For peat’s sake! Local wine proves a hit on Irish turf

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Pete.

Pete who?

Peat wine…

News reaches The Moodie Blog of a wine offer with a difference at Ireland West Airport near Knock in County Mayo, Ireland.

Popular Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain was bemused at the weekend to discover Irish Peat Wine in the Knock Airport store.

“WT-utter-F is this?” he asked on Twitter, a post accompanied by pictures of the wine.

For the uninitiated, Ireland’s peat bogs yield black blocks of turf, which, when dried, are used as heating fuel. Peat is a key element of certain whisk(e)y production, notably some great Irish expressions and the famously smoky Islay malts from Scotland.

The answers to the comic’s question weren’t long in coming. “It’s bog standard wine, Dara,” came the inevitable response from one Twitter wag. “People are forced to drink turf to survive!” responded Dara. Another said, “Well you take 14 bags of turf and a juicer…”

Then it was time for the producers, BT Wines of West Limerick, to get in on the act. BT stands for Brendan (Reddin) and Trisha (Kelly), who launched the wine in July 2016. Irish Peat Wine is the result of Pinot Noir (grapes sourced from the Rheinhessen in Germany) aged using peat. “The warmth of the peat enhances the subtle flavour of the Pinot Noir and the result is a smooth, lingering, velvet finish,” the company says. Having not sampled the wine, I can’t vouch for that, but I am sure that the process lends a literal dimension to the common description of Pinot Noir as earthy.

Pinot Noir and peat converge in a wine that has been wowing the critics (Photo: TheTaste.ie)

Irish Peat Wine is available for €40 at the airport’s ShopWest store. But given the enormous geographic spread of the Irish diaspora and the global popularity of Irish culture, might we hope to see the BT line in more travel retail stores?

Opportunity knocks for Irish Peat Wine at Ireland West Airport

Surely this is a challenge for Ireland’s great travel retail wine man, Barry Geoghegan (below), of Duty Free Global? Barry’s a walking, talking (heck, sometimes even singing) ambassador for Ireland and for wine in equal measure. He and BT Wines would be a marriage made in heaven. After all, Barry knows the travel retail turf back to front and is never one to get bogged down in unnecessary detail. And if anyone can land re-peat business, it’s Barry. I can already see his introductory ‘buy one, get one free’ promotion, more commonly known, of course, as BOG-OF.

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