Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2012 Daejeon International Food & Wine Festival

Kotra Exhibition Center The 2012 Daejeon International Food & Wine Festival, “A New World of Taste and Style”, was held from Oct 12th to the 15th at Kotrex (Kotra Exhibition Center, Daejeon). This is the first time this event has been held in Daejeon as a local festival. A number of Wine companies swarming from all over the world competed to introduce their goods at the exhibition hall. There were 52 exhibitors from wineries, companies, and associations coming from 18 countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, and South Korea. This festival provided various programs like exhibitions, experiences, events, and performances. The exhibit halls were focused on different topics such as, 'Traditional Alcohol and Korean Food' & 'Wine and Food', and 'Food and Wine Academic Seminar'. Visitors had the opportunity to make a special personal wine, and experience wine beauty and wine art. There were also performances by Paul Potts and Kamwosung! The event was well organized.

image There were a wide range of wines encompassing flavors and styles from the East and the West. In order to enter this exhibition, we had to show identification to check that we are old enough to buy alcohol. After buying a wine glass, visitors could get a sample and experience the color, smell, and taste of the different wines. The age of the main group of visitors was from forty to fifty years old. Unexpectedly, many of the visitors were younger at this festival. One visitor stated, “I usually have an interest in wine. I like the smell of it. So I used to visit the event in Seoul, but it’s so far to come and go from my home in Daejeon. I wish events like this one can be held more often in Daejeon.”

There were also well-matched foods with the wines. It was enjoyable to get to see the foods of various countries. FKorean Culinary Instituteoods made by students of the culinary department at Woosong University were also exhibited in main hall. Ms. Han, who was in charge of the booth, stated, “We had some difficulty in decorating the food to prepare this festival for a week. But after finishing the preparation, I feel really great about having completed this job successfully. I hope many people can enjoy our pieces in here.”

In the 'Traditional Alcohol and Korean Food' exhibit hall, there were many replicas of foods from all over the world and the traditional Korean alcohol which made from gelatin. Some of audience members said, "The decoration is very pretty", but others said "It's not good." Some of the booths showed how to make traditional Korean alcohol and others sold some alcohols, and some showed cities which set up a sisterhood relationship with Daejeon. Several of the volunteers gave prizes to people who guessed the correct answers to questions. I interviewed one of audience who received a prize. She said that she is getting 'KKotbbang(Chinese food)' so she is very happy because she doesn’t enjoy wine. But she came to this festival because imagethis is the first time this festival has been held in Daejeon. She says she will come to other festivals like this if they will be held in Daejeon.

At the exhibit hall, 'Wine and Food', people were selling or showing their wines. There were an especially large number of people and wines in this hall. There were many foreign companies but also some Korean companies. The Japanese companies showed various 'Sake' products to the audience. But they didn’t sell their products because they use a dealer to sell their wines.

On Saturday, October 13th, a volunteer at the festival gave us an interview. Here is some of what he said:

-Why did you apply for this festival as a volunteer who is not paid by the festival’s operating committee?

“I have two sons who are studying at a university and I work for an international commercial company. I do not have a routine schedule in daily life. My hobby is to travel to the world’s popular tourist attractions. I was traveling from the English-speaking world, where I can learn some daily English-speaking skills, and […] I saw this festival’s advertisement which was seeking volunteers, I applied for this.”

-Good answer, then, how many people are going to the festival? According to my observations, it is very crowded during the busy hours.

“Umm… I thought it is so crowded with tourists, but minors can’t taste some wines and alcoholic drinks[…]. Alcoholic tasting is approved when you hold a wine glass, but if you want to get this, you must confirm your adult identification.”

-Anything else you would like to add?

“In this opportunity, I could service in English that were included the translation and English-talking. It is good experience for me and I hope this festival finishes with great success.”

The festival gave us a taste of various country’s cultures and wines from around the world. The festival is finished, but from now on we hope Daejeon will hold a lot of festivals like this one and invigorate people to try new wines and foods.image

Staff writers Lee In Seong, Haung Ha Na, Park  Hyung Jun, and Park Hee Jea.


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