UK misses top ten as China scoop fine wine tasting contest

fine wineView larger image

A fine wine tasting contest organised by French publication La Revue du vin de France ended in a shock win for the Chinese on October 8th, with the newly crowned champions putting their high score down to 50% knowledge and 50% blind luck.

A fine wine tasting contest organised by French publication La Revue du vin de France ended in a shock win for the Chinese on October 8th, with the newly crowned champions putting their high score down to 50% knowledge and 50% blind luck.

The Chinese team managed a score of 108 points, with a rating awarded for correctly identifying the producer, country of origin, appellation, primary grape and vintage of six white wines and six red wines.

This pushed the French into second place with a score of 102 points, with the USA ranking third on 100 points - the only three countries to score in the triple figures.

Last year's champions Spain were unable to repeat their performance, managing a lowly 76 points and only just making the top ten, while the UK came in immediately behind them in eleventh place with 69 points.

Elsewhere in the top ten were several smaller countries, such as Andorra (fifth place, 98 points), Finland (seventh place, 87 points) and Luxembourg, who managed a respectable eighth place on 80 points.

The world championship fine wine tasting contest awards prizes from a range of wine industry partners, and is already scheduled to be held again in 2017 in Burgundy, where the Chinese will defend their crown.

While their first-place finish surprised many - Spain and fourth-placed Belgium (who finished on 99 points) were both tipped for the top spot - the Chinese team explained that the selection process in their country is fiercely contested, so that the representatives sent to the competition are only the very best.

La Revue reported the result as a "thunderclap on the shores of the Mediterranean" and showed the team celebrating their victory at Chateau du Galoupet in Cotes de Provence.

Will they retain the title in 2017 - or are there budding wine enthusiasts in the UK who might have the skills to topple the giants of China, France and Spain, and bring the championship home to Great Britain?