BIB WINE AND WTAF IN PARIS
We travel with Ollie to speak to the wine trade
by the editor and Ollie @ The BIB Wine Company
BIB Wine Co-Founder Ollie recently went to a wine fair in Paris, aptly named 'Wine Paris'. There are a number of such wine fairs, but Wine Paris is quickly and deservedly growing a reputation as one of the more important. There are excellent wines on show and it is also very well attended. Over the past few years it has become a great source of debate and something of a meeting place for the industry's movers and shakers.
Ollie attended Wine Paris to represent both BIB Wine and WTAF, the trade body for wine traders using sustainable alternative packaging in wine. Ollie spoke on a panel alongside journalists and wine experts Jancis Robinson MW and Aleesha Hansel, as well as experts from the glass and recycling industries. The discussion was entitled 'Is it the end for glass bottles?'. Here's his diary of the event:
Day 1 - Travelled over by Eurostar. Wet and drizzly in the UK... and in France. Metro to the hotel. Just enough time to shower and change before heading to a restaurant for dinner with some wine people. Found out that BIB Wine co-founder, Justin, had been to a dinner organised by the same people the night before. Gratingly, Justin had blown their wine budget, so we were asked not to go mad on the wine list. Fun evening with very nice people. Accidentally went on for additional beers before heading back to the hotel. Then called wife to check in. At 1.30am UK time this wasn't as popular as hoped.
Day 2 - Spent the morning prepping for the talk. The debate was with two senior glass industry representatives, Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Aleesha Hansel and a recycling expert from France - nerves started to build up. Also started to regret the extra beers the previous evening. Met with co-panellist, and TV and print journalist/expert Aleesha Hansel. Blown away by her energy and passion for sustainability. Went to the exhibition. Pleasantly surprised to find that my status as a speaker granted me entry to the VIP area. Quick glass of something sparkling to help with nerves. Sat down in front of crowd for the panel. Stumbled over my first question well enough. Started to find my feet. Delivered a stinging critique on the status quo and lack of cohesive communication in the wine industry (in my mind at least). Made it clear that by swapping to boxes from bottles we could save 750,000,000 kilos of CO2e per year, in the UK alone. Noted that the potential innovations in glass making and recycling are unproven and all some time away, and that the one thing we don't have is time! Tried a number of wines before having to dash back for the train.