Manchester Heaton Park - 5th-7th September 2003

As we approached the rise in Heaton Park it was as if we'd stumbled on Roswell. Over night this white space pod had arrived and if it wasn't for the Stowells Taste The World Tour logos clearly emblazoned across the marquee we'd have sworn aliens had landed...well maybe they did and Stowells had made such an impact in outer space that they decided to bring their earthly goods back as a peaceful gesture. But I digress a touch. What were here for is the Manchester leg of the aforementioned Taste The World tour which over the summer has had successful events in Bristol and London.

The idea behind the Taste The World Tour is to place in people's minds that Stowells is a truly international brand offering wines from countries including France, Spain, Italy, Australia and Chile. While avoiding the cheesy and tacky elements which often come as part of the package with an "around the world" style event the tour takes you from a departure lounge through each of the separate countries, which are colour coded along with a nifty badge feature on each of the Stowells labels that allow you to identify your favourite tipple. No longer is it a problem to send your partner to the supermarket for fear of him or her getting it it's simply a case of the Italian White with the red stickers or the Spanish Red with the green stickers and so on.

The fact that wine is no longer the preserve of the middle classes was equally evident. From rich to poor, young to old and from wine connoisseurs to total novices there was something for everybody. For those familiar with the Stowells range it was a chance to have a critique of which wine they felt was their personal favourite. For the novices there was a Taster on hand to take you through the various countries explaining why each wine had such an individual taste. With so many to choose from the range of heavy meaty wines through to fruity wines and oakey wines each person left with a better idea of which types of wines will suit them and more importantly the type of meals to serve them with.

Stowells Taste The World Tour aimed to bring wine direct to the people and it certainly met that objective. Stocked in most major supermarkets, Stowells is one of the market leaders and has one of the most expansive ranges available on the market. This correspondent came today as a predominantly lager drinking male of 25 and left feeling that little bit more educated as to which bottle I should pick off the shelf next time a quiet night in arises or a dinner party beckons. Stowells is a total revelation and I can only recommend you get on board and aim to drink the fruits of each and every country they have to offer.

Alex McCann

Stowells Taste The World range is available in most supermarkets
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