Having just returned from my very first wine fair, ProWein 2014, I feel the need to share my experience of the weird and wonderful world of international wine tasting. An experience like no other! And for anyone who thinks it’s a glamorous lifestyle, they are sadly mistaken. After 4 long days, the most glamour I saw was a well deserved cocktail when it was all over (I really could not stomach any more wine at that stage.)
I’m sure Dusseldorf is a really beautiful city but unfortunately all I got to see of it was the exhibition hall and my hotel and my only encounter with the locals was a taxi driver with a death wish. The exhibition centre was like nothing I have ever experienced. I had been told that it was massive but that doesn’t even begin to describe the actual enormity of it, completely blew what I had imaged out of the water. The wine fair was spread over 7 halls and even the most comfortable pair of flats did not ease the pain of the amount of walking that was involved, I can safely ay at the end of the three days I had walked the equivalent of a marathon!
Suppliers from every corner of the world were there in force to show off their wears and the effort that had gone into the stands was nothing short of incredible. Our days were spent meeting with current suppliers, tasting their new vintages and any new products, trying to source new suppliers and trying to figure out if the next person you met with was going to give you one, two or three kisses, which could prove extremely awkward if they went for two and you only went for one (there really should be a rule book written on this, it’s like trying to negotiate a minefield).
All in all, it was a really good show for the whole team, with relationships solidified with current suppliers and a few really exciting new wines in the pipeline. We tasted some incredible wine, some of it too nice to spit out, and we are really excited about introducing these new wines to the market. It was great to finally be able to put faces to names on an email and despite having to apologies for my incredibly difficult to pronounce name (too many vowels for anyone but the Irish to understand); it was a fantastic learning experience for me. Many of the new wines that we sourced have arrived in, with the rest coming on board in the next few weeks so it’s an exciting and busy time for us launching these onto the market. A full list of all the new arrivals will be available on the website shortly. It’s now time to rest up and prepare to do it all over again in London in a few weeks time!