Day 1 of an on-going, almost live(!), blog about the INTERNATIONAL WINE & SPIRITS COMPETITION’S judging of Spanish Wines, April 2015.
The International Wine & Spirits Competition is the oldest international wine competition in the World. It’s also one of the three most prestigious. So, it’s an honour to be a part of the judging panel.
With me today were two Masters of Wine, one South African Cape Wine Master and two highly qualified Wine Tasters and Educators from Hong Kong! As devout Methodists I guess my parents would have been somewhat ambivalent about my being in such august company!
I can’t reveal any scores awarded or any comments made as we’ve all complied with the rule of secrecy and anyway, none of us knows which wines we tasted. All wines are asting served in a pre-poured, numbered tasting glass with the only information being their rough area of production and the predominate grape varieties used.
It’s serious stuff, as medals awarded in this competition sell wines, worldwide, so there is a duty of care to which all judges subscribe.
However, I can tell you that I was pleased with the standard and variety of wines tasted today. I was pleased also to see that each year wine producing areas previously shy of entering the IWSC are now prepared to do so. This can also mean that grape varieties rarely tasted and often not seen in the general market place can feel the warmth of the spotlight for once.
And of course the medal winners in this group will ensure that not only their wines will become well known but also the varieties with which they are made!
I was also delighted to share some quality wine time with other professionals. We all learn from each other and whilst, professionally serious of course, there is also a great sense of enjoyment and fun. We all share a common passion and we all have stories to tell.
So – talking in judicial terms, my verdict on this, the first day, was that it was both successful and hugely enjoyable. Bring on Day two!