Welcome to Mark O’Neill’s Wine Blog


Busy times for a wine buyer

February and March may be cold and gloomy but for me these are exciting times as many of the important buying decisions of the year are made.   Wine professionals around Europe are now tasting the new releases and new vintages. As always there are high expectations and flurries of rumours about how the new northern hemisphere wines are looking.  So I pack my bags and go and do some serious tasting as well as talking with producers, friends in business, trade sources who help me to establish a much clearer picture of where I should focus my attention to bring new and cool wines to www.thewineplace.es.
Next week I will be in London tasting for three trade tastings.  Firstly I will be tasting with Enotria, one of the leading distributors in the UK. I am particularly keen to taste some Pinots from Oregon in the US, particularly the Omero Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, which gets rave reviews, to compare it with the Fromm Pinot Noir from New Zealand that is in the current list.  Also Ascheri Barolo, is on my ‘must have’ list of wines.
Following this tasting I will attend the SITT ‘Specialist Importers Trade Tasting’, where many small and medium sized specialist producers from around the world and distributors will be exhibiting.  This is a great opportunity to make new contacts, learn about new producers and their wines and hopefully discover some gems.   Next day I will go to Boutinot UK’s wine trade tasting to see what is new in their selection.  Boutinot produce and import some really great wines, such as the Boutinot Les Coteaux, a real favourite with members, so it will be fun to catch up with their winemakers and taste some of their new vintages particularly from the Rhone where their wines excel.
By the end of this marathon day of tasting I know that I will be well and truly exhausted and in need of a cold beer to refresh my palate.
(title image thanks to cliparts.co)
Written by

I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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