EUROWINE WINE-TASTING AT THE MARRIOTT GRAND HOTEL

Simon Green

“If music be the food of love- play on,” announces Shakespeare in Act 1, Scene 1 of Twelfth Night. Similarly, in another of his plays, Henry VIII, Act 1, Scene 4, he proclaims an absolute gem, just as true to life back then as it is today: “Good company, good wine, good welcome can make good people.” With especially the latter quote rattling around my head, I set off on my quest this October 26, to The Marriott Grand hotel to indulge in some serious wine-tasting, courtesy of my good friend and Sales Director of Eurowine, Irina Butyanova. The event suggested a kick-off time of 13.00 with an anticipated curtain fall of around 19.00 and probably then some! “Try and get there for the start,” she urged me, “it’ll be really great;” like I needed any further convincing. Selling this concept to me was one of easiest sales in her entire career to date, and both of us accepted it was akin to waving a red rag to a bull!

I ask Irina about how Eurowine got started and she told me that their competitors had established themselves in the 1990’s and had been enjoying considerable success with lesser known brands, so a group of investors got together in 2003, resulting in the creation of Eurowine, with the aim of filling the entire market place with the variousbrands in their portfolio: Tommasi, Protos, Paul Hobbs and for the more upmarket individuals, Pol Roger, famous for their unique champagne. “Eurowine is the most dynamic wine company,” she enthuses; “Incredibly we have over 2000 wines and spirits available to all and sundry, be they individuals or corporations.”

By now the effervescent Irina is in full swing and her eyes are sparkling like the champagne she’s just poured me as I apologize for being a couple of hours late due to teaching duties. I had already witnessed dozens of people coming downstairs from the lavish Ballroom where this was being held, and some looked distinctly unsteady as they edged gingerly down the marble staircase. “We’ve achieved more than all our competitors in far less years, because we have a good relationship with our clients and understand clearly their needs.” It’s very apparent how client focused Irina is as well as being thoroughly sales orientated. “Right,” she says, “I simply have to mix and mingle with my clients who are here- can you imagine, we’ve got 1000 people at this event from all walks of life! Anyway, Simon, you’ve got some serious catching up to do, so don’t let me stop you- I suggest you start with the Spanish stand;” and with that she’s immediately enveloped by half a dozen clients eager to hear her wax lyrical about the various wines, champagnes, beers and spirits on show.

Determined to get some serious libations under my belt, I set off eagerly to the aforementioned stand and was immediately given a couple of half glasses to sample- had they already been informed of my notorious penchant for wine?! Others were being offered just one glass and in rather less quantity which was hardly surprising given the quality of the stuff I was sampling. I moved on to the Italian stand to try various Chiantis of different ages and vintages, mentally thanking the Good Lord that I had at least managed to wolf a sandwich down en route to this event. I stopped by three or four other stands: Argentinian, Russian, South African and Australian before happening upon the French stand- Ou lὰ lὰ! There before my very eyes stood a St Emilion Grand Cru 2006 and I knew at that moment I had struck gold as evidently only one person had been offered it. “I’ve been advised by your director to try this exact bottle,” I stated confidently as by now at least six equivalent full glasses had been sunk by your scribe. Certainly, came the reply, and was delighted to be rewarded with a full glass. I swirled it around, sniffed appreciatively at it, took one sip and swished it around the back of my throat in a vain attempt to convince the lady manager of the French table that I knew my wines. “Not bad, I said, “not bad at all!” In British parlance this meant I was in fact extremely impressed, but she took it that I needed more persuading and was thus given another equally full glass to try!All in all, this was a thoroughly successful event and I even managed to score a new client in the process as she recognised me from my talk at the Zil Cultural Centre- not a bad day’s work I mused, now trying equally as hard as my predecessors to navigate my way down said marble stairs and back to reality. This epitomised how a successful event should be, with great camaraderie abounding everywhere, new contacts and friends made, and doubtless many a business deal ordering countless bottles of wine to be delivered to the next Moscow event, office birthday or domestic dinner party. Thank you Eurowine and Irina for a magnificent Thursday afternoon, and I couldn’t recommend this company high enough as they deliver to various Embassies, Fortune 500 companies and the ordinary person in the street. Should you wish to contact them you can either do so via their site: www.eurowine.ru, or to Irina directly who will be only too happy to advise you and answer any questions you may have: ibutyanova@eurowine.ru

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