Irish Wine Show 2019/2020 Winners Announced
by Jean Smullen
Published 08/10/2019

The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has awarded its annual Irish Wine Show Star Awards to 45 wines at SIP 2019. Now in its nineteenth year, the winning wines from the Irish Wine Show Star Awards will be available to consumers all over the country from NOffLA outlets.

Cassidy Wines won the Wine of the Year Award 2019/2020 with their Domaine de la Borie Blanche Minervois La Livinière 2015 which was the winning wine in the Old World Red Under €20 category.  The White Wine of the Year was awarded to Domaine Lafage 'Cadireta' 2018 from Mackenway Distributors which was the best wine in the Old World White Under €20 category.

Cassidy Wines were the highest overall medal winners on the night receiving five Gold awards for their wines.  Mackenway Distributors came in second place with four of the Gold Star winning wines.  Other companies to win Gold Star Awards included Ampersand Wines, Barry & Fitzwilliam, Gilbeys Wines, Liberty wines and Niche Vines @ Counterpoint.

At the event, NOffLA again called on the Government to reduce excise duty on alcohol, specifically wine which is currently the highest rate within the EU. Wine consumption fell by 2% in 2018 and is reflective of the general shift away from wine as a result of Government alcohol taxation policy.

Speaking at the awards, Cathal McHugh, Vice Chairman of NOffLA congratulated the winners saying that “this annual event allows us to celebrate some of the finest products sold by our highly-trained members around the country. NOffLA members are committed to excellence both in terms of personal service and the high-quality wines that we offer.However, this offering is under serious threat. Irish excise on wine is the highest in the EU, and as a result we saw total wine consumption fall by 2% last year. This is a concerning development for everyone involved in the Irish wine trade and reinforces the need for excise on wine to be equalised with that of other alcohol products”

Over 600 wines were submitted to the Star Award adjudication panel of NOffLA judges and independent wine journalists. Points were awarded on the basis of appearance, smell, taste and value for money criteria, and the winning 15 were selected as the best wines from key suppliers across a number of price categories.

Each of the winning wines will be sold in NOffLA member outlets, of which there are more than 315 nationwide. The chosen wines will be recognisable by distinctive Award symbols on each bottle. In the pre-Christmas period NOffLA members will promote the Irish Wine Show Star Awards 2019-2020 Collection as ideal Christmas gifts, in a variety of special gift packs.