Trade fair day three
Just to show that I'm not hidebound by tradition, I rock up at the trade fair early, about 0945. I say 'about', because for the last three days my watch has stopped. Battery dead, and I haven't been able to replace it. I've been wearing my watch, which has read 1021 on the numerous occasions where I've looked at it, almost instinctively, but I've been relying on my mobile to tell me the time. Today I'd forgotten my mobile, so I had to rely on the odd occasion where I caught sight of the time to guide me. The last few days have made me think about issues about time - a 'romantic' part of me hankers after the age when we'd have relied on the church bells and the position of the sun in the sky to tell us what time it was.
I was early for the session I'd agreed to attend: Nomacorc's oxygen seminar. So I stopped by the Wines of South Africa stand and tasted through the Chenins (expertly guided by wine writer Sarah Ahmed) and the Rhone varieties. Really enjoyed the 2006 Sequillo white and the Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards Syrah Mouvedre 2004. The Black Rock 2005 was also lovely. Also had a quick chance to chat with WOSA's UK manager Jo Mason, and controlled myself by not saying 'variety is in our nature' in a silly voice, which is just as well because her boss was in earshot.
Then it was off for Nomacorc's seminar. It was overlong - they'd just tried to pack too much into it, and as well as four presentations by their own people there was a tasting and comments from a four person expert panel. Add questions into the mix, and it all felt a bit rushed. But there was some really good stuff here: in particular, Olav Agaard's closing pitch on the impact of oxygen transmission on wine characteristics was pretty hot, including some really nice theory on tannin perception and how oxygen transmission through the closure might affect this.
The tasting was also really useful, showing the same two wines bottled with a different closures with a variety of different oxygen transmission methods. The overall message resonated well with me: it backed up a lot of the conclusions I drew in my book on wine bottle closures. I'm quite excited by some of the research on the role of oxygen in post-bottling wine chemistry that they are undertaking. Pictured are head honcho Malcolm Thompson and manager of oenological research Stephane Vidal in pensive mood.
On the way home got my watch battery changed. Night in tonight. Watched Hustle. RTL is on heat and is leaving red drips around the house. What were we thinking of getting a dog?