This week I have been traveling around southern Ireland with my classmate, Jenny, to interview store owners as a part of our final project for the MBA. For our project, we are analyzing the current state of a 52-store franchise business of off-license stores across Ireland. Our recommendation, which is due on May 17th, will provide the headquarter office with methods to improve their buying power, overcome IT challenges, adjust staffing responsibilities, and improve marketing and promotions for stores. To help with our analysis, we decided to conduct one-on-one interviews with various store owners to understand how they are or are not benefiting from being a part of the franchise.
This week, we traveled through Wicklow to Waterford and ended our trip in Cork. I decided to stay the night outside of Cork in a town called Ballincollig while Jenny set off to spend the weekend with family.
Why Ballincollig? Well, since I will be doing a lot of touristy things in Galway in a few weeks, I decided to skip kissing the Blarney stone and checking out the city so that I could relax at a nice hotel called the Oriel House. The hotel was running a promotion with a hot stone massage, so I decided this was the ideal place to spend in Cork.
I went venturing into the village of Ballincollig and being the wine lover that I am, stopped into several off-licenses. There was one in particular, O’Sullivans, that carried several Pinot Noirs, so I decided to pick up a bottle to open that night. When I went to purchase what I thought was a nice bottle of Pinot Noir from New Zealand, the store owner asked me to wait a second and consider another option. I am always in favor of a new Pinot experience, so I followed the owner to the New Zealand selection and listened intently as he offer some other suggestions. His last suggestion was Devil’s Corner, a 2007 Pinot Noir from Tasmania for 11.99 euros. My previous experience with Tasmanian Pinots has not been that great, so I was hesitant to get steered into this direction. However, when the owner described the wine as one that is silky, elegant and fruity, I had a feeling this bottle was going to be different than the others I had tried.
And yes was he right! This Tasmanian Pinot was just what he said it would be – very light in color, silky smooth tannins and a great deal of fruit. It’s incredible that in such a small place as Ballincollig, a town many will never have reason to stop in, did I find such a delightful wine lover to discuss our passion for Pinot Noir. Though I didn’t catch the store owners name, I must send a big thank you from Dublin for helping make my stay far more relaxing and enjoyable I could have imagined.