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Dirty Dozen tasting attracts the on-trade crowd

Published:  28 September, 2016

The Dirty Dozen tasting held yesterday in London attracted sommeliers and buyers from across the trade looking for more esoteric and off the beaten track wines.

The tasting is put on by twelve smaller importers, with one or two importers rotating every year.  This year's newcomer was SWiG. Other importers included Astrum Wine Cellars, The Wine Treasury, Forty Five 10?, Roberson Wine, H2Vin, Indigo Wine, Flint Wines, Raymond Reynolds, Top Selection, Aubert & Mascoli and Clark Foyster Wines.

Caroline Brangé, who looks after on-trade sales at Flint Wines said: "Its a great tasting with only a handful of importers that are all quite boutique . If there is one tasting in autumn that people should come to it is this one.  it has been busy all day and we just haven't stopped since 10am."

Rory Benham of The Wine Treasury agreed that this year's tasting was a success. He said: The tasting is as good as it has ever been. It is the right amount of people was well where you can still engage with people and actually talk with people.  The quality of the sommeliers that I have seen today has been great."

The importers that are involved in tasting collaboratively came together to offer something a bit different than that of the traditional tasting. This tasting was held below a record shop. The manifesto of the group is:

"We are committed to wines of integrity and authenticity.

We believe in wine that speak of their terroir.

We select winemakers that cherish their vineyards and the environment.

We choose small over large and real before synthetic.

We import wines for people that care, made by people that care.

We are the Dirty Dozen."

While a few importers do change every year the group seems pleased with the size of the tasting. Benham said: "I think it is a good size and it is the Dirty Dozen, not the Dirty Thirteen."

Brangé agreed: "It is a good size and every year we have one or two new importers that get to change out. This year we also have a blind tasting table which is new and is being run by Mark Andrew from Noble Rot."