Daejeon International Wine Fair

Tasting wines from across the world at the International Wine and Spirits Fair in Daejeon, the largest wine competition in Asia 

I’d been patiently waiting for Autumn to arrive; not because of the cool weather and vibrant foliage – there was something else that I’d been eagerly anticipating, a trip to Daejeon’s International Wine and Spirits Fair.

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If you read our previous post about craft beer in Korea, you’ll know that drinking lager isn’t really my thing. Imagine my excitement when I heard about the chance to sample wines from across the world for a mere 10,000 won (£7.00) at the largest wine competition in Asia.

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Steph, a friend and  fellow wine-enthusiast was keen to join me, and well it doesn’t take much to persuade Dave to attend any event that is alcohol related. We arrived at the Daejeon Convention Centre (DCC) around midday and paid the very reasonable entry fee in exchange for a wristband and an empty glass – which I was very excited to fill.

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There were more than 10,000 different types of wine at the festival

The spacious exhibition hall was lined with booths showcasing wines and spirits from around the world, as well as wine wholesalers and wine related arts and crafts.

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Most of the wine had come from Western Europe, but we enjoyed the opportunity to sample some Mongolian vodka and traditional Korean liquors.

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A selection of Korean ginseng wine

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Steph & Dave waiting to sample some Spanish wine

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The main event at the festival is the battle for the Asia Wine Trophy. More than 4,000 wines from around the globe entered the competition which was judged by 160 wine experts.

The winner hadn’t been confirmed whilst we were there, but our favourite was a seasonal Spatburgunder Rose from Germany; warm and sweet – it really did taste like Christmas.

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Just when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, we saw it – heaven on earth, the free wine tasting zone.

After all of the samples I was convinced that my eyes were deceiving me, but to our delight there was indeed a free wine tasting zone; pour as much as you want, as often as you want kind of free tasting zone.

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The tasting zone being re-stocked for the next group of tasters

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We knew the entry fee included one glass of wine and a selection of free samples, but we didn’t realise there would be a whole zone dedicated to free wine tasting! Feeling like kids at Christmas, Steph and I indulged in countless glasses of prosecco and sparkling wine, whist Dave made his way down the table of reds.

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In search for food (and fresh air) we quite literally stumbled outside to the food court in Hanbit Tower Square to find several food trucks offering pizza, kebabs and hotdogs as well as Korean street food.

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A ballroom dancing competition in front of the Hanbit Tower

After a well needed lunch break to soak up some of the alcohol, we were ready for round two.

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We spent around five hours at the wine festival – I challenge you to spend longer without having to take a nap in the corner of the room.

Five hours gave us plenty of time to walk round the booths and sample all kinds of wine from Mongolia to Moldova. The servers were friendly and very informative without pushing us to make any purchases.

Considering a glass of wine at a restaurant or bar in Korea usually sets you back at least 7,000 won, the festival really is great value for money and perfect for wine lovers who’ve had to sacrifice pino for pints whilst living in Korea.

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We found the perfect size wine bottle

Rating 9/10: An absolute must visit if you’re into wine and spirits, great value for money and the perfect way to sample a huge selection of wines from every corner of the globe. Many of the vendors were also offering discounts and deals on their wine if you were keen to take home a bottle or two (or three!) The only thing missing was cheese! Remember to take some ID with you.

When: The festival takes place during the Autumn months; this year we visited on Saturday 29th October. For more information visit www.djwinefair.com or try emailing djwinefair@gmail.com

How to get there: Daejeon has a huge bus terminal with direct routes across the country, there’s also a KTX station if you want to catch the train. We caught the bus to Daejeon and then took a ten minute taxi to the Daejeon Convention Centre (DCC) costing around 7,000 won.

 

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8 Comments

  1. 17th April 2017 / 10:17 pm

    What fun! I’ve never heard of this fair. Can’t believe it. What fun. I don’t even think I’d last five hours though hahah good on you!

  2. Star Lengas
    17th April 2017 / 6:08 pm

    Why am I only hearing about a wine fair! Daejon must be where heaven is – so sad I missed out. Wine is my everrything, def wanna attend next year. I wonder if I could find that German wine, it sounds delicious!

  3. 17th April 2017 / 10:31 am

    Wow, this seems like a little bit of heaven to me! My favorite alcoholic beverage is craft beer but wine comes at a close second and while the selection in Korea is a lot better (and more reasonably priced) than craft beer, this festival seems like a must-go! I have a friend who is South African and is always sad she can’t get any wines from back home here. She will be the perfect companion to take to this festival! I am also excited to try the hams. I miss prosciutto so much!

  4. 17th April 2017 / 9:49 am

    This event looks incredible and we’ll be adding both boozy events you’ve posted about to next year’s calendar. I can’t believe there were so many wines present from around the world! Asia isn’t known for its love for wine, but events like this might just do the trick. With a free wine-tasting zone, how could anyone pass up this opportunity?

  5. 17th April 2017 / 1:47 am

    A FREE tasting zone where you can pour as much wine as you want as many times as you want? That sounds like my kind of festival! There are so many wines I probably would have felt a bit overwhelmed with what I wanted to try!

  6. 16th April 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Shhh, don’t tell anyone about the FREE Wine Tasting Zone. It’s only in the middle of the entire Festival Space of the largest Wine Festival in Asia, but seriously don’t tell anyone, it’s our Daejeon’s little secret. I think I saw you at this year’s event, but my eyes were a little blurry if you can imagine from all the tasting in the FREE Tasting Zone 🙂

  7. 16th April 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Did you see anyone get drunk? I’m looking for that picture. LOL. I’m a bit bothered by the costumes of the people in the ballroom dancing competition. Is it a real contest or just for fun? Anyway, I think the money you spent for the entrance fee is worth it, having all those free wine samples. ^^

  8. 13th April 2017 / 3:57 pm

    You had me at the free wine tasting zone. Your craft beer post was great but beer does nothing for me. This though! Why didn’t I know about this beforehand! Cry! This would get me to Daejeon when nothing else never has. All those wines I missed! I’m glad you guys had such a rousing time! Sadly, I must wait a year.

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