- Published on Friday, 18 May 2012 11:33
- Written by Richard Siddle
There has been a lot of nostalgia in recent weeks as the nation's media prepares us all for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is as if a look back to the 1970s, the three-day weeks, power cuts and Carry On films, will make us feel a whole lot better about life in Britain in 2012.
We are certainly far more open to the big wide world than when It Ain't Half Hot Mum was the nearest we got to a spot of multiculturalism at the time of the Queen's last jubilee.
In Harpers this week, in homage to a TV classic of the 1980s, Do They Mean Us?, when so-called "foreigners" were asked their views of the British, we have asked key wine figures around the world what they think of the UK wine market compared with competitors around the globe.
Their views are particularly pertinent as they come in the week when the UK wine trade puts on its Sunday best and scrubs up for the LIWF.
Given the publicity around those not attending this year you might be forgiven for thinking the show was not happening at all. But let's not dwell on those that aren't there. We should take great heart from the major international buyers and raft of emerging and traditional wine countries that will be at ExCeL next week.
There are, however, clear warnings from wineries and exporters that the UK is of changing importance to them. Good for prestige and to gain listings elsewhere in the world, but hardly an endorsement for the UK wine trade model.
Ironically, many of the fair's biggest critics - who aren't exhibiting - have been keen to meet the Harpers team there regardless.
We have chosen to concentrate on those who are committed to the LIWF and making it the showcase for our industry that global buyers and producers still want to see.