Thursday, May 31, 2012

This Is Why I'm in the Wine Biz

This was the best week ever!! VinExpo seriously needs to happen every week.  Tuesday-Thursday were full on 12 hour days of all things wine!  Day one and as Greg said, I "was like a kid in a candy store."  I wanted to try everything!  The boothes and sections were divided by country and I did my best to taste them all.  I would need at least another 2 weeks to make that true.

Friend Andrea from S&D wines (far right)

Tuesday I started in Germany and moved to Australia, a little US (which was cool because I recognized a ton of the wines from wine shelves back in NJ), and over to France.  Wow, in France I tried so many new wines that I LOVE.  I had been wanted to try Boujalais for some time, and I tried over 4!  The nuovo being my favorite even if it was a few months past its prime.   I also tried Burgundy reds and whites and learned that Cote de Rhone are definitely my favorites.  Love garnacha!  Oh and another surprise and new wine to me was Amarone.  It's apparently the best Italy offers (so how did I not know this!?) and the booth across from us had a WONDERFUL one.  Despite it's 15% booziness, it was still the most wonderful wine to end the first session at VinExpo.

Cali wines

Post festivities Sean and I made our way over to The Gateway in TST to join some lovely French winemakers for dinner.  You can read all about it here:

Delish Vegetables at The Gateway

Day 2 and Greg and I caught up in the office and made it into VinExpo around 1.  I would help at the booth and after an hour or so Greg would look at me and say, 'What are you doing here?  Go on, go off." Yes sir!  I tasted some really nice wines from all over Greece then met Greg for a meeting with Tertias of Stellenrust wines (South Africa).  These were honestly some of my favorite of the whole weekend.  And I heard quite a few other people saying the same thing.  Their high end Chenin Blanc was amazing and stuck with me until the end of the last day when I went back for seconds.  The Pinotage (the main grape varietal SA is known for) were wonderfully fruity and well structured.  Again, went back for seconds here too.

Amazing South African Wines

I made my way back to France to try some Chateaneuf du Pape which are quickly becoming some of my favorite wines.  I've had some really nice ones that are so full of strawberry, yet light in body and complex.  And it's so fun to say!

7 pm we wrapped up and I met Paul for a Cote de Bordeaux tasting in Ava restaurant in TST.  The wines here were OK, all a little young, but at the end I ran into wine maker friends from dinner the previous night and they let us polish off a nice 2009 Merlot that blew all of the other wines out of the water.  Soooo smooth and velvety!

Dim Sum Bordeaux Wine Lunch

Day 3 9:30 start at the convention centre.  We set up for a very slow morning.  I guess everyone was nursing their hangovers.  Not HOFWs, we were there in full forces with Blanca from our Clearly Organic line.  She is so sweet and so nice to share her booth with us!!!I started with some Spanish wines (as it was the section we were in) and moved onto some Burgundy entry level wines which I think we will soon start selling!!  Yey new wines for Lauren :)  The Julia suggested I go try some Uruguayan wine of which I did not even knew existed.  They were shockingly different than any South American wine I had tried.  The woman explained that this was due to the different soil/altitude despite the proximity to Argentina.  Tannat which is a grape you see mostly in France is the main grape there and very different from the Carmenere and Cabernet Sauv you usually see down south.

Back to France where there was an entire circular bar set up for self service of some AWESOME Cote de Rhones.  Yum.  One of my favs was only 5 euro (ex works) and so full of strawberry.  I had a nice dim sum lunch with some Bordeaux wines and then it was back to the farm.

Oregon Wine Maker
Late in the afternoon I made my way over to Oregon.  I saw a wine that we drank for Christmas this year and everyone was very impressed that my mom was from Klamath Falls and had made it out!!  The wines were all amazing.  For those of you back in America get some Adelsheim! Delish although I think quite expensive.

Of course at the end of the day, as with every trade show, there was a horde of people trying to get their hands on some foie grs and truffles so it was all hands on deck.  Post show we rounded up all of our wines (I took 5 home) and sat and basked in the bounty that the fair granted us.

And then I went home and fell asleep at 9....

Can we please do this again next week!????
The Leftovers in France

So many contacts aand notes
Wonderful 80 year old Sherry from Spain

The horror! I still can't wrap my head around the waste!

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