What makes Caroline’s Wine Review better than other wine shows? There are a number of differentiating factors, not least of which is the venue. I hate the ICC as a venue for a wine show, as it has less atmosphere than an airoplane hangar, so it was refreshing to attend a wine show at a decent venue, the grand ballroom of the Westin Grand hotel.
One thing which can really affect a show is the people who you have to interact with. Often the people pouring your wine are a) not involved in making it and b) sick and tired of pouring tasters for 3 days. Caroline’s review is only 1 night, and the winemakers have to be there so you can have a decent conversation about the wine. I also had a chat with some of the winemakers and they all seem to have a lot of respect for Caroline and they tell me that to have a stand at the Review is about a quarter the price of a stand at other wine shows, so they are happy.
Caroline does a red wine review and a white wine review separately and each stand can only show one wine. I think this is great and we should have more specialised wine shows. It also means that the quality of wines on offer are all superb. Not only are the estates (60) hand selected by Caroline, but they are showcasing their best wine.
The wines are available at a discounted price on the evening, cheaper than cellar door prices, and all sales are handled by Caroline’s wine shop so the estates don’t have to worry about stock and delivery, etc. Admittedly the wines are expensive, the cheapest was R95 (Simonsig SMV) and the most expensive R994 (Spier Frans K Smit).
The only suggestion for improvement would be to have have better wine glasses. When tasting wines of this quality, you need decent wine glasses.
This was my first time at Caroline’s Wine Review and I plan to never miss another one again.