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Sunday, 10 June 2007

Buying Wine At The 2007 Seoul Wine Market

There's nothing better than sampling a fine wine. The aromas of the grapes and the subtle flavors that linger on your palate are really shine--when you're tasting a sample from a mini Dixie cup! On Saturday I wound up going to the 2007 Seoul Wine Market with some Korean friends. A couple of them were huge wine fanatics, so we met at Yangjae Station (near Gangnam) and took a bus to a convention hall where it was being held. This was an enjoyable day, so let's take a look at what I experienced at this wine market!

Welcome...come one, come all. Admission was 10,000w ($10USD), but it included a 10,000w voucher that could be used towards buying wine. So basically they are forcing you to spend money on wine--more on this later!

It was a fair busy Saturday afternoon with lots of people at the event, even the kids:

The event's last day was Sunday, so if you didn't make it, check out this small clip, just for you:

Everybody purchased or brought their own wine glass to sample the plethora of wines:

Near the entrance they were selling bottles of water--not for drinking, but for rinsing out your wine glass:

For those we did not want to buy a glass, they offered samples in a mini dixie cups. Being the cheap drunk that I am, it only took a few sips to get me woozy, haha:

Here's a clip of me getting a teeny weeny sample of wine:

I ended up buying a bottle of this sweet red wine for 5000w. At first, my buddy Tae and I paid 5000w in cash. It wasn't until afterwards that we discovered the 10,000w vouchers! Doh! So we went back to the vendor and explained our situation. He just exchanged the vouchers for cash--awesome, we only had to spend 5000w to enter the market!

Where were the Canadian wine makers at this event? Well, I managed to track down some ice wine from Ontario:

They had samples of food at this even as well. Some were free and some were not. Would you care for a tiny sample of caviar on a small cracker (1cm x 1cm) with cheese for 1000w ($1 USD)??!

Now this is where it gets interesting. There was this escargot booth that was giving away baked samples at all the odd hours. We managed to get tickets for the 5pm sampling. Now, we started to hover around the booth at 4:50pm to avoid the rush--along with a dozen other people. One fellow from the booth tells me to wait on the left, whereas one lady had already started forming her own line on the right side.

As the line started to grow, she tells us twice in Korean to get to the back of the line because we were right beside her (at this point, the line had grown exponentially--there was no way in *beep* we were gonna move to the back)! I explain that buddy over there told us to stand here on the left and refused to move! I played up the "I'm from Canada" card and tried to make a big scene, even to the point where I told everyone that she was my sister and putting my arm around her (think, free hug)! She freaked a bit, and finally gave in to my antics--oh yeah!

Whose tickets are these in this basket? Why, they belong to us, the first people in line!

Can you spot me standing in line? Where am I?

Here it is, the moment of truth you've all been waiting for (watch as I take my victory walk past the others in line, showing them my bount! Muhahaha!):

All that work just for a chance to eat a snail. Was it worth it? The taste was alright, but fighting to get in line was more enjoyable--don't mess with Gdog!

The grounds were covered with huge holes like this, but they were only covered with tape (which clearly wasn't working). Anyways, this would be pretty dangerous if a heel were to step into this gaping hole!

It was quite interesting checking out all these wines and sampling a few. If you're a wine lover, make sure you keep track of the festival's date for next year. I was told that these wines were selling for much cheaper than regular stores, up to 50% off. Also, there was a shipping service to deliver your purchased bottles to your home. One case only cost 5000w ($5 USD) which is a great deal. I hope you enjoyed this day because I sure did (food to come later)!


Anonymous said...

Nice work on putting up a fight for your escargot. I went to the same market last year and the wines were pretty cheap compared to other places in Seoul.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the no advertising! I saw the wine market as I drove by in a taxi going home from Costco. I almost jumped out, but I had stuff that needed to get into the freezer. Sorry it took me so darn long to get back to you, but I added you to our blog role. Thanks for stopping by!

Gary said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Skinny: I love Costco and it's totally understandable to get your precious groceries home before they defrost. It's always a war trying to get home as soon as possible. Lucky for us, we live about 10 mins away by car!

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