Wine

What’s on at the London Wine Fair?

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: London wine fair, Alcoholic beverage

London Wine Fair: 3-5 May
London Wine Fair: 3-5 May
Wine will flow in the capital today (3 May) as the London Wine Fair opens its doors to the trade, but what should operators look out for at the largest trade drinks show in the UK? Nicholas Robinson explores ahead of the event.

More than 750 exhibitors are set to take over Olympia in London today as the 36-year-old London Wine Fair (LWF) launches.

Visitor numbers are expected to exceed 11,000 during the three days of the show, with generic wine bodies, UK agents, distributors, wholesalers, big brands and boutique producers all set to display their wares.

Wines in pubs

Carter’s top LWF suggestions:

  • Esoterica – a selection of specialist wine producers
  • Pop Up Tastings – new to LWF this year. There will be tasting sessions from Wine Australia, Napa Valley and Sogevinus
  • Speakers' Corner – Hogs Back Brewery and Montezuma's Chocolate collaborate in a soapbox-style speaking area.

In terms of what might appeal to operators, event director Ross Carter says pubs should take advantage of having the broadest selection of UK suppliers in one area.

"They're not all going to be supplying to the on-trade, but there will be lots of importers there who can supply the on-trade, as well as there being a lot of inspiration," he told the Publican's Morning Advertiser.

Pub operators should look to make their wine menus as broad as possible to attract and maintain a wider and younger clientele, he advised.

"It's key to explore the weird and wonderful or wines from all parts of the world and the hard-to-find wines too," he added. "Because, eventually, what you will see is these sorts of things will move into pubs more and more in the future."

Craft beer lessons

While some in the trade have claimed the wine trade will have to act as the craft beer sector has done to be more successful, Carter believes otherwise.

"Wine moving into craft isn't necessarily the same thing as craft beer – craft beers are usually hoppy and there's a broad selection of flavours.

"On the wine side, we've always had thousands of varieties and what I think we need to do in terms of the craft movement is make our labels more exciting and engaging, like craft beer has done."

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