[C]harles Carron Brown, head sommelier at Grasmere’s Forest Side, rubbed shoulders with leading wine industry experts in London on 13th March, as a judge in the annual Sommelier Wine Awards 2017.
The illustrious awards now in their 11th year are Britain’s only on-trade wine competition, to which UK merchants and producers from all around the world are invited to enter their wines.
Over six days 150 judges tasted over 3000 wines from around the world (the largest list ever entered). Tastings were carried out ‘blind’ and covered red, white, rose and sparkling wines from both the Old and New World.
The wines were also further split into country and region, with judges looking at food-friendliness, versatility, typicity, personality – and, importantly, value for money at whatever the price.
The judging panel then award commendations, as well as bronze, silver and coveted gold list places. Then the thirty of so gold-listed wines were judged in a taste-off round featuring 12 key restaurant dishes, the winners picking up Food Match Trophy awards.
Critics’ Choice Trophies are given to wines that the judges simply fall in love with, whatever their price or style.
By The Glass and Pub & Bar Trophy winners are great value, versatile wines that would be great on their own or with food, whatever your venue.
The Merchant Awards and Producer of the Year awards are given to those submitters who have done particularly well in certain key areas.
Finally, senior judges decided on the ultimate trophies, the Wines of the Year: Best Wine in Show, House Wine of the Year, Fine Wine of the Year, and Gastropub Wine of the Year, the results of which are announced in May.
Charles Carron Brown, said: ‘’it was an absolute honour to be invited to work alongside my peers from the UK wine trade. I’ve had a long love affair with wine and this is one of those highlight moments. It’s also a great opportunity to look for new and intriguing wines for Forest Side’s ever developing wine list.’’