Time is ripe for a trade and consumer Burgundy fair

12 January, 2007

By the time you read this, I will have attended five tastings of the 2005 red and white Burgundies, hailed by some (and not just wine merchants with a vested interest in generating a bit of cash flow) as the region's greatest ever vintage. If the rumours are correct, many producers are hoping to copy the Bordelais and cash in on the quality (and hype) of the 2005

harvest. Price increases of 40 per cent on 2004 are not unheard of and most Burgundians appear to be charging at least 20 per cent more for their reds.

Are the wines worth it? As I say, I won't know for another week, but there is no shortage of opportunities to form a judgment. More than a dozen different Burgundy tastings have been held over the last five days, with several growers showing their wines at more than one. I defy anyone to attend all of them.

So here's a suggestion. For the amount of money it costs Haynes, Hanson & Clark, Berry Brothers & Rudd, Farr Vintners, Howard Ripley, OW Loeb, Corney & Barrow, Bibendum, John Armit, Justerini & Brooks, Genesis Wines, Liberty Wines, Goedhuis, Lea & Sandeman, Lay & Wheeler and Charles Taylor to put on their tastings, couldn't they get together and hold a two-day trade and consumer Burgundy fair based around the Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins de Bourgogne's event at the Royal Horticultural Halls? We wine writers would be a lot happier and so, I suspect, would the growers.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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