limited release Roasted Oat Stout

    Rapping up we have two new stouts from Dot Brew, one core and one limited release. First up is their new core beer, American Stout, a creamy and smooth take on a more hopped up stout. As brewer Shane explains ‘this is a step away from new age Black IPA, this new age American stout show cases unique new world hop aromas while maintaining a medium body with a velvety milk chocolate texture with a coffee like bitter finish’. For those who like their stout with a darker character then Dot Brew have you covered here as well with their limited release Roasted Oat Stout. As the name implies this has a toasty edge to the character while maintaining a creamy smoothness to the body, helped no doubt by its time aging in American oak barrel.

    All these beers are included in our Irish craft beer sale. With 6 for 5 across our range of craft beers and ciders there is something for everyone’s tastes.

    6 for 5 across a range of Irish craft beers and ciders

  • On the third day of Christmas O’Briens brought to me….

    Three new Irish gins!

    We are constantly on the lookout for great new craft spirits and our search has lead us to three new Irish graft gins in time for Christmas. So, forget about ‘three French hens’ and pick up one of these for the gin lover in your life, or treat yourself.

    The Mór signature serve

    Our first gin, Mór, is a fruity and floral gin produced in small batches in Tullamore. The recipe represents 18 months of development by distiller Eoin Bara. Firstly, the softer fruit flavours like blackberry, raspberry and cranberry are achieved by seeping the fruit for 24 hours. The floral and spice flavours are achieved by vapour distillation of botanicals like juniper, angelica, coriander and rosemary. Working with natural ingredients and the variation this brings means accessing each component before blending the two together for the perfect balance. Try their signature serve with tonic, lime and raspberry for a fresh and fruity G&T.

    Bonac 24 distilled in Newtownmountkennedy, county Wicklow

    We didn’t have to go far to find Bonac 24, our second gin! This brand new release is produced by Gavin Clifford one of our store colleges and his father and is distilled using a in a traditional copper pot still. The name derives from a place in New York that Gavin spent a lot of time in, 24 was added as it was the 24th trail when the pair achieved the exact flavour profile they were looking for. That flavour is a perfect balance of delicate citrus, fresh mint and spicier elements like star anise and cardamom.

    The view at the Boatyard distillery

    Heading north to a former boatyard on the banks of the picturesque Lough Erne, we have Boatyard Double gin. Boatyard is the brain child of Joe McGirr who brings years of experience working with household names like Glenmorangie and Moet Hennessy. Double gin is a traditional Dutch style of distilling where the spirit is given a second contact with fresh botanicals to give greater depth of flavour. Everything about Boatyard distillery is about attention to detail, authenticity, and provenance, from taking the unusual step of making their own base spirit, an organic wheat spirit, to their beautiful label that has been printed on a 1960's letterpress printer. The result is a gin with classic Juniper led character backed up with a complex mix of spicy root botanicals and light citrus notes.

    You will find these three great new gins along with many more in our Gin Sale running throughout Christmas.

    Take your pick - 3 great gins

  • What’s it all mean? Irish Whiskey Styles

    whiskey-bottles abstract

    Unpeated, triple distilled and blended. This is perhaps a view some may have of the defining character of Irish whiskeys. However, this is not necessarily the case, take Connemara whiskey for example which is a peated, double distilled single malt. In fact, Ireland produces a wide array of whiskey styles. So, with that in mind here is a quick rundown on the different styles of Irish whiskey.


    Blended whiskey can be made from blending malt whiskey and grain whiskey much like Scotch but also by blending Single Pot Still with either of these, or a combination of all three. Check out West Cork Distillers Original, a blend of grain and malt, for a really great example of the style.


    Single Malt is made solely from malted barley in a pot still.  Single means the whiskey is the product of a single distillery. This style is usually associated with Scotland, however, there are some truly excellent Single Malts produced in Ireland such as Knappogue 14 year old, winner of the coveted title of ‘Irish Whiskey of the Year’ at the recent Irish Whiskey Awards.

     Continuous Still aka Coffey Still Continuous Still aka Coffey Still

    Grain whiskey is any whiskey made from grains other than malted barley, usually corn or wheat or a combination of both. Grain whiskey is distilled in Continuous Stills and the resulting whiskey is a sweeter, lighter and brighter, easy drinking spirit. In Ireland, most grain whisky goes into blends but there are some great examples of Single Grain whiskeys like Kilbeggan 8 year old.


    Single Pot still whiskey is a style unique to Ireland. This is distilled in a pot still just as with a single malt but here a combination of malted and unmalted barley is used. This gives the resulting spirit a distinctive creamy texture and fruity, spicy flavour. This is a style that almost died out being used primarily in blends, perhaps most notably in Jameson. However, the last few decades have seen a number of new expressions being released. Green Spot is a superb introduction to the style.

    Old pot still in Midleton distillery Old pot still in Midleton distillery

    This is just the start when it comes to how your whiskey will taste. The ‘cuts’ the distiller makes in the pot still, the different types of cask the spirit is matured in, the length of time it spends aging and the bottling strength will all effect the taste. However, hopefully this gives you an idea of what to expect when picking your next whiskey.

    The great news is you will find the whiskeys I’ve mentioned, along with many others, on offer in our Irish Whiskey Sale.

