Jus de Vine Wins National Off-Licence of the Year 2018

(23 Jan 2018)

 

Tuesday 23rd January: The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has called on Government to expedite the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill through all stages of the legislative process in the coming weeks. The call was made at the annual ‘Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2018’ which took place at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns.

Now in its twenty-second year, the awards recognise and showcase excellence in the independent off-licence sector, which represents 315 specialist businesses throughout the country. The awards highlight those retailers that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.

Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairman, Gary O’Donovan said, “The annual NOffLA awards highlight the expertise of the independent off-licence sector, showcasing the benchmark of personal service in our industry, as well as the top-quality products offered by our highly trained, specialist members.”

“As socially conscious independent retailers, NOffLA welcomes the passage of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill through the Seanad, as it seeks to ensure the highest standards around the purchase, and thus consumption, of alcohol. That said, NOffLA is concerned by any and all amendments made to the Bill which do not have consumer protection at the core. As such, we are calling on Government to pass the Bill in full at the earliest possible opportunity”.

“Considering Minister Harris’ intentions to delay the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing pending the formation of a Northern Irish Assembly, NOffLA is also calling on Government to introduce a ban on below invoice cost selling as an interim stop-gap measure. The repealing of the Groceries Order in 2008 has resulted in the promotion of irresponsibly discounted branded alcoholic products, driving footfall in multiples where the losses are recouped through the sale of other goods, as well as reclaimed by retailers through VAT, costing the Exchequer €24 million per annum. A ban on below cost selling would therefore also augment Minimum Unit Pricing in the long-run, and so should be seen as a complimentary rather than substitute measure”.

“While tonight we celebrate the best that the industry has to offer, it is important to remember that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is still some distance from enactment, and significant threats to its passage remain. Indeed, the Government has come under sustained pressure from multinational food retailers and supermarkets, seeking a prioritisation of sectoral revenues over public health. Government must dismiss such interests and fully implement the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill in order to ensure responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol.”

The awards, which included 40 finalists, saw Jus de Vine awarded ‘National Off-Licence of the Year 2018’, O’Donovans Off-Licence Group, Cork won ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year 2018’ and Conor McGrath, McHugh’s Off-Licence, Kilbarrack, won ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2018’.

All 40 finalists were awarded certificates of either ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ and a Customer Service Award based on their performance and other awards on the night included:

 

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  • The Montes Best First Time Entrant 2018 – Lilac Wines
  • The NOffLA Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2018 – Donnybrook Fair, Dublin 4
  • The El Coto Customer Service Award of the Year 2018 – The Vintry
  • The Redbreast Spirit Specialist of the Year 2018 – Mitchell & Son CHQ
  • The Hop House 13 Beer Specialist of the Year 2018 – Baggot Street Wines
  • The Dona Paula Wine Specialist of the Year 2018 – Gibney’s of Malahide
  • The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Connaught/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2018 – McCambridge’s of Galway
  • The NOffLA Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2018 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
  • The Hennessy Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2018 – Martin’s Off-Licence
  • The NOffLA Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2018 – O’Donovans Off-Licence, Bandon
  • The NOffLA RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2018 – Conor McGrath, McHugh’s Off-Licence, Kilbarrack
  • The NOffLA Responsible Retailer of the Year 2018 – O’Donovans Off-Licence Group, Cork
  • The NOffLA National Off-Licence of the Year 2018 –  Jus de Vine

Judging for the awards began in June 2017 with the ongoing judging process culminating in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines. Final awards were allocated following this process.



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