The British/American Divide Over Natural Wine – Alice Feiring

Our good friend Alice Feiring has returned from the London Natural Wine Fair, where she noticed that some of the local wine press had a different attitude than the enthusiastic attendees:

It was hard not to notice that 800 people jammed the consumer day, willing to spend 18 pounds a pop for the experience. The atmosphere was charged. This was a be-in. This had the hope and spunk of long ago. But yet, some were scowling.

In my presentation on Sunday, there were a few who came to challenge not to converse. That was okay. One local wine writer was dominating, trying to focus on flaws. The next day flaws were again the focus at Doug Wregg\’s presentation on how to sell the wines to restaurants. There, Margaret Rand, pirated the conversation. Flaws once again. She admitted that there some lovely wines out there but there were too many that were wrong: she pointed to oxidative flavors and aromas. Flawed beyond redemption. The woman was so upset, it was as if her whole life and study was upended. And that was the problem.

London is the heart and soul of wine training. There are more MWs per inch or those chasing WSET exams than New York City barristas. That training dictates that there is a right and wrong way for a wine to taste.

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