I had the pleasure of working with Danny Cameron and Ben Campbell-Johnston on the day of the “BFT” and experienced the event from both back stage and front of house. I probably shouldn’t be surprised by the high number of attendees and the general enthusiasm of tasters that came through the door, yet I wish this energy and keenness by the trade translated to consumers. I suppose there is still much work to be done in that respect.
So how did the day look in numbers?
Incredibly, 600 trade professionals registered – that is around 150 more than last year! My guess is that at least 75% of these made it to the tasting, which is not a bad statistic. 50 producers showed their gems with Sherry and Port taking up most of the floor. More than 400 bottles were available for sampling from Marsalas, Sherries, Ports, Madeiras, Moscatels, Maury, Banyuls, Rivesaltes, Topaques and Muscats. And to keep us all refreshed numerous coffees and teas were served throughout the day with some cheeky hot chocolates!
Why should you not miss out on this event next year?
Some are attracted by the racy freshness and complexity of Madeiras, some by the luscious caramel sweetness of Rutherglen Muscats, some prefer the rich concentration and power of aged ports, some come for the lively atmosphere and to catch up with old friends, some are more interested in the organised seminars and discussions and some well some just pop in for a quick sip and a tasty sandwich. Whatever your preference, if you have never been this tasting should be in your diary next year!