At the Decanter event last weekend, it was great to see so many people enjoying fine wine. Such a joy to have so many truly outstanding wines under the same roof laid out for the consumer.
At this particular Encounter Bordeaux epecially had a strong presence and the exhibitors read like a roll-call of the great and the good - though by no means exhaustive it certainly gave a very good schooling in what the fuss is all about. It proves that the UK is not all about Blossom Hill sugar water despite all the depressing statistics.
Not only were there members of the public that you would expect - I had some lovely older gentlemen coming up to me at the Jancis Robinson stand, just to tell me with a conspiratorial wink that they were already "purple pagers" - but lots and lots of young people. The majority in fact. I hope this means that the next generation of wine drinkers/collectors/enthusiasts are trading up as they experience these wines first hand and making relationships with producers that may last a lifetime.
As well as the wines on offer there were also Masterclasses, the two most popular being the Margaux vertical and Jancis. Both of these will be available as podcasts - once the technology has been tamed- on the Decanter website and Jancis will put hers up on www.JancisRobinson.com
As well as all that, authors - Andrew Jefford and John Radford to name just two - were there for book signings and a very nice team from Riedel explaining all the subtle nuances of the various glasses and exactly why you need at least 10 different sets (I wish).