To become a judge a Effervscent du Monde, you must participate in a training session, which was run yesterday. This year we extended the invitation to UK grape growers, wine makers and people in the wine trade. We had an excellent response and over 20 people participating in the training session.
The training is crucial, as the Effervscent du Monde are trying to improve accuracy and precision in its judges. This is very important with sparkling wines as they are more difficult to judge then still wines because they are very influenced by the way there are served. This was highlighted in the lectures given by Professor Richard Marchal from the University of Reims, that showed that Mousse and Effervescence are influenced by many factors including shape and cleanliness of the glass, amount of wine poured, wine temperature and time from pouring. This in turn impacts wine aroma and flavour. Professor Marchal used this information to inform us how the wines should be served and importantly how the wines should be judged.
|Professor Richard Marchal talking about Effervescence and foam|
We also hosted Jean Claude Buffin, who discussed how the du Monde wine shows are conducted. The aim of the competition is to improve the accuracy and precision of the assessments. He also discussed at great length howjudges may be influenced in the decisions they make and steps that can be taken to reduced this problem.
|Part of the judging sheet for Effervescents du Monde|
After this we participated in a series of tasting session to practice the judging system using a variety of sparkling wines including Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and of course English Sparkling wine. It wasn't long before the would-be judges got the hang of the new judging system and started to give some consistent results in their assessments.
You can also read Laura Clay's blog post on the day here
So now that training is over, its time to plan our trip to Dijon for the actual judging. Of course going to France and Burgundy means that the the trip can be enriched with some extra activities. On this years itinerary we hope to include the the following:
- Visit to Champagne Drappier in the Aube to talk big bottles, Champagne without SO2 and lesser know varieites
- Inter-varsity mixer with the MSc Wine Business students of Groupe ESC Bourgogne including the the "Wilson-Milanowski" cup challenge
- Parcours la Choutte (the Owl trail) around the ancient city of Dijon
- Three judging sessions at the Effervescent du Monde competition in the Lycee Castel Culinary school who also provide the three-course lunches which are crucial to the judging process
- Tutored tasting in the cellars of the Hospice de Beaune as part of the world famous auction led by Professor Pascal Durand
- Tasting the new releases around the 141èmeFête des Grands Vins de Bourgogne a Beaune with Burgundy specialist Fabrizio Buccella
|Cellars of Champagne Drappier|
|Hospice de Beaune Burgundy in barrel|
I can't wait and if its a good as last years trip (read about here) it will be a great wine experience.