This was one of the best tastings I’ve attended this year.
It reminded me why I love wine, and why I’ve chosen to make it my profession.
I’m not naive: I know that we need the commercial, commodity end of the wine market, and that most people just want something cheap and drinkable that they can get with their weekly supermarket shop. That’s fine, if a little depressing.
But the wines I tasted today excited me. They had a life-enhancing quality. They moved me; they challenged me; they made me want to go out and spend my hard-earned – and for a journalist swimming in samples, that’s quite a confession.
The Dirty Dozen are 12 importers who have portfolios about as far away from the commodity end of the market as you could get. The wines I tried tasted authentic. I didn’t try them all, because there were too many, and I apologise to the members of the dozen whose tables I didn’t get to. And a last minute venue switch within the same building meant it was pretty crowded. But no one was complaining because the wines were so good.
It was buzzy: I felt an energy in the air. My colleagues had a lift; the lift that comes from discovering exciting new wines. I’ll be reporting on some of them here in the coming weeks.