Saturday, June 27, 2009
I twittered a bit about working at Vinexpo last week. It occurs to me, however, that many of you probably have very little idea of what Vinexpo is all about.
What can I say? Vinexpo is the world's biggest wine fair. It's a professionals-only affair but I get to go along with an army of other interpreters to translate the conferences and the tastings for wine experts from every corner of the wine-loving globe.
This massive circus of all things wine takes place every two years in the Parc des Expositions at Bordeaux Lac. A floating walkway — orange this year — takes you across the lake to the main building which is over two kilometres long. This year's attendance was down 7% with only 47000 visitors due to the slump, but there was certainly no evidence of slumpiness in the ethanol-laden air. Inside the main building you could walk for hours and hours along alleys lined with stands from all over the world vying for attention. Bespoke besuited buyers and sellers gargled and spat.
There's a lot of money in wine and I'm quite sure that the cumulative value of just the shiny shoes on the attendees feet would match the GDP of a medium-sized country.