Vinexpo Daily 2020 Paris - Preview Edition

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I SPECIAL FEATURE I WINE

I SPECIAL FEATURE I WINE PAIRING IMarc AlmertBest Sommelier of the World,ISA (International SommelierAssociation)The ever-changingworld of pairingMarc Almert was named BestSommelier of the World bythe International SommelierAssociation last year. Here,the sommelier at the Pavillonrestaurant in Zurich shareshis secrets and how his roleis evolving when it comes towine pairing.Nowadays we can choose froma much wider variety of wines –more and more grape varietalsand regions are now available andcan be integrated into the menu.Furthermore, many restaurants nowoffer a “beverage pairing” ratherthan a mere “wine pairing”, therebyshowcasing other beverages suchas beers, alcohol-free drinks or evencocktails in addition to wine itself. Thisway the sommeliers can introducethe guests to new experiences.How does this change from countryto country or region to region?For me the type of restaurant is moreimportant than the country or region.Outstanding great restaurants can befound in many countries and manylocations, and the international gueststravel specifically for a memorabledining experience – of courseaccompanied by selected beverages.Naturally, restaurants might include alocal touch; the Pavillon (two Michelinstars) in Zurich offers an entire Swisstasting flight as an alternative to theclassic international pairing.Who are the most open to differentpairings?Again, I believe this is more dependenton the restaurant than on the diner.For example, when I was working inan Asian restaurant in Germany morelocal customers were asking for winepairings than in the French restaurantlocated in the same hotel; the moreunfamiliar the style of cuisine is to thediner, the more likely she or he will beopen to pairings.What are some of the more unusualpairings you have suggested?It is still unusual in Germany orSwitzerland to enjoy a sparklingwine within the menu rather thanas an aperitif. Recently we had anevent which combined a Brut NatureVintage Champagne with a lovely dishof smoked salmon. Another surprisefor our guests was a Sloe Gin witha matching chocolate-raspberrydessert. And of course, many gueststaste certain Swiss varietals for thefirst time in the Pavillon’s Swiss winetasting flight.What is the biggest mistake mostpeople make when pairing?Many people think that the maincomponent of the dish (i.e. the fish,meat etc.) is the one that determinesthe wine. However, often the sauceand/or a side dish can be much moredominant in taste. For example, if youhave a pepper sauce with a pieceof meat, the spiciness needs to beconsidered when choosing the idealwine pairingMarc Almert will be hosting the VinexpoChallenge, Wednesday 12 February at10 am, PAV 7.2 - ROOM 4CAVIAR BATTLE PAIRING© Matt MunroAs part of the Vinexpo Academy,on Wednesday 12 February, SturiaCEO Laurent Dulau will moderate aunique event, pairing wines and themost luxurious of foods - caviar.In cooperation with ASI, Association dela Sommellerie Internationale, three topsommeliers - Raimonds Tomsons, Piotr Pietrasand Markus del Mongo (Best Sommelier of theWorld 1998), have each selected exceptionalwines that will serve as the ideal accompanimentfor this wonderful delicacy. Which of thesesommeliers will find the perfect match? Theywill be ranked by tasting 2 “haute couture”caviars: the Vintage and Oscietra caviars and 3exceptional wines selected by the speakersWEDNESDAY 12 FEBRUARY1pm-2.30pmPAV 7.2 / ROOM 1Caviar blinis being prepared at Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill, The Savoy12 • VINEXPO DAILY • WEDNESDAY 5 TH FEBRUARY 2020www.vinexpodaily.com

I REGION I ATYPICAL COUNTRIES & WINES IUnusual originsA tour of some of the lesser-known regions present atVinexpo Paris - with some fresh and surprising product…The 2020 range from La Société des Grands Crus de l’OuestMEET ALGERIA’S FIRST WINECOMPANY…La Société des Grands Crus del’Ouest Algérien was Algeria’sfirst private wine company. Itwas founded in 2001 by RachidHamamouche, with the aim ofproducing wines of premiumquality. Over the years, theirserious approach and theirexpertise earned the SGCO a highreputation with the vine-growers,who brought their grapes in greaterand greater numbers, resultingin new cellars being opened inthe different regions, and morerecently, the rehabilitation of thecellars and agricultural buildings,sealing of partnerships with thelocal vine-growers, recruitmentand training of personnel, and thecreation and distribution of a rangeof wine brands. Today, the companymanages more than 300 personnelin AlgeriaPAV 7.1 / STAND K25© 2020 Société des Grands Crus de l’OuestAPPLE ICE WINEFROM LITHUANIAGintaro Sino wines from Lithuania arebecoming renowned for their ice wine. Butnot any ice wine. They say a great deal ofpride, love and work have gone into themaking of their Apple Ice Wine, with abouquet of aromas so rich that it seemsyou are tasting a “fairy tale of berries”.Several years of efforts in attemptingto work on similar techniques to thoseused in Canada led to a number ofdisappointments, but now have finallygiven results. Gintaro Sino now has awine which they believe is just good asits luxurious cousins across the Atlantic.The story is thus wrapped in legends ofhow winemakers leave grapes unpickedthroughout the winter, await the coldthat turns their fruit into ice crystals.Temperatures of around minus 15C°are required for the harvest, in thesouth region, resulting in very limitedproduction quantities of such wine isso lowPAV 7.1 / STAND HK19AGE-OLD GEORGIANVARIETIES TO OPEN THEEYES… AND SURPRISETHE PALATEONE BRAND –MANY ORIGINSGenerally, until now, a winebrand would tend to pertainto a region – or in somecases a country. EnterTussock Jumper. TussockJumper is a premium winebrand created from the shared passion of wine specialists from elevendifferent countries around the world: South Africa, Germany, Argentina,Australia, Chile, Spain, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and the USA.Their aim is to bring together the world’s very best wines under a single,distinctive, quality mark: the woolly red sweater of Tussock Jumper, so onecan jump from wine to wine, jumper to jumper, all around the world. Whatmakes them quite unique is that all their wines are bottled at source – in thesame place where the grapes are grown. It’s a collection of individual storieseach with a special character and totally unique pedigreesPAV 7.1 / STAND A5While Georgia has long beenrenowned as a wine growing region,many people still are unaware of theextraordinary richness of its 450 grapevarieties, 29 of which are used in winegrowing. High-quality Georgian winegrape varieties include: Rkatsiteli,Saperavi, Mtsvane, Khikhvi, Kisi,Chinese, Tsolikouri, Tsitska, Krakhuna,Leksandrouli, Ojaleshi, Chkhaveri, andAladasturi.In Georgia, the wine grape has longbeen considered as a sacred, divineplant and wine itself has a sacralfunction. On the basis of archaeologicalexcavations, Georgia is nowrecognised as an historic homeland ofwine-making and vine-growing. Duringarchaeological excavations on theterritory of Kvemo Kartli, grape seedshave been discovered dating backto the Aeneolithic Age. It is reportedthat during the early Neolithic period,both eastern and western Georgiawere familiar with the culture ofwine, and it had quite a big role in theeconomic life of the local population.More information is available from theGeorgian Wine Corporation at VinexpoParisPAV 7.1 / STAND H40VINEXPO DAILY • WEDNESDAY 5 TH FEBRUARY 2020 • 13

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