Even with hundreds of wine labels available to us in a typical wine retail shop, some wine names and labels stand out. We find that we recognise the bottle itself, its packaging perhaps, the name of the region written on the bottle, the producer or possibility the grape variety. The packaging and all the information on the bottle are clues but what makes the information, logo, name and the wine memorable enough for it to become a brand?
This year, more than 6,000 wine brokers and several hundred wine writers arrived in Bordeaux end of March to taste the infant 2011 wines. While some wines were still not saying much, others showed their potential to be blended and polished.
Once upon a time the most expensive wines in the world were sweet. Champagne as we know it, with its fine bubbles, crisp, linear dry style was not in vogue. Instead, Champagne had noticeable residual sugar, and probably tasted more like Moscato d’Asti, the lightly sweet sparkling wine from Italy, than Brut non vintage Champagne that we are familiar with today. It wasn’t only sweet Champagne that was popular around the world, it was all sweet wines.
When New Food - the official media sponsor for the 86th China National Food, Wine & Spirits Fair - invited me to speak at its gala dinner in Chengdu earlier this month, I was immediately interested. Many China-based wine professionals had told me it was the largest and possibly the most important wine fair of its kind on the mainland. Since it is supported at the national level, the scale is huge and wine vies for attention among a host of local alcoholic beverages.