Waitrose (for the benefit of non-Brits, an upmarket UK supermarket with a great range of wines) held their third spring 2006 press tasting yesterday. They hold the same tasting on three different days over a three week period, which is highly convenient for us busy hacks who therefore have no excuse not to attend. The format has remained the same for as long as I have been going (about four years, now?). There are three rooms. The first is reds, the second whites and roses, the third Champagne/fizz/posh stuff/Port/Sherry.
Why the red room first? Well, Waitrose's Julian Brind reckons it's best to start off tasting with reds, and then go to the whites. (Almost everyone else does it the other way round.) I tried it Julian's way for the first time yesterday, and I'm now converted. It works. After 120-odd wines, my mouth wasn't in nearly as bad a state as it is if I start with whites.
Good attendance yesterday. Tim Atkin, Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke, Anthony Rose, Andrew Catchpole and Matthew Jukes were there. No Jane McQuitty, though. Has she gone into hiding after her piece on Bdx2005? This was a topic of discussion yesterday, and one on which we all agreed.