It’s all a Matter of Taste – iDealwine in Zurich, Switzerland

iDealwine is on the road again. After our adventures in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States in 2022, a trio of motivated iDealwiners travelled to Zurich. Their destination: The renowned Matter of Taste wine fair organized by Robert Parker’s team The Wine Advocate, an event iDealwine attended three times before.

Let’s start from the beginning: On a cold and rainy Friday morning, a very international iDealwine team, comprised of an American, an Austrian and a Welsh wine enthusiast, made their way to the Paris Gare de Lyon station to board a TGV to Switzerland. Their destination? The Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich, where the Matter of Taste trade fair would take place on 11 and 12 March. And in case that doesn’t already tell you everything, here is some background information:

Matter of Taste is a wine fair organised by the famous critic Robert Parker and his team The Wine Advocate. It has already taken place in a variety of locations: New York, Singapore, London, and finally the magnificent city of Zurich in the heart of Europe. The aim of the wine fair is to bring together fine wine enthusiasts from every corner of the world, whether as professionals or as interested visitors, and to let them taste a variety of great wines. We were able to meet producers from Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, the US, Chile, Austria and Germany, as well as others based in France, including some of our partner domains such as Philipponnat, Chapoutier and Phélan Segur.

There is one condition all of the wines at the event have to fulfil: They all must have been rated at least 90/100 points by Robert Parker. A challenge that wasn’t too difficult for iDealwine… In case you haven’t noticed, you will find a list of 91 domains whose cuvées that have been awarded 100/100 by Robert Parker available on the iDealwine website! The wine selection at the Matter of Taste was sure to leave some visitors breathless, and all of them stunned by the variety that was on offer.

Champagne is always highly appreciated by wine fair attendees, especially during the first few hours of the event. And no-one was deceived by Brut Nature Éclats de Meulière from the Domaine Jeaunaux-Robin, which got a lot of praise for its freshness and fruitiness due to the dominance of Pinot Meunier. Next up, from Burgundy, we presented Les Birbettes 2019 from Château des Rontets. This Pouilly Fuissé comes from a domain that has been organically certified since 2005 and from vines that are over 60 years old!

Finally, we also had two red wines in our luggage. From the Rhône Valley, it was the Croix de Bois 2015 by Chapoutier, rated with an impressive 97 points by The Wine Advocate. The single-varietal Grenache truly impressed everyone with its length and finesse – a definite hit!

But the even bigger hit, maybe even the main attraction, the one cuvée that led everyone to our table was… Drumroll, please… A 2009 Premier Grand Cru Classé B from Chateau Canon la Gaffelière! It was often this cuvée that caught the visitors’ eyes, not least because of the impressive vintage. And the visitors were never disappointed: With its remarkably aromatic range from red fruit to cinnamon and other spices, this cuvée is a true gem.

And if you thought we were already at the end of our list, you are not quite right: We obviously cannot forget about iDealwine’s infamous blind tasting challenge which took place in between the other tastings. Since they have already been revealed, we can share the secret cuvées with you, our readers now: One of the wines in the blind tasting was Monts Damnés 2017 by Gérard Boulay (you can find the 2019 vintage here). In fact, the riddle was not that easy: Only 20% of those who took part could correctly identify the region as the Loire. And they were not quite sure about the grape variety either: while one third correctly guessed Sauvignon Blanc, another third thought they could taste Chardonnay grapes… And on day 2, we made it a little bit easier. We had one of Albert Boxler’s great Rieslings, and some of our clever visitors were already able to correctly determine the grape variety just by seeing the shape of the bottle.

Wonder how you would have done in the blind tasting challenge? Why don’t you visit us at other events in the future, or look up some of the cuvées mentioned above and offer them to a fellow wine enthusiast to let them determine what it could be? And in case you still need inspiration from our team: On our site you will find our Must-Have section: a list of our team’s favourite wines, from reasonably priced gems to icons well known all over the wine world. Read up on our last experience in Zurich, as well as our adventures in Italy, here.