Research by Fake Booze suggests that Vinexpo/Wine Paris has been a huge success. Particularly for the country’s bakers.
‘I’ve done so much tasting,’ said Lon Starstate, who’d flown over from Texas. ‘Pain au chocolat, croissants – even some profiteroles. It’s been amazing.’
An overdose of bratwurst at the last Prowein had, he said, been a ‘major factor’ in his decision to go to Vinexpo in February rather than Dusseldorf in May.
Wine, he said, was not a deciding factor since he could ‘just get samples sent to his home.’
His enthusiasm was matched by Panko Krumz who had travelled from Kazakhstan for a series of face to face meetings. Despite being tear-gassed by French riot police on the way to the venue, he was in bullish mood.
‘It’s brilliant to meet up in the flesh again,’ he said. ‘I’ve caught up with some really influential people who I’ve not seen for ages and we’ve gone through a lot of stuff together.
‘Mainly beer, cocktails and shots.’
Krumz said that he tended to ‘sleep most of the day’ but had found it ‘much more productive to get drunk together in a bar than on opposite ends of a Zoom call.’
He hadn’t felt the need to talk business at Vinexpo, he said, because he’d ‘done it all before he came out’.
Organiser Wynne Paris said he was delighted with the way that Vinexpo had gone.
‘It’s great to see the trade back where it belongs after two years of pain,’ he said.
‘With hundreds of winemakers standing in booths with their products, and thousands of eager visitors ignoring them.’
People, he said, could finally meet up to discuss in in detail all the things that really matter: public transport, the standard of coffee and the price of accommodation.
Exhibitor Enzo di Erth from Italy told Fake Booze that the show had been a huge success.
‘It’s been such a relief to get out and spend some money on expenses again,’ he said. ‘I’ve bought a jacket, some shoes and a Bunga Bunga food mixer.’
He admitted that thus far nobody had actually visited his stand, but he had had a ‘highly promising’ discussion with a cleaner about stain removal which ‘could come in handy for a smudged shirt I’ve got at home.’
With a slogan of ‘Where Fun and Business Collide’ Vinexpo’s organisers have made sure to put together a truly inspirational series of masterclasses, billed as ‘Vinexplosions’.
‘We know what people want from these things,’ said Wynne Paris. ‘And that’s talks from mumbling sommeliers, paid-for sessions by regions that nobody likes, and baffling discussions of winemaking minutiae.
‘With wine under existential threat from declining consumption, climate change and global Armageddon, knowing what a 75 year old Frenchman has to say about the difference in picking dates between Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon could make all the difference.’
Click here to read about how the London Wine Fair will now be held in Dusseldorf