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LWF should ban wine tasting, says Lockspeiser

Published:  19 July, 2013

The revamped London Wine Fair should consider not allowing any wine tasting at next year's show and put the emphasis 100% on how the wines look on-shelf if it is to really make next year's show at Olympia stand out as different from previous fairs.

That is the somewhat left field suggestion made today on Harpers' relaunched new digital platform,, by wine consultant Jerry Lockspeiser, and chairman of Off Piste Wines.

Lockspeiser, who has been signed up along with a number of other key wine trade figures to be a regular columnist on the site, believes the trade must get to understand and see the wine category in the same way that consumers do. They do not get the opportunity to try wine before they buy it and have only got the bottle, the label and the story behind the wine to go on, so why should the trade not start to buy and sell wine in the same way.

Lockspeiser writes: "Wine should be selling dreams but is selling price. Consumers expect every bottle of Pinot Grigio, Rioja or Chilean Chardonnay to taste decent and the same. So we must add value though stories and emotions.

"Because we have to make a mental break with the past I propose the 2014 event forbids wine tasting. Instead of endless slurping, exhibitors should convince their trade visitors of the added value reasons to stock their wines. They should focus on why the client's consumers will be attracted to the product for reasons other than the taste. Choosing without tasting is precisely the situation consumers face every time they buy wine...we need to inspire. How about that as the motto for the 2014 London Wine Fair?"

Other regular columnists on the relaunched site include social media expert, Bernadette Costello on why social networking is vital for big brands, English winemaker in Bordeaux, Gavin Quinney, on the art of wine tasting and point of wine competitions, wine consultant, Mike Paul on the challenges facing the wine industry and Beirut journalist, Michael Karam, on how the Lebanese are rediscovering their love for beers, wines and spirits.