An Anti-Wine List I Once Made – Tasting Notes: Hint Of Sarcasm

An Anti-Wine List I Once Made – Tasting Notes: Hint Of Sarcasm

So, I’m not a wine guy. I’ve a sweet tooth, I’ve had some Reislings that I’ve liked and the odd dessert wine, but that’s it. I can’t even go near red… bad experience (haven’t we all??) in my brief uni days. So back when I was managing White’s Tavern, the usual deal was, the company that we signed a deal with to be our wine distributor, would design the wine list. They’d also cover the cost of printing, which for someone like me (no clue about wine and stingy as fuck), was perfect! They get some professional sommelier to write the tasting notes and job’s a good’un. We’d been at this for a few years and I gradually grew sick of the pretentious tasting notes – just guff after guff after guff. I’m sure they genuinely did reflect an accurate description of the wine at hand, but my issue was mainly the following: White’s Tavern is (one of) Belfast’s oldest pubs, it’s a traditional Irish bar – low ceiling, peat fire, great Guinness… for the same reason I never did a cocktail menu, I wasn’t keen on going mad with wines. If you’re a wine aficionado, there’s places you would go to first… This was reflected in the sales too, on the proper wine lists, before my kinda-joke-but-not-really wine list, we sold massively more 1/4 bottles of wine than regular bottles – again, in my experience, wine aficionados aren’t clamouring for a 187.5ml bottle of house plonk. So I thought ‘Fuck It’. I’m going to have fun with this, it’s going to be a bit of light entertainment. Most...
A round-up of Easter Licensing social media ire

A round-up of Easter Licensing social media ire

This is just a sample of course, from those of us in Northern Ireland who are sick, tired & embarrassed of our Easter opening hours.     And here’s one of many bars that will have had to close due to the opening hours…   Of course the views of the general public seems fairly obvious… Industry body Hospitality Ulster was on the case all weekend, sharing messages from its members calling for normalisation of the hours…...

A lost boy at Easter: You can choose your friends AND your family.

Easter is an odd time of year for me, the ‘holidays’ in general are in fact. The societal onus is always on ‘family’ and spending time together with them… Christmas of course is the big one, but Easter being so close to Mother’s Day, there’s a certain expectation – when someone asks you your plans for Easter and you respond with, “the usual,” people just know what that means. Visiting relatives, maybe a trip together somewhere, the obligatory Sunday Lunch at the family home… all that good stuff. For me though, it’s never been that way. I genuinely can’t recall the last typical family holiday event I was at with my own mother and family, and as numb as I am to this kind of broken-family situation, I’m conscious of what I’m missing out on. Perhaps it was 2003… it might even be as far back as 1999 or 2000, maybe that isn’t long for some people, especially if you’ve seen a lot more years go by than myself, but I’m 28 – that’s more than half my life ago. I’ve spoken previously about my time being homeless, with my mother and then latterly, my brother (who was born when we were of ‘no fixed abode’, I’m excluding those occasions. Although even then, one Christmas I spent with my then-girlfriend’s family and the other I spent with an uncle in Canada. When we were homeless we lived in Brighton and the surrounding area, every school holiday and term break, I was back in Belfast staying with my grandfather – all those normal occasions where a child and their parents are supposed...
3 Great Crowdfunding Drinks Projects You Can Join

3 Great Crowdfunding Drinks Projects You Can Join

Crowdfunding… you know what it is by now, it’s been one of the biggest changes in the way the world does business in the 21st century. Got a good idea? Could take it to a bank and do the leg work, maybe even have a go at Dragon’s Den… or use a crowdfunding website and get the added benefit of testing if there’s a market for your product at the same time as raising capital. Superb! Locally, the success story of Brewbot, beer and technology wizards who combined to make an automated brewing system that can be controlled via an app and who have since gone on to open their own bar on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, these guys raised over $100,000. Brewbot units are popping up in some of the world’s leading technology companies for staff to use and many, many other places. This makes professional scale and consistency brewing possible for anyone! Here’s a list of some great crowdfunding projects ongoing in the drinks business The Stone Cup Made from metamorphic black marble, each cup is unique – these aren’t made, they’re crafted. Keeping your drink at a more sustained temperature, there’s a practical side to it… also, it looks AWESOME. You can just imagine sitting there with an Old Fashioned in your black marble stone cup, watching some fine documentary about prohibition! Alcohoot Edge A palm-sized bluetooth connected breathalyzer that uses police grade breath sensor technology to accurately track and measure your blood alcohol levels. According to the manufacturer, the Alcohoot Edge allows you to make safer and smarter decisions and also it can improve your health....