About Me

My photo
Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I have worked in wine education, mostly, but also retail and consultancy. I was a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events, Trips and Governance Committees. I now work for the Wicklow Wine Company. Having had problems with potentially libelous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

From Botticelli to Bond…

We did a lot on Saturday – too much to detail but here's the headlines.

We kicked off with Debra Meiburg MW interviewing the horrendously qualified Gerard Basset OBE, MW, MS, MBA – how many post-nomials can one man have? A great session proving that Gerard is one of the friendliest and humblest experts you could ever find.
Then a great (but as always too short) session about the tensions between buying and selling with an excellent panel well moderated by Pierpaolo Petrassi MW – Annette Alvarez-Peters of CostCo, Bruce Jack of Flagstone and Accolade, Johan Larsson of Systembolaget and the irrepressible Willi Klinger of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. Space is limited but when the videos come onto the IMW website I will let you know…
We finished the formal sessions with a relaxed session led by Jean-Michel Valette MW about science and belief. Francisco Baettig of Errazuriz, Henri de Pracomtal of Taransaud and Paul Pontailler of Château Margaux offered some great insights into how science helps with the art of wine.
Then straight onto the bus to visit the stunning Antinori winery
– we all expected James Bond to come flying over the hillside. We started with a superb tasting in the Tuscan sun of wines from the Istituto Grandi Marchi (IGM), one of our Major Supporters and our partner in organising the Symposium. After a relaxing and fun tasting (the Sassicaia was particularly good) we sauntered in for dinner.

WOW! I have been in many fabulous places for dinner but this takes the biscuit –
a stunningly designed cathedral of wine where 900 barrels of wine had been moved out to make room for the 450 delegates to eat! We tasted even more great wines from IGM – the Gaja & Rey 1993 was my favourite and I tried unsuccessfully to get a refill! – and some superb food.
But WOW! After the speeches we then had an amazing treat as José Rallo of Donnafugata gave us a musical treat – jazz and wine. It was wonderful and magical. We then had a great soul session which resulted in many, many MWs and senior people of the wine world boogying the night away…. At which point we must draw a veil over proceedings!


anna ruini said...

Hi Dermot!
Thanks for the kind word about Josè and its musical performance! We were happy to share this "magic" pairing with the great public of last night dinner!

We're waiting for you in Sicily!


Anna Ruini from Donnafugata

DermotMW said...

Thanks Anna - she was fantastic!