Death of a Irish Wine Legend

After a long brave fight, Jim McCabe died last Monday 01 July 2024.
I don't think I can fairly relay his importance to the Irish Wine trade since the 1980's but here's a posting by Jean Smullen which hopefully reflects Jim's life in Wine.  You can read Jean's full article at  but here's a taste.

Goodbye Jim
Love John

Jim McCabe, whose death took place on Monday 1st July, 2024 was one of the pioneers of the Irish wine trade. One of Ireland’s top independent retailers he ran one of the country’s best known wine shops on Mount Merrion Avenue in Blackrock for nearly 30 years. Jim was a larger-than-life character, he had energy and drive and he was very clever.

A founding member of the National Off Licence Association (NOffLA) he served as Chairman and was pivotal in leading the direction of the association as a lobby group...

Jim was at the heart of NOffLA and under his guidance the NOffLA committee managed by trade stalwart Reggie Walsh became a driving and important voice for the independent off trade in Ireland.

Jim was an ideas man, he was the first independent retailer to organise a consumer wine fair for his customers .... Many other off licences followed suite and these fairs, in the early days of the development of the modern wine industry in Ireland, did much to educate and increase wine sales.

McCabe’s of Merrion won the Off Licence of the Year Award multiple times ...

Twenty-five years ago, Jim asked me to run a wine school for him .... wine appreciation classes, wine and food evenings, singles wine tastings and consumer wine tours to wine regions .............

Jim was enormous fun, his energy and keen mind got things done. He was enormously popular with his colleagues and friends in the wine trade and was usually at the center of any good party, wine trip, or NOffLA outing, of which there were many!

In the last 30 years, the wine trade in Ireland grew and evolved and Jim McCabe was at the heart of that evolution ...... Many of the individuals working in the trade today, owe much to him thanks to his innovative ideas and retailing nous .... Speaking yesterday, with Reggie Walsh of NOffLA she summed him up succinctly “Jim was a legend.”

We offer our sincere condolences to his wife Patricia, his children and grandchildren and to his brother John and sister Dara as well as his NOffLA family.

Ar dheis Dé go Raibh a Anam