Thursday, 14 May 2009

London International Wine Fair - Day III

  • 11.00: Today started with a blind Varietal tasting again with the WSET discovering the differences through three Chardonnays from 2007, Omrah Unoaked Chardonnay, Blason de Bourgogne Chablis and Shaw & Smith ‘M3’ Chardonnay from Western Australia, France and South Australia respectively.

  • 12.00: Chateau Musar Celebration masterclass with Serge Hochar vertical tasting. When someone says Lebanon to me wine dosnt spring to mind, it will now! With a 6,000 year history of vinification in the Bekaa Valley and even a mention to the regions wine in the bible this place really shouldn’t need an introduction. Im planning on writing a separate post about the findings of this fascinating vertical tasting but in short we covered vintages from 2003 to 1959 of the reds including some vintages of white. All I can say is wow. Wow. These wines are fascinatingly interesting. If you haven’t tried one go and buy the best one you can afford and give it a go with an open mind to what you discover. A disclaimer is that they are different to wines as you know them but really wonderful examples of something outside of the “old/new world” definition. Really exciting wines. Serge Hochar is quite a character and gave a great entertaining presentation and guide through the wines with some technical tasting notes given by John Avery MW. I look forward to writing my discovers from this masterclass, again fascinating…..

  • 13.00 I missed a Riesling tasting so headed to the wines of Germany stand where I blitzed through 30 something Rieslings ranging from bone dry to super sweet and luscious. This stand was rather busy and crowed and so I didn’t manage to get my pen and pad out so all I can note is that everything was lovely. I am liking the German Riesling a lot!

  • 14.30: Blogging and social Media. Catavino – Ryan Opaz and Adegga were offering a number of presentations on the viniPortugal stand breaking down the importance of social and new media for businesses particularly in the wine world. Ryan briefly touched on some of the free tools available and what they bring to the table outlining the importance that today, these tools are free followed by a question and answer session and some useful link sharing. Don’t re invent the wheel and write a new blogging or social networking tool, embrace what is already out there!

  • 15.30: Gigondas Masterclass with Olivier Roustang. These classes were limited to around 7 people or less and unsurprisingly were booked up pretty quickily. You couldn't book in advance of the show so you had to get down to the Rhone stand and get your name down early. I managed to get onto the Gigondas class (booked on Wednesday though) and was looking forward to it since ive gone through a trend of Rhone wines recently and haven't spent a great deal of time on Gigondas. Olivier Roustang, winemaker and wine consultant presented through a selection of 6 wines and I have to say all were big BIG wines needing cellaring followed by some vigorous decanting before going anywhere near them. Young tannin bombs with a heat rating of 14 to 15% alcohol from mostly 2007. Out of the 6 I have a notable mention of the 5th wine, Domaine de Cayron 2006 from Delphine Faraud. An super dark inky wine with an interesting nose of blackcurrant, dark dark cherries and a little of that Brettanomyces farmyard meaty leather aroma with a dark fruity round finish. Im not sure if the thinner tannins made this notable in comparison to the other 5, we will see in time perhaps.

  • 16.30: A final wip around the show tasting some sweet wines and ports sealed an end to the day and an end to the London International Wine Fair. I had a great 3 day wine blitz experience and if you get enough warning of the masterclasses in advance of the show there are clearly some amazing opportunities and educational experiences to take advantage of. Ill certainly try and make it back to next years show. Further individual reports to follow when I get a chance to collect my notes and write them up.


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to swing by our stand at #liwf. Clearly, there are several tools available to users, free of charge, that are absolutely worth your while to explore. Sadly, many people believe they have to pay for these tools, when in reality, they should only pay for the consulting services to learn how and which tools are most relevant for their needs. Cheers and if you have any further questions, please never hesitate to drop a line!

  2. No problem at all Gabriella, really enjoyed it. I actually swinged by your stand a few times and it seemed that you guys were really getting good attendance on your presentations. Best of luck and do let me know when you are next in town for an event and ill be sure to come along.

    Visit Catavino for all your social media consultancy, winery pr and more;