Last week, I was a judge at the People’s Choice Wine Awards. This is a fantastic event and idea created by Janet Harrison. The aim is to put the consumers more directly in the judging seat: after all, they are the ones drinking these on a daily basis.
In one round, we tasted 19 hearty red wines. Hearty red wines to suit hearty meals. If you ever want to really get to know what tannins feel like: taste 19 bold, red wines back to back in the space of two hours. It is intense.
One of my biggest takeaways though was the power of the crowd. Our table was part of a boxed wine round. I’ve tasted quite a few boxed wines over the last year and am usually quite impressed with the quality.
On our table, however, all it took was a couple of people to state early negative positions on boxed wine and the tone was set. Every wine had a mountain to climb because of that crowd opinion. Some were pretty bad, but there were also a couple of delights to be found (and I’m looking forward to finding out what it is when the results come out).
I’ve had a few very good box/bag wines this year, and so next week will be giving them a feature. What do you think of boxed wines? Are they there yet in quality or is there still some way to go?
This week in Taste, I run through a few of the Bodega Soul collection. Bodega Soul is the brainchild of Manuel Sevilla and aims to bring small, independent Spanish producers to England.