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Oireachtas to splash out €300,000 on its own brand of wine to sell in Leinster House

The parliamentary authority is looking for a “young, clean, fresh, fruity” style of white wine to put its own label on.

THE HOUSES OF the Oireachtas is planning to splash out up to €300,000 on its own brand of wine over the next four years to sell to customers in Leinster House.

The bespoke-labelled booze has proven to be a hit since it first went on sale at the end of 2013, selling around 8,000 bottles over the following five years.

A tender was advertised this week, seeking suppliers to provide “entry-level” and “mid-range” wines to be branded with the Houses of the Oireachtas label and sold in its on-site bars and restaurants.

The parliamentary authority is looking for a “young, clean, fresh, fruity” style of white wine to put its own label on, and expresses a preference in the tender documents for a Sauvignon Blanc as its entry-level offering.

It wants a light- or medium-bodied wine for its entry-level red, with a “young, fruity, dry” Merlot preferred. The mid-range option will be dry and medium-bodied red wine, such as a satellite Bordeaux, Malbec or Rioja.

A sparkling wine and non-alcoholic alternative will also be required from the successful supplier, and the total spend under the contract is expected to be between €225,000 and €300,000 over a maximum of four years.

The Houses of the Oireachtas will provide a “creative design scheme” for the production of bespoke labels for the wine, and the minimum production order will be 1,800 bottles in respect of the entry-level wine and 1,200 bottles of the mid-range wine.

Its own-label wine is currently available by the bottle or by the glass in the various hospitality facilities in Leinster House, which include two restaurants, two bars and a coffee dock.

The Members’ Restaurant seats approximately 150 people and is used for a formal lunch and dinner service during Dáil and Seanad sitting terms, catering for TDs and senators, as well as their guests, staff and visiting delegations.

The self-service restaurant is an informal setting and seats approximately 160 people, according to the tender documents, offering a range of hot and cold menu items. It also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner services, serving up to 500 meals a day.

The bar facilities in Leinster House are divided into the Visitors’ Bar and the Members’ Bar, which is exclusively for current and former members of the Oireachtas.

Prospective suppliers have until 14 July to submit tenders for the contract, and will be expected to supply samples for blind tasting as part of the evaluation process.

Darragh McDonagh
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