Tag Archives: Alcohol

Pub Etiquette: Why it’s ok not to get into buying rounds

“Drink anyone? I’ll buy this round”

When it comes to a night out with a big group of friends, there’s a big chance that you will all get stuck into making the long slog back from the bar with several drinks in hand.

Before you’ve even looked at your own wallet or thought about how the night will pan out, you’re already down €25 (at least). Too polite to say “I’m not going to do rounds tonight lads”, you’re already ordering at the bar.

It’s not generousity that ties people to rounds these days – it’s fear.

Why in Ireland are we so concerned about being seen as the black sheep of the group?  Is there really anything wrong with saying “I’m going to pay my own way”? Of course there isn’t.

Here are five valid reasons why it’s ok to not be guilt-tripped into engaging in this social minefield:

People drink at different paces

By buying into rounds you’re essentially forcing people to either drink more slowly or quickly than they want. Not only that, but there are also those who will change up their drinks during the night in favour of more expensive ones when it isn’t their round.

Some people don’t plan on staying out all night.

If your plan is to be home by 12 and you forked up the first round, then the chances are that you’re not going to get your money’s worth back by the end of the night. It’s perfectly ok to say that you’d rather buy your own.

You don’t have a lot of money

And that’s ok. You know how much you can afford and you shouldn’t have to justify to your friends why you can’t afford to buy them all a round. In 2014, the average amount that a person spent on a night out was €81, sometimes even more.

Some people wait until the very end before they offer a round

I’ve heard stories of people who hold back until the end of the night when people have whittled off before they start offering to pay for the next one. It’s a sneaky tactic and very unfair.

Some people don’t drink alcohol

At least one in five adults in Ireland don’t drink and why should they have to pay for other people’s booze? There’s a big price difference between a Coke and a Jameson and Coke.

Instead of judging people as being unsociable or unfair, consider how unfair you’re being by forcing them into a system that they don’t want to be a part of. You don’t know what their financial situation is.

Doing rounds essentially leaves you drinking and spending more than you intended. So don’t be miffed with the friend who doesn’t want to buy into the system.

(Lead image via Wikimedia Commons/Zenior)

West Cork Distillers launches Irish whiskey in conjunction with The Pogues

West Cork Distillers has launched an Irish whiskey developed in conjunction with The Pogues.

A collaboration between two of the world’s most renowned distillers, Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy, the whiskey is a blend of grain and 50% single malt Irish whiskey making it Ireland’s highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey.

“We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,” says John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.

“The Pogues offer a perfect partnership as they share many of the same values as our company such as an independent spirit, a slightly unorthodox approach and a commitment to quality, as well as success on the international stage.”

Commenting on the partnership, The Pogues said: “It’s been brilliant working with such experts to come up with a whiskey that we all think speaks of us and that we all like the taste of.

“It’s mind-blowing to think that we will have our band represented through such a great Irish whiskey and we hope it stands the test of time.”

The whiskey has an aroma of malt, cracked nuts, almond and a slight sweetness and its smooth intensity delivers a palate that is malty and floral with a mild chocolate taste and lingering citrus.

Diageo steps down from the board of alcohol awareness campaign

Following weeks of controversy surrounding the company’s involvement with the Stop Out-of-Control Drinking campaign, Ireland Country Director for Diageo, David Smith has confirmed that he is stepping down from the board.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar welcomed the withdrawal which was made on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke show.

Mr Smith said that the alcohol awareness campaign had started a “great debate” and that he was “acting today to make sure that any question about the lack of independence is being removed”.

“The whole campaign has not been a mistake,” he stressed. “I’m glad we got involved in the campaign. I may not have sat on the board if I’d known it was going to cause so much controversy.

“Tackling alcohol misuse in Ireland and this campaign are far more important than whether Diageo is on the board or not.

“As we step away, I wish the board luck and good luck to anything going on in Ireland to tackle alcohol misuse. It is really important for the country”.

The campaign was launched in February but quickly became the subject of controversy which included the resignation of three board members.

