Vino Fino: The 9th Annual Miami International Wine Fair

The 9th Annual Miami International Wine Fair
October 14–17, 2010
Miami Beach Convention Center

By Talmage Thornhill
What an adventure! Traveling around the world via libation was the escapade of the day at the Miami International Wine Fair.

There were too many scrumptious samples to delineate all of them in their entirety, but suffice to say the choices were plentiful enough to please any palate. My favorite regions were Catalonia, which was much larger than I expected, and my old standard Chile. Peru had some interesting offerings as well.

Most of the hosts we encountered were friendly and somewhat nonchalant, but a few stood out as exceptionally enthusiastic. Some were also notable for their apparent lack of interest in laypeople like us, who did not have the power to bring their product to the US like the buyers and distributors whose attention they coveted. Many of the wines we tasted were not available for purchase in this country yet, and the goal of their representatives was understandably to change that. Across the board, everyone was generous with their pours and knowledge.

Traveling around the different areas was what really made the event special for me. The personalities and ethnicities mirrored the countries represented, so diversity was abundant. It wasn’t just wine that was available, either. Tequila, vodka, and new products such as canned bubbly wine were also present. The size, scope, and layout of the room were ideal: not too big to manage, not too small to get bored. The event provided some light food, but with such limited time, why focus on anything other than liquid love?

The Wine Fair was a great event. In the end we walked away satisfied and happy but not thrilled or blown away. By the time we arrived, in the evening when the event was open to the public, some vendors had run out of samples or were exhausted from a long day. Next year I’m campaigning for a VIP pass nice and early!

Photographs by Talmage Thornhill