If you're coming to the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter in London this weekend, here's our insider tips on how to have the best time.

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How to have the best Decanter Fine Wine Encounter

  1. Arrive early: If you’re reading this on your iPhone in your dressing gown on Saturday morning, then it’s time to get moving. Brilliant winemakers travel from around the world to the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter and you’ve got a better chance of grabbing some time with them if you arrive at the Landmark hotel early.
  2. Front-row masterclass seats: Going to one of our superb Fine Wine Encounter masterclasses? A queue will begin to snake down the side of the Landmark lounge area from around 20 minutes before the start of the class. Tables fill up from the front first, so planning ahead will give you a better chance of a good seat.
  3. Social media: If you tweet or instagram a picture with the #decanterfwe hashtag then you could appear on our live coverage screen, also live on Decanter.com. Plus, you can see what other people are tasting.
  4. Talk: If the virtual world is not so much your thing, then try the old fashioned method of striking up conversation with those around you. There’s a lot of wines to taste and, chances are, the person next to you at the table has tried something that you simply wouldn’t want to miss.
  5. Notes: Retired Decanter columnist Michael Broadbent‘s mantra is that everyone should make a note on every wine you try. It doesn’t have to be Pullitzer prose, but why not jot down a few words on the wines you particularly like. Trust us, it makes it much easier when it comes to choosing dinner party wines further down the line.

    See Andrew Jefford’s ‘how to write wine tasting notes’

  6. Port: There is always a crush on the Port stand towards the end of the day. If you want to taste in relative peace, plan your tasting to arrive at Douro’s door an hour or so before closing.
  7. Special Extras: This year, there’s loads going on alongside the wines. You can talk to the WSET about doing a wine course, sign up to receive Decanter magazine every month, try a selection of premium olive oils from The Oil Merchant, speak with the WaterAid charity about their work around the world and meet Riedel, makers of some of the best wine glasses and decanters around. We are also hosting book signings by Rosemary George MW, at midday on Saturday for The wines of Faugères, and with wine photographer Andy Katz, at 2pm on Saturday.