According to RTÉ News, Diageo will be continuing to fund the campaign “until the publication of its report in six to eight weeks, but added that most of the €1m allocated had already been spent”.

A statement from the Stop Out of Control Drinking said it welcomed Diageo’s decision to continue to fund the campaign:

“It [David Smith’s withdrawal] is also a reiteration of our total independence to produce a national debate, and a strategy that will seek to change the drinking culture within Ireland. Finally, it is an opportunity for reasonable and fair-minded people to reassess any initial scepticism about the motives of this campaign”.

(Lead image via Stop Out of Control Drinking Facebook page)

Lidl to launch their largest French wine sale

Lidl has announced that it will launch an extensive new range of French wines into stores from Monday, 8th September (while stocks last).

The range will include 43 wines from across the classic regions of France, including Bordeaux, Bourgogne and the Loire Valley, and will be the supermarket’s largest wine offering to date.

The focus for the promotion is to offer premium wines, with prices ranging from €7.99 to €65.

Each wine has been rated by Master of Wine, Richard Bampfield, one of only 312 Masters of Wine in the world.

Here are more details on the wines that will be in store:


Arguably the most famous wine region in the world, Bordeaux is home to more than 10,000 producers. Famed for its superb reds and long-lived wines made by historic wine estates, most Bordeaux wines are dry, medium-bodied reds, with the finest and most prestigious coming from the great châteaux of Haut-Médoc, Graves, Saint-Émilion and Pomerol.

Closerie des Bories AOP 2010 RRP: €11.99
Rating: 88
This has exotic toast and black cherry aromas, which lead to a full-bodied gutsy palate with the warmth and depth of flavour one expects from the great 2010 vintage.

Pessac-Léognan AOP 2009 RRP: €19.99
Rating: 92
The great benefit of the wonderful 2009 vintage is that it has produced wine that is ripe and generous even when young. This is sumptuous and characterful, showing a good mix of ripe, black fruits and toasty oak. Characteristically dry on the finish, it is delicious now and will improve for a further 3 to 4 years.


Some of the most exciting wines in the world come from Burgundy. Red Burgundy wines are typically fruity, velvety and subtle.

La Croix des Célestins Fleurie AOP 2013 RRP: €11.99

Rating: 87

Fleurie is often considered the jewel in Beaujolais’ crown, consistently producing wines that are the best in the region. This has good depth of flavour, with a crisp, crunchy finish, reminiscent of a fresh red apple.

The Loire region is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. It is known for producing excellent white wines and is the second largest producer of sparkling wines in France, after Champagne.

Cave des Vins De Sancerre AOP 2013 RRP: €15.99
Rating: 90

This has lovely scents of elderflower and pear, leading to a palate that is intensely flavoured yet still balanced and highly refreshing. A high quality dry white that would match well with white fish or the local favourite, goat’s cheese.


The Alsace region is located in Eastern France and shares borders with Germany and Switzerland. It produces almost exclusively white wines which are known for their clean, fresh taste.

Pinot Blanc AOP 2013 RRP: €9.99
Rating: 88

Gently aromatic, with notes of white flowers and pear. Medium-dry, fruity and highly appetising – most enjoyable, versatile white.

Côtes Du Rhône:

The Côtes du Rhône (Rhône Valley) is a long, narrow area which stretches on both banks of the river Rhône. A wide range of grape varieties are grown in the hillside vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône, producing a varied range of excellent red wines that are notable for their rich and spicy flavours.

Domain Messire de Very Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages 2013 RRP: €12.99
Rating: 90
Good wines from the Rhône Valley combine the juicy, crunchy fruit of the Grenache grape with the characteristic aromas of spice, pepper and garrigue from the region. This is a fine example, still youthful, with a mouthwatering finish and probably with its best yet to come. Best drunk with grilled meats, this is highly satisfying and will age well for another two or three years.

