Wine & Cheese Festival: What’s on the menu?
Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens is new venue for expanding food festival taking place this week
The Cheese & Wine festival moves from Eatyard to Iveagh Gardens, and runs from Thursday to Sunday
What is it?
This newish food festival is about four days of sipping wine, munching cheese and all that goes with it. From the Bodytonic team that established Eatyard Portobello, Dublin’s first permanent street food market, it brings together some of the leading names in wine, cheese and food, and plenty of Bodytonic organised entertainment.
Where is it on?
Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2. The entrance is on Clonmel Street, off Harcourt Street, and the Harcourt Luas stop is nearby.
How do I get tickets?
You can buy them online here, or on the door. There are two sessions each day (lunch and dinner). The Saturday evening session is already sold out and Thursday and Friday evenings are almost gone.
What wine is there?
This is a selection of wine you’ve probably never seen all in the one spot before. Best Wine Experience in Ireland winner at the 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards, Green Man Wines will be bringing a taste of their Terenure shop and restaurant, pouring from their range of artisan wines from quality-driven producers.
Wine Lab will be shaking things up, serving wines on tap, with a difference. They are all sourced directly from vineyards and kegged specifically for them, and they want drinkers to be able to enjoy wine in a way that’s kinder to the planet.
Cork’s L’Atitude 51 is also on board. Having paved the way for years, serving wines from small-scale independent winemakers who favour traditional over commercial methods, they had a bit of set back this year when a fire damaged the Cork shop. While they are temporarily closed, they are still part of the festival, pouring great wines.
Wines Direct is well known for offering something a little different, going out of their way to source independently made wines directly from growers around the world. Another festival favourite Quintessential Wines will be back again, pouring fun fizz and a great selection of natural wines. Kinsale Mead makes its debut at the festival serving their unique and refreshing Irish drinks.
Expect plenty of fun, accessible and interesting wines, with lots of organic, natural and biodynamic, and of course some big hitters too. The drinks menu will have wine cocktails, port and tonics, frosé, ginsecco, Belsazar rosé and tonic, cans of Ramona and anything and everything else that can be made with wine. For anyone not so grape inclined, Five Lamps will be there, as well as Brewtonic bar with beers, spirits and low and no ABV drinks. Roe & Co will be serving contemporary Irish whiskey cocktails and coffee comes from 3FE.
What cheese is there?
Eatyard has teamed up with Sheridans for their first-ever Eatyard Cheese Shop where you’ll be able to choose from an Irish and European pick’n’mix selection. The award-winning Corleggy Cheese will have a lineup of raw cow, goat and sheep milk cheeses. Cáis, the Irish farmhouse cheesemakers will be showcasing Coolatin Cheddar, Blues Creamery and Little Milk Company.
Little Italy, the gourmet Italian food importer will have wine and nibbles to match. The Wooded Pig Irish charcuterie and vegan ‘cheese’ from Beo Kitchen are also on offer.
The Cupcake Bloke will transform into The Cheesecake Bloke for the weekend with a selection of sweet and savoury cheese focused bakes. The hot food selection has one common thread, lots of cheese. Handsome Burger, Taco Truck, Decent Sandwich, Any Mac and Crepe Box will be on site, as well as oysters from King Sitric, Sun Bear Gelato, and vegan ‘cheese’ cakes from Bliss Bites.
What else is there?
The Eatyard Stage will host tasting sessions and chats every session including ‘Why we love acid’ with DJ Marcus O’Laoire and Shane Murphy (Findlaters Wine); Cheesemaking with Tom Burgess (Coolatin Cheese), and making ‘The Perfect Cheese Toastie’ with Kevin Powell (Loose Canon).
On Thursday there will be a live recording of the Gastro Gays podcast Chew The Fat. ‘Pigs, pet nat and pongy cheese’ will see Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon chat with Boyne Valley retailers and producers Seamus Daly (Quinntessential Wine), Eoin Bird (The Wooded Pig) and Michael Finegan (Boyne Valley Cheese).
There will be a daily Cracker Challenge (eat three cream crackers to win a prize) and Grape Expectations Challenge where competitors have to make as much wine as they can (with their feet). There will be a special edition Cheesy Singalong Social, the Dublin Ukulele Collective, Trinity Orchestra do Abba, R’n’Brie special from Holla Back, and Bodytonic DJs.
The Sip-Sip-Hooray tent is the place to be for wine and cheese tasting. Hosted by Mari Sanai of Dublin Wine Trails, there will be free 20-minute tastings for 20 people at a time. You’ll need to sign up on arrival to try and get a spot. Some highlights are the return of Crisps and Champagne with Station to Station Wine, Whiskey and Cheese with Seaneen Sullivan, and food and drinks pairings with the team from Aimsir restaurant. The full programme can be found here.
Can I bring the kids?
Sunday is kid-friendly day at the noon to 4.30pm session; ages 0-12 years go free. They’ll have Bricks 4 Kids, Genie Mackers face painting, balloon making and bubbles and fun from the Dublin Circus Project.
No glasses, no cash
Attendees get re-usable glassware on arrival. The wine bars will use these and not disposable glasses. There will be rinse stations on siteand water stations for drinking water. Food vendors will be using biodegradable and/ or compostable disposables.
There’s no festival currency and all the food, wine and drink vendors will be accepting debit or credit cards at the point of sale. No cash.
Don’t drink wine, don’t really eat cheese?
Grape news for non-wine drinkers: there will be beer, cider, non-alcoholic options, spirits and 3fe coffee on sale too. If you don’t eat cheese, you can try some of the vegan options.