White's Wine - International Wine ChallengeBy Stuart White
September 15, 2010
Some of the best wines in the world are affordable and at a high street near you, according to last week’s International Wine Challenge.
The world’s most prestigious and influential independent wine awards were presented for categories including Champion High Street Chain, which went to Majestic, and Champion Supermarket of the Year, awarded to Marks & Spencer for the third year on the spin.
Innovator of the Year was awarded to Naked Wines, Rowan Gormley’s bold new venture that supports wine makers by guaranteeing sales of their wine. The company recently teamed up with chef Jamie Oliver.
“UK wine lovers are spoilt for choice,” says Charles Metcalfe, IWC co-chairman. He gives the variety as the reason and asks those confused on bottle selection to trust in the logo.
“No other wine competition entails the fastidious level of judging required by the IWC,” he adds.
Each wine is tasted at least three (and sometimes up to six) times, scoring it for faithfulness to variety, country, region and vintage. And the winners are:
Direct Merchant of the Year: The Wine Society
Environmental Initiative of the Year: Sainsbury’s
High Street Chain of the Year: Majestic
Innovator of the Year: Naked Wines
Large Independent of the Year: Laithwaites
Supermarket of the Year: Marks & Spencer
Wine Club of the Year: Tesco
The IWC mass-tasting also threw up a list of great value wines to look out for.
Rosé: Secano Rosé Pinot Noir 2009 (£7.49, Chile, Marks & Spencer)
Sparkling: Lambrusco Reggiano Concerto 2009 (£12, Italy, everywine.co.uk)
White: Moon Bridge Eden Valley Riesling 2009 (£5.49, Australia, Marks & Spencer)
Red: Waitrose Shiraz, 2008, (£8.99, Australia, Waitrose)
And the Champion wines were:
White: Marks & Spencer Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru les Chalumeaux 2007, Jean Pascal & Fils
Red: Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004, Castello Romitorio