(English) “Sweet Wines from Spain” in Korea – Seoul
The first ever organized showroom for Spanish wine and food in Korea took place the 19th and 20th of November 2007 in Seoul. It was for the Korean importers THE opportunity to get to know some of Spain’s wine and food producers who are actively looking for importers in Korea.
I was amazed, already in the plane to Seoul, to see how many people here love sweet things. The only wine that was sold on the plane as a gift was ice wine. Later, while walking through one of the many shopping streets, one in every three shops is a coffee shop with pastry, cakes, chocolates etc. And the only wine that is sometimes sold in these shops is…any guesses? Ice wine!
The supermarkets have indoor shops where all types of wines are displayed. From sweet rubbish, sweetened wines, that taste worse than the local grape juice to extreme top wines like Premier crus classés and super Tuscans to Top australian and Chiliean wines. I was lucky to be in a supermarket where they opened two wines to taste. It’s my job to inform Bodegas Tintoralba about what the Korean people like. It was really a horrible tasting experience, I can assure you that. But it also opened my eyes in the sense that selling wine now in Korea is not a question of having only good wines, but also to serve what the market wants.
During the Singapore wine fair “Wine for Asia” our Dulce was given the name Red Ice Wine. So the question was if the Tintoralba Dulce would be as succesfull during this show as it was in Singapore? The shape of the bottle helps to position our wine as an authentic sweet wine. The reactions were great, just as in Singapore.
During the two days of the showroom some 15 importers contacted us. Lucky for us we had Woon with us, who is Korean and who understands how to communicate with the visitors in their own language. Especially if you are an unknown winery, the Korean language becomes an vital item for doing business in Korea.
The next major Korean wine event is from 8 to 10 May when the Wine Spritis Expo will opens its doors to the wine professionals. We probably will be there again! If we find new importers now, we will have to support them, and if this fair turns out to be uncuccesful for us, then we certainly have to go back. However it would be a bad idea to take some other sweet wines with us…
Oops! I’m I only going for the money here, or could we make something decent without losing our identity as quality wine makers? I will certainly have to talk to Pedro Sarrion, our winemaker, when I´m home in Spain.