Yesterday, I spent the day at the London Wine Fair. It's an annual trade fair that I've been to almost every year since I began working in the wine industry 20 years ago. Obviously things have changed enormously in that time, not least the fact that I now no longer have the energy to go to post-fair parties. Also: the diversity of wines available to try has exploded. Nowadays, we're completely spoilt for choice. Yesterday's highlights included Koshu (a white wine from Japan), terrific Touriga from Australia and single vineyard sparkling wines from Sussex to name just a few. What hasn't changed so much is the people. Hotel California-like, most never leave - because it is such fun. I caught up with friends yesterday (like wine, some maturing more slowly than others) and came home happy. And well before 9pm.
Current white in the fridge: Furmint Tokaji, £10, M&S
One of the highlights of the Fair for me was meeting up with winemakers including the amazing Eva Keresztury, a Hungarian vineyard owner and wine producer. She makes brilliant wines, including this one, from the Furmint grape. It's one of the main grapes behind the famous sweet wines of Hungary from the Tokaji region but here it is in dry, crisp, aromatic form. Think apples, pears and a touch of honey. Gaw-gus.
Current red in the rack: Tesco Finest Vina Mara Rioja Crianza 2010, £5.99 on offer, Tesco
Made by a rather smart producer in Rioja, Elguia, this is unbelievable value. With a year spent in oak barrels and a year in bottle, it's smooth and juicy with black cherry fruit and lovely toasty flavours. Tempranillo is the main grape in Rioja and is - as in this case - characteristically savoury. Definitely needs food. Sausages especially good.
Chin chin x
Labels: 2010, furmint, Hungary, M&S, red wine, Spain, Tempranillo, Tesco, white wine