    Pick some up in our Irish Whiskey Sale Pick some up in our Irish Whiskey Sale


  • Rye-sons to be cheerful

    rye sunset

    If you have tasted any American rye whiskies, you will know the distinctive spice character the grain adds to the spirit. Now, more and more brewers are turning to rye. In beer it gives a gives a spicy, earthy, and almost sour character and a crisper dryer mouthfeel. Rye beers can run the gauntlet from tropical hop bombs with just a touch of spicy rye character to brooding, dark, earthy brews.

    In brewing a little rye goes a long way, usually making up less than 20% of the overall malt bill. Even a small amount of rye carries the spiciness through and can be a great match to spicier hops that accentuate the earthy spicy flavour of the rye or act as a foil to zingy citrus hops. Above the 20% mark rye becomes more dominant with those spicy and earthy tones becoming more assertive.

    rye bottles

    Try out these three great rye beers, to keep you cheerful in this changeable Autumn weather.

    Dot Brew Session Rye shows how rye can be used in a delicate and sessionable ale. Restrained use of hops gives subtle mango, peach, and pine notes to support the unmistakeable spicy and toasty rye character. This is an ale of superb balance and complexity.

    Wood Key take their cue from the American Amber style for The Ravens.  The light caramel malt body and citrus hops is counterpointed with a light touch of rye for spiciness and nuttiness. European Bramling Cross hops add an extra layer of mild blackcurrant to the spice.

    As brewer Jon notes Third Circle Rye Stout “is not your traditional Irish stout”. It is brewed using a mix of roasted rye, chocolate rye and flaked rye alongside malted barley and malted wheat. Those distinctive spicy earthy rye notes make themselves known alongside dark chocolate and coffee with a touch of fruitiness from the Belgian yeast used.

    Rye-sons to be cheerful Part 2.

    These rye beers along with over 150 other Irish craft beers are currently 6 for the price of 5 in our sale. But be quick this offer must end this Sunday.

    rye crop

  • Wine Sale: Last chance to Buy

    Wine sale 2

    With our September sale finishing up this weekend I thought I might take the opportunity to highlight some of the amazing bargains still available.

    Hospitalet Gérard Bertrand's stunning Hospitalet estate

    Picked from a plot of Sauvignon on Gérard Bertrand's multi-award winning Château L'Hospitalet and surrounding vineyards, ‘H’de l'Hospitalet is a beautifully aromatic expression of Sauvignon Blanc. This has always a favourite of mine, but the 2015 vintage is the best I’ve seen yet and is a seriously impressive wine. Great as an aperitif, this wine really comes into its own when served with seafood dishes.

    Angus 2 Angus Thomson alongside some delicious Urlar Pinot ageing in his cellars.

    Based in Gladstone on New Zealand’s North Island, Urlar estate’s founders and owners Angus and Davina Thomson originally hail from Scotland. 

    They produce outstanding single vineyard wines following organic and biodynamic principles, added to this the stony soils and the cool climate of the region allow them to produce a Pinot Noir with a restrained elegance to their fruit and a depth of minerality not often seen from New Zealand. This wine is beautifully suited to a rack of lamb or gamey dishes such as venison or duck

    Galets 2 Grenache grapes ripening beautifully over Châteauneuf's 'Galets'

    Unbelievable-value for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Blason du Rhône comes from a selection of the most characteristic soils of the region : sandstone, limestone and the famous rolled pebbles "galets" which reflect heat back up into the vines. Perfect terroir for ripening old-vine Grenache. For a thoroughly delicious classic pairing, try this alongside roast leg of Lamb studded with sprigs of rosemary and slivers of garlic.

    The sale ends at 10pm this Sunday night, so to be sure not to miss out why not pop in to your local store this weekend and pick up a bottle or two.

  • What’s New?


    This is a question I get asked a lot as each month brings a new array of seasonal and limited release beers, especially from Irish brewers. Irish brewers are finding their feet and exploring more unusual flavour combinations, new styles and cross styles. Rightly popular and tasty core ranges will continue to be brewed, however limited releases and seasonals allow the brewers to experiment, to have a bit of fun and toy around with different ideas. In short Irish brewers are getting more adventurous and that means more great beers for us. Here is a short pick of just some of the limited release beers this month.

    thai wit Lemmongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, Coriander, & Galangal.

    Dungarvan Thai Wit takes the a traditional Belgian Witbier and brings a whole new array of flavours with the addition of palm sugar, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, galangal, cardamom seeds and lemongrass. An unusual take on the style that is well worth experiencing for yourself.

    After launching two great brewing in their core range relative new comers to the craft beer scene, Dot Brew, have produced a Sour Cherry & Apricot Ale as a small batch limited release. An Amber ale with complex malt base packed full of tart Morello cherries and sweet Apricots, this beer does exactly what it says on the tin!

    dot Morello cherries and Apricots

    For those who like their beers along the more traditional route, this month saw the release of some fantastic seasonal IPA’s. From 8 Degrees came Amarillo single hop IPA. The guys in 8 Degrees liked the mix of tangerine, apricot and citrus pith this hop brings so much they wanted to try it out on its own, so this is the fourth release in 8 Degrees single hop "trilogy” of beers.

    hopfen But lets not forget the hops

    Also released this month is Easy Lover from Wicklow Wolf. This session IPA, coming in at just 3.8%, with a smooth light body and citrus and delicate floral notes is perfect to enjoy the last of the evening sunshine with.

    These brews and over 150 others are included in our 6 for 5 Irish Craft Beer Sale.

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