I find myself sitting on a bench on the second floor of The London Wine Fair, the trade event for the UK wine industry. As I gaze down over the stands, I’m not sure whether to feel excited or depressed.
Spread before me are 10s of thousands of wines. Each and every one is incredibly important to one person, or one family, whose efforts went into creating it, and whose livelihood may depend on it.
Each one is not just a collection of tasting notes and price considerations, but the result of many life decisions, so it has a story, and meaning for someone.
And yet, individually, each one here is insignificant, lost in the crowd, part of the noise.
How does this situation match the needs of the world; for great wines to be made, and enjoyed?
I’m not sure.
I’m inspired to write this, because on one tiny stand in an upper gallery of the event, I happened across a wine I know we have all loved, the Kolonics Juhfark. In the context of this community, that wine has shined and brought joy to us but also created community, since we have gone on a journey of discovery together. Here, it looks almost shy, quietly inviting conversation from its shelf, but struggling to get the attention of the passing crowd that rushes past, striding from one meeting to the next and desperate not to get distracted.
I raise my hat to the Buyers who’ve made sense of this cacophony of wine stories and experiences, to bring us wines we can get excited about and get to know in comfort.
Ultimately, is it variety we want, or better ways to understand a wine?
Ps. The Juhfark sends its regards!