World Wine Tasting Championship Harvests 10th vintage and what’s up, Team USA?

Organized by La Revue du vin de France (or RVF), the World Tasting Championship harvests its Tenth consecutive vintage this weekend at Ayala in Champagne, France.  Building on the success of the French Tasting Championship  and the European Tasting Championship, La Revue du vin de France inaugurated its first World Tasting Championship in 2013 with 12 teams in competition at Château Larrivet Haut-Brion. Over the past year, countries interested in the competition determined a team to take part in the world competition as one of 34 teams here 12 wines from around the world challenge teams to identify blindly the grape variety, the region, the producer, the wine and the vintage, gaining points for correct answers. Who ever earns the most points wins. 

Although closed to the public, the championship will be broadcast live on the Internet.
The event kicks off on Friday night Oct. 7 with a dinner for the contestants where they bring wine to share from their country to the Caserne de Chanzy in Reims . Often wines are chosen to “stump’ the other competitors with plenty of rare and unusual vines being shared around the room. What a great way to get to know each other– and the wines from the various countries! 
Then the competition begins in earnest on Saturday morning Sat. 8. Soon the results are in, and the winner announced.
Back in June it looked like I would be on the team, and possibly organizing and forming one. I already had plans to be in Italy to work harvest, then to attend Terra Madre, followed by a press trip to Lugana, the Wine Media conference where I was speaking about Slow Food and Slow Wine, then a press trip to Valtellina, and opportunities to taste biodynamic wine in Alto Adige just east of Lombardy and also in the northern Italy. From northern Italy, it is a quick drive over the Alps to Alsace and then to Champagne, and I was game to do it with fellow conference attendees and proposed team mates Melanie Webber, Brianne Cohen, and Terry Nozick; all three have their WSET diplomas and are wine professionals, educators, and writers. Plus super fun gals! 
But being part of the team just didn’t seem to be that fun for a collection of reasons so we all bailed, and Instead of going to Champagne together, we all went to Valtellina, and had a great time. Then Melanie and I went to Alto Adige, Terry (and her husband of 31 years Bruce) went to Venice and beyond while Brianne headed home.
I have no idea what’s going on these days with the lawsuit that Kristen Shubert has (had?) against the former contest organizer; what little I know I’m not allowed to say anything about. I do know that she put together the team, which is coached by Lisa Stoll and also includes Annette Solomon, Tammy White, and Stacie Hunt. 

Follow the live video of the World Tasting Championship, October 8 from 9 a.m. and ongoing during which the different teams will have to blindly identify twelve wines from around the world with only ten minutes per wine tasted (up from 8 when we competed in 2019!), and where participants will have to identify the main grape variety of the blend, the country of production, the region,  the vintage, and the producer with points assigned to each category.

The Blind Tasting World Championship is organized by the French wine magazine, Revue du vin de France, under the supervision of Philippe de Cantenac.

More news as it breaks!

Here’s the announcement in the original French below. 

*Après le Championnat de France de dégustation et le Championnat d’Europe, La RVF organise pour la neuvième année consécutive un Championnat du Monde de dégustation.
Fort du succès du Championnat de France de dégustation (dont la nouvelle formule existe depuis 2003) et du Championnat d’Europe de dégustation, créé en 2008, La Revue du vin de France a inauguré en 2013 son premier Championnat du monde de dégustation qui a rassemblé douze équipes au château Larrivet Haut-Brion.

Tout au long de l’année, des sélections ont eu lieu dans dans de nombreux pays concurrents pour désigner les équipes qui participeront à la grande finale de ce mondial de dégustation.

12 vins pour se départager

Pour se départager, les équipes (composées de quatre dégustateurs, et parfois d’un coach) dégustent douze vins du monde qu’elles vont tenter d’identifier à l’aveugle.

Chaque équipe remplit un formulaire où elle propose un cépage principal, l’AOC, le producteur, la cuvée et le millésime. L’équipe qui cumule le plus de bonnes réponses remporte le Championnat du monde.

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