Monday, February 10, 2014

IWSC tasting at the Grande Roche in Paarl

The International Wine & Spirit Competition is an annual wine competition founded in 1969 by the [German/British] oenologist Anton Massel. He had the idea of creating a competition which was based not just on organoleptic judgement, but where all entries also had to undergo chemical analysis. A set of technical controls was implemented in order to ensure that the highest quality standards were achieved and maintained year after year
The IWSC receives entries from nearly 90 countries worldwide. No matter where the entry originates, whether it is youthful or aged, it is judged according to its class and treated with respect and consideration. The awards given by the competition are considered as high honours in the industry.  The event occurs annually in November, in London
Chief South African Judge Dave Hughes with Maryna Strachan, who is the local IWSC representative and Michela Nassiz, the international representative, explains to us how the competition works 
The eminent Mr Hughes always prefers informal attire
The large crowd of winemakers, growers, wine trade and media listens to the speeches
One gold and three silver MCC winners of the international competition were indeed available for tasting, Grande Roche’s labels misleading everyone
It was agreed that the venue was too small for the very large amount of interest the wines received and tasting did become a bit of a scrum at times.  The white wines were on the right hand side of the table and the many reds were  on the left.  Sweet wines were on another table at the end of the room and brandies and whiskies had another table on the opposite side of this one
Lots of informed tasting and note taking and, of course, lots on conjecture as always when competition wines are being tasted
A selection of dessert wines being kept cool
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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