Champagne Pol Roger hosted the 66th annual Varsity Blind Wine-tasting match on Tuesday 19th February at the Oxford and Cambridge Club. Competition was fierce; Cambridge were determined to win back the title after 4 years of consecutive defeat. Both teams had trained rigorously in preparation for what is always a close contest.

We were joined this year by esteemed judges Jancis Robinson OBE MW and Professor Peter de Bolla. The judges were tasked with marking every paper, critiquing the student’s analysis of the wines based on grape variety, country of origin, viticultural region, vintage and, most important and challenging of all, comments leading to identification.

Cassidy Dart MW carefully chose the 12 competition wines, from Berry Brothers & Rudd,  to be served ‘blind’; 6 whites followed by 6 reds.  After the whites, Cambridge were about 40 points ahead, with Oxford hot on their heels. The wine that yielded the best answers from the students wasAu Bon Climat, Chardonnay, Santa Barbra County, 2016.

The reds were more easily identified because they were of greater typicity of their style. The best tasted wine of the day was Viña Koyle, Royale Carmenere, Los Lingues, Colchagua Valley, 2014.

Cambridge fought hard and won the title back, proving themselves to be the stronger team of 2019. They triumphed Oxford 726 points to 635. Particular congratulations go to team member Emelyn Rude, who was top taster.  She was rewarded with a Magnum of Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2006, a subscription to, and will enjoy a trip to Maison Pol Roger with the rest of the Cambridge team later in the year.


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