45 seconds to judge a wine

Last updated 11:30 05/09/2012

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Look, swirl, sniff, sip, gargle, spit, rinse and repeat -  120 times. 

The first day of judging at the Spiegelau International Wine Competition kicked off with 12 judges tasting 494 wines at the Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim yesterday.

Judges considered aromatics including reisling, pinot gris and gewurztraminer, some red wines including malbec and grenache, dessert and fortified wines including sherries and ports and sparkling wines.

Event organiser Belinda Jackson of Wine Competition Ltd said the judges were served flights of up to 40 wines in one hit, depending on the size of the class, to sample and mark out of 20.

The judges spend 45 seconds to a minute on each wine, she said.

''They work at the speed we need to get through all the entries, but with their experience it is something they are used to, she said.''

Today the judges will be wading their way through hundreds of sauvignon blancs, which  will offer the first real look at wines from the 2012 vintage, she said.

''We've had some great flavours so far, but [today's] tasting will reveal some very dynamic and interesting wines - we are looking forward to it.''

More than 1100 wines were entered into the competition this year.

The last day of judging is tomorrow and medal winning results will be told on Friday.

Trophy winners will be announced at a dinner in Auckland on October 5.


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- The Marlborough Express


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