The little London Wine Fair

25 05 2012

I actually had a really good day yesterday on the last day of the Wine Fair. Not too many people, space to walk around, people who had time to speak to you. There were also a few stands that were genuinely buzzing, Hatch Mansfield and Bibendum for example. But there were also small stands that looked desolately empty and more than one person said to me that the expense just couldn’t be warranted and they wouldn’t be coming back next year. I see Tesco had a fortress of a stand that looked a bit intimidating – lots of important meetings going on in there I expect…

Will that be the last ever London Wine Fair? I really hope not. I’ve been every year for 20 odd years. I loved the old Olympia show and felt it had got too big when it moved to Excel. I know things move on and change but why not go back to a smaller, more central venue and alternate years with Vinexpo? Otherwise ProWein will take over lock, stock and barrel. The UK is fast losing its reputation as the premier wine market. There’s not enough money to be made here. Losing the Wine Fair would be a reflection of this. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. 



English Sparkling Wine producers fizzing with anger

23 05 2012

Really not sure what to think about this. Pommery are not the only ones who are taking advantage of the Olympics being in the UK to use the Union Jack on their packaging. Producers of English sparkling wines are fizzing with anger – how can a French sparkling wine be more British than an English sparkling wine?? Of course I can completely see their point but actually it’s a bit embarrassing. What a missed opportunity by the English sparkling wine producers to do something similar (unless someone is and I don’t know)! To be fair individual estates do not have the funds to match the big Champagne houses to pay for marketing like this and I doubt the generic association would have this sort of money either. It’s a bit brash, very bold and I warrant very successful…

Global Wine Business Conference

14 05 2012

At the end of April I attended the first ever Global Wine Business Conference organised by Sonoma State University with leading wine business academics from all over the world. Read the press release.

I’ll try and write more on this anon as it was very interesting. As well as presentations from all the participants on the status of the wine industry in their countries, we looked at the core competencies and skills needed by a wine business professional nowadays. As a Master of Wine it was a bit of an eye-opener to be told that wine knowledge is not the most important skill to have. Actually to be honest my business experience, including ten years at Waitrose and setting up my own company had already taught me that, but more later…

My first blog on my own blog site

13 05 2012

It’s late on a Sunday night and for some reason I’ve taken it into my head to create this WordPress blog site. I already use Twitter and sometimes would like to be able to link to a blog where I can express myself in more than 140 characters!! I don’t know whether I will be blogging a lot or a little, I’ll see how I get on…