Irish sommelier to oversee international hotel group’s beverage menus
Philip Dunne of the Westbury hotel is appointed group sommelier for Doyle Collection
Philip Dunne has been appointed group sommelier for Doyle Collection hotels in Ireland, the UK and the US.
Philip Dunne has been appointed group sommelier for the Doyle Collection, the family-owned Irish luxury hotel group, overseeing the development of wine and drinks lists for Doyle hotels in Ireland, the UK and the United States.
Dunne is one of Ireland’s leading sommeliers, having started out at an early age. “I first got into wine when I was just 18. I was working with Joe Barrett in Bang restaurant, and he had a real passion for wine. He put me on the first two Wine & Spirit Education Trust wine courses.”
Moving on from Bang, he was head sommelier and wine buyer at Ashford Castle before joining the Westbury hotel in Dublin. He is a qualified drinks educator and competition judge and has written widely about wine.
“I’ll be looking after all eight hotels as group sommelier,” Dunne says. “That will involve beverage training, wine-programme development, menu creation and wine events.”
This will mirror the work he put in on the award-winning wine list, and the winemaker dinners, at the Westbury. “The group as a whole is trying to be as sustainable as possible, so by 2023 every wine in the collection will be produced with that in mind. We want to have as many organic and vegan wines as is possible.” The group is about to launch a list of exclusively organic, organic-friendly and vegan wines in the River Club, the River Lee hotel’s bar and restaurant in Cork.
So what is Dunne’s favourite wine? “I love a good bottle of champagne,” he says. “In terms of emotional attachment to a winery, it would be Château Musar in Lebanon. I have done wine dinners with them in both the Westbury and Ashford Castle. Wine becomes more than just a product when you hear their story and the history of the winery.”