Amidst all the Beer, a Wine-Lover's Dublin

by  Masha Vapnitchnaia | Nov 25, 2013
Champagne / master1305/iStock

In a country where doctors once prescribed pints of Guinness to patients and whiskey translates “ the water of life,” a hopeless oenophile might feel out of place. Luckily, wine enthusiasts visiting the endlessly affordable Emerald Isle can still get their fix thanks to the growing number of both native and transplant Dubliners who, armed with love and enthusiasm, managed to fit in a few wine vaults among the rows of pubs in the city center.

Tucked into a Georgian townhouse off of St. Stephen’s Green, Ely’s dizzying wine list includes more than four hundred international selections as well as seasonal offers of reserve bottles. Ely’s food menu is just as strong and it is worth staying long enough to get to know both.  Check the website for upcoming events, including tastings paired with a special treat from the chef. Dublin 2

Olesya’s Wine Bar
Founded by a woman from another country known more for its spirits and beer, Olesya’s Russian dishes can be paired with one of four hundred wines on the list. If you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, order a glass of more than a hundred varieties — the standard pour is one-fourth of the bottle. The restaurant also hosts tasting once a month and jazz every Wednesday night. Dublin 2

Enoteca delle Langhe
Modeled after the enotecas found in the Langhe region in northern Italy, this specialty eatery serves more than a hundred wines, mostly from small-scale producers in that area. The enoteca’s food specials include warm Italian classics like four-cheese gnocchi and ravioli with porcini mushrooms. Dublin 1

The Cellar Bar
The award-winning Merrion Hotel is also home to the Cellar Bar bar and its 18th century wine vaults. The fifty-strong list is heavy on Old World bottles, which seem fitting with the Old World atmosphere created by brick walls and arched ceiling. The bar is also known for its seafood offerings, including Galway oysters, Irish smoked salmon, and mussels. Dublin 2

The Wine Bar at the Dublin Wine Rooms
A mixture of old photographs, drawings, and graphic art on the walls, and an eclectic decor consisting of metal stools, wooden schoolhouse chairs, and glass-topped barrels, create a relaxed atmosphere for trying some serious vintages. The Enomatic system used by the bar preserves open bottles for three weeks, which means rare wines normally available by the bottle can be bought by the half-glass or even a tasting pour. Dublin 1

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