IWC: BBC and the end of week one
Finished the first week of the International Wine Challenge (IWC). It has been less physically demanding on my palate that I'd anticipated, although I am physically very tired.
Yesterday a BBC camera crew were in attendance (pictured above). They were filming our tasting - and, in particular, tracking a single bottle, which they'd followed from the grape vine to the shop shelf. I hope it got through to next week...
The last couple of days the panels I've been tasting with have been excellent. It has been fun, with some healthy disagreement, but the relatively painless reaching of consensus. The constant rotation of flights from white to red, and from old world to new, keeps your palate quite fresh. The lunches are also excellent. The Coopers beer at the end of the day goes down very easily.
Usually, a day's solid tasting leaves me pretty tired and looking forward to an early night. But last night I went out for a curry in Teddington with some friends to celebrate the 40th birthday of a buddy, Rob, who happens also to be a Man City fan. It was a great evening, with modest excess and some good banter. We finished off with everyone ribbing me for my self-belief. It stems from the fact that I made a bet on new year's eve that by the end of the year I'd be down to a single-figure golf handicap. At the time I genuinely believed this was achievable, if I played often enough (i.e. most days) and had a few lessons. Now I realize it's merely a theoretical possibility. Last night I threw in two more theoretical wagers. The first was that if I played as a striker with a top premiership team, I'd score at least one goal in a whole season. The second was that if I played a full test series and bowled at least 20 overs per innings, I'd get at least one wicket. They all howled with laughter.
Next week we have Monday off, but then it's back to the IWC for the second round of judging. Pictured are the massed bottles waiting to be assessed.