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Kevin's grape expectations

Despite lockdown celebrity chef Kevin Dundon has kept busy by setting up a corker of a new wine business, writes Denise Smith

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Chef Dundon insists the only rule for good wine is that you like it.

Chef Dundon insists the only rule for good wine is that you like it.

Chef Dundon insists the only rule for good wine is that you like it.

It's the year of the grape for celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. The culinary star has just launched his eponymous wine range in Ireland - using lockdown to create his sparkling new business.

So how exactly do Irish people fare when it comes to our wine knowledge?

"Well, I think it's gotten a hell of a lot better in the last year," jokes the TV presenter, who runs Dunbrody House in Co Wexford with his wife Catherine.

"Wine can be intimidating for some people. My opinion on wine is all about personal preference. You either like it or you don't like it - there's no wrong or right."

Priced €18, the debut range, made in partnership with a premium French wine company as part of an international 'Signature Chef Collection', is now available from SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide.

"I'm thrilled with the quality of what we've produced," says Kevin. "There's no sharpness to it. They're delicious.

"When you get up to €16 or €18, you're actually starting to pay for the wine itself. The lower the price, you're simply paying multiple taxes, you're not paying for the grape itself."

Entrepreneurial couple Kevin and Catherine designed the range after the pandemic forced them to close their country house temporarily - but was it all rosé?

"We're very close," laughs the dad-of-three. "We've been married 25 years. But it brought us back to the early days of our relationship where we were doing everything together because we were a small business.

"It was kind of a distraction from lockdown as well and something we both got our teeth into."

Meanwhile, the social media sensation insists his newfound Instafame isn't going to his head after his weekly cookalongs went viral during lockdown.

"On Facebook, we have 173,000 followers and 47,000 on Instagram and we grew that in the last year," he tells. "It's become a great new revenue stream to our business.

"I am recognised everywhere in Ireland; I'm friendly and like to chat to people but I don't get up in the morning and check how many people are following me on social media or check Google to see my net worth.

"I'm sure what Google says and the reality are two very different things," he smiles. "As long as I can feed my family and keep a roof over my head then I am happy."

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