Reds, Whites & Varsity Blues:
60 Years of the Oxford & Cambridge Blind Wine-Tasting Competition
‘I trawled through the University Handbook trying to locate an activity that was a) cheap and b) would render me irresistible to women. And then I saw it. The Oxford University Wine Circle: £2 a term, four tastings. I would be a wine taster – suave, elegant, worldly ... Nirvana beckoned.’
Oz Clarke, Pembroke College: Oxford University blind wine-tasting team 1970 & 1971
2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the Oxford & Cambridge Varsity blind wine-tasting competition.
Started in 1953 by legendary man of the wine trade Harry Waugh, at the time working for John Harvey & Sons, the competition sponsorship was taken over by Pol Roger in 1992.
The competition has fostered the careers of many leading members of the wine trade and press, including a number of Masters of Wine, cultivated fine wine enthusiasts internationally, and encouraged the discipline of blind wine-tasting, a notoriously difficult feat, to be acknowledged as a worthy academic practice.
To celebrate what has become an iconic rivalry between the two Universities, the history of this competition has now been documented in a stylishly entertaining book, detailing the inception and evolution of the Varsity blind wine-tasting match over six decades through a collection of special contributions and oral histories, highly illustrated with wine and university competition photographs and ephemera. Pol Roger, in conjunction with Anova book publishers, is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Reds, Whites, and Varsity Blues: 60 Years of the Oxford & Cambridge Blind Wine-Tasting Competition, produced and edited by Jennifer Segal, for spring 2013.
Notable contributors include:
Robert M. Parker Jr; Michael Broadbent MW; Hugh Johnson OBE; Jancis Robinson OBE MW; David Peppercorn MW; Serena Sutcliffe MW; Oz Clarke; Charles Metcalfe; Jasper Morris MW; Arabella Woodrow MW; Will Lyons; Nancy Gilchrist MW; Mark Savage MW; Sir Ewen Fergusson GCMG, GCVO; Julian Jeffs QC; Sir Timothy Sainsbury; Lord Tom King of Bridgwater; Robin Don MW; John Harvey V; the late John Avery; The Honourable Michael MacKellar AM; Bill Gunn MW; James Simpson MW; Lisa Barnard; Jeremy Seysses; Alex Hunt MW; North American Rally Race Car Driving Champion Andrew Comrie-Picard; and many, many more.
Proceeds from the book retained by Pol Roger will be held in trust for the benefit of the two University blind wine-tasting teams.