Not Greek mythology, but rather as reference to the famous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, in essence a competition between New World and Old World wines from the USA and France. Organised by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, French judges carried out two blind tastings: one of top-quality Chardonnays and another of red wines – Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California. To everyone’s great surprise then, the Californian wine was rated the best in each category. Move to an online date over Zoom on 2 July 2020 and here was the Gunmakers’ opportunity to revisit the Judgement, this time organised by the Livery Committee and the Tring Winery.
There was nothing virtual about it – top quality wines up to £107 per bottle from the two parts of the world were decanted into 8 individual 50ml tasting measures, and sent out to the 23 participants. Cheese was recommended for those who wished. The evening started with a tasting of a white Bordeaux whilst the concept was explained. There followed three pairings – one white (Chardonnay) and 2 red wines (Pinot Noir and a Bordeaux blend). The idea was not to guess the country of origin but rather to vote on your favourite wine of each pairing. The evening concluded with a discussion of the results over a port-like wine from the USA. And the outcome – well neck-and-neck.
A great informal get together was the main point and this was achieved in abundance – with thanks to Julie Steadman of the Livery Committee who orchestrated the whole event.