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What’s Up: World Blind Wine Tasting Challenge 2020

July 2, 2020

After posting daily American Sentences during COVID-19 in April plus a few posts about climbing Kilimanjaro (part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here), I took a hiatus in May and June, but now I’m back! I’m working on posts about Covid Camping and Travel as well as writing about previous trips because I don’t know about you, but this gal here, the Art and Wine Predator, is usually on the go traveling for ski trips, camping, mountain climbing, wine events, and music festivals! I’m getting a little stir crazy and I thought I’d be able to write about travel in May but it was too hard– it made me miss the Before Times even more.

So during the lockdown, I’ve focused on writing about wine over on Wine Predator. To date, I’ve published over 100,000 words in 68 posts averaging 1500 words in each and 12,000 page views over there so far in 2020.

Writing about wine and food definitely has its benefits:

  • One, lots of wine samples to write about!
  • Two, travel!
  • Three, meeting new people with shared interests!

Yes, I do get sent “free” wine — but it’s not so free because I spend a lot of time researching, tasting, and writing about it. It’s not like I just sit around drinking and pontificating, and wines get photographed and the blog posts get written up by themselves.

It really is a lot of work — a labor of love for sure, with plenty of benefits.

One surprising benefit is that after tasting thousands of wines and writing about them, I discovered last summer that I’m really good at tasting wine blind. Even though I’d never done it before, last July I competed in the US Wine Open, a blind wine tasting challenge where the top two teams get sent to France to represent the US in the World Wine Tasting Competition!

And we came in second place with 91 points!

Team USA: Gwendolyn Alley, Sue Hill, Jacob Fergus, Taylor Robertson

That’s right: in addition to travel on media trips to Portugal, Canada, Washington, Oregon, and throughout California, I went to France on an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the World Blind Wine Tasting Challenge. While there, we spent almost a week in Champagne, and almost a week in the Loire, and finished our trip with a few days in Paris where we attended the famous Festival of the Vines.

While 92 points out of 100 may not sound like a lot, if we’d scored 70 in France we would have been in the Top 10. It’s that hard. Read how it went in France here.

And now the big question is: will there be a World Wine Tasting Championship in 2020? Who will be there? And will I be on the team again?

Well, I have answers to some of your questions in this blog post and even more details over here at Wine Predator.

First, the contest is ON!

The 2020 World Tasting Championship in Bordeaux, France, is set for October 9 and 10!

On June 9, organizers posted on La Revue du Vin de France’s Facebook page for the Championnat du monde de dégustation the message: “Everything seems to be allright at Château Smith Haut Lafitte to organise our 2020 évent. Nice place Indeed ! I’ll send many informations about it in a few days. See you soon!” I’m particularly excited about this location because they make organic wine, which I tasted at the big Bordeaux event in LA earlier this year (back in the Before Times).

Potential members of the 2020 Team:members of the 2019 Team Sue Hill and Gwendolyn Alley; the 2018 Team Lisa Stoll and Kristen Schubert. Kristen was also on the 2016 team.

While last year Wine Acuity held the US Open to determine who will go to France for the World Tasting Championship, the blind wine tasting challenge sponsored by the French magazine La Revue du Vin de France, this year because of COVID-19, coach John Vilja will select the team from those who have been finalists and competed in France before to taste their way through six whites and six reds, identifying varietal, country and region of origin, the year and the producer.

Who will he choose? How will he choose? What are the other changes in store?

Read more on Wine Predator– plus find lots of delicious wines with food pairings and recipes!

  • Read more about how we landed on the US Wine Tasting Team 2019 here.
  • Read more about the 2019 World Tasting Championships held at the beautiful Chateau Chambord, one of the most impressive castles in France, here.
  • Read about how the competition works with blind wine tasting tips here.

Wish me luck because this Art Predator wants to be on the prowl in Europe in October 2020 and beyond! So invite me to visit you!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2020 10:38 am

    Good luck! Rooting for you here in Miami. :-)

  2. July 2, 2020 1:22 pm

    Thank you Lauren!

  3. pepdaniels permalink
    July 2, 2020 3:28 pm

    If you like organic wine try Sicilian (if you haven’t already!) as they make it that way because they always have…

  4. July 4, 2020 12:38 pm

    Wow! I’m super impressed!

  5. July 11, 2020 9:12 am

    Yes! I’m a fan for sure and will be writing about some from Mt Etna in August and September!

  6. July 11, 2020 9:13 am

    thank you! I surprised myself!

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