Day 1, International Wine Challenge 2012

The first day of this year’s International Wine Challenge was a huge success. It’s the biggest yet, in terms of entries, and this was the first day at a new venue. After a successful tenure at the wonderful Barbican, we were at Lord’s, the home of cricket, and now also of the IWC.

Chris Ashton briefing the judges

A full day of judging, with just over 100 wines tasted by the panel I was leading. This week, our goal is to decide whether a wine is medal worthy or not. Those that are rejected are re-tasted by one of the six co-chairs, to make sure they’ve had a fair chance. Those that pass go through to next week, where we decide which medal, if any, to give them. It’s a labour intensive process, but it makes the results pretty robust.

My panel today was good fun. We were in surprisingly good agreement on almost all the wines. And despite the chilly temperatures (the Nursery Pavillion was decidedly cool after last night’s frosty weather), everyone was in a good mood.

Table 24

After the judging process finished, we shared a beer, and then attended a faults clinic put on by Sam Harrop in conjunction with the AWRI, who will be collaborating in the faults data analysis. With c. 13 000 different wines being opened (and more than one bottle of each), it’s a great chance to mine some data.

Sam Harrop and the faults presentation

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