Emerging Regions Tasting sees strong turnout
The UK trade's taste for diverse and interesting wines was confirmed by a strong turnout at the inaugural Emerging Regions Tasting in London.
A fascinated mix of buyers from the on and off-trade converged on 8 Northumberland Avenue to discover a global medley of wine ranging in origin from such countries as Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Georgia and Uruguay, along with emerging players such as India and Japan, plus currently under-represented territories including the Canary Islands, Luxembourg and southern Germany.
The Emerging Regions Tasting was conceived as a platform to raise awareness of both new and emerging wine-producing regions around the world and to showcase the quality of these wines under one roof.
As such it offered buyers an unrivalled opportunity to look afresh at the changing face of the wine world and consider the possibilities offered both in terms of adding excitement and points of difference to their portfolios, while also revealing the quality inherent in many of the 'alternative' wines now available.
The event kicked off with a well-attended Harpers Debate, where several key off and on-trade figures, including Ted Sandbach of the Oxford Wine Company, Hamish Anderson of Tate, Robin Davis of Swig and Tesco's buyer James Griswood, joined Andrew Catchpole to discuss both the benefits and challenges offered by wines from more off-piste producing regions.
Debate centered on how best such wines could benefit a portfolio, whether they typically offered the potential for better margins on a like-for-like quality basis, and how to engage the customer with such less well-recognised and sometimes difficult-to-pronounce wines.
"From our point of view an emerging region is somewhere that surprises the customer," said Robin Davis.
"There are any number of wines, or pockets of wines, even those surrounding famous established regions, which offer better quality at the price, so for me an emerging region could be in a traditional country or from some exotic location," he continued.
"What is important, though, is that the wines deliver on quality and if they do this, and have an interesting story to tell, then we can sell that to our customers."
The Emerging Regions Tasting will return to London next year. Details of this year's event, including exhibitors, can be found at emergingregionstasting.com.