The climax of the Varsity Blind Wine-Tasting Match takes place at Maison Pol Roger when the winners of both the Oxford and Cambridge match and its sister competition in France compete at the annual International Blind Wine Tasting Match. This year the Cambridge University Blind Wine-tasting team, who were victorious against Oxford University in the 61st annual match, faced tough competition against Sciences-Po Bordeaux, the French victors and 2013 champions. Both teams had trained rigorously in preparation for the match all with the aim of achieving the highly coveted title of International Blind Wine-Tasting Match winners 2014.
For the match, teams are pared back to just three people (compared to six for the Varsity match) and the wines are exclusively of French origin. Each contestant has just 40 minutes to taste, analyse and try to identify 6 white wines, followed by a short break for 20 minutes before a further 40 minute session with 6 red wines.
This year, there were a number of challenging wines, not least a 100% Vermentino from Corsica, however the competitors proved once more to be of an elite standard, correctly identifying wines from Chablis to Alsace and Rully to Rousanne.
It was extremely closely fought, with no clear winner after the flight of white wines, however it was Cambridge who eventually emerged victorious, with a stunning performance from top-taster Antoni Wrobel who had the best score in the whites and reds and was awarded a Magnum of Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 2000. All winning team members were rewarded with a Magnum of Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2004, and the runners-up a Magnum of Pol Roger Brut Reserve.