2013 marked the 60th anniversary of the Oxford & Cambridge varsity blind wine-tasting competition. To celebrate this iconic rivalry – rife with politics, subterfuge, camaraderie and enduring friendships – its history over six decades has now been documented, through a lavishly illustrated collection of special contributions and vivid oral histories.
Started in 1953 by the legendary Harry Waugh of John Harvey & Sons, the competition has been sponsored by Champagne Pol Roger since 1992. The oldest contest of its kind, the tasting match has fostered the careers of many leading members of the wine trade and press, including a number of Masters of Wine, and has cultivated fine wine enthusiasts internationally and encouraged the discipline of blind wine tasting, a notoriously difficult feat.
Hardcover/256 pages/£35 (p&p included within the UK)
Produced and edited by Jennifer Segal/JenniferSegal.com
Published by Pavilion, an imprint of Anova Books, in association with Pol Roger
Royalties from the book will be held in trust for the benefit of the university blind wine-tasting teams.
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“One of last year’s crop of wine books that I enjoyed almost more than any other was Reds, Whites & Varsity Blues, the highly illustrated memoir-fest centred on the annual Oxford v Cambridge wine-tasting competition.”
Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, JancisRobinson.com
“The book is fantastic and a real addition to knowledge, as well as to the sense of the annual tasting being globally important within its context … reads like an incredible vertical tasting of the British Establishment!”
Dr Richard Lofthouse, Editor, Oxford Today magazine
“It is absolutely fantastic. It’s a book one can pore over … upside down and in every way.. It’s brilliant, wonderfully edited, marvellously put together, most inspiring.”
Michael Broadbent MW
WINNER of Wine, Spirits & Drinks/Lifestyle/Drinks History category for the UK at Gourmand Awards 20 May 2014.