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breakthrough for Spanish wines in Moscow

Prestige Tasting

Artículo en español

Prestige Tasting Russia

for Spanish wines
in Moscow

In view of growing demand on the Russian market to discover the wide spectrum of Spanish wines, the team of Sommeliers International in collaboration with the Russian Sommelier Association, whose President is Alexey Sidorov, decided to organise a tasting of Spanish wines (white, red and sparkling). Wines from the best Spanish appellations were presented (Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Montsant and Rueda, as well as many others) to wine professionals, importers, distributors, wine shop managers, sommeliers, etc...

On April 7th 2009, as part of the Economic Development Bureau’s Spanish exhibition in Moscow, a guided tasting was presented by Julia Achmiz, Spanish wine specialist. Along with fifty professionals from this sector of activity, we were able to discover twenty wines which had wished to take part in this experience.

The wine market in Russia is growing significantly, despite the current economic situation and the devaluation of the Rouble. The wine sector continues to progress and has developed by approximately 20% each year since 2000. Although France is leader for sales in value, the leader for the past few years in volume is Spain. At present demand for wines of quality is tending to increase, but the main obstacles are import costs and logistics, which can quadruple the dispatch price of a wine.

This information corresponds totally to the results of this tasting, which was a great success! Participants were indeed surprised by the tremendous value for money of the wines presented and we were delighted to see the calibre and number of tasters present. Here are some examples of companies who accepted our invitation:

Simple, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blanc, Fort, Logotek, Canon Russia, Elite Wines, Grandi Vini, Enotria Wine School, Moscou Polo Club, Happyland, Interprodukt 96... Just to mention a few, as well as a few of the most well known sommeliers from other countries, Alexey Sidorov, Anton Panasenko, Sergei Tarasov, Alexey Timerin, Ivan Dmitriev…

To ensure that the tasting was as pleasant as possible and held in a logical order, we decided to group together wines by Appellations of Origin and/or geographical areas. The programme therefore ran as follows:

14h00: Presentation of the world of Spanish wine, the various areas of production and their main characteristics, as well as the different types of wine produced in Spain. This talk was given by Mr David Feijoo (Product Manager at the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade in Moscow).

14h15: Welcome speech and official opening of the tasting by the President of the Russian Sommelier Association, Mr Alexey Sidorov, followed by a presentation of the magazine Sommelilers International and its promotion role for wines, by Aris Allouche.

14h30: Start of the tasting with comments given by Julia Achmiz, in the following order: Rueda, Rias Baixas, VT Castille and Leon White, VT Castille and Leon Red, VT Cadiz, VT Extramadure, Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Montsant, Calatayud, Jumilla, Ribera Sacra and Cava.

17h00: End of the guided tasting and start of the cocktail reception to close this event, with a combination of wines tasted previously and Juan Pedro Domecq Iberian ham, as well as Torta del Casar cheeses from the Perez Andrada cheese shop.

18h45: End of the tasting.

Each participant was able to note down his or her ratings and impressions of each wine in a tasting notebook provided for this purpose; notebooks handed in at the end of the afternoon were exchanged for a full catalogue with descriptions and contact details of each domain and the wine presented. As a continuation, we will let you discover the averages of all these tasting ratings which were handed to us.

We would like to present our sincere thanks to the Russian Sommelier Association and its President, Alexey Sidorov, to David Feijoo and his team from the Institute of Foreign Trade in Moscow, to Julia Achmiz for her perceptive tasting comments, to all the wineries which participated, as well as to Domecq Iberian hams and Perez Andrada cheeses.