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Key debates and seminars at London Wine Fair

Published:  30 May, 2014

The London Wine Fair promises more seminars and debates than ever before. Here we pick out our highlights:

Harpers Debate LWFHarpers Debate 2013 LIWF

The London Wine Fair promises more seminars and debates than ever before. Here we pick out our highlights


Harpers Debate 2013 LWFHarpers Debate 2013 LIWF

11am-12 noon Harpers Debate: How your consumers can drive your business strategy


Industry Briefings : Hear experts from both inside and outside the trade discuss how retailers, brands and producers are using customers to sell, promote and drive their business strategy through peer-to-peer recommendations, social media and online. Speakers include Stuart Anderton, category manager, Tesco Wine by the Case; Robin Langton, buyer, Laithwaites; Ray O'Connor, wine director, Naked Wines; Mark Fiddes, brand development expert, IdeaMotel; and Neil Hallmark, head of digital, Manifest London, which handles consumer content for brands such as BrewDog.

11am-4pm 2011 Bordeaux vintage tasting

Apex Room

The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux is returning to the fair for the fourth year, with its 2011 vintage. Around 60 members from the best appellations in Bordeaux - including Pauillac, Margaux, Graves and Pomerol - will participate at this single-day event.

12 noon-12.30pm Wine faults workshop (also on Tuesday and Wednesday)

Marcia Waters MW ? WSET stand P82

A chance to improve your ability to identify key wine flaws, using doctored and undoctored samples.

1pm-1.30pm Break the mould: wine in cans - quality from the grape to the can

Antti Laakkonen and Carlo Bermes, Ball Packaging Europe ? Gallery Theatre

How cans build a bridge to new target groups,  the question of quality, and the advantages and performance of a special wine can. A chance to learn more about can sizes, wine qualities, and Ball's wine-test service.

2.30pm-3.30pm The structure and performance of the UK wine category  (off-trade and online)

Tim WilsonTim Wilson

Tim Wilson, managing director, Wilson Drinks Report, and Tim Eales, director of strategic insight, IRI

Industry Briefings A jointly presented session examining the off-trade and online channels within the UK wine category, using the combined insight of WDR and IRI. Special focus will be put on own label, the role of the weather and future developments within the category, as well as looking at key trends within grape varieties.

2.30pm-3pm Managing sulphur dioxide levels in wine

Justin KnockJustin Knock

Justin Knock MW, winemaking consultant, Encirc Wines ? Gallery Theatre

The effect that oxygen and sulphur dioxide levels can have on a finished product, and how best to manage these.

3pm-3.30pm Judging quality in wine (also on Tuesday and Wednesday)

Karen Douglas, AIWS ? WSET stand P82

How do we assess quality in wine? And how do  we define quality? What makes an expensive  wine worth the premium, and do you necessarily get what you pay for? Douglas will show you  the process of reaching an objective view, using wines served blind.

4.30pm-5pm With changing world interest and exchange rates, what is the future of packaging in the UK?

Mark Lansley, managing director, Broadland Wineries ? Gallery Theatre Over the past 10 years, the pound has weakened, interest rates have dropped to record lows and the UK wine packing sector has doubled in size.

Mark Lansley looks at whether a reversal of these trends now occurring? What might be the effects of such a reversal?  And what might this mean to wine bottlers, retailers and consumers?


10am-5.30pm Put your fault-detecting skills to the test

Stephen Walder, PLB, and Geoff Taylor, Campden BRI ? Gallery Theatre

Walder and Taylor will be on hand to answer questions and guide participants through an array of wine faults which you can blind taste, including common taints. There will also be competitions and prizes throughout the day.

10.30am-11.30am Carpe Vinum:  Uncovering the truth about Generation Y wine drinkers in the UK

Richard Halstead, Wine Intelligence ? Industry Briefings

The results of the Carpe Vinum research into Generation Y; the future of young British wine drinkers, in association with Cobevco.

10.30am-5.30pm Austria's most food-friendly wines

Austrian Wineries ? Austrian Wine stand H50

Various producers from Austrian wineries. These tastings aim to reflect the diversity of Austria's regional wine styles and their ability to match a variety of cuisines from around the world.

11am-11.45am Rías Baixas: All about Albariño

Peter McCombiePeter McCombie

Peter McCombie MW ? Masterclass Theatre

Exploring the region of Rias Baixas and getting under the skin of this increasingly popular Spanish white wine region.

12.30pm-1pm Everything starts with one good idea - an exploration of innovation marketing on low budgets

Abigail Barlow ? Speakers' Corner

With wine marketing budgets at an all time low, Abigail Barlow will discuss great marketing innovation that didn't break the bank and still managed to cause a stir.

1pm-1.30pm Are you ready for sake?

