Blog: Olly WehringComing to you live from LIWSF II

Olly Wehring | 16 May 2006

As day one here draws to a close, a brief window during which to sit down and reflect has opened. The fair looks and feels bigger than ever this year, and the crowds have been streaming round the hall for most of the day. A few gripes, however, have reached my ears as I’ve been doing the rounds.

For a start, it’s boiling in here - and it’s not even a warm day outside. So, here I am, dressed in my fineries, and – how can I put this – glowing a tad. It’s not just me, however, who’s suffering. One wine maker has told me that they’re having to store their red wines in the fridge. All the more frustrating, however, is that the air conditioning outlets are clear for all to see if they just look up.

Another grumble is the size of the spirits section this year, which, let’s be honest, is never that huge anyway. One journalist said it looks like it’s been bolted on to the rest of the show as a mere afterthought.

Then there are the usual travel issues (miles from anywhere) that rear their head. And don’t get me started on the wireless Internet that is so jam-packed that I can’t get online.

But on the bright side, the girl promoting Brazil’s generic wine stand is hugely impressive, and not for reasons you might imagine. Any 18-year-old not wearing a suit at a trade fair is going to stand out – least of all if they’re wearing a Brazilian football kit and playing keepy-uppy with a football as they do the rounds.

More tomorrow, but for now, I’m loosening the tie and tasting the wares.


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