London Wine Fair

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I attended the London Wine Fair in May 2024, a three day trade event featuring 335 exhibitors and over 3,224 products, mainly wines. There were large pavilions for Italy, France, Greece, Georgia, WineGB, and even Japan, but Spain, New Zealand, and Australia were notably absent. However, on the day I attended, there was a pop-up New Zealand tasting. Spain, Australia and New Zealand recently held their own separate trade events, which allowed them to showcase a much larger number of wines.

I mainly focused on wines already in the UK market but also explored a few seeking representation, as I know some importers read this site and there are hidden gems worth discovering.

These are the wines I particularly liked, that are already in the UK market:

  • Las Estelas Leticia Malbec del Valle 2022, £16.50, Argentina, Ucopia Wines
  • Shiraz Bull Ant, Langhorne Creek, Lake Breeze 2021, £16.49, Australia, Hallgarten & Novum Wines
  • Paolo Leo Mora Mora Malvasia Nera – IGP Salento 2022, £13.99, Italy, North South Wines
  • San Cassiano Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2018, £39.50, Italy, Marcato Direct
  • Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir 2019, £40, New Zealand, The Antipodean Sommelier
  • Avondale La Luna 2016, £27.49, South Africa, Cachet Wine
  • Rioja Vega Gran Reserva 2015, £24.49, Spain, Cachet Wine
  • Viñas del Vero Secastilla Old Vine 2018, £28, Spain, Gonzalez Byass
  • Marco Abella Mas Mallola 2021, £33, Spain, Vindependents
  • Ross Vento Amicale 2020, £14, Italy, Buckingham Schenk
  • 360 Series Carmenere 2020, £19, Chile, Viña Luis Felipe Edwards, Laithwaites
  • Pata Negra Ribera Del Duero, Reserva 2019, £17, Spain, Various
  • L4GD4 Rioja 2020, £37, Spain, Various
  • Bousquet Gran Malbec 2021, £22, Argentina, Various
  • Jidvei Filiala Alba Ana 2023, Romania, Various

If you find any of these wines in stores or hospitality venues, you can’t go wrong.

I also encountered some excellent wines that aren’t yet in the UK. Distributors often have to take the whole or majority of a range from a producer and one outstanding wine among other average ones isn’t sufficient. However, I actually found a whole range of sublime wines from Villa Degli Olmi: Primitivo (2022), Rosse Vento Appassimento (2022), Sicilian Cabernet Sauvignon (2022) and Syrah (2022). A hidden find for a distributor reading this.

I spoke to the charismatic Fabio Cordella, a sports director for many football clubs with 1 million Instagram followers. He is responsible for an exceptional range of Italian wines, dubbed The Wine of Champions, created in collaboration with famous football players. This isn’t a gimmick. I tried all these wines, and they are gorgeous. The ‘Super Tuscan’ Toscana Rosso was extra special. It’s surprising these wines haven’t hit the UK, given our love of football. It’s a great opportunity for an enterprising importer.

Lastly, I am increasingly becoming a fan of Georgian Saperavi. With deep, dark fruit flavours and a spicy note, the Georgian Wine Guild, a UK company, had some great examples that are available on their website.