Off to the Barbican today, in the City of London, for day 1 of the 2010 instalment of the International Wine Challenge – the world’s largest blind tasting wine competition. As one of the 20 panel chairs, I am contracted to both weeks of the competition, so I’ll be tasting here every day for the next fortnight.
It’s quite nice: there’s a good collegiate atmosphere, and for a freelancer it is quite nice to be doing something that feels like a proper job (turning up at 9 am and leaving at around 5) even if it’s just for a while. Most people in the wine trade are really nice, and so it’s great to be able to hang out together, and make some new connections.
Because there has been a record number of entries this year, we’ve a lot of tasting to do. Today, my table got through 153 wines – normally we’d be doing around 100/day in the first week. So it was a tiring but enjoyable day. I really don’t feel like wine tonight, though.