Date of Last Visit: Sunday, November 22
The Victims: Chris, Evelien, and baby Seona
The Damage: £10 and seven bottles of French wine.
The Background: I really dig Twitter. There I was Saturday evening, trying to make plans for Sunday when I get this Direct Message on Twitter from a guy I've met once, and it was months ago. He's telling me that if I hated the Wine Show, I'll love the French Wine Growers' Fair.
So I make plans to go and convince Chris & Evelien to meet me there.
The Entrance: This is a low tech show. Lots of producers, standing around with lots of boxes. There is no slick marketing here. And I like the show just for that. I wander around aimlessly for a bit when I'm stopped by a lovely woman at Villa Dondona. (They don't have a Web site.) She tells me all about their winery and we talk about Mondovino, only one of my favorite movies ever. I buy some wine. (Which comes with a convenient trolley to get it home.)
The Marketing: Totally sucks. There is no one here. That being said, there were too many people at The Wine Show, so in that sense, it's good. But I feel bad for the producers. They've come all this way. Plus, they were expecting distributors. Industry people. All they got was me, Chris & Evelien, and an eight-month old.
The Food: There isn't anything nice, I haven't eaten since 8 a.m., and it's 4:30 p.m. I leave Chris & Evelien and go to Pizza Express. Would some crackers really have killed them?
1. Up the admission price to keep the riffraff out. But make part of the price redeemable on wine. So for example, if tickets were £35, I could redeem £25 of that on wine. It's nice keeping the event small, but you don't want it to be a drink-a-thon.
2. Invite more industry people. Distributors. Restaurateurs. Journalists. Where were they?
3. Invite the London wine bloggers. And the restaurant bloggers. And the food bloggers in general. Particular on Day 1 if you're looking for a little publicity via word of mouth.
The Verdict: I had a good time. But I'm not sure the producers did. I'll keep an eye out for this next year, but there's got to be a better way.
Coming Up: Spanish in Holloway, Canteen at Royal Festival Hall…