It’s always good to know where to find a decent cup of coffee, so when I am in the Sandycove, Glasthule or Dun Laoghaire areas of South Dublin and in need of a caffeine pick-me-up, I head to Sixty Four Wine. The owner Gerard Maguire has woven together three different but related strands to come up with a successful business. Sixty Four is principally a wine emporium, so the front of the shop carries a large selection of vinous treats at every price point, in the middle there’s an artisan food section and at the back an interesting café (serving coffee, teas, breakfast and lunch) and a fine wine cellar.
The coffee is good and always arrives with a wedge of Valrhona chocolate on the side. The decor of the café is eclectic; a tiled floor, table tops made from the sides of wooden wine boxes, seating replete with comfortable cushion, quirky antiques, a bust of James Joyce in one corner and artificial lighting augmented by flickering tealights. The mix is curiously appealing and the café has a post-modern feel (I mean that in a very good way); the sort of place you wouldn’t be surprised to come upon a skilled scribe scribbling by the glow of candlelight.
The owner Gerard is living the mantra ‘do something you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ He started his working life as a policemen and then became a lawyer with his own practice. He is a long time lover of wine, so when he had a health scare several years ago he decided, as he waited a week for his test results, that if all was well he would work from that day on at something he loved, the news was good and Sixty Four Wine was born. Gerard is studying to become a Master of Wine; he is entering the third year of a seven-year long slog.
When I was talking to Gerard I couldn’t resist asking a would be Master of Wine to recommend a couple of wines at the €15 level and here’s what he suggested; a Godello (that’s a white wine, Godello is the grape variety, like clothes grapes go in and out of fashion and Gerard reckons that Godello is the coming thing) by the Spanish producer Rafael Palacios and Clos des Trias a bio-dynamic Grenache dominated red from the Ventoux.
Note: Sixty Four Wine is at 64 Sandycove Road, Glasthule, Co. Dublin and the web address is http://www.64wine.com