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Winner Details

Fruit Wines & Vermouth

2014: Gold: 1; Silver: 1; Bronze: 3; Commended: 1
2013: n/a
Must-list index: 5%
Overall performance SWA 2014: D

To describe this as an interesting part of this year’s competition is rather like saying that Jimmy Saville was a bit odd. Our tasters worked their way through the selection of meads, fruit wines and vermouths here with a mixture of fear, fascination and astonishment.

‘It’s always interesting to try things that are different and local,’ said a somewhat dazed Agustin Trapero of Launceston Place. ‘All the way through this flight I was trying to match the drinks with a dish. With its green bean and apple characters [the Poppydown Elderflower sparkling] would be great as an aperitif.’

Others could see uses for the meads as partners for spicy food, dessert matching and even cocktails. But despite the ‘local’ element being in their favour, none made it on to the Gold List, the sole Gold going to a vermouth from across the pond, but this might have been a reflection on the tasters as much as on the products.

Certainly, observing the teams wrestling with this flight was a bit like watching an orangutan exploring a Playstation: while they metaphorically enjoyed the flashing lights, it’s probably safe to say that they struggled to get the most out of the drinks on display.

FOOTNOTE: while prices shown on the winning tasting notes relate to the size of bottle available, prices are normalised for 75cl for judging purposes.

From the Tasting Teams

‘The spiced mead would be great in a Christmas Martini.’
Romain Bourger, The Vineyard at Stockcross