Ulster merchant's tasting trio

15 June, 2007

Northern Irish wine merchant James Nicholson held what he describes as "the largest wine tasting event ever organised by an Irish independent wine merchant" last month.

More than 50 winemakers from across the globe were invited by the independent specialist to show their wines to both the trade and the public at three sell-out tastings in Belfast, Dublin and Cork.

Business founder James Nicholson said all three events had been a huge success.

He said: "It was an honour to host these wine tasting events with such esteemed producers, and in so doing we hope to have introduced some of the world's finest wines to Ireland."

The retailer, now in its 30th year, opened a new store in Crossgar, County Down, at the end of last year.

The £4 million glass-fronted building has tasting rooms for specialist wine courses and tastings, and a relaxation area for customers to browse wine books over coffee. It has also introduced a range of wines featuring labels designed by artist Nicola Russell to support the Integrated Education Fund.

The Reach range - an Australian Shiraz and Chardonnay - retails at £5.99 with 20p from every sale donated to the charity, which works to get children of

all religions in Northern Ireland educated together in the same schools.

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