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A look ahead at the New Year's tasting

Published:  23 July, 2008

January might be a quiet time for wine sales but the trade has a busy month of annual tastings from New Zealand and Australia to Germany and Burgundy.

As reported in the last issue of Harpers of 2008 (December 21) there are more than 15 Burgundy tastings in seven days so get your palates cleansed for a Burgundy and Pinot Noir bonanza.

The first regional tasting of the year kicks off with the Union des Grands Crus de Chablis on January 8. It has decided to hold its tasting at the Opera Gallery, close to the Charles Taylor's Wines annual tasting.

The two major annual tastings come from the Antipodes. New Zealand's London tasitng will be held on one day only for the first time and highlights include varietally themed tastings of Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay and Syrah. Harpers will interview Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, who is making the trip over to Lord's.

At the very end of January Australia will host its annual tasting, moving from its usual venue, the Royal Horticultural Halls, to the Emirates Stadium. Seminars include 'What is Wine Australia doing about environmental issues? ' and a panel discussion moderated by Paul Henry, general manager market development, Wine Australia. This seminar hopes to encourage open discussion addressing the changing face of the UK wine trade.

While New Zealand and Australia have been relatively successful at presenting one generic voice, Italy's wine regions have a history of being less than united. But Italian wine guide Gambero Rosso has brought together 49 producers for the first-ever Top Italian Wines Roadshow.

It's also the second year for on-trade only show, Wine+ at London's Olympia. It will include half-hour business clinics for visitors on "What's next after Pinot Grigio" and "How to sell premium wines'.