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The London International Wine Fair

On Thursday afternoon I boarded the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) and headed to Excel, home to the LIWF


An apt description for a Saffer used to our local shows! Which are an absolute JOKE in comparison! Seriously, if I can see from one end of the room to the other it's a small show - BORING! Another good way to test the quality of the show: if you can taste something from every stand / farm it's small! 

I tasted Champagne from France (served by rude Frenchies, acceptable because they're French!) and sparkling wine from the Ukraine - don't do it, it's not worth it. They asked me to fill out a form describing the wine: Over carbonated (imagine your mouth is a can of coke that's been REALLY shaken - that explosion) which masks any flavour. They do a white, rose and red (all sparkling!) I was tempted to write something nice - they were Ukrainians after all, but the truth won the day! (It's called Krimart!) I'm reading through the press release now and OH MY WORD! It's an MCC (Method Cap Classique - made the way the French do. No CO2 added, just natural fermentation!) I am absolutely shocked. The eruption of Krakatoa in my mouth could have been explained by the CO2, this is just BAD! Moving on...

Having been away from SA for 3 weeks now I was craving some SA wine. As many will know ALOT of the SA wine sold in the UK is crap! It's the cheap stuff that nobody touches. A good way to tell is by the wild animal (usually a member of the big 5) or letters "C A P E" plastered on the label. So I headed to the SA stand...

Surprise, there were some wild animals on the table!!! But, relief, there were also some awesome wines. I asked a couple of the farms what they thought of the show and all of them said that it was great and that they'll be back next year! The exposure is HUGE. It's international and makes WineX just an excuse for a piss-up!

It was good to see some familiar faces and taste a couple of goodies, if in doubt you can't go wrong with these:

Kleine Zalze Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc
Ormonde Cabernet Sauvignon
Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc

Being the last night there was quite a bit of wine left, and for those in the right place at the right time (me) there were goods to be taken home! Thrilled with my parcel (box) I left Excel and headed down to the tube (along with the rest of EVERYBODY!) It was mental. The trains aren't that regular and were so full, there really was NO space for even a mouse. 3 trains later I managed to squeeze myself and box into the carriage. We were off. 

I must mention that I'd had a bit to drink by this stage and wasn't really concentrating too much. Anyway, the long and the short of it: I caught the wrong tube and had to re-evaluate my travelling plans. I caught the District line (not the quickest) from West Ham to Wimbledon - that would be over 20 stops! En route I met a fellow LIWF visitor (his trip was a little shorter than mine) but eventually arrived home about 1 1/2 hours later, totally sober, with box. 

We enjoyed the wine and 2 days later still have some left!



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