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WBWE 2014 : Wonderful World of Bulk Wines in Amsterdam

Posted: Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:40

WBWE 2014 : Wonderful World of Bulk Wines in Amsterdam

Dec 03: The 6th edition of the two-day World Bulk Wine Exhibition was held in Amsterdam on 24-25 November with over 6000 people from 59 countries including India, congregating at the RAI Congress Centre to taste bulk wines of 250 exhibitors from 19 countries and some of whom also attending several seminars on both days, writes Subhash Arora who visited the Exhibition again this year and also presented the wine trends in India

Click For Large View‘The world wine consumption is steady at 240 million hectoliters for the last 30 years. About 40% of the world trade is in bulk wine (including boxed wines over 2 liters) even though they account for around 11% by value because of much lower price. The average price of wine till date this year is €3.3 with bulk wines fetching an average of €0.76. Italy, Spain and France account for 53.3% of the trade while the Top Ten which also includes Chile (8.3%), Australia (7.2 %), South Africa, USA, Germany, Argentina and Portugal, accounted for 90% of the world bulk wine trade. Even China imports significant quantity of these wines as the law so permits’.

These were some of the basic key figures enumerated by Rafael del Rey, Director of Observatorio ESPAÑOL del Mercado del VINO (OEMV), during one of the conferences that formed an integral segment of the 6th edition of the two-day World Bulk Wine Exhibition held in Amsterdam RAI on 24-25 November.

Click For Large ViewWith such massive markets across the globe, one cannot ignore the bulk wine as a thriving business. Therefore it’s no surprise that the WBWE 2014 had about 250 exhibitors from 19 countries-France, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Moldavia, Australia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Austria, Ukraine, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, Romania, United States, Georgia and Hungary. It attracted over 6000 people from 59 countries. Besides the judging competition where I was invited to be on one of the 3 panels of 6 judges each to evaluate 105 samples, there were several conferences that followed del Rey’s.

Click For Large ViewI was also invited to be a speaker on the Indian market trends where I indicated that bulk wine market may not be present today with current laws. However, during the next 2 years or later, there would be an acute shortage of grapes due to major uprooting in the recent past –that would be the time to enter the otherwise difficult market.

The exhibition is the biggest worldwide trade fair devoted to large volumes of wine. There was an increase of 30% in the number of participants this year compared to last year. Accordingly there has been an increase of the exhibition space, which reached 6.000 m2 this year. It is not easy to calculate the amount of business transacted at the Show since it may take a few weeks or months to finally close a deal after negotiations. According to several exhibitors delWine talked to, there were more enquiries this year, as many new first-time buyers attended the Show.

Besides exhibitors, there was a cooking demo section by the Galician Chef Francisco Piñeiro (Kike) who was here last year too. He prepared several dishes in the tapas form and showcased his culinary prowess. The best part of his cuisine was the presentation-he would take a small component of each dish and decorate the plate very artistically. There was also, for the first time, participation by The VINE, a Spanish organisation which displayed several products made from the by-products out of grapes/vines that would interest several entrepreneurs in India. It was a well-organised and successful event that has been growing annually at over 25% in all respects.

Click For Large ViewOne could also see more people than last year at the Silent Tasting room where one could enjoy tasting about 600 samples of the wines on display without feeling pressured or disturbed by other visitors at the stands.

Another interesting addition since last year has been the introduction of judging bulk wines by panels of international judges. Whereas there were slightly over 70 samples last year, there was a 50% growth in numbers over last year. The uniqueness of the competition is that the number of medals given is restricted to 30% . The silver medal is given for 83+ and above and Gold for 88+ with scores of 95/100 fetching a Great Gold. The quality of wines may be ascertained from the fact that the average scores across all wines was 84.2 and for Gold, one had to go well inside the territory at slightly under 90 even though many wines qualified for it.

The number of visitors being small for the B2B exhibition, many came to visit with their principals while many others came simply to network with professionals and gauge what was happening in the world of bulk wines.

Exhibitors seemed to be happy with the numbers and quality of visitors. ‘That was really a great experience. We had very good results at our first participation in Amsterdam and will definitely come back next year. Customers at the booth came from many different countries, including Germany, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and even Slovenia’, says Lou Anevski, an American Macedonian owing Anevski Winery in Macedonia and coming to the Show for the first time.

But it’s the UK author, producer and wine critic Robert Joseph who sums up the impression of a majority of the visitors when he says, ‘This has become one of the most important events on the calendar. You can learn more about the real state of the wine world in a day in Amsterdam than in a year of reading some supposedly authoritative publications.’

You may want to pencil in to look forward to a similar experience at the same time in November for the 7th edition of the WBWE

Subhash Arora

The bulk wine market - prices                           The bulk wine market                                    Gallery

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Tags: World Bulk Wine Exhibition, Amsterdam, RAI Congress Centre, Rafael del Rey, WBWE 2014, Chef Francisco Piñeiro (Kike), Robert Joseph


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