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WBWE 2016: Genuine Wines-Global Business Theme

Posted: Monday, 28 November 2016 12:28


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WBWE 2016: Genuine Wines-Global Business Theme

Nov 28: The 8th edition of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition 2016 hosted at the RAI Exhibition Center in Amsterdam on November 20-21, with the theme “Genuine Wines -Global Business”, once again organised the International Bulk Wine Competition writes John Salvi MW who was one of the international judges as in the previous year and feels the quality of the wines and competition judges better than previous years

Click For Large ViewA tasting competition of bulk wines is a complicated affair.  Firstly, many of the wines are still working, cloudy and/or unfinished.  Such wines require skill and knowledge to taste.  Secondly, one has no idea what will be done with them – will they be used in a blend, altered with the addition of tannins, acids, sugar etc., bottled as they are (particularly if they were found to be particularly good) or even discarded and not used at all (especially if they were found NOT to be good!). 

Some of the wines in the competition are wines made only for specialised purposes – adding body, colour, alcohol etc.  Thus, they are undrinkable as such, but may be perfect for the purpose they are made for.

Here the competition needs qualified and experienced judges to know and appreciate such wines and give them appropriate scores and not write them off because they do not taste good.  Indeed, for bulk wine tasting even more experience and knowledge is required than for tasting bottled wines.

This year was the 6th edition of the Bulk Wine Competition and I am immensely happy to be able to say that the standard of the wines was a great deal higher than in any previous competition and the same, most importantly, can be said for the judges which again included Subhash Arora from India, classified in the category of the panel as President.  

Higher quality of judges

It was as though the growers who submit their wines had realised that the tasting panel understood wines and would not award a medal to a wine with faults or out of condition or not properly prepared.  This was hugely encouraging, but the improvement in the standard of the judges was in many ways even more important.  The standard of a tasting competition can only be as high as the standard of its judges and this year we had a highly qualified team and nobody who was a specialist in potatoes rather than wine.

Thus, with better prepared wines and more highly qualified judges it was in every way a better tasting competition.

Judging Panels

We were 5 juries of 4 or 5 judges each.  The room in the RAI Conference Centre was small, but adequate.  4 good glasses, white tablecloths, spittoons, bread, mineral water and paper napkins were all in place.  Lighting was sufficient and the temperature of the room was correct.

Click For Large ViewIt was a small tasting.  Each jury had 28 wines to taste during the morning with one coffee break after the 15th wine. Although OIV patronage had not been requested the tasting sheets used followed the OIV/UIO style of judging blind. The point system:  83 points required for a Silver medal, 88 for a Gold and 96 for a Grand Gold.

The tasting was conducted one day before the 2-day exhibition, which was larger than ever before.  Exhibitors came from 22 countries and buyers from no less than 65 countries – a truly international event with the volume of bulk wine being traded all over the world increasing hugely in volume but not so much in value.

A Sauvignon Blanc from Spain (Cooperative Jesús del Perdón/Bodega Yuntero from Ciudad Real) and a Rossissimo from Italy (Vinicola San Nazaro from Reggio Emilia) won a Grand Gold medal- the highest honour, recognizing these wines as the best among a range of 143 presented samples that entered the competition. There was an increase of 27% in the number of samples during this year's edition.

Traditional Benediction

Charmingly before the official opening there was a “Benediction” by a priest that Vicente Sanchez-Migallón had brought from Spain with him. 

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition is now a very important event and so far, remains the only Exhibition in the world devoted exclusively to Bulk Wine.  It was a brilliant conception of Vicente Sanchez-Migallón of which he can be justly proud.

Results of the Bulk Wine Competition can be found on the website as well as all information, statistics and Press Releases of the Exhibition.

John Salvi Master of Wine

Jury for IWBC 2016                        Results

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