Full list of French wines and € pricing:

Wine Price €
Alsace, Riesling AOP  2013 sec Blanc €9.99
Alsace, Riesling Grand Cru Wiebelsberg  2012 sec Blanc €14.99
Alsace, Pinot Blanc AOP 2013 doux Blanc €9.99
Loire, Pouilly-Fumé AOP Domaine Gaudry 2013 sec Blanc €14.99
Loire, Pouilly-Fumé AOP Les Vignes de Saint Laurent L’Abbaye 2013 sec Blanc €14.99
Loire, Sancerre AOP  2013 sec Blanc €15.99
Bourgogne, Aligoté AOP Maison André GOICHOT 2012 sec Blanc €11.99
Bourgogne, Mâcon-Villages AOP La Belle Blonde 2013 brut Blanc €11.99
Bourgogne, Saint-Véran AOP Collin Bourisset 2013 sec Blanc €14.99
Sud-Ouest,  IGP Domaine de Ménard Colombard Sauvignon 2013 sec Blanc €8.99
Bordeaux, Sauternes AOP Château LE POUYS 2012 liquoreux Blanc €12.99
Languedoc-Roussillon, Pays d’oc IGP L’Escarpe 2013 sec Rosé €7.99
Rhône, Côtes du Rhône AOP Château Lignane 2013 sec Rosé €8.99
Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly AOP Collin Bourisset 2013 sec Rouge €11.99
Beaujolais, Fleurie AOP La Croix des Célestins 2013 sec Rouge €11.99
Bordeaux, Fronsac AOP Château du Carillon 2010 sec Rouge €12.99
Bordeaux, Graves AOP Château Gales 2011 sec Rouge €12.99
Bordeaux, Lalande-de-Pomerol AOP Ch. Sauriac 2007 sec Rouge €19.99
Bordeaux, Pomerol AOP Château NENIN 2010 sec Rouge €65.00
Bordeaux, Pomerol AOP Cht Vieux Maillet 2007 sec Rouge €35.00
Bordeaux, Margaux AOP Chevalier de Lascombes 2010 sec Rouge €30.00
Bordeaux, Montagne-Saint-Émilion AOC Château Vieux Ferrand 2010 sec Rouge €14.99
Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOP Château Pailhas 2012 sec Rouge €19.99
Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOP Château Roylland 2008 sec Rouge €24.99
Bordeaux, Pauillac AOP Pauillac de Haut Bages Libéral  2010 sec Rouge €27.00
Bordeaux, Saint-Estèphe AOP Ch. Andron Blanquet 2009 sec Rouge €19.99
Bordeaux, Médoc AOP Château Bellevue  2010 sec Rouge €14.99
Bordeaux, Haut-Médoc AOP Moulin De Citran 2008 sec Rouge €14.99
Bordeaux, Côte de Blaye AOC Château le Menaudat 2009 sec Rouge €11.99
Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg AOP Château de Passedieu 2009 sec Rouge €9.99
Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg AOP Château Makay 2011 sec Rouge €12.99
Bordeaux, Côtes de Castillon AOP Château Maugresin de Clotte 2010 sec Rouge €11.99
Bordeaux, Bordeaux AOP Château Bauvallon 2011 sec Rouge €9.99
Bordeaux, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux AOP Closerie Des Bories De Nicolas Thienpont 2010 sec Rouge €11.99
Bordeaux, Listrac AOP Tonnelle De Fonreaud 2010 sec Rouge €12.99
Bordeaux, Pessac-Léognan AOP Château Pontet Caillou  2009 sec Rouge €19.99
Bordeaux, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux AOP Château Belrose Reserve Mon Caillou 2010 sec Rouge €9.99
Rhône, Côtes du Rhône AOP  2012 sec Rouge €7.99
Rhône, Côtes du Rhône AOP Les Hautes Roches 2013 sec Rouge €9.99
Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages AOP Domaine du Pont Le Voy 2013 sec Rouge €9.99
Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages AOP Seguret – Domaine Messire De Very 2013 sec Rouge €12.99
Rhône, Rasteau AOP Domaine Combe Dieu 2013 sec Rouge €11.99
Rhône, Saint-Joseph AOP  2011 sec Rouge €11.99