This time we headed off for the bright lights of London and the London International Wine Fair. This time, I felt slightly more at ease as I had a fair idea of what to expect. This year there was a change of location from the vast expanse of Excel to the more intimate surroundings of Olympia. What I was completely unprepared for was the glass roof and the drastic change in temperature every 5 minutes. One minute it was too hot, then too cold, no matter what I wore, I was never the right temperature, I spent more time taking on and off layers than I did tasting wine. This minor detail aside, there was a definite split over the new location, most of the producers and suppliers preferred Excel, while many of the importers liked the layout of Olympia, having no experience to base my decision, I just nodded and smiled when anyone discussed it.
Even though it is a much smaller show that ProWein (and the fact that I had to sacrifice a Bank Holiday weekend to be there!), it was nonetheless extremely worthwhile for us. This time, we had more freedom to look for new products, visiting new producers from the four corners of the world in our hunt to bring you guys the best value for money out there. We had left Oranmore with a shopping list and by 5pm on Wednesday, we had managed to tick off everything on that list, with one or two things that were not even remotely on the list thrown in for good measure (almost like sneaking a couple of chocolate bars into the shopping trolley when your mother wasn’t looking when you were a kid).
This month has also seen the arrival of some exciting new lines to the J&C Kenny stores. Our new range of wines from Languedoc has landed from the French company Bonfils (I challenge anyone to say this without putting on their best French accent!). With a wine to suit every price range, these really were the gems of our visit to ProWein and we are extremely excited to add them to our portfolio. Also arrived is my first foray into the German market, an absolutely stunning Riesling from Brogsitter, which I have to say arrived with all the efficiency you would expect from the Germans. Details of all our new arrivals can be found on the website.
We were delighted to welcome Sophie Jump from Chakana Wines to Galway over the may Bank Holiday weekend. She hosted a wine tasting as part of the Connemara Mussel Festival. Her bubbly personality and extraordinary knowledge won over the thirsty crowd in Tullycross. It was a very enjoyable evening and we were honoured that she the time to come over. With the mussels and wine flowing, she really enjoyed the banter that can only be found in Connemara and gave as good as she got!