Keep this article nearby this week during Prowein, Düsseldorf 2016 and Vinexpo, Hong Kong come May! Here are eight wine etiquette tips guaranteed to keep you sober while networking and savouring all of the fair's fun bits.
1. Talk to people. Engage in discussion with knowledgeable questions, an interest to learn and be willing to taste anything. Thoughtful converstation and good networking will keep you from just slurping all day. After all, you can't be drinking when you're talking.
2. Learn how to spit gracefully and professionally. Do this to prove that you are serious about tasting the wine rather than just being there to down as many glasses as you can. Obviously, savour the rare wines that you cannot afford or find. A cheeky gulp won't harm you
3. Plan ahead. Get a list of the exhibitors and work out who's worth visiting, spending time with, and more importantly, tasting with. Save yourself the aimless wondering around and being stuck at the back of a crowded booth. Leave the surprise tastings till the last day.
4. This is a no brainer - eat well before and during the fair. With most of the day spent on your feet walking up and down aisles, it's going to be tiring. Fatigue isn't only bad for your legs, but it will also affect your palate's ability to focus on wine tasting too. Keeping up the energy with healthy food is key.
5. Start with sparkling wine, then progress in order to whites and reds. Save your palate from confusion and extreme fatigue. Work the wines in order like you would during a dinner. If a producer makes both or all three types of wines, arrange to come back later. You never know, a hidden bottle of an older vintage might appear.
6. Bring your A-game. This will likely encourage the producers who are showing off their goods to grab a rare and expensvie hidden bottle from under the table. Winemakers don't wnat to show off their best to a tyre kicker looking for a boozed up afternoon.
7. Take a break from the convention for at least thirty minutes each day. Most of these large format fairs are held indoors with little to no sunlight. I strongly suggest you leave your glass inside, buy a bottle of water or a coffee and soak in the fresh air. Remember, these events often go for two to three days, so what's the rush?
8. Don't be that guy. You know who I'm talking about: that guy who is always hammered at every free trade show. It will be embarrassing, unprofessional, and you'll likely be in bed by 5:30PM if you hit it too hard.
Other wine fairs to look forward to this year:
- Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong 2016 (Sep 6-8)
- Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2016 (Oct 27-30)
- ProWine Shanghai (Nov 7-9)
- Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (Nov 10-12)
See you all there! www.flyingwinemaker.asia