The saying ‘ It does exactly what it says on the tin’ seemed to fit this gig perfectly, ‘The People’s Choice Wine Awards’ an event in which a selection of people with different backgrounds, some in the wine trade, enthusiastic amateurs and some who have no experience apart from being consumers who actually drink the stuff, get together to judge and select the best wines in a series of categories.
The wines submitted were from high street supermarkets, independent retailers, producers and importers with the idea that the so-called ‘average wine drinker’ should get a chance to select wines from various categories they actually like and would want to buy again, giving retailers the chance to find out what people really want to drink.
I was kindly invited to be a judge in the ‘The People’s Choice Wine Awards’ initial stages (Round1) by organiser Janet Harrison who is also the founder of Cracking Wine and the Fizz Festival . The venue was the impressive ‘Albert Square Chop House’ in Manchester city centre
On the day of the judging, we were all allocated a table for 7 with three categories from a list comprising of such titles as Food friendly Wines – Reds for hearty meals, Bargain Buys, War of the Roses, Pizza Night & Sweets for my sweet to name a few. Our table had Fabulous Fizz, Whites for aromatic/ Asian food and One man and his Barbecue.
In total there were around 200 wines to sample, with each table assigned 30+ wines (from their categories) all tasted blind to judge with a scoring system out of 10 for such things as Colour/smell, balance, quality, buy yourself and fit the category. The top three wines from each category went through to round 2 the next day in which the wine trade professionals and experts along with three super tasters from Round 1 select the winners which should be announced towards the end of October 2018.
As an enthusiastic amateur, I was delighted, first, to be picked as a judge and secondly to be involved in what some are calling a ‘people’s wine revolution’ where ordinary everyday consumers, all be it a few of us have some say in what wines we like to drink and buy.