The wine world is back in the swing of things, with tastings and wine events galore in coming weeks. Like other wine writers, I’m in a whirlwind period – five days ago I checked out the renovated five-star Hotel Royal Savoy in Lausanne, whose terrace grand opening was celebrated with Vins Vaudois. I’m in Zurich for two days with the Memoire des vins suisses group, which is hosting the autumn wine kickoff today with a large public tasting, Memoire and Friends. Next weekend is Vinea, which will pull several thousand people into Sierre for its popular outdoor wine festival.
I’m missing a lunch in Lausanne today (poor me) at the wonderful Sens restaurant at the École Hotelière de Lausanne – this is part of the press day to announce details of Swiss Wine Week in November, another great way to explore and learn about Swiss wines.
And then there are the scores of smaller regional and local events, and several wineries are hosting their own events. The grapes have spent the last couple of weeks turning colour, with their waxy skins becoming translucent and thinner, the process known as the veraison. Tuesday I’ll be walking in the vines of St Saphorin with a guest from China, then meeting a food writer there to share a glass and remind ourselves just how gorgeous Lavaux is at this time of year, when the ripening grape bunches begin to hang heavy on the vines.
In short, this is the time to remind yourself of the myriad ways you can see the vineyards, taste the wines and meet the producers of Switzerland’s beautiful wines. Sign up for a wine-tasting class if it boosts your confidence, but more importantly, get out there and meet the wines, let them speak for themselves, ask the producers questions, and learn to be a good listener.