Antony Moss MW ? WSET stand P82

Japanese food is well established in the UK, and now Moss turns his attention to sake - on it's own, with food and in cocktails. Come and find out more about it, learn the sake basics, taste different sakes and find out why the WSET is developing a sake-specific qualification.

1.30pm-2pm Challenge Joe's nose

Joe WadsackJoe Wadsack

Joe Wadsack ? Speakers' Corner

With one of the best palates in the business, Wadsack will host this session in which exhibitors are invited to bring along a bottle - the more obscure the better - to put him to the test.

3.30pm-4pm Building an online wine business

Tom Head ? Speakers' Corner

Head discusses what you need to know about moving online. How to design a website, and  why choosing a good agency is important.

4pm-4.30pm International gins

Michael Buriak AIWS ? WSET stand P82

There has been a revolution in the gin category  in recent years with a plethora of new brands.  And it's no longer the preserve of the British. Buriak takes stock of the international styles  that are emerging.

4.15pm-5.15pm State of the nation

Natasha Kendall, Nielsen ? Industry Briefings

This annual report from Nielsen provides a comprehensive review of the grocery trade for  the year to December 2013.

4.30pm-5pm Independent merchants: influencing the influencers

Miles BealeMiles Beale

Miles Beale, WSTA ? Speakers' Corner

Beale will be discussing how you can play a  part in influencing government on issues  that directly affect your business. This debate  will focus on issues such as wine duty and  licensing, and will explore how we can,  together, prevent further unnecessary and burdensome regulation.

Wednesday June 4

10am-10.30am Introducing new cork technology

David Taylor and Justin Howard-Sneyd MW ? Gallery Theatre

Cork is the wine closure of choice for 60% of  the world's wine despite problems such as  taints, bottle variation, premature oxidation  and reduction. CorkGuard has overcome these issues, and this session introduces the new technology which could change the fortunes  of the cork industry.

10.30am-11am Pork crackling and pig poetry

Speakers CornerSpeakers Corner LWF

Rupert Ponsoby ? Speakers' Corner

Ponsoby (pictured above) will be reciting pig poetry from Hillair Belloc to Oscar Wilde and attendees will be able to sample his Mr Trotter's Pork Cracklings, washed down with Taittinger Champagne, Tio Pepe Sherry and Virginian Viognier.

11am-11.30am Optimising your website for better results

Tom Head ? Gallery Theatre

Head will help you to better understand your users, and their buying/conversion phases. How to improve your calls to action and to create clear value propositions. Where the future of digital experience is going and the power of personalisation. Examples of brands doing optimisation well and not so well.

11.15am-12 noon Sherry renaissance

Beltrán Domecq and Graham Hines ? Masterclass Theatre

The sherry renaissance is here to stay, and this masterclass explores six different styles of sherry and the history of sherry production.

12.15pm-1.15pm Port: on the edge?

Paul Symington, Symington Family EstatesPaul Symington

Paul Symington ? Industry Briefings

Symington will be talking about what changes  are necessary in the uniquely beautiful Douro valley, - where an entire population and its  social fabric depends almost exclusively on wine,  to make it compatible with the modern retail environment?

2pm-2.45pm Cool Wines by the glass, Austrian wine

Jason Turner ? Austrian Wine stand H50

Turner will give an overview of Austria's  winegrowing regions, wine styles and signature grape varieties, and advise on serving suggestions and recommended drinking temperatures.

3.30pm-4pm From Plumpton to Andalucía

Harry Hunt, Tierra Hermosa ?  Speakers' Corner

How a marketing exec from London gave it all up to establish a collaborative wine venture in Spain. Hunt of Bodegas Tierra Hermosa will be talking about how he threw in a successful PR career to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker.

3.45pm-4.30pm New York Riesling

Masterclass Theatre

Discover different styles across New York state's wine regions, from six different wineries, and learn about the influence of the Finger Lakes.


The who, what, where, when

  • When: June 2-4 2014
  • Who and What: The 34th London International Wine Fair marks a return to Kensington Olympia, after several years at ExCeL in London's Docklands.
  • Where: Olympia London,  Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX
  • How to get there: Olympia has a dedicated railway station - Kensington Olympia which is served by the London Overground and national rail networks. A further five Underground stations are within a short walk.
  • How to register: Head over to the website -
  • Where to stay: Zibrant has been appointed as the official accommodation agent for the London Wine Fair. It has secured discounted accommodation rates and is holding a wide selection of rooms at hotels conveniently situated near to London Olympia. If you wish to book a hotel that is not listed, then contact one of the team who will assist you with your request on 08434 790015. Alternatively you can email your booking request to


  • Monday June 2, 10.30am-6.30pm
  • Tuesday June 3, 9.30am-6pm
  • Wednesday June 4. 9.30am-5pm


Tim Wilson