I get a fair few press releases (still) across my desk. I took notice of the most recent one for a couple of reasons. One, it’s about a shop that is on my list of places to visit. Two, the press release was really well written – it told a really good story. So here it is, unadulterated. Lazy of me? Perhaps, but I really liked the human element of it, so thought it worth preserving.
Black Pig, Ireland’s first specialist Spanish wine and authentic Spanish food store has opened in Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
The store – which was named after the iconic Iberian Black Pig – was the brain-child of former Oddbins Wine Advisor, Paul Walsh. It is Ireland’s only dedicated Spanish shop selling wines from across the country, specially sourced meats and an array of authentic Spanish foods including artisan cheeses, olive oils, gourmet tinned fish and vegetables.
Black Pig boasts almost 200 hand picked Spanish wines including those from well known regions such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Catalunya and Galicia as well as boutique wines from small eccentric winemakers in lesser known corners of the Iberian Peninsula and its islands.
The store is also exclusively supplying a range of free-range Iberian Black Pig meats such as Jamon Iberico (pata negra), chorizo, lomo and salchichon. The animals graze free range on windfall acorns from the evergreen oak in Extremadura and the meat, which is salted and cured for three years, is then pre-sliced and packed for Black Pig.
Paul Walsh said “As someone who genuinely loves the country, the food and its tremendous collection of wines, the aspiration for our store is to be a truly Spanish experience. Commenting on the range of products available, one of our first Spanish customers asked “and did you bring my Mother as well?” – it is this type of genuine Spanish connection and nostalgia that we want to embrace, while also providing Irish customers with top quality, authentic Spanish fare”.
Black Pig also specialises in Spanish olives which are packed fresh in Spain to order and offers 15 different lines of extra virgin, organic and unfiltered olive oils. It stocks manchego and a range of Spanish cheeses, artisan tinned fish including Clams, Cockels and Caviar from the North of Spain, speciality tinned vegetables, sherry vinegar, Spanish spices, rice and honey.
“The journey for Black Pig has taken almost two years, beginning with the idea when we identified a gap in the market, followed by extensive travel throughout Spain to source the best and most unusual wines and food products. Deciding on a location for the store was easy for us as Donnybrook is fast becoming a great “foodie” destination and its proximity to the City Centre was ideal”, Paul Walsh said.
While the store is a haven for gourmet Spanish food and wine, it also stocks a number of novelty Spanish products reminiscent of an authentic Spanish food store such as Chuppa Chups, Lays Crisps and Cola Cao. In addition, Spanish coffee and cake is available to take-away at all times.
About Paul Walsh
Having worked in Dail Eireann, in public relations companies and his own media company, Paul decided in 2003 on a whimsy to apply for a job in Oddbins Wine Merchants. In that year Paul also got married in Spain (not on a whimsy). Having always had an interest in food and wine he expected to learn a little for a while and move back to the world of suits and presentations. Then the wine bug bit and bit deep.
Starting off as a Wine Advisor, he threw himself at the free education the company offered him. While learning he found himself managing a couple of shops. Seven years later he succumbed to something he had always known. Paul’s real love was indeed wine and food but particularly that of Spain. He had always leaned that way. It just excited him more than anywhere else.
He has grown up with Spain not just through kids holidays in the 70s but he has close family there and a indeed a brother who is more Spanish than Irish now. For such a self proclaimed lover of all things Iberian Paul’s Spanish is incredibly poor, something which his young niece enjoys teasing him about. He promises he is working on it though. Deep down he says he has always wanted to open a Spanish shop for Irish people. In 2010 he left Oddbins to do just that.
Black Pig is located on Morehampton Road in Donnybrook and is open Monday-Wednesday from 10.30am – 7pm and Thursday – Saturday from 10.30am to 8pm.
For more information visit www.blackpig.ie