Monday, May 11, 2009

Back from FENAVIN

Made it back from FENAVIN - the traveling was gruesome, but the show was great. I found lots of really great wines - more than I can possibly take, which is a good problem to have. As expected, plenty of really great deals. A pleasant surprise was the restraint of many of the wines, I was subjected to very few of the brutally furry examples that are alas all-too-common these days in France (but I'm sure they were there). The show was just about the perfect size, you really didn't need to plan a route through the pavillions, everything was close enough not to sweat it, unlike at the big international 'monster shows' the scale, at 'only' 1000 exhibitors is rather more human than 2500 like at Vinexpo or Vinitaly, or (gasp) 3200 at Prowein. Lots of really excellent, well-balanced wines, even from some of the more 'desirable' DOs like Ribera del Duero, Toro, Priorat...

Everything was represented, from the most garish sickness imaginable: This picture doesn't really do the 'sickness' justice. Avril Lavigne on the video screens is a hint, but there were also painted bimbo 'hostesses' - all in an effort to flog 'wines' in tallboy aluminum cans.

Other booths were much classier, appointed in 'rich Corinthian leather' : In comparison to the disco cans, very classy and understated.

Here is the self-service tasting area, upstairs in the largest hall: yes, it really is as far as the eye can see! The only drawback was that if you didn't go first thing in the morning it started to get pretty warm up there, which didn't exactly help a lot of the reds to show their best. 'Room temperature' is indeed a relative term.

Wretched excess: Thousands and thousands of glasses were soiled daily.

And finally, there were facilities for those who had a bit too much: It looked like they had enough gear in there to handle all but the most serious of cases. Made it convenient to get back to the show after coming to!