Friday 17 February 2023

And sometimes I drink wine, too...

Tre Bicchieri 2022
People do talk about beer having a ‘terroir’ – that sense of place that hints at where it was brewed, and which sometimes seems to make it taste better there – but it’s a term more often associated with fine wine. And with good reason – wine’s differentiation is arguably very much dependent on its home region.

Not only are there many local grape varieties, but the same variety – Syrah/Shiraz, say – can differ greatly depending on where it’s grown, just like English-grown Cascade hops taste different to US-grown Cascade. Plus, fine wine is in many ways a simpler drink to produce than beer, with fewer ingredients and fewer steps in the process, so it makes sense that the result might express the primary ingredient – grapes – much more clearly. 

And thankfully, as long as you’re not a wine snob, you can enjoy wine one day, beer the next, and maybe whisky the day after. Indeed, I suspect most ‘beer snobs’ are actually just quality-focused – they won’t drink crap beer, but they don’t drink crap wine either!

Tre Bicchieri 2019
All of which is why, as well craft beer festivals, I love events such as the Tre Bicchieri Tour, an Italian wine fair which visits London annually. It brings an array of hyper-local wines and wineries, each with experts to help the visitor understand what’s going on in their glass, whether it’s specifics such as growing by the coast or on volcanic soil, the unusual local grape varieties, or the broader differences between regions, from Sicily to Trentino and from Apulia to Piedmont, via Tuscany, Abruzzo and all points between. 

So I am looking forward to this year’s edition which takes place next Thursday (23rd February 2023) at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London’s Westminster. Primarily an afternoon trade and press event run by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the UK to promote the exhibitors, the doors also open to wine-lovers from 5-7pm. It's free to get in, you do need to register though – there’s a link for that here