This evening in London many hundreds of British-based wine lovers will have their first chance to taste the highly-touted 2009 bordeaux at a tasting that has now become an annual event organised by wine merchants Bibendum Wine.
Thanks to the travel chaos caused by Icelandic volcanic ash, there will be far fewer representatives of the 75 prominent châteaux participating in the event than anticipated but I am reliably assured that all the wines have arrived, and I suspect that most tasters will be more interested in the wines than the people.
Those going to their first tasting of such embryonic liquids as the 2009s may like to take a look at my article How to taste very young wine. But I also urge them to take advantage of the fact that each château has selected an older vintage to show too. I would do a tour of the tables tasting all the 2009s and then return to each to 'look at', as we tasters so euphemistically put it, the older wines on offer.
Also in London, the innovative Islington wine store The Sampler will be offering/selling small tastes of about 25 of their favourite 2009 bordeaux from this weekend via their famous temperature-controlled tasting equipment. For the first time they will be making an en primeur offer of about double this number of wines, from cru bourgeois at what they promise will be under £100 a dozen to first growths (if they can get an allocation at a thinkable price presumably).
I am busy assembling tasting notes on wines I didn't get a chance to taste in Bordeaux, together with the odd note on wines whose producers have asked me to re-taste them. I hope to publish my next tranche of Bordeaux 2009 tasting notes this Friday.