The iconic Frank Gehry designed IAC HQ Building served as the perfect setting for the 23rd Annual Spain’s Great Match “Wine,Food and Design.” Held on October 23, 2015 and organized by the Trade Commission of Spain, Spain’s Great Match showcased hundreds of world-class Spanish wines paired with gourmet tapas, cheeses and olives. Spain’s Great Match offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover the best classic and cutting-edge Spanish wine selections all under one roof. Perhaps most exciting is the fact that the event is open to both industry insiders as well as to the general public. This unique mingling of seasoned professionals with amateur oenophiles creates an atmosphere where participants can share their knowledge and opinions. At this year’s event, an interesting discussion broke out over the issue of whether or not corks should be used in the wine industry for “ready to drink now” wines. One attendee felt very passionately about this topic and stated “since 90% of wines are consumed soon after they are purchased, what is the purpose of a placing a cork on the bottle?” A debate over the use of corks broke out. One vendor defended their use due to tradition and the fact that you cannot predict whether or not the consumer will opt to store the product. Most attendees were rather neutral on the subject but those who were “anti-cork” were as passionate about their opinion as those who were “anti-screwtop.” One attendee (I believe he was a sommelier in the trade) turned bright red before declaring “there’s no reason to use corks anymore!!” The vendor shrugged in a way that said “the customer’s always right” then chuckled and kept pouring. Needless to say, Spain’s Great Match is a great event to attend if you want to experience some of the world’s greatest wines while simultaneously expanding your knowledge base. One caveat however– you must remember to spit (not swallow) the wine, as the wine professionals all do for obvious reasons. Also, one should select a favorite wine and then grab a tasty tapas and see how they pair together. Spain’s Great Match is truly a wonderfully gourmet event, the wines and food are top flight foodie perfection.