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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Wine Culture (Brian Murphy)

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Brian Murphy

Wine Culture

Ireland’s relationship with wine changed considerably during the Celtic Tiger years. Up to relatively recently, wine was often perceived as the preserve of wealthier, more elite groups in Irish society. However, the new millennium brought change, and according to the Irish Wine Association, wine sales almost doubled from 4.5 million cases in 2000 to 8.2 million cases five years later. During this period the country underwent what wine writer Jean Smullen referred to as a ‘democratisation of wine’. The factors that contributed to that democratisation are not unique to Ireland, but were certainly more pronounced in this country because of the Celtic Tiger boom. Returning emigrants who had been working in high-status jobs, with commensurate salaries and career structures, were more discerning, and demanding, when it came to matching good food with wine.

The Celtic Tiger period also saw a rapid growth in food media in terms of content that frequently involved discussions and segments around wine and wine recommendations. The popularity of New World wine, with simple to understand flavours, and clearly labelled bottles, also helped make wine more accessible. This was reflected in the fact that both Australian and Chilean wines came to dominate sales in Ireland while France, despite its reputation as the home of wine culture, ranked only third in popularity.

The rise of the female wine market has also been an important factor in our changing relationship with wine. Despite recent calls for...

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