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New London Wine Festival Will Be Accessible to All

Organisers are aiming to "cut through the elitism" that shuts people out

Vineyard Tokaj Hungary
A vineyard in Tokaj, Hungary

Eater London has learned that London will be getting a new wine festival this November.

Conceived by wine entrepreneur Zsolt Szente, London Wine Fest (or, #LDNWINEFEST) will begin on Friday 17 November and run until the evening of 18 November. The festival will take place at the Studio Spaces at Wapping, with the first theme being Szente’s homeland, Hungary.

Instead of bringing a raft of wines from different countries, terroirs and styles and expecting attendees to pick through the differences, Szente intends for the festival to “cut through the elitism surrounding the subject”, offering a keen balance between targeted expertise and useful perspective. Entitled ‘New Wines from the Old World,’ the regions of Tokaj, Mátra, Eger, Somló, Balaton, Szekszárd and Villány will all be represented, with top producers, sommeliers and other experts being available for face-to-face discussion on the complexities of Hungarian wines.

Tokaji may have long been a fixture on the lists of restaurants in the know (and sommeliers looking for a less feted fix on the sweet side of things) but it’s far from a stretch to suggest that many drinkers may not have known that their tipple was from Hungary, let alone which characteristics the terroir might impart. With 80% of Hungarian wine produced being drunk in the country of origin, Szente is looking to raise the profile of a wine nation enjoying more and more new attention despite being an ‘Old World’ producing country. Szente commented:

Our event series builds on the social element of wine and how it's best to appreciate it amongst your family and friends. It's not about the 'posing' side of wine. It's more about experiencing new tastes, getting to know more about less commercially available regions/wineries/varieties etc, and meeting the vintners who create these wonderful grape juices.

The festival’s second iteration will focus on sparkling wine, and is planned for February 2018. Tickets for the first are available here.

While focused wine events are nothing new within the industry, it’s pleasing to see an update to the usual festival model which often lends itself to the expert rather than the intrigued novice.