Bloomsday celebrated with rivers of burgundy

  • Thursday 17 June 2004

Sales of burgundy went through the roof in Dublin yesterday as thousands of James Joyce aficionadoes followed the route taken by the hero of Ulysses on a single day in 1904.

joyce

To commemorate the epic journey of Leopold Bloom on June 16 1904 in Joyce’s famous novel, revellers make an annual pilgrimage through the Dublin streets, faithfully following Bloom’s every step, drink and meal.

Bloomsday is celebrated in over 60 cities worldwide, but nowhere with more enthusiasm than Dublin. In this centenary year, fans of Joyce (pictured) have entered into the spirit of day with even more gusto – the James Joyce Centre, for example, organised a mammoth Bloomsday Breakfast of fried pig’s kidney, which Bloom eats in chapter four.

Bloom’s lunch, in chapter eight, was a Gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of red burgundy at Davy Byrne’s pub in Duke Street (‘Mr Bloom ate his strips of sandwich, fresh clean bread, with relish of disgust, pungent mustard, the feety savour of green cheese. Sips of his wine soothed his palate. Not logwood that. Tastes fuller this weather with the chill off.’)

Yesterday the pub was besieged by 2000 Bloomsdayers, getting through over 300 bottles of 1999 Louis Jadot Bourgogne, and selling out before the end of the day.

‘We had to order an extra ten cases of the wine. We sold out of Gorgonzola as well,’ Davy Byrne’s barman Gerry Parkinson told decanter.com.

‘We had a fantastic day. There was a really festive atmosphere,’ he added.

Aside from the burgundy, Ulysses has always had a strong connection with France. Condemned in Ireland and Britain as obscene and blasphemous, Joyce’s masterpiece was unable to find a publisher until Paris bookshop Shakespeare & Co accepted it in 1922, four years after he finished it.

The bookshop screened a new Joyce film called Bloom yesterday to mark the occasion.

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