Week two at the International Wine Challenge

I have been busy. Very busy.

For two weeks each April, I do what most normal people do, and work a 9-5, with a commute.

I commuted into London for 15 years, but I easily forget how tiring it is, and how little energy it leaves you for the other stuff (in my case, family time, walking the dogs, sport, keeping fit, playing guitar – and, of course, this website).

Robert Joseph, one of the co-founders of the IWC 30 years ago, and Tim Atkin

This week we have been awarding medals, after spending last week sifting out the un-medalworthy wines. A few wines rejected in week one are put back into week two – either by the co-chairs, who think the panels missed them, or by the organizer to see how reliable the panels are – a sort of test.

Judges’ briefing

There’s also a county game going on at Lords this week: Middlesex versus Derbyshire. So during the breaks we’ve been able to watch a few overs. The foreign judges just don’t know what to make of cricket.

Sadly, county cricket doesn’t draw big crowds. It does mean you get to sit in the best seats in the house, though. The section we sat in had brand new padded seats installed this week.

One of the nice aspects of judging is socializing with people you wouldn’t normally bump into. The wine trade is full of lovely people, and we take time to share a beer at the end of each day.

Below are two of my judges from yesterday, Paul Braydon and Terry Threlfall. Terry is from Vancouver, and Paul is from Manchester (red, not blue, alas, but he’s a good guy).

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