I went along to the London International Wine Fair a week or so ago. This is one of the really big shows, attracting exhibitors from pretty much everywhere with a commercial wine sector.
I like to go and see whats available.
We offer a quite diverse range on our websites (euromarque wines and personalised wine labels) but its always good to if anything else would work for us. lots of good wine but as we are in the gift/promotions market, we are limited by the general publics perception of a countries wine industry.
would you give a Thai Shiraz as a present? No, didn’t think so, but I tasted a nice one.
This year there were about 25,000 wines being pushed, most of which could be sampled. Sorry, did I say it was trade only? Got you really interested for moment , but you lot will just have buy your wine.
I sampled a fair few, perhaps 50 to 60, and yes I spat. More that that and my taste buds loose their edge.
I suppose the thing that struck me must was the number of ‘minor’ countries that were there.
Brazil has been a regular for a while, but the climate works against them. Moldova was back but still too focused on Russian tastes rather than concentrating on making good wines.
Turkey was there in force, and the improvements in the last 6 to 7 years are staggering. Particularly in the use of indigenous grapes. I was particularly impressed with the wines from Cappodicia in central Anatolia. Good hearty reds that will great with tomato or olive oil based meals.
Israeli wine has now targeted the fine wine sector. the high altitude wines from the Golan benefit from lots of sunshine but only moderate heat. Though I think making (nice) ice wine by putting your grapes in the freezer is cheating!
Georgia, one of the claimants for the birth of wine making, had a good range at the show, including some medal winners. Their grapes were even harder to pronounce than the turkish ones, but worth the effort.
I never tried the samples from Malta or Cyprus purely due to bias from previous holidays. But I’m told that they have some good quality producers now.
The most unusual wine was one made from pomegranates. Yep -no grapes involved. No idea why they do it but it works. Its very dry and smells just like pomegranates. since its a super food maybe drinking it does you good!
probably the only country i didn’t see was england. stop sniggering, English sparkling wine is developing a great reputation. Its only real problem is that it often costs as much as champagne.