One More Thing: No whine for Mick Wallace
The wild-haired Wexford TD, developer and wine buff Mick Wallace was phlegmatic this week after bank receivers put another tranche of his life’s work on the market. “That’s life,” he said.
Receivers have offered for sale the buildings housing Wallace’s Enoteca Della Langhe and Caffe Caglistro. Both are located within his homage to the epicurean delights of Italy on the hitherto heathenish northern bank of the Liffey, at Ormond Quay. Enoteca Torino in Inchicore and Taverna di Baxcco, also on Ormond Quay, were already for sale.
Whoever buys them will still have to deal with the doughty Wallace. His Wallace Calcio business, alive and kicking, remains the sitting tenant in all buildings. The group employs about 55 staff, although it is €250,000 in the red, according to its accounts.
It is tough enough in the wine bar business, says Wallace, without supermarkets selling bottles for €6 a pop: “And at least 95 per cent of the wine that is drunk in Ireland is plonk.”
Take a €6 supermarket bottle, he argues. He says excise is about €3.20, with another 80c for the bottle and cap. Transport is at least 30c a bottle, giving a total of €4.30. Strip the 23 per cent V AT out of a €6 bottle, and it is being sold for €4.87.
“That leaves 87c to pay the retailer its cut and to pay the producer for the wine itself. So you can only imagine what must be going in the bottle,” he sniffed.
‘Works the vineyard’
Wallace still “works the vineyard” in Italy th at he transferred to his brother to pay off a debt, so at least he can drink his own. I wonder if he is holding back a special release for his nemesis, Alan Shatter? He could call it Ch
Wallace was speaking just before the kick-off for Ireland versus Serbia. Would the football-mad parliamentarian be in the crowd? “No. I’m too busy saving the world.”