As this year’s chairman, and the Australian judge, it was my pleasure to present the awards for the 2017 Six Nations Wine Challenge last week.
This is the 15th year that the Six Nations Wine Challenge has been held in Sydney. It’s my favourite wine competition for lots of rather obvious reasons.
I had the honour of presenting the silverware at the 2016 Six Nations Wine Challenge trophy presentation dinner.
The embargo has lifted and I am now allowed to reveal the class and trophy winners.
This year, New Zealand won “Top Country” trophy as well as winning seven out of the 15 classes.
At the Six Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney last year, Argentina won seven out of the ten top places in the Malbec class with Australia occupying the other three places. No surprises there. I chose not to enter any New Zealand Malbecs in that class.
After three days spent judging around 600 wines we’ve got a result, and it’s a good one for New Zealand. We won five out of the 16 classes as well as country of the show. That’s great news for New Zealand’s winemakers and especially good news for those whose wines were chosen to compete in this Olympian event.
Having just sniffed, slurped and spat 600 wines in three days at the Six Nations Wine Challenge I think I should alert readers to the downside of judging.
“Buy on apple; sell on cheese” is an old wine-trade saying from the distant past. Wine merchants would cleanse their own palates with fresh apple while they were tasting with a view to buying wine for their own businesses. Apple refreshes and sharpens the palate. But if the same merchants were selling wine to their customers, they would feed them cheese.
Albariño is Spain’s most prestigious white grape variety. It also does pretty well in Portugal where they call it Alvarinho. Just because it performs with distinction in Spain and Portugal doesn’t mean that Albariño will cut the mustard in this part of the world. A lot of distinguished Italian grape varieties, for example, only perform on the home ground.