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UK Wine Show 105 Charles Metcalfe and Mike Florence on the IWC

This show was published 16 May 2008


Charles Metcalfe and Robert Joseph were running a magazine called What Wine? when they decided to fill a few pages by putting together a tasting event with English wines and host of big name wine brands. They held the tasting with an international panel of judges and amazingly, the English wines won. The wine industry responded by asking them to run the competition again but this time inviting the producers to send in their wines, rather than the magazine selecting the entrants. The International Wine Challenge was born and now in 2008 they are receiving around 9,000 wine entries.

How does the judging process work? In the first week, they taste all wines and ask judges simply to say whether the wines are in or out of the competition. Those that are in are then deemed either commended or medal-worthy. The wines that they think can win medals are re-tasted in the second week and awarded medals. Judges come from all over the world with 425 different tasters participating. This year 45% of the wines made it through to the second round in which 50 wines per day are tasted per panel of 4-5 judges. Producers must send in 4 bottles of each sample - 2 for the first round and 2 for the second round should it get through. This gets around problems of cork taint or oxidation.

The benefit for the trade in winning a medal is an increase in sales, provided you tell consumers about it. Consumers also benefit in the long term by discovering better quality wines.


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The UK Wine Show is sponsored by ThirtyFifty. Our team of wine tasters are busy entertaining and educating UK consumers to help them get the most out of wine.


The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.

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