For all Italophiles out there lamenting the fact Italy has not qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 here’s some better news for you. Bellavita Expo, a celebration of all things Italian, comes to London next week, between June 17-19 at London’s Business Design Centre. The three day event is part of a global roadshow that looks to highlight the best in Italian wine and food to buyers, importers, restaurateurs and sommeliers. Here’s what to expect…
The Buyer will be hosting a leading buyers’ debate on which Italian wines, styles and regions are a must have for discerning wine lists as part of a packed Bellavita Expo programme of seminars, tastings, masterclasses and exhibitor stands at the biggest celebration of Italian wine, beers, spirits and food in the UK.
If there is a country that takes its wine and food more seriously than Italy then I’ve yet to hear about it. If the Brits can be pigeon holed as being obsessed with the weather then the same can be said for what wine and food wine Italians are prepared to put in their mouths on a daily basis.
Which is what makes the Bellavita Expo such a welcome addition to what is already a well blessed list of industry events dedicated to the world of food and wine. The fact Bellavita is all about Italy should be enough to draw a crowd in itself, the fact it will have over 1,000 new food and drink products to taste makes it even more of a draw.
The demand for Italian wine and food is only going up, with £600m worth of imports into the UK in the first three months of 2018, up 3% on last year. Wine imports alone were worth £121.5m (Italian Trade Agency).
The UK is the fourth largest importer of Italian products worldwide, with market worth 3.3 billion euros despite Brexit” says Aldo Mazzocco, Bellavita CEO. “Bellavita Expo is an important date for F&B professionals looking for innovative produce that can capture consumers’ attention and increase sales thanks to its authentic regional identity.”
This year’s event takes place at London’s Design Centre between June 17-19 and is expected to attract over 8,000 trade visitors including leading drinks and wine buyers, sommeliers, importers, distributors, restaurateurs and chefs. It is part of a series of Bellavita events that are taking place in different cities around the world over the coming months, including Mexico City, Bangkok, Moscow, Amsterdam and Toronto reflecting just how popular Italian cuisine is globally.
The Buyer is hosting one of the many wine sessions taking place across the three days. On June 19 (1.15pm-2.3opm) we will be taking a close look at what are the current trends driving Italian wine sales in the premium on-trade. Covering the following key areas:
- What are the wines, styles and regions points that consumers are latching on to?
- What are the key regions, and must have styles of wine that any discerning wine list need to have from Italy?
- How do we get wine drinkers to look beyond Pinot Grigio and Prosecco?
- How are buyers coping with the reduced 2017 harvest: what challenges and new opportunities has it brought.
- What are the main price points and ladders on a wine list that restaurateurs and sommeliers need to be concentrating on.
To help answer these questions The Buyer’s panel will include:
- John Graves, head of on-trade business development, Bibendum
- Simon Jerrome, head of wine at Matthew Clark
- Rebecca Palmer, associate director and wine buyer, Corney & Barrow
- Joy Edmondson, buying and marketing director, North South Wines
- Chris Carson, co-founder of Carson Carnevale Wines
- James Snoxell, head of buying, Armit Wines
- Luigi Buonanno, regional sales manager London, Berkmann Wine Cellars
This will be one of over 40 masterclasses, industry talks, seminars and cooking shows over the three days highlighting the very latest in Italian gastronomy.
It will also include the finals of the Best UK Sommelier competition and the the Italian Wine Professional – ISWA Award dedicated to those who can demonstrate they have the best knowledge of Italian wine and service skills. There will also be wine tours and tastings with the WSET and and other bespoke events with leading producers including Villa Sandi, Allegrini, Feudi di San Gregorio, Fontanafredda and Frescobaldi.
From the food side of the show highlights include:
- a session on Italian fusion with Michelin star Robert Ortiz from Lima Restaurant
- Theo Randall from the InterContinental will share insights into Italian classics with his “Dough’s and don’ts” masterclass.
- Jacob Kenedy from Bocca di Lupo will look at the challenges of “piquing customers’ interest with new ingredients”.
- Francesco Mazzei from Sartoria will reveal the latest must-have ingredients from Southern Italy.
- Carlo Cracco, TV host of Masterchef Italy, will look at new Italian dishes for a UK palate.
If you are visiting the show on June 19 there will be a chance to take part in Pizza Day that will celebrate the profession of ‘pizzaiuolo’ (pizza master) with masterclasses by Le Centenarie, Naples’ oldest and most renowned pizzerias, including Starita a Materdei, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba and Pizzeria Gorizia 1916. There will be other pizza events taking place across all three day as part of the Bellavita Pizza Academy.
Bellavita Expo is supported by the Italian Trade Agency, the government body dedicated to the promotion of Made in Italy produce abroad. It has also has a new joint venture with VPE, the organisers of Vinitaly and Cibus, the Italian food fair, to help bring more wines and food products to the show.