Oxford win 60th Varsity Blind Tasting Match

Last week an Oxford team of blind wine tasters successfully defended their title against Cambridge University in the annual Varsity Blind Tasting match. To add to the magnitude of the occasion, this year was the 60th anniversary of the competition, which is one of the oldest blind tasting matches in the world.

Unfortunately, I was not involved in the competition this year, having reached the limit of my opportunities to compete. (Although you can read my reports on previous competitions here and here.) I did manage to make the reception hosted by sponsors Pol Roger Champagne held a few days later in Bonhams Auctioneers in London in honour of the 60th anniversary. Hundreds of former blind tasters were in attendance, including a few who competed in the very first match in 1953!

The event has duly received a lot of media attention. In particular, there is an amusing article by Scott Sayare in the New York Times and an online video courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. The Drinks Business also has an article, and Jancis Robinson usually posts something on the Financial Times so stay tuned for that.

The Oxford team will now begin preparations for the international round of the Pol Roger Cup, held in Epernay over the summer, as well as other international tasting competitions in France, which will feature university teams from the UK, the Continent, China and the USA. Many congratulations and best wishes for the competitions ahead!

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About James

James Flewellen is a biophysicist at the University of Oxford. He has competed for the University in international blind tasting competitions and won several awards. In addition, James is a wine educator and wine writer, most recently co-authoring "The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting". He also writes for the international gastronome site "The Rambling Epicure", and can be contacted for wine consultancy and educational courses through the "Oxford Wine Academy".
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One Response to Oxford win 60th Varsity Blind Tasting Match

  1. Pingback: Day One | WINEFD

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