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“The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, in Luxembourg?!!”
Abi Duhr (wine maker and writer for Gastrotur, Luxembourg): “there has been talk of holding the competition in Luxembourg for a long time and finally the dream has come true. This gives me great satisfaction because welcoming everyone here is an extraordinary experience. It gives us a unique opportunity to show off our country, the range of activities, food and drink to wine makers and journalists from across the globe”.
Marc Desorm (wine maker, Luxembourg): “For Luxembourg, this is a superb opportunity to showcase our country and our culture. Wine and Crémant producers are also given a chance to present their products to an audience of international experts and show what a small wine producing country like ours is capable of”.
“What is the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles?”
Bernard Burtschy (journalist, Le Figaro, France): “a competition with huge numbers of excellent wine tasters that I see individually on my travels. It is extremely rare to see them all in one place. Basically, all the world’s star tasters are here”.
Jose Penñin (journalist, Guia Peñin, Spain): “I am impressed by the logistics and organisation but what strikes me most is the ability to bring together so many tasters of a similar level of efficiency. This competition is really designed for industry professionals”.
Leonardo Romanelli (journalist and blogger, Italy): “taking part in the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is a really interesting experience. It’s an opportunity to taste wines from around the world and from a professional perspective, it is very exciting. There’s the international atmosphere too. You meet tasters from China, Taiwan and even the Republic of Mexico! It’s an incredible change of scenery!”
Luis Pato (wine maker and journalist, Portugal): “The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is extremely well organised. It’s a very professional competition. I particularly like the palate preparation exercise to calibrate marks. This is an excellent technique for rapidly getting up to speed”.
Pedro Ballesteros Torres (Master of Wine, Spain): “I think the competition is a unique opportunity to bring together industry members so that in just a few days they can get their bearings and follow the quality of the wines, industry news, various people’s opinions… I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”
“And their thoughts on still and sparkling wines from Luxembourg?”
Abi Duhr (Luxembourg wine maker): “from a wine making perspective, I think Luxembourg is scaling the heights. Any further progress involves greater knowledge of our terroirs and I think in that respect there is still great potential for producing superlative wines”.
Anne Serre (journalist, Vitisphère, France): “this is a very enterprising region. Its location on the border between France and Germany brings together a fascinating mixture of influences. It is very exciting to taste the wines”
Filippo Baldan (mixologist, Belgium): “for every event I create a cocktail based on inspiration from the host country. Obviously in this case it was Crémant. I designed a cocktail using Crémant and Luxembourg pear brandy which I mixed with ingredients like raspberries then added an exotic note of ginger. It is essential for a cocktail to look good, taste nice and be well-balanced”.
Mi Yeun Hong (journalist for Cookand’s Itaie, South Korea): “I was not very familiar with Luxembourg wines but this has been a very enriching experience. The competition has been a real learning curve. I think the wines could be popular with Koreans because they pair well with gourmet Korean food.”
Patricio Tapia (journalist Wine & Spirits Magazine, Chile): “obviously this is a tiny vineyard covering 1,200 or 1,300 hectares but as cold climate wines, the result is very convincing. Besides, a wine culture based on sparkling wines is bound to be worth discovering!”
“Journalist or blogger? Enologist or wine maker? Terroir globalisation?”
Anne Serre (journalist, Vitisphère, France): “I think consumers still need experts, guides and points of reference so I don’t think medals are being undermined by the spread of wine tasting notes on the internet.”
Bernard Burtschy (journalist, Le Figaro, France): “wine reviewing is becoming increasingly professional. In the past, a wine critic had to be able to write well, know how to listen and also know how to tell a good story. Nowadays, and this is true of the sommelier profession as well, a wine critic is capable of forming his own opinion based on first-hand experience of the various wine regions.”
Javier Rueda (journalist, El Païs, Spain): “I think wine’s future lies in the promotion of indigenous grape varieties, without which a terroir cannot fully reveal itself. To date, globalisation has tended to standardise the wine market and make it poorer. Every region must search for its own personality”.
Ted Lelekas (blogger journalist, Grece): “whilst I’m here, I’m blogging all the time, I’m on Twitter, I use Facebook. This all helps to spread the word and information about wine because wine needs to be democratic, it needs to be popular. There is no point in keeping wine elitist because otherwise we lose all the enjoyment of it. New technologies help us share these experiences and spread knowledge and pleasure!”
“What’s the purpose of a medal?”
David Chow (importer, China): “in such a competitive marketplace, a competition as prestigious as this is definitely a very important marketing element. A competition and a medal are definitely a plus for your marketing strategy and something that will help you sell your wine or spirit.”
Emmanuelle Pellucci (journalist, Civilità del Bere, Italy): “Italians are quite different from other nationalities in that they tend to rely on guides or competitions in choosing wines…”
John Salvi (Master of Wine, United Kingdom): “one of the problems with competitions is that there are so many of them but there are very few with the volume and strike of this particular competition. The Concours Mondial is now one of the biggest in the world and therefore has a reputation that is worldwide. To win a medal means that the public will take notice of the wine and I am absolutely certain that a gold medal in this competition will mean sales for the producer”.
Marc Desorm (wine maker, Luxembourg): “I think it is important to take part in competitions to assess one’s overall quality and for the peer-to-peer review aspect. It is a just reward for the work of the wine producer and I think it should be promoted. It is an important aid in distinguishing quality wines.”
Sharon Nagel (journalist, La Journée Vinicole, France): “ the competition is particularly well organised. I am impressed by the standard of the tasters and the range of training sessions held concurrently with the event. The professional background of the tasters is extremely varied and that is essential for giving wine consumers a reliable guide to buying wines. I have met several wine buyers here and am convinced that a medal makes all the difference at point of sale.”