Hi there! My name is Jocelyn Doyle, and I am delighted to join the La Kav Wines team as the new writer and website editor. My goal is to support Arnaud and his team by telling the La Kav story, giving more people an insight into their incredible hard work and exceptional wines. Read on for a little more about me and what I hope to bring to La Kav Wines.
A passion for small producers
I’ve always been passionate about supporting small Irish food businesses, and it’s been a huge focus of my career to date. I originally came to the food industry through hospitality, working as waitress, hostess and bartender in a variety of restaurants and bars over the span of a decade, and completing my undergraduate degree in Hospitality Management in D.I.T. (now T.U.D.). As part of this degree — realising I didn’t want to stay in hospitality for the long term — I pursued an internship in the Small Business Department of Bord Bia, helping the team there by compiling a database of Ireland’s small food producers that would make them easier to contact and support. Chatting to these business owners, I was struck by their genuine love for their craft — whether making cheese, brewing beer or growing vegetables — and by their incredible work ethic. It was clear that they needed all the support they could get: few of them had either time or money for any sort of marketing effort. I was eager to provide that support — and I had found my new career path.
Next steps: becoming a food writer
Once I knew I wanted to be a food writer and editor, I set a course for UniSG. Founded by Slow Food in 2004, the University of Gastronomic Sciences is in Bra, Italy, and there’s no better education for someone who wants to understand food on a deeper level. I spent an intensely delicious year in this food-obsessed microcosm, completing a Master in Food Culture & Communications: Food, Place & Identity. I came home with a rich understanding of how food has shaped us as humans, a passion for sustainable food production and a determination to forge a career in food and wine writing.
Since then, I’ve written for a variety of online and print publications. I worked with Ireland’s biggest-selling food title, Easy Food magazine, for eight years — as Deputy Editor for the last four — and was Editor of the quarterly Easy Gluten-Free for two. During my time at Easy Food, I wrote a monthly column, Eat Ireland, shining a spotlight on the hardworking small producers that can be found all around our little island. Talking to these people was my favourite part of the job.
Food is the great love of my life, and it filters into more than writing. I’ve worked behind the counter in Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and I’ve lived above the dairy in Gubbeen Farmhouse, rising at the crack of dawn for the back-breaking, awe-inspiring magic that is cheesemaking. I was a judge at the Irish Quality Food Awards for four years running. I’m a co-founder of the Slow Food Sugarloaf Convivium and co-creator of Wild&Slow, Europe’s biggest wild food festival — which ran in Co. Wicklow from 2011-2016 — and am an active committee member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild.
These days, I write for numerous publications about a variety of topics, but predominantly sustainable food production, the hospitality industry and small producers. I love to cook and I love to eat, and I’m a voracious reader and natural traveller. Otherwise, you’ll find me by the sea or in the woods, walking with my gorgeous golden retriever, Reuben.
Finding La Kav Wines
I first met Arnaud when we connected through LinkedIn. I was delighted to discover the La Kav Wines website — any source for quality wines at good prices gets a thumbs-up from me! — but then I learned that he was working on making his own wine, too… in WEXFORD! I was fascinated; I had to know more. One sunny Saturday morning, we met in Greystones for a coffee and a crêpe.
As he said to Kevin Ecock on a recent episode of WinePod, Arnaud is not interested in making an Irish wine for the sake of it; this isn’t a marketing gimmick. “I want the Irish to be proud of their Irish wine. We don’t want to produce plonk.” Listening to him talk with such passion about this project, I knew I wanted to get involved.
La Kav Wines writer and editor
So here we are! The wine is just a few short months away from being bottled, with every step of the process taking place here in Ireland. As we enter this exciting final stage in making this very first vintage of Wexford wine, I’ll be sharing articles and social media posts to keep regular and new La Kav customers in the loop. I hope you’ll join me!
Oh, and my favourite wines? I’ve been in love with crisp, mineral sauvignon blancs since a week-long wine holiday in the Loire Valley in 2008. When it comes to red, I like big, fruity reds with low tannins: maybe a syrah-grenache blend from Languedoc. I won’t say no to a nice dry rosé on a summer’s evening, either!
Do you have a food business of your own?
I’m currently taking on freelance work and am available for food writing, proofreading/copyediting, website management or social media management. If you’re looking for someone who understands food and/or hospitality to help tell your story — or even just to proofread your menu! — please do get in touch via my LinkedIn page.
Follow Jocelyn on Instagram at @jocelyn.s.doyle and keep up to date with the La Kav Wines journey at @lakavwines. In the mood for some seriously good French wines? Check out the La Kav shop at the link below!