The size of this wine event should not be underestimated and visiting for just one day was a mere dip in a very large sea of labels, logos and glass bottles filled with delights.
Could there be a better start to a wine tasting than champagne .... for me no but before my glass of Champagne Autréau Nick discovered tempranillo wine from Bogegas y Viñedos García Figuero.
Figuero 4 Roble is the youngest of the 4 wines being in oak barrels for just 4 months; the concept continues with Figuero 12 Crianza and Figuero 15 Reserva being oaked (American and French) for 12 and 15 months respecitively. The final wine in this range is Figuero Tinus which is in oak barrels for 24 months.
Tasting notes for all the wines in this, and my following London Wine Fair posts will be from memory - true wine reviews will follow if/when we enjoy again one of the many wines we sampled. However there is so much to share as there is more to a wine than tasting notes - the history, the label, the vineyard.
Champagne Autréau's display of champagne was wonderful - from Brut NV to Cuvée 1670 Grand Cru Réserve Millesime the labels and champagne so inviting. My tastings were 1er Cru Rosé NV, Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru NV and Grand Cru Réserve Millisime - all superb, full of fine bubbles, toastiness and elegance.
We are visiting the champagne region in the summer so maybe we can include a visit to Champagne Autréau with the opportunity to try more of their delicious champange, it's always a joy to discover more about the location of a wine.
Moving on from Connoisseur Estates a visit to Rhone Wines stand was a must as Cotes du Rhone is my favourite red wine region of France and an area we have fond memories of.
Earlier this year Nick and I met Heather Dougherty at Love Wine Guildford. It was lovely to have the chance to talk with her a little more about Cote du Rhone wine, it is a superb region.
Love Wine Birmingham is at The Burlington Hotel on November 10th, we are both looking forward to this event and a chance to meet Heather again.
It was at Love Wine Guildford that we met Chris from Bolney Estates, they are an English wine producing estate on the Sussex South Downs with quite an extensive range of English wine; 4 red, 4 white and 3 rose along with four sparkling wines of which Classic Cuvée is my favourite.
But the real treat was their new vermouth Rosso - launched on the first day of the London Wine Fair it was very popular. Rosso can be drunk neat, this was Nick's tasting, perfect for after dinner with our without ice.
It can also be mixed - Fever-tree tonic, Fever-tree elderflower tonic or Fever-tree aromatic tonic all blend perfectly with Rosso. My tasting was with tonic - very very different to my expectation of vermouth with a deeper intensity, hedgerow fruits accompanied by an aromatic herbiness.
The Eighteen Acre at Bolney Estates offers a selection of food and drinks so will be a perfect stop on our way to Newhaven next week as we travel to France - without hesitation I can say a bottle (or two) of Rosso will be joining us on our travels.
I feel privileged to be amongst the first to discover this amazing drink, there were many new discoveries for me at the show but Rosso was by far top of my list.
As I mentioned before London Wine Fair had a significant number of producers and suppliers of wine and if I included them all in this post it would be a very long read - therefore I have also written
Our day ended with a return visit to Jo and Connoisseur Estates with an opportunity to re-visit St Peyre wine from Cave de Permerols from Meze, an area of France we visited last year.
Picpoul de Pinet is a wine I have been enjoying in France for many many years, being now available in the UK it is a popular wine to accompany mussels or fish. Such a clean crisp refreshing wine from grapes grown close to the Etang du Thau it certainly matches up perfectly to produce of the sea.
Our final tastings of the day were Tohu wines from New Zealand; Marlborough and Nelson. Throughout the day we had not tasted New World wine so this was a superb end to our amazing day.
There is no better way to finish a wine tasting or a meal than with a dessert wine. Tohu Noble Riesling was smooth, syrupy, full of honey and fig and was perfect finale to or first visit to London Wine Fair.
Our first visit to London Wine Fair was a superb day, lovely to meet Jo, Heather and Chris again and of course discover so many new wines.