In May, we managed to get down to this year’s London International Wine Fair, held for the last time at ExCel before moving to Olympia next year!
It was great to see many familiar faces including the gang from Local Wine School, International Wine Challenge, Ribafreixo, Alentejo, Portugal and Kathy from Jordan Winery, Stellenbosch, South Africa. We also had the pleasure of meeting Virginia Wines producer Andrew Hodson, Veritas Wines, whose Petit Verdot 2010 we were introduced to at a recent NEWTS tasting and a rather top wine it was too.
We had the opportunity to try wines from new and far off places, Brazil, China, Japan, Georgia, India, Mexico, Peru, Ukraine but we were too late to try Thailand – already quaffed! It was great to see many English Wine Producers at the Hub’s pop-up tasting, including the multi-award winning Gusbourne Estate sparkling wine range (IWC, IWSC and Decanter).
However, it wasn’t all just tasting, there was learning to be done too! We attended Masterclasses and talks on:
- “Croatia’s Flagship Wine”, Graševina, with Joe Wadsack and Saša Špiranec
- Koshu with Lynne Sherriff
- “How to communicate with your customer” with the Knackered Mother herself Helen McGinn
- Languedoc-Roussillon Sud de France Top 100 Wine Competition Teaser Tasting with Tim Atkin
- Hungarian “Volcanoes and Vines” with Dr Caroline Gilby
As an interlude, we headed to The Cork and Bottle Wine Bar, squeezed between retail outlets in Leicester Square, quite retro 80s in feel, reasonable selection of wines, especially liked the Callabriga 2008 from Douro, Portugal. On the food front, the mixed platter was a bit of a let down but the chips were good.