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How to pair your favourite wine with perfect tunes

We spoke to Ronan McNulty, assistant manager at the 1878 and The Premium Club private members’ clubs at the 3Arena for his recommendations.


Ever thought about pairing wines with music?

We asked Ronan McNulty, wine enthusiast and assistant manager at the 1878 and The Premium Club, the private members’ clubs at the 3Arena, to recommend a selection of wines to complement a variety of musical acts, all of which are scheduled to play the popular music venue throughout 2020. 

Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello Di Montalcino and Andrea Bocelli 

October 21st and 22nd 2020

This man needs little introduction! From the very beginning to the final note, Andrea transports you to another world, delivering a show that leaves you wanting more. Something similar could be said of this fine Italian red, Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello Di Montalcino, which hails from the south-west of Montalcino in Tuscany. With floral raspberry and pomegranate notes, this wine is very enjoyable but for maximum flavour, decant the bottle and allow it to breathe for a while; this transforms it into a real show-stopper.

Les Chants De Cri Pouilly Fumé and Jools Holland 

October 23rd 2020

Following sold-out Irish shows last year, Jools is coming back for 2020 with his hugely talented rhythm and blues orchestra. The thing about a Jools Holland performance is that you know exactly what you’re going to get with him, and it’s always great. The same could be said for this delicious white wine, Les Chants De Cri Pouilly Fumé, from the Loire Valley in France. It’s an elegant, classic sauvignon blanc that is dry and crisp with notes of citrus, grass and honey on the nose. I had one guest in The Premium Club describe it as “crazy aromatic, fully accessible, exotic and stupidly tasty” and I couldn’t agree more.

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The 1878.
The 1878.

Andantino Sangiovese and Elbow

March 28th 2020

Elbow have produced some great music; most notably their 2008 Mercury Prize winning album ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’. Elbow are, and always have been, dominant in the rock scene just as Sangiovese has always been the most dominant grape in central Italian reds. An Elbow album or performance is the ideal soundtrack for a bottle of Andantino Sangiovese. The term Andantino comes from the Italian word andante which means a moderately slow tempo, making it the perfect musical pairing. Light and good-bodied with intense red colour, this wine has notes of ripe cherry, blackberry and pepper on the palate and a smooth finish. 

Muriel Rioja Reserva and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds 

May 9th 2020

Nick Cave’s album ‘Ghosteen’ is a captivating reaction to the traumatic loss of his son and the intensity of this piece of work matches the surprising and intriguing quality of Muriel Rioja Reserva from the La Rioja region of Spain. Spending an increasing amount of time in oak, ascending from Crianza, Riserva, to Grand Riserva, Tempranillo shows its beguiling longevity just like Mr Cave himself. A complex full-bodied wine with a bright cherry colour, this bottle is fruity and elegant on the palate with notes of spice and roasted coffee. 

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The Premium Club.
The Premium Club.

Shootesbrooke Chardonnay and André Rieu 

April 17th and 18th 2020

When at a live show with André Rieu or even listening to his album in the comfort of your home, you quickly recognise that this is not a stereotypical classical music experience. The same could be said for this Shootesbrooke Chardonnay from Australia. It is a youthful wine with low alcohol at 12.5% and a medium, buttery finish. Pale in colour with notes of melon and orange peel, wine enthusiasts are often surprised by the quality of this wine given the modest price tag.

Cava Rosé Mistinguett NV and Elton John

December 4th and 5th 2020

You always know that an Elton John performance or album will have all the bells and whistles attached, so there is no better wine pairing for him than a glass of chilled bubbles. I say go all out and make the bubbles pink for a night to remember. If you don’t make a live show, enjoy the pairing at home by turning up your favourite Elton John album and making a little dance floor for you and your loved ones to dance the night away while you sip on this Spanish beauty. I’m a big fan of Cava Rosé Mistinguett NV as it’s equally enjoyable on its own as it is paired with food. An intriguing spicy and herbal rosé Cava with vibrant tangy berry fruit, this wine is rounded and rich, yet bright and lively. 

READ MORE: My life in plates: Grainne O’Keefe

The 1878.
The 1878.

La Selva Vermentino and Celine Dion

September 14th 2020

An icon in both the fashion and music worlds, Celine has her own quirky sense of style so this Italian white wine and its unique qualities are the perfect combinations. A great example of Vermentino, Tuscany's signature white grape, La Selva Vermentino is made from organically farmed grapes which are then aged in steel tanks for six months, then further bottle-aged before release. Lively, fresh and fruity, with great balance and natural acidity, dry whites from La Selva are perfectly suited to seafood dishes, as well as Celine Dion! If you've never tried a glass of Vermentino before I strongly recommend you purchase a bottle of this fabulous wine – you won’t regret it.

The 1878 and The Premium Club at 3Arena

Ireland’s largest indoor venue, 3Arena, consistently named one of the top 10 busiest venues in the world, is home to two distinct and stunning private members’ clubs – the 1878 and The Premium Club.

Exclusive and designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life or those who want to invest in a superior entertainment opportunity for their organisation, the 1878 and The Premium Club at 3Arena add an extra level of service, style, polish and enjoyment to any of the wonderful show experiences at 3Arena over the course of the year.

Recognised as Ireland’s premier music venue, playing host to some of the world’s best artists, week after week, 3Arena’s line-up for 2020 includes Celine Dion, Elton John, Gavin James, The Who and much more.            

The 1878 membership costs €10,500 plus VAT and The Premium Club membership costs €3,500 plus VAT. Limited memberships for both are available, head to the1878.ie or thepremiumclub.ie for more details. 

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