The RAW wine fair is no longer just a two-day celebration of natural, organic and biodynamic wines. Thanks to a pop-up bar at London’s EDITION it was able to take its offer and message to a far wider audience over a two-week period in what is becoming a new way of spreading the “experience” of such specialist events, writes Jenny Mackenzie.
How the RAW natural and organic wine fair is using pop-up bars to drive traffic and interest to its main tasting event
The RAW wine fair is expanding globally with events in Vienna, Berlin and New York this autumn as well as the London event which happened this week at London’s Truman Brewery on May 15-16. To drive extra traffic and create more interest in this week’s event RAW has also been running, for the last two weeks, a special pop-up bar at the smart London Marriot-owned EDITION hotel. An opportunity to help bring the RAW concept to not only hotel guests, but to the trade, press and consumers.
The bar included a choice of 200 natural, organic and biodynamic bottles of wine, many served by the glass. Severine Perru, wine director of New York bar, The Ten Bells was on hand to help introduce and serve the wines, including a range of wine flights which changed each night during the pop-up.
Buyer wine picks and best sellers
The range at the RAW pop-up started at £6 a glass with most under £10. Buyer picks included a sparkling Chenin Blanc, Damien Bureau’s Saperlipopet, from the Loire, £9 glass / £46 bottle. With the growing interest in all things fizz, the Loire Chenin offered great value and flavour profile – light, yet with substance. Other excellent producers that would please all palates, RAW oriented or otherwise, included the Spanish Terroir Al Limit with a Priorat white grape blend at £9 glass / £52 bottle. From Italy, Foradori is a very stylish producer in Trentino, their red Nosiola was £76 bottle at the tasting.
As with any wine bar, pop-up or permanent, platters were the order of the day. Carefully chosen charcuterie, cheeses, pork pies and scotch eggs were mixed and matched. Supporting local companies is the ethos of the RAW food offer – something that easily translates to any wine bar. Consumers are now used to engaging with the food they eat. This philosophy is filtering into the drinks a venue offers too, first via the craft beer movement, now with wine too.
The pop-up attracted a mix of shoppers, hotel guests and wine lovers. Upstairs in the EDITION lounge bar, a sophisticated, international crowd drink wine, beer and cocktails and hang out in the vast marble lined lobby.
The RAW Wine Fair’s point of difference in a sea of London wine fairs has been to carefully curate wines and producers to suit all tastes whilst giving a vibe of integrity. The EDITION pop-up venue was a good choice to break out of the hippy associations previously attached to ‘artisan wines’.