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New wine-tasting event well received in the UK

On 12 April, despite the lockdown, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (Austrian Wine) brought 170 wine experts in the United Kingdom together with 50 Austrian winemakers. The “Austrian Tasting – The Stay-at-home Edition” gave experts the chance to taste dozens of wines in the comfort of their own home, while also talking to the winemakers online. The event marked the première of the 2020 vintage in the UK.

A picture shows the training document "Austrian Wine in Depth", many small bottles, a wine glass and a laptop on a table at the Austrian Tasting UK - The Stay-at-home Edition.
The attendees were able to choose 12 vintner portfolios individually and received them in specifically filled small bottles (100 ml) in advance. © Austrian Wine

So, how can an international wine expert sit at home, sample Austrian wines and chat with winemakers all at the same time? Austrian Wine has recently come up with a solution, with the support of the Austrian Embassy and the Austrian Trade Commission in London! On 12 April, 170 retailers, sommeliers and journalists throughout the United Kingdom were each able to taste 36 individually selected Austrian wines within their own four walls. An online platform also linked the experts with the 50 winemakers who produced the wines, enabling both parties to discuss the wines in depth.

“Due to further cancellations of all major wine fairs, our winemakers need alternative solutions for showcasing their wines to an international audience,” emphasises the CEO of Austrian Wine, Chris Yorke. “Our ‘stay-at-home’ series is another online wine-tasting format that allows winemakers to present their outstanding wines and continue networking with contacts – the key to long-term business relationships!”

A line-up of wines from all over Austria

In the run-up to the tasting event, each expert could choose 12 out of a total of 50 winemaker portfolios, representing 14 Austrian winegrowing regions. Each portfolio contained three different wines. Austrian Wine then filled each expert’s chosen wines into 36 small bottles and shipped them off to each participant. The 150 wines in the portfolios included 17 from the current 2020 vintage, which promises plenty of fruit and outstanding drinkability. The stay-at-home event also marked this vintage’s première in the United Kingdom.

What the experts said

The event was met with extremely positive feedback from participants:

Peter Honegger, retailer, Newcomer Wines

“Today’s tasting was a great way to connect with like-minded professionals and I felt a positive and open dialogue with everyone I met today. Also, what I have been able to taste from barrel with our growers this year looks as if 2020 is a small but precise vintage with many great wines to come over the next few years.”

Stefan Neumann MS, sommelier, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

“Thoroughly enjoyed the format today. Being able to chat to some producers with the option of a direct video call was brilliant. The 10-minute video calls gave you just enough to get to know each other and exchange useful and helpful information.

What I have tried so far from the 2020 vintage has shown me that regardless of what is happening in the world – Austrian wine is in a good spot! Precise, fresh and vibrant examples.”

Christina Rasmussen, journalist, LITTLEWINE

“As always, such a well organised tasting from Austrian Wine – many thanks. Our team thoroughly enjoyed the chance to taste such an array of wines all in one sitting, with time to discuss, type and read from the detailed tasting booklet. Being able to have one-on-one talks with winemakers was also such a bonus, and I’m sure was well appreciated by the press, importers and merchants alike!”

Stay-at-home tastings planned for Poland and Ontario

Following the successful launch, the next editions of the “stay-at-home” tasting have already been planned, coming to Poland on 27 April and Ontario on 8 June.

Austrian Tasting – The Stay-at-home Edition
  • First edition held in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2021
  • Details:
    • 170 experts (retailers, sommeliers, journalists)
    • 50 winegrowers showcased a total of 150 wines
    • Each expert selected 12 winegrower portfolios to taste, each containing 3 wines
    • Online tool linked experts and winegrowers together
  • Forthcoming “stay-at-home” events:
    • 27 April in Poland
    • 8 June in Ontario

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