The last days of September, right after the grape harvest from the northern hemisphere, is the ideal time to celebrate the great taste of wine. The Amsterdam Wine Festival, which took place from September 28 until 30, provided not only a selection of more than 300 different wines from 11 countries, but also various compelling masterclasses and workshops to gain a better insight of the wine preparation and degustation process. The festival occured in Westergasfabriek, a former industrial complex in the Westerpark, which was spacious enough to host all the visitors seeking prime wine, a warm atmosphere and funky music.
The festival was surely well arranged and organized. Upon arrival, the visitors received a glass of wine as well as a ‘wine passport’, which provided information about the different types of wine and where to find them in the Westerunie and the Gashouder, the biggest building of the Westergasfabriek-complex. The outside area was reserved for food stands that served all the comfort food and appetizers needed to go with your wine and mood. Consequently, it was possible to enjoy some exceptional glass of Portugese wine with a slice of cheesy pizza.
At the festival it was also possible to participate in some activities, such as masterclasses, workshops, degustations. Also, even more interactive activities were present, for instance, a competition of barefoot grape stomping. In earlier times, this technique was widely used in the process of wine-making. Considering that, the visitors were able to ‘travel in time’ and see how the wine preparation process was done before the modern day technologies. The winner of the competition, of course, was awarded with a bottle of wine.
To help the visitors orient themselves better on the festival area, the indoor sections were organized by country. For instance, you could find a great selection of French or Austrian wine. Within each section it was possible to choose between white, red or rosé wine and order half a glass, full glass or a bottle. To make the choice easier between the many varieties of wine, a professional was there to give an advice based on the visitor’s preferences. One of these professionals shared that his work was to “promote and help people find the perfect wine for them”. Also, one of the crewmembers who worked behind the champagne bar stated that there is a way for everyone to enjoy champagne, and that people usually have very different notions of ‘what makes a prime champagne’. Therefore, it is useful to try different types of champagnes and wines to find the perfect fit!
The Amsterdam Wine Festival was an ideal option to spend a cosy afternoon with friends, taste premium wine, obtain new information and listen to live music. Furthermore, the festival is a semiannual occurrence. It takes place at the end of September to enjoy the northern and in March to appreciate the southern hemisphere wine. With that in mind, prepare your taste buds for a fruity and rich wine wine tasting in March 2019!
- Reporter (Fall 2018)