"I have written about Whelehans Wines many times before because this outstanding shop, in what used to be the old Silver Tassie in Loughlinstown, carries one of the best ranges of wines in the country. But there's more to it than that. David Whelehan and his team have a profound knowledge, an ability to communicate this with great enthusiasm and lightness of touch, and they are solidly focused on terroir.
It's a word that you will hear bandied about in wine circles and it's sometimes abused, misunderstood or misapplied. But the concept is relatively simple. Terroir refers to the combination of geology, geography, climate and tradition that produce a taste of place.
Lots of wines don't have this. Huge industrial wineries are in the business of making vast volumes of stuff that is competitively priced, easy to drink, doesn't need ageing, fruit-driven and often relatively high in residual sugar. And there's nothing wrong with that. These are wines that give a lot of pleasure to a lot of people without costing a fortune (even with our extortionate taxes on the demon drink).
The team at Whelehans seek out wines with character, a kind of individualistic winemaker's fingerprint. These are wines that speak of where the grapes are grown, but also of the personalities that mould them. By and large, they are for savouring and contemplating rather than glugging. Although, Whelehans will not see you stuck for something to have for your barbecue.
One good thing to come out of our current situation is that Whelehans are now delivering nationwide - using 100% recycable cardboard. And you can click and collect from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm, just enter "Whelehans Wines" as your shipping address when you order wine online at whelehanswines.ie.
They have an excellent website that delivers all of the information you need to make browsing a pleasure. But I must warn you that it carries a considerable risk of temptation beyond endurance." Tom Doorley